GAF Energy launches Timberline nailable solar tile at CES 2022
Manufactured in a new facility in California, what sets the Timberline Solar roof system apart from others is that it directly integrates solar technology into traditional roofing processes and materials.
GAF Energy Timberline Solar roof
GAF Energy, a provider of solar roofing in North America, announced the launch of Timberline Solar, which the company is calling the world’s first nailable solar shingle.
This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Timberline Solar Energy Shingle will receive three awards, including its highest honor, the Best of Innovation award, for ‘Smart Cities.’ The product was also named an Innovation Award honoree in both the ‘Smart Cities’ and ‘Smart Home’ categories.
What sets this apart from other solar shingles, Tesla’s for example, is that the roof system directly integrates solar technology into traditional roofing processes and materials. The shingles will be assembled domestically at GAF Energy’s facility in San Jose, California, which was constructed last year after the company moved manufacturing out of South Korea. At the time the facility was expected to be able to produce 50 MW of solar panels annually, and provide jobs to about 400 people in manufacturing, engineering, and RD.
In an interview with pv magazine, Martin DeBono, GAF Energy’s president, said that RD teams will be a short stroll away from the production line. And while California and Silicon Valley are not known for their low costs, the company chose San Jose for its proximity to a talent pool that is used to innovating for Apple, Google, and others.
GAF Energy reports that Timberline Solar shingles are water-shedding, strong and warranted to withstand winds up to 130 mph. Rack-mounted solar installations require the drilling of dozens of holes into the roof membrane. Any resulting damage related to those holes is not typically covered by roof warranties. GAF Energy is the sister company of GAF, a leading roofing and waterproofing company. With access to GAF’s national contractor network, GAF Energy is uniquely positioned to bring residential solar to the mass market.
“Solar roofs are the future of clean energy, and Timberline Solar is the game-changing innovation that will get us there,” said Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy.
“Realizing our vision of a breakthrough mass-market solar roof has been our mission since we launched GAF Energy in 2019. What the team has accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary,” said David Winter and David Millstone, co-CEOs of Standard Industries, parent company of GAF Energy.
The Timberline Solar design achieved UL’s 7103 certification, which authorizes GAF Energy to install the system on residential roofs as a roofing product and a solar energy product, the first of its kind to be recognized as both. In addition, GAF Energy worked with Sandia National Laboratories, a U.S. Department of Energy research and development lab, to verify the product’s strength, durability, and overall market-readiness.
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Anne Fischer is a senior editor at pv magazine USA. Anne is a seasoned writer, editor, and journalist.
It’s a roof. With solar energy. It’s that simple.
They say a technology has really arrived when it becomes seamless. When its engineering and integration are so advanced, it becomes simple. Introducing Timberline Solar™. A roof designed and developed to produce clean energy, while doing all the other things that roofs do so well. It’s really that simple.
Power and precision
Aesthetics are a cornerstone of our products. Our roof-integrated solar products have superior water-shedding qualities. And they’re installed by those who know roofs best, the world over: GAF-certified roofing contractors.
Sleek, low-profile, and precision-built, these are roofs neighbors will envy.
Learn more about our solar roof offering
Timberline Solar™ offers a solar shingle roofing system designed and assembled in the United States. Available in select markets—with Rapid expansion plans—Timberline Solar™ is changing clean energy adoption for homeowners.
There’s no better time to go solar than when you’re getting a new roof.
Straight from the source: roofers react to Timberline Solar™
With a GAF Energy solar roof, you’ll not only get a roof that’s durable and has curb appeal, it’s also financially Smart, since you can save on your energy bills over time.
“With Resnick Roofing and GAF Energy, we had a clear sense that we would be working with good teams. It made the jump to solar easy when we needed a new roof.”
We’ve got you covered
A GAF Energy solar roof makes it easy for you to choose a cutting-edge roofing option, one that is also reliable, certified by key testing agencies like UL to meet the highest standards.
Working with a GAF-certified roofer, too, means you’re working with those who know roofing best–and you have the option to be covered under an industry-leading warranty.
This warranty is backed by our partnership with GAF, a company that has been in business for more than 100 years.
“The overall cost of my roof with the solar was surprisingly affordable and the financing they offered was very competitive. Having the same installer for both the shingles and solar simplified the installation process and eliminated the need for contacting multiple parties if any issues arise.”
Local choice, global impact
Clean energy is the new paradigm.
Choosing a solar roof for your home means contributing to the acceleration of renewable energy use. And that’s a great thing, for now and for generations to come.
Why You Wouldn’t Want to Get a GAF Timberline Solar™ Roof
Are you looking to add solar to your home but unsure if a GAF Timberline Solar™ roofing system is the right choice for your property? Your roof may not be old enough or in bad enough shape to warrant fully replacing it in order to add GAF Timberline Solar™. If this is the case, it may be a wiser choice to go with traditional rack-mounted solar panels instead.
Roof Condition and Age
If you want to switch to a solar roofing system like GAF Timberline Solar™, knowing the condition and age of your roof is paramount. The condition and age of your roof will ultimately determine if buying a solar roofing system over traditional solar panels is best for your home.
The condition of your roof will heavily determine if a new solar roofing system will be the right investment for you. Installing a GAF Timberline Solar™ roofing system means you need to tear off your old roof and replace it with a new one. While a new solar roofing system may be the better long-term choice, it may not be the best choice at the moment if your roof is in good condition. To fully determine your roof’s condition, we recommend that you get a comprehensive roof inspection by a qualified roofing contractor that you trust. Most contractors will also provide you with an in-depth report on the health of your roof.
Example: Excess granular loss because of a manufacturer’s defecton a 5-year-old roof
Depending on your area, you could have an older roof that is still in excellent condition. Using the information in your inspection report from your contractor, you can decide if a complete re-roof will be worth it. A roof that is in good condition but older might make you lean towards a complete re-roof and installing a GAF Timberline Solar roofing system.
Just as with roof condition, the age of your roof will heavily determine whether you should choose to add traditional solar panels to your home over fully replacing your roof with a GAF Timberline Solar™ roofing system. A good benchmark to keep in mind for when you should start looking into the health of your roof is roughly ten years depending on the climate you live in. Aside from defects present by the manufacturer and any significant damage-causing weather events, your roof should still look almost like new after ten years.
Example: 11-year-old designer asphalt shingle roof
A roof younger than ten years is typically covered within even the lowest warranties offered by most qualified roofing contractors. Additionally, modern roofing materials are usually rated for far longer than ten years.
Average Lifetime of a Roof in Colorado
The lifespan of a roof in Colorado can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of roofing material used, the quality of the installation, the amount of maintenance and care provided, and the weather conditions in the region.
Generally speaking, asphalt shingle roofs, a popular roofing material in Colorado, have an average lifespan of around 20-25 years. However, with proper maintenance and care, they can last longer. Other types of roofing materials, such as metal or tile, can last longer than asphalt shingles, with some lasting up to 50 years or more. However, these materials are typically more expensive and may require more maintenance.
It’s important to note that severe weather events, such as hailstorms, can significantly shorten a roof’s lifespan, regardless of the roofing material used. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning gutters and removing debris, can help extend a roof’s lifespan. Also, proper ventilation and insulation can help prevent damage caused by excessive heat, moisture, and ice buildup. It is recommended to have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof regularly to identify any issues and address them promptly.
Type of Roofing Material
Installing a solar roofing system may not be an option depending on what type of existing roofing material you have on your home now. If your home is in an HOA, you may not even have the option to put anything besides rack-mounted solar panels on your roof. Many HOAs have clauses in their documents that require each home/unit in the HOA to look a certain way. This means that the roofing system on your roof must be replaced with the same system. Many HOAs require like-for-like when it comes to exterior replacements. For example, if you need to have your roof replaced and you have stone-coated steel on your home now, you will have to go back with stone-coated steel when replacing your roof.
Example: UnifiedSteel stone-coated roof in an HOA
Rack Mounted over GAF Timberline Solar Roof
Knowing the difference between rack-mounted solar panels and GAF Timberline Solar™ shingles will be vital in deciding which system is right for your home.
Rack-mounted solar panels are a traditional solar energy solution where solar panels are mounted on racks or frames installed on rooftops or ground-mounted systems. These solar panels are usually made of silicon. They are connected to inverters to convert the DC electricity produced by the panels to AC electricity for use in the building or export to the grid.
Example: Rack-mounted solar panels being framed on top of asphalt shingles
Rack-mounted solar panels offer greater flexibility in terms of installation location and angle, which can optimize solar energy production. They are also larger than solar shingles and can generate more electricity per unit of area. However, they may not be as aesthetically pleasing as solar shingles, and the installation process often requires more time and effort.
GAF Timberline Solar™
On the other hand, GAF Timberline Solar™ shingles are a type of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solution. These solar shingles are designed to replace traditional roofing shingles and are integrated into the roof structure. They contain thin-film solar cells that can generate electricity from the sun and are connected to inverters to convert the DC electricity produced by the cells to AC electricity for use in the building or for exporting to the grid.
Example: GAF Timberline Solar™ shingles being integrated with asphalt shingles
GAF Timberline Solar™ shingles offer a more integrated and visually appealing solution since they blend seamlessly into the roof structure. They are also easier to install and may require less maintenance than rack-mounted solar panels. However, they may not be suitable for all roof types and orientations.
Going solar is a big commitment and is not something you should go into on a whim. It can be costly, and the steps before and after you contact a solar installer can take large amounts of time. If your home is ready for a new roof, by all means, install a GAF Timberline Solar™ system. If not, rack-mounted should be the way you go.
The team at Holladay Grace has been handpicked by GAF Energy as the first roofing contractor in Colorado Springs to be GAF Solar certified. Since 1979, Holladay Grace has been serving the roofing needs of the Front Range.
Are you interested in solar? Contact us for a free roof inspection today.
Will GAF Energy beat Tesla on integrated solar roofs?
The sister company of roofing giant GAF has sector-spanning smarts and thousands of installs to date.
SAN JOSE. California — GAF Energy has installed several thousand integrated solar roofs. That’s more than Tesla Energy has installed despite the ambitious promises of its CEO. Elon Musk. In fact, GAF Energy President Martin DeBono believes that his company’s just-launched photovoltaic roof shingle design positions it to solarize millions of residential roofs.
“ What we’ve built is a nailable solar shingle that goes on as fast or faster than a regular shingle, looks great and generates electricity,” said DeBono, who spoke with Canary Media during this reporter’s recent visit to the company’s new 50.megawatt-capacity, 112. 000.square-foot manufacturing facility in San Jose, California.
GAF Energy is a Standard Industries company and sister company to GAF. one of the world’s largest roofing companies. GAF manufactures asphalt shingles as well as roofing materials such as thermoplastic polyolefin ( TPO ), polyvinyl chloride ( PVC ) and underlayments.
Standard Industries businesses include operating companies GAF. BMI. Grace, Siplast, Schiedel and SGI. as well as Standard Investments and Winter Properties. Forbes ranks Standard as No. 65 on its list of America’s largest private companies.
Disrupting the roofing industry
“ Technology has ripped apart every industry, and technology is going to change roofing. We’re the largest roofing manufacturer in the world; either we’re going to go disrupt the roofing industry ourselves or someone else will,” said DeBono.
The CEO contrasted the traditional solar mounting process — solar panels installed on racking secured by drilling through the roof and “ trying to hit a rafter” — with the GAF Energy product, “ a shingle that is lapped, installed and booked just like any other shingle would be in order to create a waterproof barrier.”
DeBono said GAF developed the product by thinking like a roofing company, not a solar company, building a roofing product that happens to have solar capabilities. He said the roofing industry is 20 times larger than the rooftop solar business and has an enormous advantage in scale.
Residential solar installations exceeded 130. 000 systems in the U.S. last quarter, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, while more than 5 million new roofs are installed on U.S. homes each year, according to DeBono, who also said that GAF commands a 25 percent share of the U.S. roofing market.
For a traditional solar company, the process of customer acquisition is the most expensive part of a residential solar system, costing far more per watt than the solar panels themselves. DeBono estimates that customer-acquisition costs for roofers are “ typically less than 500. compared to 3. 000 to 5. 000 for a solar roof.”
DeBono said GAF Energy is making it easier to complete the electrical connections by placing the electronics and wiring on the top side of its shingles. “ GAF Energy does all the electrical services. The roofer does the roof, and at a later date, the GAF Energy employee will come and install the inverter and finish the electrical run,” he said.
“ As the manufacturer of both the solar and the shingle itself, we want to make sure that it’s done correctly if we’re going to be on the hook for a 25.year warranty,” he said.
Installation time is one to three days, according to DeBono, which compares favorably to the weeks-long construction process often needed to install a Tesla solar roof (despite that company’s repeated insistence that it takes only five to seven business days).
Get Caught Up
Can the US manufacture enough solar panels to meet its surging demand?
“ Because it’s built as a roofing product, it has to meet roofing standards. It has to be able to be submerged in water; it has to be able to withstand hail; it has a Class A fire rating — all standards that a solar panel does not need to meet but a roof does,” said DeBono.
It’s a roof and it’s BIPV
GAF Energy’s solar roofing system is a type of building-integrated photovoltaics, known as BIPV. Bunea said, “ It’s a roof and it’s BIPV. so when we are certifying, we have to certify in both worlds. We have roofing industry standards as well as BIPV standards.”
She added, “ The testing agencies have become smarter about building-integrated photovoltaics.”
In September 2021. GAF Energy’s solar shingle achieved UL ’s 7103 certification, which authorizes the company to install its system on residential roofs as a roofing product and a solar energy product — the first product to be recognized as both, according to GAF Energy.
There’s huge potential for the product. Americans want solar on their homes. Even as the pandemic persisted, residential solar deployment in the U.S. was up 21 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year, reaching a record 3. 9 gigawatts, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
BIPV is a tough business
But GAF Energy has some competition. In addition to Tesla, there are a number of BIPV designers and installers operating today, including ArteZanos, Atum, CertainTeed, Forward, Heliatek, Lumeta, SunTegra, Ubiquitous Energy and Viridian Solar.
There is also a long list of less-than-successful BIPV efforts.
But GAF Energy’s parent company is fully behind its lofty aims.
“ Realizing our vision of a breakthrough mass-market solar roof has been our mission since we launched GAF Energy in 2019 ,” said David Winter and David Millstone, co-CEOs of Standard Industries, in a press release.
DeBono notes that unlike the offerings of some other high-profile vendors, “ The product is available today; it’s not vaporware.” He adds, “ Our mission is energy from every roof, starting with composite shingle roofs.”
Correction: This story initially reported that GAF Energy’s mono PERC solar cells are domestically manufactured. In fact, they are manufactured overseas, not in the U.S. (though not in China).
Eric Wesoff is the editorial director at Canary Media.