Soprema Soprasolar Rocks
If you live in the U.S. and have not heard of the company Soprema, don’t worry because you probably are not alone. Soprema is a European based company that was founded in 1908 and they have recently entered the U.S. market. Soprema is responsible for the production and manufacture of many great roofing products which offer great performance benefits available at competitive rates, compared to traditional roofing products used in the U.S. The most innovative product that Soprema has developed is Soprasolar. Soprasolar offers an alternative ‘green’ roofing option for designers and architects seeking to integrate sustainable building strategies into the design of buildings with flat roofs. The Soprasolar system was developed by Soprema in conjunction with Uni-Solar, one of the leading developers of photovoltaic products.
Soprasolar is essentially a roofing membrane which produces energy. The composition of Soprasolar is composed of many layers, but is essentially an SBS bitumen membrane which is adhered to flexible photovoltaic cells. The flexible photovoltaic cells that are used in the system makes use of what Soprema calls “triple junction” technology which is composed of three superimposed layers of “photovoltaic cells to produce maximum electrical output across the entire solar spectrum.”
Traditional photovoltaic panels require multiple roofing penetrations, constant maintenance and add significant weight to the building’s roof. Soprasolar requires no roofing penetrations, it is lightweight (0.7 lb/ft2 which has little to no effect on structural member size), flexible, does not produce shadows (unlike traditional photovoltaic panels, meaning more area for photovoltaic panels) and requires little to no maintenance guaranteed to produce energy for twenty years! The most important difference between traditional photovoltaic panels and the Soprasolar system is that when you purchase photovoltaic panels you are buying a product, but when you choose the Soprasolar system, you are getting just that, a system which has been engineered and tested to work harmoniously with all other roofing components in the system. Still not sold? One of the great features of Soprasolar is that the product comes with a single source, 20-year warranty covering both the water tightness of the roofing membrane AND the ability of the solar panels to produce energy.
An unfortunate negative to the use of this product, if you believe a building should embellish its function, is the fact that it allows you to be green without the building proclaiming to the world that it is green. This is also a positive for some designers and clients who do not want an array of photovoltaic panels sitting on top of the buildings like a bad hat. If you are looking for alternative energy sources or new roofing products that function above the rest, request a product sample using the below contact information.
Contact Information for Soprema:
310 Quadral Drive
Wadsworth, Ohio 44281
Tel. 330.334.0066 – Fax. 330.334.4003