Environment

Dow Solar rolls out Solar Shingles in California and Texas

Dow Solar rolls out Solar Shin...
Dow Solar is rolling out its new POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles in northern California and central Texas
Dow Solar is rolling out its new POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles in northern California and central Texas
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Dow Solar is rolling out its new POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles in northern California and central Texas
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Dow Solar is rolling out its new POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles in northern California and central Texas
The DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle utilizes CIGS-based (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) thin-film photovoltaic cells
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The DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle utilizes CIGS-based (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) thin-film photovoltaic cells
DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are installed like regular asphalt shingles, by authorized roofers
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DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are installed like regular asphalt shingles, by authorized roofers
The POWERHOUSE system includes an inverter, the converts the DC current from the shingles into AC that can be utilized in the home
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The POWERHOUSE system includes an inverter, the converts the DC current from the shingles into AC that can be utilized in the home
DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are weatherproof, like regular asphalt shingles
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DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are weatherproof, like regular asphalt shingles
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Installing photovoltaic panels is certainly the most common method of generating solar power on a rooftop, and in fact many people might think it’s the only method. There is, however, an alternative – photovoltaic shingles. It makes sense, when you think about it ... why install weatherproof shingles and solar panels separately, if you could get one thing that combined both? Although there aren’t many manufacturers offering such products just yet, this month Dow Solar made its POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles available to consumers in northern California and central Texas.

“The DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle utilizes CIGS-based (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) thin-film photovoltaic cells, which have the highest efficiency of available thin-film technologies,” a representative for Dow told us. “This technology has enabled Dow’s breakthrough of a lightweight, durable residential solar application that installs like typical roofing materials. CIGS was also selected because it has a unique ability to perform well in non-standard conditions such as dappled shading, cloudy and diffused light.”

Unlike the adobe-inspired curved Solé Power Tiles we’ve covered previously, the POWERHOUSE shingles are completely flat, so they can be worked into existing flat-shingled roofs. This means that as few or as many of the Solar Shingles can be used as desired – the whole roof doesn’t have to be covered with them. Each shingle measures 10 x 22.8 x 0.5 inches (25.4 x 57.9 x 1.27 cm), and can be installed by authorized roofers.

DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are installed like regular asphalt shingles, by authorized roofers
DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are installed like regular asphalt shingles, by authorized roofers

The POWERHOUSE system includes an inverter, the converts the DC current from the shingles into AC that can be utilized in the home. It also incorporates a monitoring system that provides real-time energy production and consumptions figures, via an internet connection. Additionally, Dow can remotely monitor any of the systems itself, to ensure that they’re operating properly. Although exact performance figures aren’t given, the company claims that installations typically offset home electricity bills by 40 to 60%.

Currently the product is being rolled out via two authorized dealers in northern California and three in central Texas – three dealers and a builder in Colorado already carry the shingles. While pricing information isn’t available at this time, Dow claims that the cost of an installation should be recovered within the first half of its intended life. The shingles carry a 20-year warranty.

Source: Dow Solar

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11 comments
Dany Ehrenbrink
“The DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle utilizes CIGS-based (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) thin-film photovoltaic cells, which have the highest efficiency of available thin-film technologies,” a representative for Dow told us. “This technology has enabled Dow’s breakthrough of a lightweight, durable residential solar application that installs like typical roofing materials. CIGS was also selected because it has a unique ability to perform well in non-standard conditions such as dappled shading, cloudy and diffused light.” --- One would ask what they have done about the problem of the access heat that occurs as soon as the cells go into optimal production as the sun's blaze will heat up the roof for sure. Do they have a cooling mechanism to keep them nice and cold ? If not why not ? can the access heat not be used to pre-heat the water ? Highest efficiency thin film is what, a typical 12% ? If you want solar go for the regular poly or mono panels and then keep a space on your roof for solar hot water generation...
IggyDalrymple
Seems like I've been reading about this for decades.
Jansen Estrup
Even if it is DOW, it seems like a good idea ... so is Dany's ... and why not use the hot water as part of a heat sink to circulate through a stone mass or floor to provide radiant heat for the home interior while we're at it ... put a real dent in utility monopoly!
Clay Jones
Yes, it's not a new idea. I wonder how these things would stand up to the hail storms we in TX get every other spring or so.
Matt Rings
@Dany: having done roof work, I know that a typical dark shingle (or roof) gets BLAZING hot already in the full sun. With bare hands, you'd get a first or second degree burn in the mid-afternoon. Roofs are required to have ridge vents or powered exhausts already, which work in conjunction with your eave vents to creat a cooling air draw through the attic space. What I see here does not seem to increase the heat into the attic any more than traditional dark shingle material.
Let me know if you read different...
Cheers, Doc
morriss003
It sounds like they use a single inverter instead of microinverters. That would not appeal to me.
Misha Ioffe
great combo!
jailerjay
Energy Conversion Devices (ENER - NASDAQ) has had these for years. They own the patent on NmH battery, among a bazillion other patents. They had a contract with, I think, Johns Manville, to produce just this very product. Where was your news release then? It had to have been 4 or 5 years ago. Still a great product. Too bad the company got leap-frogged on several things. They had (patented) a flexible, moldable flash drive material that could have made the case, or other parts, of any device, a memory drive. Your garage roof could be a solar-powered (massive) storage device. Anyway, it's old news...
pmshah
@Matt Riggs.
Where I live we have 3 months of harsh summer and temperatures going up to 47 / 48 Ceslius. We basically have multi storey (Bricks and Mortar + RCC ) buildings. People living on the top floor are the worst affected. We use a simple solution to reduce the effect. We use white glazed ceramic tile chips to cover the roof. Prevents water leakage in monsoon and reflects most of the sun light and HEAT.
Forward Thinker
I wonder how much more useful energy could be generated if a layer of thermocouples were to be sandwiched between these and coils for a solar water heater, especially down here in southern Louisiana. I've been up on a dark-colored roof in the summer, and you can't even touch the shingles with bare skin without getting burned.