Integrating Industries: Bringing Solar and Roofing Technologies Together to Generate Energy from Every Roof
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM PDT
Location: Installer Training, Booth #522, Level, 2, Venetian Expo Hall
The solar and roofing industries are converging. More and more roofing contractors are getting into the solar business, and solar companies are getting into roofing. In response, GAF Energy developed Timberline Solar, a truly roof-integrated solar product, which can accelerate clean energy adoption on rooftops around the world. This innovative, energy-generating roof combines superior ease of installation, reliability, and aesthetics with the scale and reach of North America’s largest roofing company, GAF, with the goal of making residential clean energy mainstream. Timberline Solar is the only roof system to directly integrate solar technology into traditional roofing processes and materials. It incorporates the world’s first nailable solar shingle, the Timberline Solar Energy Shingle (ES), which installs as readily and easily as a traditional roofing shingle – with only a nail gun required.
For more than a hundred years, the solar panel has remained the same—a rectangular shape with a glass front surrounded by a metal frame. Innovation has been constrained by the panel’s form factor, preventing cost-effective ways to manufacture, transport, and attach panels to a roof or other mounting structures. We have now reached a cost point and maturity in which solar-generated energy can compete with conventional fuel. Solar is being called “the new oil.”
However, in order to reach the scale needed to make solar the main source of energy, we must innovate outside the ‘rectangle’ box: create consumer-friendly products, open up new use cases and complement other construction-related industries. Speed of innovation needs to be increased and co-locating engineering centers with supply chain and manufacturing ensures faster cycles of learning and laboratory to customer.
Dr. Gabriela Bunea, Chief Solar Innovation Officer at GAF Energy, has been the driving force behind the development of Timberline Solar, which has received more than 30 design and innovation awards since its introduction in January 2022. In addition to increased deployment, solar product innovation can play a role in expanding local manufacturing. GAF Energy co-locates R&D and manufacturing at its California facility based on the idea that solar growth is a global phenomenon with a local solution. By locating these processes in the U.S., GAF Energy operates as a lab-to-consumer solar company. Dr. Bunea will talk about what is needed to turbocharge solar innovation and how she and her team are leading the charge toward the mass adoption of clean energy generation -- by bringing roofing and solar together.