Patent of the Month June

  Solar roof tiles © Autarq

Solar roof tiles

In order to speed up energy transformation, renewable energies must be pushed forward first and foremost. At summer's start, the focus is naturally on solar energy. This is where engineer Cornelius Paul has developed an innovative solution: the solar roof tile! These are roof tiles that can be laid normally and contain an inseparable solar module. The ingenious invention was patented in Europe in 2020, EP2847799B1, and is therefore our patent of the Month of June!

As simple as the idea sounds, the solar roof tiles developed by Paul are a technical masterpiece. Flat clay bricks, which are produced as standard in Germany, form the basis. On this carrier brick come miniature solar modules consisting of a special glass, solar cells and encapsulation materials. A special manufacturing process and the corresponding machines had to be developed to connect the solar modules to the flat tiles.

The advantage of solar roof tiles over classic solar modules: they are aesthetically pleasing, as they do not differ visually from normal roof tiles. In addition, no so-called solar installer is required for the installation, as roofers can also install the system themselves. Solar tiles are particularly efficient at converting solar energy into electrical energy and are extremely durable at the same time: due to their construction and material quality, they can last for decades and also withstand extreme weather conditions such as hail and storms.

Cornelius Paul showed stamina in realising his idea. He founded the company Autarq in Prenzlau in 2012. The first patent application was also filed during this time. Since then, the product has been continuously developed. The first noteworthy sales and suitability for the mass market were achieved in 2021 with the fourth generation product. In this context, it is certainly advantageous that production is not necessarily tied to large plants, but can also take place decentrally in small series "near the roofs". This also makes the product interesting for smaller construction or renovation projects that are only planning the partial replacement of conventional tiles with solar roof tiles.

Besides selling its solar roof tiles, the company offers a storage system which can optimise energy consumption in buildings and store surplus energy in combination with intelligent management software. For this, the inventive company was awarded the German Innovation Prize 2020 and the European Solar Prize 2020. It is encouraging to see that innovative minds like Cornelius Paul keep finding new ways to make our world more sustainable!

The Patent and Standards Centre wishes your ideas sunny times!

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