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Australian solar roof tile developer to launch IPO

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One Step Off The Grid

A Sydney-based company behind innovative solar PV roofing tiles that can both generate electricity and heat water has lodged a prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission ahead of the launch of an Initial Public Offer.

Trac Group Ltd announced last week it was offering up to 26,000,000 shares at $0.25 to raise $6.5 million, money that would be used to fund the expansion of the company in Australia, to roll out its products internationally and to maintain its intellectual property portfolio.

Trac Group managing director and co-founder Jason Perkins said the company had already made significant progress with the commercialisation of its building integrated solar PV (BIPV) products, including its its “Tractile” solar energy roof tile.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 11.17.39 AM

Trac Group managing director Jason Perkins holding a tractile Eclipse thermal tile

Tractile replaces standard roofing tiles and metal sheeting with light-weight composite tiles that can generate both electricity and heated water for buildings.

Beyond the built-in supply of power and hot water,  the merging of photovoltaic and thermal systems means the roof delivers significantly increased electrical performance in hot conditions, due to the thermal energy generation cooling the PV cells.

Solar-Eclipse

Tractile Solar Eclipse BIPV tile

In this way, the company says, more energy is generated per unit surface area, compared to separately installed PV panels and solar thermal collectors side-by-side, which turn an average of 10-20 per cent of the sunlight into electricity, with the remainder (80-90 per cent) lost as heat. Also, as PV cells heat up in warm or hot conditions, their performance is reduced.

“Roofing has been undervalued as an asset with little in the way of innovation in decades,’’ Perkins said in a statement on Friday.

“The average home can power itself by harvesting the sun’s energy from less than 25 per cent of the available roof area. Instead of being a dumb, passive depreciating asset the roof can become a financial asset,” he said.

Trac Group chairman David Fagan said he had both invested in the company and installed Tractile to roof and power his home.

roof2

“This Offer provides the opportunity to own Shares in a company that has developed award winning innovative and sustainable roofing solutions, protected by an intellectual property portfolio,” Fagan said in a company release.

He said the global markets for solar and BIPV products were expected to grow significantly, and Trac Group was well positioned to capitalise on this growth.

The company says it has been granted patents relating to its Tractile products in 211 cities worldwide with populations of more than 1,000,000 people. 257 more cities are the subject of patent applications that are in the process of examination.



“Generational trends of population growth and globalisation are increasing the demand for housing and energy,” Perkins said.

“Tractile delivers an award-winning, innovative and sustainable roofing solutions that reduces materials and labour while increasing design, performance, renewable energy and sustainability.”

This article was originally published on RE sister site, One Step Off The Grid. Click here to sign up to the weekly newsletter

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  • Colin Nicholson

    The average “roofie” has enough trouble keeping the water from the ouside (rain) from getting in, let alone aligning pipes to keep pipes running water inside leakproof

    • Ian

      That’s a bit unkind, Colin. You don’t think these guys would have worked out those sorts of problems. Multipurposing roof space is an excellent idea. Why not electricity, heating, waterproofing etc all in one roof tile. Multipurposing of products and home spaces is probably going to become more evident. Integrated heating and cooling systems is another area that could supply many hours of happy tinkering. Heat pumps to shift heat from one area to another ie integrating water heaters with air conditioners, pool heaters and refrigerators. Another idea is integrating home electricity battery storage with electric vehicles. Who would have thought that the telephone, TV, Internet, camera, alarm clock , typewriter would all be integrated into one hand held device.

      • Colin Nicholson

        I’m sure the problems will be solved, but it will require a complete makeover of the roofing industry, in much the same way as the 20 yr change in motor car maintenance. If you are unfortunate to get a shoddy solar panel installer for PV only, then the result is usually passive failure, not so for the hybrid. The PV installation industry has suffered as a result of Shoddy installers. I fear what would happen with water and electricity involved. There are many ready to pounce on any hiccup. I would be more in favour of trying combined roofing with PV only.

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