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.
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.
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.
“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.”