Solar skylights the latest products to harness the sun’s power
Australians are great early adopters of technology, so it’s hardly surprising that increasing numbers of manufacturers have embraced solar power to meet community demand. Velux Australia is the latest company to move towards a more sustainable future with the release of its revolutionary new solar powered skylight this month.
Velux says the Solar Powered Skylight is arguably the world’s most sophisticated product in its class. The company’s manual and electric opening skylights have brought light into dark rooms and acted as an alternative to air conditioners by venting rising heat for decades. But the introduction of the Solar Powered Skylight has taken it to the next level by taking that lighting and ventilation is completely off the grid, while still allowing remote control operation and automated timer functions.
The benefits of Solar Powered Skylights are not just environmental. They work if there is a power outage and the discreet solar panel does not need to be installed by an electrician.
The Solar Powered Skylights retain many of the characteristics of their traditionally powered cousins. They are simple to operate via a sophisticated touch screen remote; rain sensors close the windows automatically when needed, they block about 80 per cent of radiant heat and the glass is self-cleaning.
So how do they work?
If you know how to operate a smartphone, you’ll know how to operate one of these babies too. It’s as easy as tapping on the touchscreen to open or close the skylight. If you want to control another unit, just swipe a finger over the display and tap – because by the way, the remote can control up to 200 skylights.
The skylights can also be programmed to open and close automatically. What of it rains if you’re not home and the skylights are programmed to open? The solar panel also has a rain sensor so as soon as those first drops hit it, the skylight will close. It’s also as leak-proof as tiles, so no water will come in. Should that rain turn to hail, there’s no danger of the glass cracking. Australia has no official hail test so Velux replicated an American hail test. The glass was hit by synthetic hail stones the size and weight of cricket balls at speeds of up to 172 kmh. Not a scratch.
Even when it’s cloudy, the solar panel will generate enough power to recharge its batteries.
Velux solar powered skylights are WERS energy rated and have achieved the maximum 5 stars for their summer performance. The high performance double glazing blocks up to 80 per cent of the heat and 99 per cent of the UV rays.
There’s also a double layer of Low-E coating that acts as a heat shield on the inside of the outer pane. Any heat getting past the Low-E coating faces a minefield of heat-conquering Argon gas.
The hi-tech design of a Velux solar powered skylight offers another advantage: it blocks noise. In the closed position the noise reduction is 32 dB, reducing the noise of a lawn mower to that of normal conversation.
Bushfire or cyclone? Not a problem
Velux solar powered skylights are suitable for cyclonic conditions in Australia’s tropical far north. In the AS 4285 cyclone test, the skylight is fixed to a test bed and sealed to prevent air escaping. Air is then pumped underneath the skylight to expand it and sucked back out again. Not once, not twice…more than 10,000 times.
The skylights have also passed the Bushfire Attack Level 40 test. This exposes the to 1100°C heat – as hot a lave flowing from an erupting volcano for 10 minutes. Most bushfires come and go in two to five minutes..
If only the rest of the house was self-cleaning! The skylights have a photocatalytic coating that helps keep it clean. The coating covers the complete surface of the outer pane. The coating decomposes organic matter before the next shower of rain rinses it away. It also makes the glass surface smoother so that water disperses evenly and evaporates quickly.
Images courtesy of Velux Australia
For more information, visit: www.velux.com.au/products/skylights/solar-powered-skylight