Roofing Goes Green with Solar Shingles

While browsing Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2009, I noticed lucky number 13: The Solar Shingle. With Better Farm's continued efforts to lower our energy consumption, this seems like a cheaper and easier (can be installed by a regular roofer) solution. While not yet available to buy, a little web research sounds promising...
The New York Times
October 7, 2009, 11:46 am
Dow Unveils Solar Shingles

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.

Read the rest of the article here.

Fast Company
Covert Solar Power? Dow's Solar Shingles for Rooftops are Burglar-Proof
BY Ariel SchwartzTue Oct 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM

...There's another hidden benefit to Dow's shingles--they are less likely to be visible to thieves than traditional panels. California has seen a slew of rooftop panel burglaries in the past few years. Thieves make off with the solar panels and sell them on the black market. But shingles nestled into a roof can't just be removed by snipping off a few wires.

Read the rest of article here.

Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles Could Finally Have You Hugging Trees
by Sean Fallon
Oct 7 2009

...As you can see, the panels look like standard asphalt shingles—and they can be installed without any specialized knowledge. In fact, they only take about 10 hours to install on average compared to the 22-30 hours for traditional panels. Since a basic roofer could handle the job in a short amount of time, installation costs should be more manageable. Plus, Dow claims that their Powerhouse will be 30% to 40% cheaper than other solar shingle designs.

Read the rest of the article here.

Solar shingles photo from