Ariel Schwartz

Coming Soon: Dow Chemical's Ultra-Efficient Solar Shingles

by , 04/14/10

sustainable design, renewable energy, solar shingles, dow chemical, dow, solar power, solar energy, green design

Solar shingles are nothing new, but up until now the technology has been relatively inefficient and clunky-looking. That’s about to change, though, with Dow Chemical’s new thin-film solar roofing shingles, set to go on sale next year. The sleek plastic-coated Powerhouse shingles can convert 13% of the sun’s energy into electricity. In comparison, most thin-film solar cells have a conversion rate of just 11%.

sustainable design, renewable energy, solar shingles, dow chemical, dow, solar power, solar energy, green design

The key to Dow’s shingles is the technology. Many existing solar shingles use amorphous silicon solar cells, but Dow uses Cigs (PV cells made out of copper, indium, gallium and selenium) — a more efficient design.

Such efficiency doesn’t come cheap. Dow estimates that homeowners will pay $10,000 for 250 shingles spread over 1,000 square feet. A 250 shingle roof could generate 3.5 kilowatts of power, which isn’t nearly enough to cover most people’s energy use. Still, Dow says that the panels can pay for themselves in energy savings within a decade.

Want to test out Dow’s shingles? You might want to wait until prices go down a bit. Powerhouse shingle-covered roofs will cost twice as much as standard asphalt roofs — at least at first.

+ Dow Solar

Via VentureBeat

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8 Comments

  1. Bryce D Anderson December 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    i NEED TO GET A WAY TO ORDER THESE SHINGLES…..
    i’M GONNA GONNA BUILD A TRAILOR HOUSE..
    BRYCE

  2. Lousworkshop June 16, 2011 at 10:05 am

    how do solar shingles hold up in winter climates in northern states? do the shingles need to be kept clear of snow buildup? i have plenty of south facing roof for placement of solar shingles.

  3. Joe Connaughton September 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I calculated that if I covered my one car garage with photovoltic
    cells, I’d save $500 a year on my current usage electric bill. However, the estimated installation cost was $15,000. The break-even pay back is 30 years. Where is the incentive? If you can reduce the installation cost to $5,000 or less, you should have no trouble selling your product.

  4. Raymond Holt August 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I am Rick Holt of Chester Virginia. Can we please see some truthful, reliable information on the cost, availability, anticipated performance of solar shingles? The devil is in the details. At an anticipated performance capability of 10 to 15 percent; cost of manufacturing, conversing from DC to AC current; etc, 30 to forty panels per phase will be required to supply 4,694 kWh for a 3 to four bedroom house during a Virginia February winter. The anticipated cost of $750.00 per panel presents a very poor and overly expensive investment of more than $30,000.00 dollars.
    Using silicon wire arrays, the Caltech researchers claim they can trap up to 85 per cent of the collectible sunlight and convert 90-100 per cent of it into electrons, aka electricity. (Note: Conventional photovoltaic cells convert about 40 per cent, or less, of the light they absorb into electricity.)
    Caltech design claims can provide 0.85 x 0.90 = 0.765 watts direct current x 2 = 1.53 watts Direct current single phase. Why do DOW and Caltech not team up on this? It looks like together, they could provide a system designed to provide solar power to a four bedroom house for an installation new construction cost of approximately $5,800.00.

  5. Ashutosh pathak July 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Dear sir,
    I am Ashutosh pathak,I am a solar engineer(working as a project manager),I want to take your solar thinfilm panels(product),for exploiting solar energy in India.Please let me know how it is possible for you.mobile no. +91 9324803961,ID-(asp93@rediff.com),I want this panels for 2MW plant.Its very urgent,please specify cost of whole system

  6. Arlesa Szafranski July 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Yes, The Green Panel, Inc. in Brighton MI is capable of installing this product. http://www.thegreenpanel.com This company has done Solar PV installs for Dow Corning and Hemlock Semi-Conductor. They have been educated on the Dow Solar Shingles and installed panels on a house in Midland in which the Dow Shingle is featured. Visit Cobblestone.http://www.cobblestonelifestyle.com to view this featured home.

  7. rjj1950 June 26, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Are there any businesses in the detroit metro area capable or becoming capable to install this product?

  8. ericthecyclist June 25, 2010 at 9:55 am

    The article says these roof shingles are plastic coated.
    How long is the plastic coating guaranteed for? If it takes 10 years to pay for themselves and they only last 10 years…

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