Telite S.A., a company in the Rio de Janeiro municipality of Comendador Levy Gasparian that has been manufacturing tiles with recycled plastic since 2013, is betting on a new product to boost its sales: tiles coupled with graphene to retain solar energy. The material is composed of carbon atoms and conducts photovoltaic energy, and has been a major bet for the technology industry in recent years.
Telite’s new tile can convert solar energy into electricity, making buildings self-sufficient in energy. According to a company statement, just four units of these roof elements are enough to generate up to 30 kWh per month, enough to keep an average home functioning during the period.
As graphene is a very thin material and the composition of the tiles is made of plastic waste, the boards are light, weighing just 7 kg and measuring 1.90mx 1.10m in size. According to the founder and CEO of Telite, Leonardo Retto, each tile should cost between $ 140 to $ 150, a value 40% lower than that of conventional solar panels.
The Telite project
After a positive turnover of BRL 38 million last year, Telite expects to generate around BRL 50 million with the new product. Self-sufficiency can represent an important differential in Brazil, as it not only saves, but also guarantees supply, in a period when the water emergency is once again emerging as a major threat of blackouts.
Telite’s project foresees that its photovoltaic tiles can be offered for sale this year. What still needs to be done to make the proposal viable is the approval of Inmetro, which should take place between this month and next. Once this stage is completed, the tile will be tested with about half a dozen customers, for improvements and identification of possible flaws, before going to market.
For the sale of tiles, Telite already has partnerships with retailers Magazine Luiza, Casas Bahia, Lojas Americanas, Shoptime, Leroy Merlin, Telhanorte and C&C.