If you want to go solar and you like the high design and sophisticated architectural appearance of standing seam metal roofs, you are in luck.

Two companies, Forward Labs and INroof.solar have launched great looking integrated solar metal roofs, and each offers a different solar technology to choose from:

1) Integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) metal roofs

2) Integrated solar thermal metal roofs

Metal roofing has many advantages over asphalt shingles. Metal roofs are more durable, last longer and easily shed snow in harsh winter. But perhaps the best thing about each of these new solar metal roof offerings is the aesthetics… The solar technology is totally hidden from view.

You can get the energy saving benefits of the best contemporary solar thermal and PV systems without the look of having solar panels on top of your roof.

INroof.solar Thermal Solar Metal Roof

INroof.solar offers solar thermal heating integrated into a beautiful metal roofing system that is designed to compliment the architecture of your home.

INroof.solar roof
INroof.solar solar thermal roofing system is beautiful and functional.

INroof.solar’s “Nor’easter” product offers solar thermal collectors built directly into the roof and will provide the heating for your home or commercial building’s hot water, space, radiant, swimming pool and geothermal heating systems. InRoof.solar also can serve as a heat sink for energy storage systems.

The exterior surface of the INroof.solar system is made from custom extruded aluminum and then assembled with conventional plumbing materials. Heat is transferred from the outside by conduction through a heat exchanger using a propylene glycol solution (non-toxic anti-freeze) that is circulated through the INroof.solar pipes.

 

The heat from the propylene glycol flows through the tubes and is delivered to a tank where the energy is stored. The system can draw energy from the storage tank for home/commercial heating of domestic hot water, space heating, swimming pool heating or industrial processes.

Pricing for an InRoof.Solar system depends on the size and layout of your roof. INroof.solar is ICC-SRCC certified and will handle the engineering for you and will work to deliver a metal roofing solution that is approximately comparable to a standard metal roof and solar thermal heating system.

Comparing the beauty and design aesthetics of an InRoof.Solar thermal system to a standard solar thermal system mounted on a roof, there’s no comparison.

Forward Labs Solar Metal Roof

Forward Labs is also aiming to reinvent the solar roof, but with roof mounted solar panels that are identical to standing seam metal roofs as we think of them today.

In the past if you wanted solar PV with your metal roof you really only had two options, install a flexible thin film solar product (such as the Next Generation Flexible Ultra-Light Solar Technology from MiaSole) in between the metal seams of the roof, or mount a traditional monocrystalline solar panel system with a rack.

Forward Labs Solar Metal Roof
Forward Labs Solar Metal Roof delivers a solar photovoltaic system without the look of conventional roof-mounted PV panels.

The Forward Labs solar roof technology is hidden from view. The technology is made of metal roofing sheets comprised of a tempered glass layer, an “optical chromatic cloaking layer”, a monocrystalline solar cell layer, galvanized metal panels, and a traditional racking system underneath. The result is the appearance of a traditional metal roofing (with the layered solar photovoltaic system hidden from view) but that is as efficient as a standard high efficiency solar roofing system.

Forward Labs’ roof is designed to passively self-cool with outdoor air by leveraging the effects of Bernoulli’s principle and the stack effect. The roof is warranted for 30 years and is available in 8 color options.

Forward Labs Solar Metal Roof Technology

Forward Labs expects their solar roof to cost approximately $3.25 per watt and take only a few days to install. is taking reservations for their metal roofs but at this point is only expecting to install the solar roofs in California in 2018.

30% Federal Solar Tax Credit

InRoof.Solar and Forward Solar’s systems are beautiful, durable and effective and both systems qualify for the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) which is 30% for solar systems through 2021.

Other Solar Roof Design Options

Tesla’s solar roof is much better looking than a traditional roof mounted solar panel system, but isn’t a metal roof design.

Tesla Solar Roof

Miasole’s flexible thin film solar systems (below) can be attached to metal roofs for a more integrated look that almost hides the technology from view.

Miasole bluescope integrated metal roof

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