Over the last two years, clean energy advocates and supporters suddenly showed a lot of interest in solar energy. Though the form of clean energy has been around since the 90s, its innovations are just starting to get headway in the green community. One past innovation gaining popularity today is the German solar city, Sonnenschiff. It receieved a lot of attention earlier this year despite being established back in 2004. As for something more current, a bike trail in South Korea is getting a lot of attention for being covered with solar panels.
The aforementioned are all examples of the innovative progress solar energy - specifically solar panels - have shown. However, solar energy isn't just solar panels collecting sunlight to be converted into electricity. It also includes utilizing such for other tasks, such as desalination of water. For one solar energy company, they found a way to use the sun's energy to heat homes efficiently without using solar panels. Instead, they used something else nobody thought of using: beautiful glass roof tiles.
According to Inhabitat, SolTech Energy developed the unique home heating system which is nothing more than ordinary transparent glass. They are shaped into the same size and look of curved clay roof tiles and assembled as such. The final product on a finished roof gives it an attractive icy appearance unlike anything seen before. The best part about the tiles is the fact they are cheap.
Minds followed-up on the glass roof tiles, explaining the details of how it works. Apparently, they catch sunlight and heat the black nylon canvas underneath, heating air which disperses throughout the house. This method actually conserves energy unlike previous clean-energy heating systems that heat up water or use vacuum pumps. An added bonus is it cuts energy costs throughout the year, including the winter season and at night, because of its capacity to store heat in the isolated layers of air under the canvas.
So far, the heating system seems to be available locally in Sweden, SolTech Energy's home country. No news on when it will be available internationally. But from the statistics given, it will definitely become a hit among the green and clean energy communities.
[Images via SolTech Energy]