New Zealand-based Calder Stewart has created a roof design strong enough to hold photovoltaic laminate without extra support, which the company hopes will give homeowners a less-expensive source of power. The laminate is similar to an aluminum-framed solar panel and works by absorbing solar radiation, says research and design engineer Jim Fensom. However, the tough laminate lays flat on a roof and can be used even when overcast, unlike traditional solar panels, Fensom notes.

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