Hyderabad : Visaka Industries Limited (VIL) on Tuesday announced it has been granted a patent for its product “ATUM “Solar Roof by the South African Patent Office, which is valid for 20 years.
With the patent rights, paving the way for the introduction of ATUM in South Africa and other African countries, Hyderabad based VIL said in a release here.
The patent has been granted for the invention titled “Eco-Friendly Energy Generating Roofs, ” VIL, a Hyderabad-based company said in a release here.
ATUM, a unique roof that generates electricity, 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.
Speaking on this milestone achievement , VIL Joint Managing Director,Vamsi Krishna Gaddam, said “We are proud to have received the patent for ATUM – the world’s first integrated solar roof – from the South African Patent Office. 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. This is ultimately a unique integrated solar product.” It is to be noted that Visaka Industries Limited received the patent for ATUM from the India Patent Office in September 2020.
As per its geographic location, South Africa which receives large amounts of solar energy, is the first to introduce 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.
ATUM, in South Africa, which has the largest solar market on the African continent, 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, the release said. 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. It 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. ATUM provides 20-40 percent 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 percent more power compared to the traditional solar roofs.
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.