Solar Shingles


Solar shingles, also called photovoltaic shingles, are solar cells designed to look like conventional asphalt shingles. There are several varieties of solar shingles, including shingle-sized solid panels that take the place of a number of conventional shingles in a strip, semi-rigid designs containing several silicon solar cells that are sized more like conventional shingles, and newer systems using various thin film solar cell technologies that match conventional shingles both in size and flexibility. Solar shingles are manufactured by companies including (Ecotech), SunPower Corporation, U.S. Green Energy Corporation, United Solar Ovonic (Uni-Solar), Solar Components Corporation, Atlantis Energy Systems, and Dow Chemical.

Dow Chemical Co. will enter the solar market in 2011 with its flexible building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) Powerhouse Solar Shingles. To make the photovoltaic shingles, Dow uses copper indium gallium diselenide solar (CIGS) cells developed by Global Solar Energy Inc., then coats them in proprietary Dow plastics allowing the thin-film cells to remain flexible.The shingles are designed to be installed by roofers and use minimal interconnections, making them easier to integrate into a homeowner’s power supply.

As a new roofing option, the best time to choose a POWERHOUSE ™ solar roof is when a homeowner is purchasing a new home, or replacing an existing roof due to repair or replacement. The POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingle is a revolutionary new roofing product that combines the performance and protection of a conventional asphalt roof with an integrated photovoltaic (PV) system that powers the home. Dow has suggested that a $6,000 installation could provide about half an average U.S. home’s electricity. The cost includes the 30 percent federal rebate and state incentives. Dow is producing Colorado shingles in expectation of launching them by 2011 with other states to follow.