Visaka Industries Limited has been granted patent for its product “ATUM “Solar Roof by the South African Patent Office, which is valid for 20 years.
The patent has been granted for the invention titled “Eco-Friendly Energy Generating Roofs.”
ATUM is a unique roof that generates electricity. It is a completely integrated, seamless solar roof made with poly or mono-crystalline solar cells and cement boards – a highly durable roofing material making it world’s first solar panel which can be directly used as a roof.
The patent from the South African Patent Office paves the way for the introduction of ATUM in South Africa and other African countries.
South Africa, due to its geographic location, receives large amounts of solar energy.
South Africa first introduced the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P) in 2011.
The goal of the REI4P is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing the country’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources. South Africa is also a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an international organization that promotes renewable energy policies.
South Africa has the largest solar market on the African continent. ATUM, in South Africa, has the potential to drive this market and open it to multiple power generators, wholesalers and retailers.
An integrated, solar energy generating roof like ATUM can enable distributed microgrids which is the need of the hour in South Africa, and which will increase the pace of adoption of solar energy in the country. With the number of unelectrified in South Africa, and elsewhere in the continent, the adoption of solar could be a gamechanger.
ATUM secured the prestigious UL Certification as per International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. ATUM has also been certified by Campbell Corporation, to take a uniform load of 780 lbs per sqft, a snow load of 2200 lbs, and the jointing mechanism is a patented leak proof system as per American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM) standards.
It is a roof which is class A fire rated and designed to take wind speeds of over 150kmph making it hurricane proof. ATUM uses GreenPro Certified material which makes it a highly sustainable, reliable, and safe solar roof.
ATUM does not need any roof underlay like many conventional solar tiles available in the market, it is a standalone roof. As a roof it has mechanical properties which are far superior to tiles/ shingles/conventional panels. ATUM provides 20-40% higher capacity in a given area which makes it a go to product for utilising the roof area for generating solar power. It also generates 20- 40% more power compared to the traditional solar roofs. Atum also looks aesthetically appealing and gives an additional floor space which is not possible with the traditional systems. This makes the ROI with ATUM less than 4 years and a highly attractable investment. Therefore, a consumer can expect to break-even in less than 4 years and enjoy free power for the next 25 years.
Compared to a conventional rooftop, which has a lifespan of 15 years, ATUM has a lifespan of 30 years. ATUM has been successfully installed across many locations in India including Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Mumbai (Maharashtra), and Hyderabad (Telangana) and in Sharjah, UAE.
Speaking achievement of the milestone, Vamsi Krishna Gaddam, Joint Managing Director, Visaka Industries Ltd, said, “We had filed for the patent in September 2020, and we are proud to have received the patent for ATUM – the world’s first integrated solar roof – from the South African Patent Office. The patent further reinforces our faith in this unique product which is bringing about a quiet revolution in the renewable energy sector. Today, we have a true “Made in India” product which is being recognized and lauded all over the world. ATUM is the world`s first Eco-Friendly Energy Generating Roof and further strengthens our vision to innovate, focus on sustainable and green technologies.”
While granting the patent to ATUM, the South Africa Patent Office commented that “Present invention relates to the field of Building Integrated Solar systems that help in generating electricity. It is a solar board that can be used as a roof, facade, or other building applications. It also relates to a method of preparing, designing, and producing the Solar Cement Boards by integrating the Cement boards with that of solar panels to form an envisaged single entity. The Solar Cement Board SCB comprises a plurality of Solar energy capturing components like Photo Voltaic (PV) cells or the like, sandwiched over specially treated Fibre cement board or the likes. This is ultimately a unique integrated solar product.”
Visaka Industries Limited received the patent for ATUM from the India Patent Office in September 2020.