photo: Dow Chemical
Industrial giant Dow Chemical is getting into the residential solar business with a potentially game-changing product: A “solar shingle” that can be integrated into any asphalt-tiled roof and installed by any roofer. As I wrote in The New York Times on Wednesday:
Dow Chemical has unveiled a residential roof shingle in the form of a solar panel designed to be integrated into asphalt-tiled roofs.
Jane Palmieri, managing director of Dow’s Solar Solutions unit, said the Powerhouse thin-film shingle slashes installation costs because it can be installed by a roofer who is already building or retrofitting a roof.
“As a roofer is nailing asphalt shingle on roof, wherever the array needs to be installed he just switches to solar shingle,” said Ms. Palmieri, who said the solar singles are similarly attached to the roof with nails.
“You don’t have to have a solar installation crew do the work or have an electrician on site,” she added. “The solar shingle can be handled like any other shingle – it can be palletized, dropped from a roof, walked on.”
An electrician is still needed to connect the completed array to an inverter and to a home’s electrical system, but unlike conventional solar panels that must be wired together, the solar shingles plug into each other to form the array.
Dow plans to begin test-marketing the solar shingle in mid-2010, initially targeting new-home construction. Ms. Palmieri said the market could be worth $5 billion by 2015 and noted that 90 percent of homes in the United States use asphalt shingles.
You can read the rest of the story here.