Janko Árpád, Head of BIPV Division
The popularity of renewable energy, both in terms of sustainability and lower overhead expenses, has made solar panels an integral part of any modern-day homes. Especially in the central European region, there has been a massive uptick in home solar panel installations in the recent years. On that front, countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania are leading the green energy race. However, as the trend catches on, even the solar panels need to evolve and be optimised for the houses they are a part of. The bulky sizes of conventional solar panels not only disrupt the aesthetics of a house but also put an additional burden on the roof structure. In contrast, imagine smaller and more compact solar panels that would pave the way for safer installations without disrupting the integrity or artistry of the roofs.
Enter Terran. An internationally-recognised Hungarian manufacturer of concrete tiles and complete roofing systems, Terran combines its years of experience with modern technological advances to offers an aesthetic alternative to traditional solar panels. Developed in collaboration with the engineers from Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the Terran Generon solar tiles contain solar cells (PV cells) integrated on the tile’s surface. What makes these solar roof tiles more distinctive is its design that negates any breakthrough points between roofs and traditional solar panels, thereby fulfilling the fundamental role of protecting a house and giving it a balanced look. Through these exceptional features and benefits, the Generon solar tiles perfectly achieve Terran’s goal of an environment-friendly and efficient energy-producing roofing solution without compromising on the quality.
“Above all, the unique appearance is one of the key benefits of our innovation,” states Attila Gódi, the CEO of Terran.
At this juncture, Janko Árpád—the head of BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics) division at Terran—further adds, “Homeowners don’t even have to cover the whole roof with Generon tiles.” He elaborates that if one considers the average energy consumption of a family of four can be supplied with the system of about 4-5 kWp size, then homeowners only require 300-330 Generon tiles to meet their energy needs. They can cover the rest of the roof with regular Terran concrete roof tiles, such as RUNDO and ZENIT, as the Generon tiles are compatible with these tiles. These concrete tiles come in various colours so that it can blend into diverse traditional and modern construction styles. They also differ in surface treatment for additional resistance to climatic influences. As a result, the roof can withstand harsh environmental conditions such as snow, high temperatures, or frequent heavy rains. “So, while harvesting solar energy for household needs, the new roof of the house looks just like an ordinary tiled roof; only more beautiful as it is energised by the sun,” underscores Árpád.
What’s more? These tiles are not developed considering the end-users only; the design process of Generon solar tiles also keeps the roof installers’ needs in mind. Therefore, the installation process is a no-brainer; installers can quickly hook the tiles up by following a pre-defined and straightforward wiring route. Nevertheless, Terran provides training and on-field support to the roof installers to ensure further efficiency and safety of the tiles.
Highlighting Terran’s plan for the future at this juncture, Gódi says that standing still is not an option for his company. Terran is currently operating in the central European market, particularly in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, and Romania. The company’s tiles and roofing equipment are highly appreciated in this region, considering the value, durability, and resistance they offer in addition to being extremely diverse and versatile. The company is now assessing many development directions and solutions (including different kinds of solar panels, inverters, etc.), considering the different possibilities for solar technology. On that front, Terran is poised to complete its brand new manufacturing and assembly line for the solar panels this year to meet the market demands not just in Central but also in Western and Northern Europe. “This innovative product will give us an edge and open brand new markets for Terran roof tiles,” concludes Gódi.