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To power homes by collecting energy from the sun while preserving the aesthetics of the tile roof. This was the ambition behind the development of Wienerberger’s first solar energy roof system and in June 2021 the Alegra 10 Wevolt solar roof tile came onto the market in the Netherlands.

Solar roof tiles: attractive and efficient

In Wienerberger’s solution the solar cells are combined with a traditional ceramic rooftile and actually built into the roof tile. This preserves the aesthetic appeal of the roof. “The new solar tile means we can combine the best of both worlds: a typical clay tile roof and efficient energy generation using solar power. This is a sustainable solution that meets today's energy and sustainability needs and will continue to do so in the future”, says Jacco Venema, New Business Manager at Wienerberger Netherlands. The design of the solar tile is identical to that of the traditional black Alegra 10 flat tile, and the accessories are also available in the same color.

Following a pilot project in Switzerland, the innovative roofing solution will be offered in the Netherlands – and later also in other countries – under Wienerberger’s Wevolt brand. The impetus for the market launch came from new legislation – for example, as of 2021 every new building must be (almost) energy neutral. However, solar roof tiles are also an obvious choice for historic buildings where preserving the original appearance of the building is a priority as the solar modules blend invisibly into the roof.

Close up of tile roof
Easy to install: Wienerberger is investing in an innovative and attractive solar energy roof system with its Alegra 10 Wevolt solar roof tiles.
© Wienerberger B.V.

Plug & play for easy installation

To prepare the solar energy system, fan elements are placed under the ridge structure to create air circulation under the roof. Once installed on the roof, the individual solar tiles can be connected to each other by cables equipped with plugs. Entire roofs can be laid quickly and easily. A certified professional roofer connects the tiles to the micro-inverter or optimizer and completes the technical installation. Homeowners can monitor the operation and yield of their Wevolt energy roof via an app on their smartphone or computer.

Due to their compact size, the solar roof tiles are easy and flexible to lay, for example around chimneys or skylights. Each roof tile produces up to 10 Watt-peak (Wp) of power. “Since the entire roof can be used to generate solar power, the energy yield is at least the same as with a classic solar panel system on the roof”, says Jacco Venema. Moreover, integrating the solar energy system into the roof also increases the value of the property.

Since the entire roof can be used to generate solar power, the energy yield is at least the same as a classic solar panel system on the roof.

Jacco Venema

New Business Manager at Wienerberger Netherlands

Clay, electrical and solar power expertise

The Dutch solar roof tile marks Wienerberger’s first step towards a comprehensive portfolio of energy systems and developing the product required innovative approaches: “clay products are part and parcel of Wienerberger’s day to day business and our expertise in the field is unbeatable. But combining them with electrical solutions and solar technology meant we were stepping into new territory. Linking up with experts from the electronics sector provided us with valuable know-how and strategic partnerships for the successful implementation,” Jacco Venema explains.

Wienerberger Netherlands initiated partnerships with sellers and producers of electrical components, established a network of roofers and linked them up with local electrical and solar power companies. As a result, customers benefit from expert knowledge at every stage of their roof construction or renovation: from the measurement and calculation process to installation and support once the solar roof tiles have been successfully fitted.

  • Black solar roof tile from below
    In detail: This is what the solar roof tile looks like.
    © Wienerberger B.V.
  • Solar roof tile being installed by a roofer
    Simple and compact: Solar roof tiles being installed by the roofer.
    © Wienerberger B.V.
  • blacl solar tile roof, blue sky
    The result: The finished Wevolt energy roof combines the aesthetic appeal of clay tiles with the benefits of solar energy.
    © Wienerberger B.V.

Focused on the future: energy systems by Wienerberger

The solar roof tile is currently manufactured and sold in the Netherlands, where it has passed the necessary technical tests and quality approvals. A roll-out to other European countries is planned. “In the Netherlands, the solar roof tile has generated significant interest. However, Wienerberger is already working on further innovations because the solar market is also evolving very quickly," Jacco Venema explains.

The creation of the Wevolt brand provides an umbrella for Wienerberger's visions and strategies for energy systems. In addition to roofs, the world’s leading construction and infrastructure company is getting ready to tackle facades and street solutions in the next few years and is already bringing energy experts on board to continue development work. “By combining our know-how, we are able to create added value for our customers. Together we are working on sustainable solutions for the future of our planet," says the New Business Manager at Wienerberger.  

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