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A New Roof and Solar Energy All in One

Want Some Green Energy With That New Roof?

beautiful20sunrise_1In 2007, Dow Chemical received $20 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop “building integrated” solar arrays for the residential and commercial markets. Which lead Dow to form the Solar Solutions business unit and invest more than $100 million in solar solutions.

This past October the company unveiled its product called Powerhouse Solar Shingles, which can be nailed to a roof like ordinary shingles by roofers without the help of specially trained solar installers or electricians. The solar shingles should cost 30% – 40% less than other solar-embedded building materials and 10% less than the combined costs of conventional roofing materials and rack-mounted solar panels, according to company officials.

The majority of solar technology today is built around silicon-based solar cells, Dow’s technology uses a much more cost-effective and durable PV material called CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide). The new thin-film technology is incorporated into the product by over-molding the cells with a proprietary Dow polymer formulation, resulting in a unique product design that has similar reveal, weight, and installation practices as an asphalt shingle.dow_x600

Dow partnered with solar cell producer Global Solar Energy, one of the early developers of CIGS thin films. CIGS thin-film semiconductors are less expensive than conventional crystalline silicon solar panels and offer some of the highest conversion efficiencies of emerging thin films.

Global Solar manufactures strings of five interconnected solar cells. Dow then encapsulate each string with glass and polymers and embed it into a shingle. The 10-watt shingles are connected into a larger array by integrated rigid plug-style connectors and eventually connects to the electrical system of the house. The shingles should be installed on south-facing roofs by certified roofing contractors, and an electrician is only needed to make the final connection to the building’s electrical system. Installations can be completed in half the time of conventional solar installations.000-1019060210-solar-shingles_69

Jane Palmieri, managing director of Dow Solar Solutions, said the shingles are the first product line to launch, but more are on the way for other building-related products. She said the shingles are a “neighborhood friendly” solution at a cost lower than large solar panels.

Limited quantities are expected to be on the market in mid 2010, with more wide distribution in 2011. A price has not been set, but Dow said it is expected to be less expensive than large solar panel systems.

Don’t you just love having a front row seat …….
…… as the green future unfolds!

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18 Responses to “A New Roof and Solar Energy All in One”

  1. Karen Says:

    That is a terrific product. It looks so pretty too. We have been noticing a lot of metal roofs in our area.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Karen … Metal roofing in Texas has taken off in the last 5 years and metal is the replacement of roofs all around here. This certainly will help get the product going if the price is right!

    Hi Lissof! You are welcome and thanks for all of your support/contributions. They are very much appreciated.

  3. Lissof Says:

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on technology and products in the market today.

    Even though I will probably not run out and reshingle my roof tomorrow to keep current, it is nice to know what technology is out there.

    “Word of mouth” transimisson of technology developement and availability, is a great part of what will keep this dream alive and developing..,

  4. Apollo Says:

    Hi Linda,

    nice blog that you have here with some really good content. I see that you have a vertical wind project that you mention. I wanted to get more info on that. You can e-mail me @:
    I look forward to hear from you and keep up the nice work with your blog.

    Take care,

    .-= Apollo´s last blog ..Scuba TV =-.

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi Apollo … thank you ! I will contact you shortly.

  6. ConnieFoggles Says:

    I wonder if your roof needs to be in perfect condition before you add that type of shingle. Ours isn’t but it would be nice to repair it using this.
    .-= ConnieFoggles´s last blog ..An Update On My Mother =-.

  7. Linda Says:

    Hi Connie … Absolutely not! Using metal roofing which has many designs these days can be placed over most roofs.

  8. Brad Says:

    Hi Linda.

    This product is pretty interesting. I wonder how well it would work here in cloudy Seattle.

    Then, of course, we all know “the bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle.” 🙂

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi Brad – You have a point ! Not sure but worth a try! 🙂

  10. mpchekuri Says:

    This is the future product. This is the scenerio of our CM too.
    .-= mpchekuri´s last blog ..Performance Appraisal =-.

  11. Linda Says:

    Hi mpchekuri … This product is almost to market now. Many uses for many places.

  12. Dallas Roofers Says:

    solar arrays for the residential and commercial markets are coming up. Yes we do want green energy and more of it. There are so many advantages of using solar energy through roofing. Less scrap metal and trash to have to deal with during the installation process.

  13. DL Minecraft Says:

    Awesome, we are truly living in the future now! I want this solar energy to be a success so bad.

  14. tpo roofing Says:

    to make Champion vs Malarkey comparisons and reduce their roofing cost.
    In addition, they also enabled us to afford their products as they have made some
    of the once-expensive materials more affordable. They are more than willing to provide professional and personalized
    services for you and your homes overall protection and improvement.
    tpo roofing recently posted…tpo roofingMy Profile

  15. energc Says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here different web address and thought
    I might as well check things out. I like what I see so
    now i am following you. Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.
    energc recently posted…energcMy Profile

  16. Kaitlyn Says:

    This is such a great idea. The shingles are nice-looking and blend in well, too!
    Kaitlyn recently posted…The Pros and Cons of Kynar®My Profile

  17. Brian Says:

    Looks great! It could save a ton of energy and money in the long run after initial investment. Thanks for sharing!
    Brian recently posted…The Pros and Cons of Kynar®My Profile

  18. Solar Naturally Says:

    I think this product is great to use for saving electricity and electricity bills.

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