The past twenty years is considered to be a landmark and revolutionary advancement period for the progress and recognition of various classes of Single-Ply Roofing Membranes in Canada and the United States. During the same two decades, parallel and independently tremendous efforts and billions of dollars were allocated to generate electricity from solar radiation by advancing the level of understanding and implementation of photovoltaic science and technology. Prohibitively expensive, in 1969, the dream of landing on the moon and returning to Earth became a reality by combined efforts of the U.S. scientific community. The use of photovoltaic semiconductors on glass panels was a key factor for the success of this monumental project.
Seventeen years later in 1986, the author succeeded in bringing these two technologies together. The photovoltaic single-ply roofing membrane is a product which combines the usefulness and universal utilization of both science and technologies. This patented procedure, the basic research and development of its components, and the self sufficiency of the electrical energy generated is discussed. The testing and application standards proposed for this class of revolutionary, flexible and bi-functional roofing membranes, examples of their potentials for mass production and applications are also provided.
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