The future of solar energy is already here

The future of solar energy is already here

How might we all be living with solar energy in the future? ArchiPro managing editor Justine Harvey spoke with Rob Roxburgh of Equus about its innovative new solar panel roofing system...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

How might we all be living with solar energy in the future? ArchiPro managing editor Justine Harvey spoke with Rob Roxburgh of Equus about its innovative new solar panel roofing system.

 

Justine: Equus is well known for its high-quality roofing membrane systems; what made the company decide to build in the option of solar panels?

Rob: Solar’s great and the world is getting better at adopting solar panel systems, however we design and install warm roofs and standard torch-on membrane roofs and we came to the conclusion that there may be a better way of doing it.

The main reasons are to have greater control over the roof design, the panels that are used and the installation, including the right detailing to ensure that our roofs don’t leak. Often, we find out later on down the line that solar is being installed onto one of our roofs and we ask whether anyone has thought about how they’re going to install the panels and what type of framing is going to be used to avoid damaging the roof.

We like to have people up on our roofs who know our products and all the sundry items that go into them for penetrating the roofs, the outlets, and so on. We waterproof those elements and the solar panel system is part of our overall system, which includes our warranty, our quality assurance documentation and design elements, such as the wind uplift and the condensation risks.

In developing our solar panel roofing system, we wanted to reduce its sheer weight – the massive amount of framework that’s normally required to hold the standard glass panels – and the obvious aesthetic aspect because standard panels can have a negative effect on the design of the building.

What is the difference between the eArche panels and the standard or traditional panels?

We looked for a flexible, lightweight panel and found the eArche polycarbonate panel, which, at 5.5kg per panel, weighs 70 per cent less than the standard glass panel, which typically weighs 20kg per panel. That’s quite a difference. The eArche panels don’t require a massive framework and you don’t need a structural change to the roof, which cuts down on costs.

The other major benefit of the eArche panels is that they can be laid at between two and five degrees to the roof profile, so they can be applied horizontally, whereas traditional glass panels work best at around 30 degrees. This means you can have a more aesthetically appealing panel system and maximise the efficiency with more consistent sun exposure throughout the day.

 

Is the panel as robust as the standard glass panel?

It’s very robust as it’s made out of polycarbonate, the same as what’s used for aeroplane windows so it’s very tough, strong, UV stable and easy to clean. Glass can’t bend; however, this particular panel is so flexible that it can actually bend around surfaces so you can vertically mount it onto a wall, or follow a barrel roof, or another similar system.

How much energy does the eArche panel provide, compared with the standard panel?

A size of a standard panel is about 1m by 1.66m and it produces between 270 and 290 watts per panel. Our panels are exactly the same size and produce about 290 watts per panel. Basically, the same amount of energy is generated, so you don’t lose any efficiency in choosing our panels.

 

Do you think, in the not-too-distant future, that we’ll produce even better solar panels that can generate even more energy per square metre?

Yes, the solar producers are already able to produce the same size or smaller panels and produce more output. One of the benefits of the frame system that we use is that, in the future, when even better panels are produced, our panels can easily be replaced.

Most likely, you won’t need as many panels or you will be able to create twice as much power for the same number of panels. And, bearing in mind that, in the future, when we’re all driving around in electric cars and scooters, we will use a lot more power.

eArche solar panel syste by Equus.
eArche solar panel syste by Equus.

When will it become mainstream to produce our own electricity to run our homes, offices and cars, etc, so we’re not reliant on big energy companies and we’re kinder to the environment?

You can run your home off the grid already but it’s a matter of having a combination of solar and battery power. In my own home, I’ve reduced my power bill from $500 to $100 with solar panels but, if I had batteries installed to store power, I wouldn’t even use the $100; I'd just need it at night time when there’s no sun to generate energy. A standard house uses about 10 to 20 units of power each evening so you only have to store that extra amount each day and, then, you would have no bills. 

From a commercial point of view, it makes perfect sense for office buildings and warehouse buildings to run all their common spaces off solar. We’re heading this way because people are at work during the daytime and these roofs are wasted spaces anyway. Solar can power the lights and so on in the common areas, and some companies are starting to put chargers in their car parking spaces too, so cars can plug in for free.

 

Some service stations are already doing solar but you can also imagine it being used on huge council buildings, state housing and even on the parking buildings that we’re currently charged a fortune to use.

Yes, we can install systems on the top floors of car parking buildings; they do this in Australia. If you go to their supermarket car parks, they’re now installing solar panels on top of the car ports you pull into because it’s so hot, so you can charge your car while you go shopping.

The future is limitless in terms of where we can go with solar! There is a cost but, like all businesses, there is a pay-off too – and that pay-off period is getting lower and lower. A standard system can be paid off in approximately six years and is covered under warranty for 25 years, so, essentially, you then have 19 years of free energy. It’s not only good for your pocket, it’s also very good for the environment.

For more information about the eArche solar panel system and compatible roofing systems, visit Equus here on ArchiPro.

Equus Industries

Equus Industries Limited  is a private limited liability Company (#120201) incorporated in Blenheim New Zealand in 1982. The Company commenced a business, immediately...

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The future of solar energy is already here
The future of solar energy is already here

The future of solar energy is already here

How might we all be living with solar energy in the future? ArchiPro managing editor Justine Harvey spoke with Rob Roxburgh of Equus about its innovative new solar panel roofing system...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

How might we all be living with solar energy in the future? ArchiPro managing editor Justine Harvey spoke with Rob Roxburgh of Equus about its innovative new solar panel roofing system.

 

Justine: Equus is well known for its high-quality roofing membrane systems; what made the company decide to build in the option of solar panels?

Rob: Solar’s great and the world is getting better at adopting solar panel systems, however we design and install warm roofs and standard torch-on membrane roofs and we came to the conclusion that there may be a better way of doing it.

The main reasons are to have greater control over the roof design, the panels that are used and the installation, including the right detailing to ensure that our roofs don’t leak. Often, we find out later on down the line that solar is being installed onto one of our roofs and we ask whether anyone has thought about how they’re going to install the panels and what type of framing is going to be used to avoid damaging the roof.

We like to have people up on our roofs who know our products and all the sundry items that go into them for penetrating the roofs, the outlets, and so on. We waterproof those elements and the solar panel system is part of our overall system, which includes our warranty, our quality assurance documentation and design elements, such as the wind uplift and the condensation risks.

In developing our solar panel roofing system, we wanted to reduce its sheer weight – the massive amount of framework that’s normally required to hold the standard glass panels – and the obvious aesthetic aspect because standard panels can have a negative effect on the design of the building.

What is the difference between the eArche panels and the standard or traditional panels?

We looked for a flexible, lightweight panel and found the eArche polycarbonate panel, which, at 5.5kg per panel, weighs 70 per cent less than the standard glass panel, which typically weighs 20kg per panel. That’s quite a difference. The eArche panels don’t require a massive framework and you don’t need a structural change to the roof, which cuts down on costs.

The other major benefit of the eArche panels is that they can be laid at between two and five degrees to the roof profile, so they can be applied horizontally, whereas traditional glass panels work best at around 30 degrees. This means you can have a more aesthetically appealing panel system and maximise the efficiency with more consistent sun exposure throughout the day.

 

Is the panel as robust as the standard glass panel?

It’s very robust as it’s made out of polycarbonate, the same as what’s used for aeroplane windows so it’s very tough, strong, UV stable and easy to clean. Glass can’t bend; however, this particular panel is so flexible that it can actually bend around surfaces so you can vertically mount it onto a wall, or follow a barrel roof, or another similar system.

How much energy does the eArche panel provide, compared with the standard panel?

A size of a standard panel is about 1m by 1.66m and it produces between 270 and 290 watts per panel. Our panels are exactly the same size and produce about 290 watts per panel. Basically, the same amount of energy is generated, so you don’t lose any efficiency in choosing our panels.

 

Do you think, in the not-too-distant future, that we’ll produce even better solar panels that can generate even more energy per square metre?

Yes, the solar producers are already able to produce the same size or smaller panels and produce more output. One of the benefits of the frame system that we use is that, in the future, when even better panels are produced, our panels can easily be replaced.

Most likely, you won’t need as many panels or you will be able to create twice as much power for the same number of panels. And, bearing in mind that, in the future, when we’re all driving around in electric cars and scooters, we will use a lot more power.

eArche solar panel syste by Equus.
eArche solar panel syste by Equus.

When will it become mainstream to produce our own electricity to run our homes, offices and cars, etc, so we’re not reliant on big energy companies and we’re kinder to the environment?

You can run your home off the grid already but it’s a matter of having a combination of solar and battery power. In my own home, I’ve reduced my power bill from $500 to $100 with solar panels but, if I had batteries installed to store power, I wouldn’t even use the $100; I'd just need it at night time when there’s no sun to generate energy. A standard house uses about 10 to 20 units of power each evening so you only have to store that extra amount each day and, then, you would have no bills. 

From a commercial point of view, it makes perfect sense for office buildings and warehouse buildings to run all their common spaces off solar. We’re heading this way because people are at work during the daytime and these roofs are wasted spaces anyway. Solar can power the lights and so on in the common areas, and some companies are starting to put chargers in their car parking spaces too, so cars can plug in for free.

 

Some service stations are already doing solar but you can also imagine it being used on huge council buildings, state housing and even on the parking buildings that we’re currently charged a fortune to use.

Yes, we can install systems on the top floors of car parking buildings; they do this in Australia. If you go to their supermarket car parks, they’re now installing solar panels on top of the car ports you pull into because it’s so hot, so you can charge your car while you go shopping.

The future is limitless in terms of where we can go with solar! There is a cost but, like all businesses, there is a pay-off too – and that pay-off period is getting lower and lower. A standard system can be paid off in approximately six years and is covered under warranty for 25 years, so, essentially, you then have 19 years of free energy. It’s not only good for your pocket, it’s also very good for the environment.

For more information about the eArche solar panel system and compatible roofing systems, visit Equus here on ArchiPro.

Equus Industries

Equus Industries Limited  is a private limited liability Company (#120201) incorporated in Blenheim New Zealand in 1982. The Company commenced a business, immediately...

Recommended reading
Done tagging
Full screen
The future of solar energy is already here

The future of solar energy is already here

How might we all be living with solar energy in the future? ArchiPro managing editor Justine Harvey spoke with Rob Roxburgh of Equus about its innovative new solar panel roofing system...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

How might we all be living with solar energy in the future? ArchiPro managing editor Justine Harvey spoke with Rob Roxburgh of Equus about its innovative new solar panel roofing system.

 

Justine: Equus is well known for its high-quality roofing membrane systems; what made the company decide to build in the option of solar panels?

Rob: Solar’s great and the world is getting better at adopting solar panel systems, however we design and install warm roofs and standard torch-on membrane roofs and we came to the conclusion that there may be a better way of doing it.

The main reasons are to have greater control over the roof design, the panels that are used and the installation, including the right detailing to ensure that our roofs don’t leak. Often, we find out later on down the line that solar is being installed onto one of our roofs and we ask whether anyone has thought about how they’re going to install the panels and what type of framing is going to be used to avoid damaging the roof.

We like to have people up on our roofs who know our products and all the sundry items that go into them for penetrating the roofs, the outlets, and so on. We waterproof those elements and the solar panel system is part of our overall system, which includes our warranty, our quality assurance documentation and design elements, such as the wind uplift and the condensation risks.

In developing our solar panel roofing system, we wanted to reduce its sheer weight – the massive amount of framework that’s normally required to hold the standard glass panels – and the obvious aesthetic aspect because standard panels can have a negative effect on the design of the building.

What is the difference between the eArche panels and the standard or traditional panels?

We looked for a flexible, lightweight panel and found the eArche polycarbonate panel, which, at 5.5kg per panel, weighs 70 per cent less than the standard glass panel, which typically weighs 20kg per panel. That’s quite a difference. The eArche panels don’t require a massive framework and you don’t need a structural change to the roof, which cuts down on costs.

The other major benefit of the eArche panels is that they can be laid at between two and five degrees to the roof profile, so they can be applied horizontally, whereas traditional glass panels work best at around 30 degrees. This means you can have a more aesthetically appealing panel system and maximise the efficiency with more consistent sun exposure throughout the day.

 

Is the panel as robust as the standard glass panel?

It’s very robust as it’s made out of polycarbonate, the same as what’s used for aeroplane windows so it’s very tough, strong, UV stable and easy to clean. Glass can’t bend; however, this particular panel is so flexible that it can actually bend around surfaces so you can vertically mount it onto a wall, or follow a barrel roof, or another similar system.

How much energy does the eArche panel provide, compared with the standard panel?

A size of a standard panel is about 1m by 1.66m and it produces between 270 and 290 watts per panel. Our panels are exactly the same size and produce about 290 watts per panel. Basically, the same amount of energy is generated, so you don’t lose any efficiency in choosing our panels.

 

Do you think, in the not-too-distant future, that we’ll produce even better solar panels that can generate even more energy per square metre?

Yes, the solar producers are already able to produce the same size or smaller panels and produce more output. One of the benefits of the frame system that we use is that, in the future, when even better panels are produced, our panels can easily be replaced.

Most likely, you won’t need as many panels or you will be able to create twice as much power for the same number of panels. And, bearing in mind that, in the future, when we’re all driving around in electric cars and scooters, we will use a lot more power.

eArche solar panel syste by Equus.
eArche solar panel syste by Equus.

When will it become mainstream to produce our own electricity to run our homes, offices and cars, etc, so we’re not reliant on big energy companies and we’re kinder to the environment?

You can run your home off the grid already but it’s a matter of having a combination of solar and battery power. In my own home, I’ve reduced my power bill from $500 to $100 with solar panels but, if I had batteries installed to store power, I wouldn’t even use the $100; I'd just need it at night time when there’s no sun to generate energy. A standard house uses about 10 to 20 units of power each evening so you only have to store that extra amount each day and, then, you would have no bills. 

From a commercial point of view, it makes perfect sense for office buildings and warehouse buildings to run all their common spaces off solar. We’re heading this way because people are at work during the daytime and these roofs are wasted spaces anyway. Solar can power the lights and so on in the common areas, and some companies are starting to put chargers in their car parking spaces too, so cars can plug in for free.

 

Some service stations are already doing solar but you can also imagine it being used on huge council buildings, state housing and even on the parking buildings that we’re currently charged a fortune to use.

Yes, we can install systems on the top floors of car parking buildings; they do this in Australia. If you go to their supermarket car parks, they’re now installing solar panels on top of the car ports you pull into because it’s so hot, so you can charge your car while you go shopping.

The future is limitless in terms of where we can go with solar! There is a cost but, like all businesses, there is a pay-off too – and that pay-off period is getting lower and lower. A standard system can be paid off in approximately six years and is covered under warranty for 25 years, so, essentially, you then have 19 years of free energy. It’s not only good for your pocket, it’s also very good for the environment.

For more information about the eArche solar panel system and compatible roofing systems, visit Equus here on ArchiPro.

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