During construction of his new home in San Antonio, Texas (US), John Bedingfield decided he wanted to include a solar system that would reduce his utility bill and allow him to generate his own clean energy. He needed a system that would both conform to the community’s strict building standards and offer more aesthetic beauty than traditional rack-mounted panel systems. In addition, he wanted a system that would blend seamlessly with his existing concrete tile roof.
After researching the subject, Bedingfield approached Don Fry, president of Fry Roofing of San Antonio. He suggested CertainTeed’s Apollo Tile II solar roofing system, which features a unique, low-profile design engineered to integrate with concrete tile roofs. While relatively new to the product, Fry knew the system complied with the building standards of Bedingfield’s community and would generate reliable power for at least 25 years, according to the manufacturer.
By working with CertainTeed, Fry was able to offer Bedingfield a product that would give him the energy efficiency he required and the visual appeal he desired.
“We had never installed a solar system like this before,” said Fry. “It was easy to put together because it was the same as putting on a tile roof. The system was easily incorporated into the layout, so the 350 solar tiles blended uniformly with the concrete tiles, and the process went smoothly thanks to the training and support provided.”
“A CertainTeed rep came out to explain how the system is installed and to work along with the contractors, but after the first day they weren’t needed because it was simple and intuitive,” added Fry. “This definitely added a lot of value and comfort to the homeowner.”
“I’ve been very pleased with the performance,” said Bedingfield. “2017 was the first full year of owning the system and it saved me thousands of dollars in energy costs. During temperate months my electric bill is very small, and there are times where I even have a credit on my account.”
The Apollo Tile II solar arrays cover 14 squares (1,400 ft2) of roof space, providing 21 kilowatts (21,000 watts) of rated power, and is divided among four inverters to accommodate the above-average size of the system. In its first full year of operation, the system produced more than 28,000 kilowatt-hours of energy that would have otherwise been purchased from the local utility at $0.10/kWh, resulting in savings of more than $2,800. Over the 25-year lifetime of the system, the clean energy generated will offset the emission of 520 metric tons of CO2—the equivalent of planting 13,500 trees, or not driving 1.28 million miles.
Fry said the install went so well that people hardly recognize that the Bedingfield house is discreetly generating solar power.
“Both the builder and the electrical company were surprised to learn that the home has solar,” said Fry. “They can tell there is something different about those sections of the roof, but the integration is seamless enough that the tiles aren’t immediately recognizable as solar.”
Written by Chris Fisher, Manager of Solar Product Development & Marketing, CertainTeed