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Building Division : Power Roof™ Systems
The POWER ROOF™ is a new concept in solar energy that has the potential to become a major force in the renewable energy industry's market for industrial and large commercial buildings, both in the United States and abroad. More significantly, because of the system's integrated building approach and projected energy cost savings potential, the POWER ROOF™ system will become an attractive energy option for the large industrial and commercial energy user. The system is designed for both new and existing facilities. The POWER ROOF™ design is a total building system, which can provide the buyer with lower energy bills, superior natural delighting, and a more comfortable workplace. Equally important in today's world, this energy option is essentially environmentally benign.

The POWER ROOF™ system integrates excellent energy-efficient technologies with the most advanced solar concepts known today. The POWER ROOF™ system is a high-temperature solar collector, a natural delighting system, s radiant barrier, an insulating system, and an optional means to capture passive solar heat in the winter, an infiltration barrier, the structure, and a waterproof guaranteed roofing system - all in one. Because of these multiple functions, served by a single building system, comparative construction costs to imitate the same advantages are significantly greater. This obviously makes the POWER ROOF™ system more competitive in the energy market.

Because of the system's extremely effective concentrating powers, collection temperatures in excess of 750 degrees F are possible. This energy can most appropriately be utilized in the form of water purification, water pumping and desalination as well as secondary space heating and domestic hot water uses. And, where needed, it can also be converted to electricity for individual facility requirements or sold to utility companies during times of peak electrical demand.

The following advantages clarify the unique aspects of the POWER ROOF™ system:

  • The POWER ROOF™ is a roof system as well as an energy saving system (picture 2.1). By taking an integrated approach, the net installation cost is projected to be considerably less than other solar thermal systems, which are almost entirely ground mounted. The building-integrated POWER ROOF™ system requires no additional land.
  • Because of the POWER ROOF™ system's extremely high concentration efficiency, the system is ideally suited for industrial process heat applications and desalination, as well as for producing electricity.
  • The POWER ROOF™ system utilizes a fixed reflective surface and a tracking secondary receiver. This is opposite from the typical solar thermal trough systems, which have a stationery receiver and moving reflector. By moving the much smaller component and fixing the larger reflector, the POWER ROOF™ system has significant structural advantages and less associated maintenance.
  • The industry standard for receivers evacuated glass tube in which the fluid is circulated. The PWER ROOF™ system utilizes a superior receiver, which incorporates an Integrated Compound-Parabolic Concentrator within the solar industry and produces a collection efficiency, which is higher than other receiver available.
  • The POWER ROOF™ system can be installed on individual buildings, thereby reducing the efficiency losses associated with control utility type systems and allowing it to be utilized as distributed power including for remote and off-grid regions.
  • The POWER ROOF™ system can be purchased incrementally, as needed by the owner.
  • Because our clients are typically building owners, the utility rates which we are competing against are the higher rates charged to our customers by utilities, not what the utility pays for power generation and distribution.
  • The POWER ROOF™ system is designed for both new and existing facilities and can be incorporated into many types of structures other than typical roof areas (i.e., covered parking areas).
  • The POWER ROOF™ system is environmentally sound.
  • The POWER ROOF™ system provides building owners an energy option, which helps them to make their energy future more secure.
  • In addition to typical tax advantages associated with buildings in the United States, the POWER ROOF™ system solar investment tax credit. There are also many states the additional tax advantages. The Clean Air Act also improves the cost benefits associated with all solar energy options in the United States.
  • The POWER ROOF™ is a total building system, which integrates quality energy technologies with quality building technologies.


Because of the temperature ranges that are possible utilizing the CPC in conjunction with the POWER ROOF™ design, many markets not previously pursued by the solar thermal industry can now be approached.

The POWER ROOF™ system has particularly significant cost advantages for integrating the system into new buildings or roof assemblies, but retrofit possibilities also exist where reproofing cost can be saved or where limited real estate make this option a viable solution. Designs that have been pursued with potential customers range from POWER ROOF™ systems integrated into greenhouse roof assemblies covered parking areas, and covers over fresh water canals, as well as industrial and commercial buildings. To meet particular energy needs, stand-alone systems may also be practical solutions.

Power Roof Applications:
Industrial Process Heat
Absorption Cooling
Electrical Generation

Power Roof Fact Sheet

The Power RoofTM system integrates the best energy-efficient technologies with the most advanced thermal solar energy systems known today. The tracking Power RoofTM is a south-facing high temperature solar energy collector with a fixed reflector and tracking integrated compound parabolic concentrating evacuated tube receiver, and north-facing natural daylighting glazing. A Power RoofTM module is sized for easy integration into standard building designs. It includes a radiant barrier, an insulating system, an optional means to capture passive solar heat in the winter, an infiltration barrier, the building roof structure, and a waterproof, guaranteed roofing system all-in-one. Because of these multiple functions, served by a single assembly, comparative construction costs to imitate the same advantages are significantly greater.

The system's enhanced solar energy concentrating feature enables collection temperatures in excess of 7500F in suitable climates at efficiencies between 40% and 45%. This energy can most appropriately be utilized in the form of steam for electric power generation, industrial processes, double-effect absorption cooling, desalination and water purification as well as secondary space heating and domestic hot water uses. Until now, most solar thermal energy systems were limited to lower temperature ranges of 2120F to 2600F. Of the total industrial process heat market in the US, temperature needs below 2120F (hot water) represents only 1.5% and steam temperatures between 2120F and 3000F account for an additional 16.5% of industry's needs. With the wide range of collectors covering temperatures from 1000F to 7500F, Solargenix Energy is capable of matching most thermal energy needs within an industrial process application.

The first Power RoofTM system is now being constructed adjacent to a Parker-Lincoln commercial office and warehouse building located on Westinghouse Blvd. in Raleigh, NC, and it is expected to be operational in January 2002. It has the following characteristics:

  • Thirty-six 12 ft x 16 ft modules
  • Vertical load per module: 10 lbs/sq.ft.
  • Total collecting aperture area: 5,400 sq.ft.
  • Heat transfer fluid: water
  • Maximum operating temperature: 3500F
  • Peak solar energy delivered to load: in excess of 500 Mbtu/hr
  • Energy use: space heating, service hot water, heat input to 50-ton Yazaki 2E absorption chiller for space cooling, heat input to 6 kW ORC turbine/generator.
  • Full instrumentation and data acquisition system

The unique absorption chiller incorporates a newly designed generator that can be fired by both natural gas and solar heated hot water, so that a separate gas hot water boiler is not needed to operate the chiller when solar energy inventories are low or non-existent.

This first Power RoofTM installation will serve as a test and demonstration system to study its operating characteristics and to develop control strategies for building integrated HVAC and power applications.

Power Plant Division
Residential Hot Water Division
Building and Air Conditioning Division
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