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Dow's solar shingles are poised to put the solar panel market out of business. The unobtrusive designs produce power more cheaply than traditional panels, are produced domestically, and require no specialized skills to install, other than standard roofing experience.  (Source: Beanieville Blog)

The new cells uses CIGS thin films, encased in plastic. The resulting design has lower efficiencies that traditional panels, but is cheaper to produce, lowering the cost per watt by 10 to 15 percent over traditional panels.  (Source: University of Strathclyde)
Product should shake up the power industry and open up new era for solar

Inventors and designers have long envisioned a roof or window that produced solar power affordably.  However, until now no company had mass produced such a device.  Instead, the consumer market was dominated by rooftop panels which require a fair amount of maintenance, are relatively fragile, and are rather expensive.

That's all about to change, however.  Dow Chemical Co., one of America's most successful chemical firms, is launching the first mass-produced consumer solar shingle next year and will be planning a wide-scale rollout by 2011.  The firm foresees a booming $5B USD market for the shingles.

The new shingles use a thin film of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) to capture solar energy.  As a result, the cells which are encased in molded plastic are relatively flexible, unlike their photovoltaic cousins.  And while these elements (such as indium) are quite expensive in bulk, they're used extremely sparingly, keeping costs low.

The shingles one weakness is that they manage just over 10 percent efficiencies, less than traditional panels.  Despite this smaller generation capacity, they produce power at a 10 to 15 percent lower cost on a per watt basis due to production and installation cost savings.

Roofing contractors greeted the news with "an enthusiastic response" according to Dow, as the shingles require no additional special skills to install.  A roof of the shingles can be installed in about 10 hours, versus anywhere from 22 to 30 hours of specialized labor to install traditional panels.  These installation costs are an important issue as they comprise approximately half the cost of traditional panels.

It is unclear what wiring will be necessary to connect the shingles to household power, but Dow believes it won't be overly challenging.  In total, Dow's solution will become the biggest player in a burgeoning market of "Building Integrated Photovoltaic" (BIPV) systems.  While other BIPV solutions exist, many are only available to businesses, and the cost is typically 30 to 40 percent higher than Dow's system.

Dow's system is extremely flexible and can be intermixed with traditional asphalt shingles.

Jane Palmieri, managing director of Dow Solar Solutions states, "We're looking at this one product that could generate $5 billion in revenue by 2015 and $10 billion by 2020."

The new shingles will be produced domestically, with much of production coming from a 1,350-ton Husky Quadloc Tandem injection press newly installed in Midland, Michigan in 2008.

The first deployments of the shingles will be in new housing projects next year through partners such as Lennar Corp and Pulte Homes Inc.  These smaller projects will build up to a full rollout the following year.  The U.S. Department of Energy has granted Dow a small loan of $20M USD to help make that vision a reality and complete the commercialization of this promising product.

This will not be Dow's first foray into the solar market.  It has manufactured high-efficiency photovoltaic panel material for some time now, and also produces the heat-capturing liquid used in concentrated solar power systems.

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Replace or overlay?
By Manch on 10/5/2009 11:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this can just be overlayed on top of my current shingles or do they have to completly replace them? Either way this seems promising. I'll have to replace my roof in a few years so this could be an option.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By ViroMan on 10/6/2009 12:52:04 AM , Rating: 2
looking at the picture of that old guys roof I would say that this goes over your current shingles. I wouldn't use them as shingles anyways... look how thin and fragile they look... sure they bend now and arn't as fragile as glass but, i bet a baseball going on top of your roof is gana damage 3-4 of em. Don't get me wrong... if this comes out I would most certainly use them provided they work out how they hook up and give a good price and what not.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By MadMan007 on 10/6/2009 1:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know the details of how traditional panels are wired but replacing damaged pieces may be another advantage to these. Say a few get knocked out, if it's wired the right way at worst only those shingles would stop producing electricity and it ought to be relatively easy to just replace a few of them.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By atlmann10 on 10/6/2009 3:13:36 AM , Rating: 5
The article says they are relatively flexible, this would also most likely give them the strength to withstand a baseball landing on a roof. You also have to understand since these go on top of a house a baseball would be on a trajectory of a half oval (up then down gradually), so if your roof is at least a story and a half up it will also lessen the impact.

The big advantage I see is this though, on a general solar install on a house you have big panels. These units would be able to cover an entire roof. So even though they are less efficient than current panels. They will cover a much larger area, plus being considerably cheaper it will still lower the cost. Therefore you would actually get more energy than you would using a current panel set up.

This would also be for considerably less money, and without super specialized labor. Which would also lower the install cost significantly I am sure. So it seems like a win win to me.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By FITCamaro on 10/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Replace or overlay?
By MastermindX on 10/6/2009 12:55:46 PM , Rating: 5
*Stronger* doesn't mean more resistant...

Diamond is one of the hardest matter known, yet it can be shattered pretty easily.

Windshields are much *stronger* than traditional asphalt shingles... Yet, the latter can handle a baseball.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By SteelS7 on 10/6/2009 2:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
Part of the advantage of these are that they are thin-film, which gives them much better flexibility and thus much better at absorbing impacts when paired with a stiffer protective layer. That said, these types of cells rely heavily on ceramics, so having any major thickness would make them very brittle like the ones we commonly think of.

There's no doubt they'll still be vulnerable to high pressure impacts such as tree branches and other heavy objects that can hit with a very small surface area.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By quiksilvr on 10/6/2009 11:44:00 PM , Rating: 4
We need more information on this shingles. For instance:

1) Is it corrosive?
2) What is the yearly efficiency degredation?
3) How resistant is it to impact?
4) What is the cost per square meter?

This information has to be given out to the public. If these things are cheaper but lose 1/2 their efficiency in a couple years, I'd rather get the bigger, more efficient, and 10% more expensive panels.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By MrPoletski on 10/12/2009 5:27:28 AM , Rating: 2
The most important question is, how much money does this add to the cost of a new house.

And conversely... how long will it take for these panels to pay for themselves.

If that figure turns out to be 50 years or something silly, they will not get sold. If it turns out to be a more realistic timeframe, such as one year, then the mass sale and hence production of these will drive costs down further...

RE: Replace or overlay?
By JediJeb on 10/7/2009 12:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
The type of plastic used will also make a big difference. If they use Lexan then they should withstand quite an impact.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By jimbojimbo on 10/6/2009 4:59:37 PM , Rating: 5
Yep, and there's nothing but air behind the shingles. I'm sure if you put these shingles in a frame and threw a baseball at it, yes it would probably break. But if it's on an incline on the roof right on top of the roof, not likely.

My biggest concern around here are the random bouts of golf ball sized hail that come down every few years.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By bighairycamel on 10/6/2009 11:44:06 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Certainly the engineers would have thought of the possibility of hail, which is very common in the midwest. If the shingles weren't flexible enough to withstand at least nickel sized hail, your whole roof would be shot. Anything bigger than that would damage common shingle roofs as well so it's a moot point.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By mindless1 on 10/7/2009 6:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I think there is still a point, that it's a lot less costly to repair/replace regular shingles.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By icanhascpu on 10/8/2009 5:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
If you're worried about thing like hail, Im going to go ahead and assume you're not the prime target for solor power.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By muIIet on 10/6/2009 8:48:59 AM , Rating: 5
I would like to know this as well. Plus what about?
1. How do they hold up in the wind and how strong of a wind rating.
2. When you have to replace one, can you walk on them?
3. How are they fastened to the roof?
4. Can these be used on a metal roof?

RE: Replace or overlay?
By MozeeToby on 10/6/2009 10:51:43 AM , Rating: 3
Adding to your list

5. How long will they last?
6. How hard are they to uninstall/dispose of?
7. How do they handle partial shade or debris? (with many old style panels, even a single leaf on them can significantly reduce power generation due to the way the individual cells are wired)

RE: Replace or overlay?
By Manch on 10/6/2009 7:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
My options for my new roof are ripping off the old shingles and replacing or just overlaying more shingles if the condition of the current ones aren't too bad. I was just curious if these would take the place of an overlay. Kill two birds with one stone. Either way, if it's not too expensive I would do this. I'd even cover both sides of the house if it's cheap enough.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By CurtOien on 10/6/2009 8:10:39 AM , Rating: 3
From my experience I will always rip off the old roof. I believe it makes for a better, longer lasting new roof. It also makes for less weight which can add up in the winter with snow and ice.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By Manch on 10/6/2009 8:27:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah that's what a lot of people have told me. That's the route I'll probably go. The advantages of being able to inspect the roof underneath and fix early damage out weigh the convienance of just overlaying new shingles. I live in Virginia and while we dont get a lot of snow where I'm at we do get some ice. Like I said, I've got a few years before i need to replace the roof. i really would like to know the price on these tho.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By CurtOien on 10/6/2009 8:33:17 AM , Rating: 2
In addition to the price, I wonder how long they will last.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By Spuke on 10/6/2009 12:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
I am interested in price also. I don't need a new roof (it's only 6 years old) and would probably overlay these unless replacing the shingles is cheap. We have very high winds in our area and these would need to be rated for hurricane force winds (don't remember what rating is required). Also, does anyone know how many extra tiles would be needed to make up for the efficiency loss?

RE: Replace or overlay?
By taber on 10/7/2009 6:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
Also, does anyone know how many extra tiles would be needed to make up for the efficiency loss?

If by "extra tiles" you mean square footage versus traditional panels, I can make an educated guess. The article says the efficiency is just over 10% for these. Every panel will have a different efficiency if you want to do the math yourself. Seems 15% is about normal and 30% is about max of anything practical. So you'd need anywhere from 50% to 300% more ft^2 to be the same, with 50% being much more likely... unless you're wealthy.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By Dorkyman on 10/6/2009 12:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
I would assume that the price will be breathtakingly high--for now.

As for re-roofing, we bought our old house here in Oregon back in 1990 with a caveat that the heavy cedar shake roof needed replacement. That was 19 years ago, still the same roof. I think the reason it's lasted so long is because they roofed over the original shingles. At least that's my impression.

RE: Replace or overlay?
By omnicronx on 10/6/2009 12:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like they go over the previous ones.. which begs the question, what happens when you need to replace your shingles?

RE: Replace or overlay?
By mindless1 on 10/7/2009 6:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
I would expect the general plan is, put these on new installations or put down new long-life (30+ year rated) shingles first.

This is exciting news
By Darkk on 10/5/2009 11:56:50 PM , Rating: 5
At lower price point this will give the new homeowner an option without adding a huge mortgage payment to have the roof convered with this stuff during a new build.

A big plus for existing homes as well.

Granted it does have lower efficency rating than tradditional panels but still cheaper to buy and install.

Give them time and they will improve on that rating.

RE: This is exciting news
By inperfectdarkness on 10/6/2009 7:26:08 AM , Rating: 3
this is where government subsidies should go towards--having homeowners put these on their houses; not towards hybrids.

and (unlike hybrids) regardless of your driving habits, solar shingles will make an impact on your home's power usage. effectively, with enough implementation, the service capacity of all existing power plants could be increased by 50% or more.

RE: This is exciting news
By ebakke on 10/6/2009 10:30:01 AM , Rating: 4
this is where government subsidies should go towards--having homeowners put these on their houses; not towards hybrids.
If the government didn't subsidize anything (and decreased the tax revenue), we'd be free to spend that money on whatever is important to each of us.

RE: This is exciting news
By Kuroyama on 10/6/2009 10:59:02 AM , Rating: 1
Here in New England we pay a lot more to the feds than we get back. Hopefully they follow your suggestion and stop making us subsidize ungrateful conservative states:

RE: This is exciting news
By MPE on 10/6/2009 11:43:29 AM , Rating: 2

I see, although not complete, a pattern where Blue states paying for Red states?


RE: This is exciting news
By ebakke on 10/6/2009 11:50:39 AM , Rating: 3
You added a restriction to my suggestion. I said I wanted an end to subsidies.... not an end to subsidies for ungrateful recipients.

RE: This is exciting news
By drmo on 10/6/2009 12:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've always found it ironic that those states that receive the most benefits from redistribution seem to be the ones who most oppose it. Maybe those in the South keep thinking that one day they will be rich too.

Do those in New England suffer from class-guilt, or are the politicians trying to siphon votes from the Southern states?

RE: This is exciting news
By lightfoot on 10/6/2009 1:09:51 PM , Rating: 1
What I find ironic is that the states that benefit the least from liberal wealth redistribution want more of it.

RE: This is exciting news
By borismkv on 10/7/2009 1:06:51 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe the Federal government should get its filthy hands out of everyone's pockets and let the states take over the majority of its assumed responsibilities.

RE: This is exciting news
By joeindian1551 on 10/7/2009 3:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
Great idea! B/c we all know how states are famous for having trustworthy politicians, like Illinois for instance.

RE: This is exciting news
By Veerappan on 10/13/2009 10:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
The existence of corrupt politicians in one state does nothing to stop politicians at the federal level from being corrupt as well... ever hear of the DMCA, or maybe Orrin Hatch who, at one point in 2003 proposed, that any copyright holder should have the legal right to destroy any equipment that they believed violated their copyrights (such as a remote OS wipe).

Corruption is not restricted to any level of government, nor even to government itself.

RE: This is exciting news
By LeftFootRed on 10/15/2009 11:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I actually like Hatch but on copyright issues he's completely off his rocker. I doubt that's the best example of federal corruption though. He seems to take the issue personally as a songwriter.

RE: This is exciting news
By FITCamaro on 10/6/2009 7:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'm just curious as to what these shingles cost.

RE: This is exciting news
By therealnickdanger on 10/6/2009 10:09:28 AM , Rating: 2
PV Shingles are nothing new. My dad has been designing homes with them for roughly a decade.

These new ones, while likely a lot cheaper than the ones I just linked to, still probably won't be worth it. Unfreeze me when PV shingles are only 50% more than traditional ones.

RE: This is exciting news
By Spuke on 10/6/2009 12:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
These new ones, while likely a lot cheaper than the ones I just linked to, still probably won't be worth it
What's the efficiency on the one's you linked?

RE: This is exciting news
By Keeir on 10/6/2009 5:51:34 PM , Rating: 3
These new ones, while likely a lot cheaper than the ones I just linked to, still probably won't be worth it.

This is difficult to determine. In some areas, retail prices for electricity are insanely high due mainly to choices not to build efficient and effective power plants. In these areas, getting you power tax free at wholesale from yourself might be better than buying the taxed retail purchases. With the public subsidy in many of these areas, fixed solar panels already make economic sense when risk has been added to the equation. This new shingle type promises to reduce the total cost per installed watt below those fixed solar panels that already make sense. Furthermore, it appears installing them is relatively easy, which drops the price even further.

For example, the linked single you sent was 12" by 86" at a cost of 185 dollars. Or 0.66 m^2. In an ideal roof location, they could recieve on average ~6 kWh/m2/day. (
Presuming these panels are 10% efficient (from the Dailytech article, these panels could generate around 141 kWh per Year per Panel.

At 0.0894 USD per kWh (my latest bill), these would still make no sense as it would take longer than 30 years to pay back.

At 0.25 USD per kWh (California I am looking at you), Each panel could return 35+ dollars a year, a payback of ~5 years. With California's public subsidy paying a portion of the original cost, someone might be able to purchase these solar panels, install them themselves and be saving money within a few years.

Better yet in my mind, I use around 12 kWh of electricity a day. In ideal locations, I could be power bill free for ~6,000 dollars and some time. When I look at a BP Solar systm to acchieve this the cost is in the 15,000 dollar range.

RE: This is exciting news
By SGK on 10/18/2009 1:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
Good analysis Keeir, but I am not sure I follow your math. At .0894USD, 141 kwh would cost you $12.61 per year. Assuming no rate increases (yeah - right), payback would occur in $185/$12.61 = 14.7 years. There might be installation costs which you factored in, but you also should factor in rate increases and subsidies for a complete analysis. In the SouthWest, this makes it even a more attractive...

RE: This is exciting news
By ECD Fan on 10/7/2009 9:25:57 AM , Rating: 2
What a lively discussion here about a product that does not exist and probably won't make much sense once the true price and performance characteristics are revealed. So I agree with your regarding your assessment of the potential demand.

Regarding the specific link you provided (oksolar) - the shingles referenced there, SHR-17, first appeared on the market in 1998, but soon after lost their UL certification and HAVE BEEN TAKEN OF THE MARKET. Moreover, the DOE NREL lab determined that the shingles degrade in likely violation of their warranty. Your dad better be prepared to handle complaints and potential lawsuits, if his designs were acted upon, that is.

RE: This is exciting news
By therealnickdanger on 10/8/2009 6:51:31 AM , Rating: 2
That was just a link to show that they exist. I have no idea which shingles he actually used or currently uses... I should ask him.

RE: This is exciting news
By Drag0nFire on 10/6/2009 12:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
In addition to cost, I'd like to see how much power could theoretically be generated by an entire roof under ideal conditions. In other words, how long does it take to pay back an investment?

By sprockkets on 10/6/2009 1:43:05 AM , Rating: 3
These made there debut in the UK years ago. They only installed them however on new houses, not existing ones. So there is an improvement here.

However, what needs to happen in my opinion, is more and more devices need to run on DC. Stuff like computers and even my LG front loading washer use DC. These panels require turning the DC to AC, only to have it go right back to DC again in the house. Newer ductless heat pump systems also use DC. DC variable speed motors in new a/c air handlers are also around 30% or more efficient. Feed them DC directly and you no longer need to convert it on the motor housing.

Another reason for doing this is because making true a/c current is quite costly, and that LG front loader actually mentions you cannot use solar generated energy, even via an a/c converter to power it. Only high end UPSes do it either; low end devices simply "fake" a sine wave.

One way of doing it is perhaps have another plug/input on them to accept DC directly, and use the traditional cord we use now for a/c.

AC made sense for long power line runs. Since the power generated only has to go right into your house, DC makes more sense.

RE: .
By goku on 10/6/2009 2:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well they don't exactly "fake" a sine wave, they actually make a Square wave and apparently the square wave is more efficient for computers than a sine wave. I don't know why this is the case but according to APCC, a square wave is beneficial for computers when on battery power (uses less energy than a sine wave).

RE: .
By ioannis on 10/6/2009 3:48:35 AM , Rating: 2
Although eliminating the DC-to-AC-to-DC conversion chain is a good idea, you can't eliminate all forms of conversion. You will still need DC-to-DC, for all the different voltages required. The current setup might be inefficient, but it provides a common interface, both voltage wise and connection/socket wise.

RE: .
By Bladen on 10/6/2009 5:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
Adding to this, even if the panels DC power was delivered directly to devices, they would still need grid power when the panels cannot provide enough or any power, so you would have to have 2 power leads running to each appliance - not very elegant.

Furthermore, converting it to AC allows excess power to flow back onto the grid (if it is the path of least or less resistance) allowing credits/tariffs/warm fuzzy feeling inside/etc.

RE: .
By Fritzr on 10/6/2009 10:55:59 PM , Rating: 2
Your options are:
DC only. Requires purchase of appliances designed for DC operation at a standard voltage. 12v recommended as AC appliances with car adapters use 12vDC.

AC only. Requires DC to AC converter for DC power sources (already a standard part of a solar power system). Requires double conversion for DC appliances.

AC&limited DC. Each DC appliance will need dedicated wiring from the DC source to the appliance. Also needed will be backup power. This could either be failover to AC or a converter at the DC source using converted AC to makeup shortages in the DC supply and to transfer excess DC to the AC circuits or grid.

AC&DC. For full house dual power you need two complete harnesses and for safety incompatible sockets to the AC & DC sockets...plugging a 12vDC appliance into 120vAC is not recommended. The system that converts home source DC to AC for the grid would simply need an additional tap to supply the house with DC on the DC wiring harness. It already handles the DCtoAC conversion for the AC harness and feed to the grid.

DC in is supplied direct to the DC harness & AC in is supplied direct to the AC harness so no conversion loss. Excess load on each harness is supplied by conversion from the opposite harness. When DC production exceeds net AC+DC usage the you're feeding the grid.

By Yawgm0th on 10/6/2009 3:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason it just occurred to me, but how would something like this handle weather? In particular, what would snow do? Would those of us in cold, precipitous regions suddenly be incentivised to remove snow from our roofs?

On the other hand, does it really save energy at that point to absorb solar rays for electricity instead of heat? Power bills here in Minnesota usually pale in comparison to gas bills during our nearly six-month winter -- nevermind the poor souls who use electric heat. Heat absorbed through the exterior of a building can actually have substantial affect on the gas bill, and my understanding is converting solar rays to heat (which is done naturally at great efficiency) is a lot more effective than absorbing them as electricity.

RE: Snow
By highlandsun on 10/6/2009 5:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
In a properly designed building you have a lot of insulation between the interior and exterior. So there shouldn't be any change in your heating bills due to heat absorption from sunlight. In that case, the solar energy is wasted, so converting it to electricity that you actually carry into your house and use productively is a win.

RE: Snow
By Yawgm0th on 10/6/2009 5:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
In a properly designed building
What about other buildings?

RE: Snow
By Keeir on 10/6/2009 6:00:57 PM , Rating: 2

Heat Transfer of Radiant energy relies of the reflectivity constant of the (surface of the) material. These solar panels would not be the worst roof to have in Minnesota and should have only mild change in comparison to a non-solar dark roof shingle. For the most part, if these panels significantly increase the heating cost for a building, it means a building is better off spending the money on insulation replacement or other modifications rather than these Shingles.

By crystal clear on 10/7/2009 9:37:23 AM , Rating: 2
When it comes to technology/R&D there is one country (Israel)where you can look forward to give you the results.

Here is one example- this really works by the way & ready to implement.

Israeli scientists turn rush-hour traffic into electricity

An Israeli company has developed a method of generating electricity from road traffic, and Israeli may look to implement the system on the nation's highways.

The system works by using generators implanted in the asphalt that create energy when cars drive over them. Each generator produces 2,000 watts per hour, which is stored in batteries along the side of the road.

The technology was developed by the Israeli firm Innowattech, with the cooperation of the Technion University.

A trial of the system was performed on Tuesday morning, along a 10 meter stretch of asphalt on Highway 4. The experiment was viewed as a success, with passing cars providing the power for street lights set up next to the 10 meter strip.

The manager of the project, Dr. Lucy Edri-Azoulay, said that the generators on Highway 4 were planted 2 inches below the top level of asphalt, and use the weight of cars driving on top of them to generate electricity.

Edri-Azoulay explained that the technology driving the system is based on Piezoelectric materials, which generate electricity in response to applied mechanical stress.

Edri-Azoulay stated that installing the program on a single traffic lane stretching one kilometer would produce 200 kilowatts of electricity hour and a four lane highway with the system implemented would produce a megowatt of electricity, enough to power 2,500 households.

Edri-Azoulay also stated that the system could be used to power electrical installations along the road, providing power for traffic lights, cameras, and streetlights to name a few.

The system would not be dependant on weather and does not require the construction of large-scale infrastructure

Now just imagine if this technology is applied in the USA,start calculating how many watts per hour generated.

By crystal clear on 10/7/2009 9:49:43 AM , Rating: 1
Just by the way -

Development of Microsoft Security Essentials began in December 2008 at the Microsoft Israel R&D center in Herzliya Pituach. A team of dozens of programmers, overseen by Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie, handled the development.

By icanhascpu on 10/8/2009 5:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
You understand that this is already being done at some minor places, and the thing people are starting to understand about it is that its a big pile of crap. All youre doing is using extra gas from cars to power this stuff.

Did you think the power just came magically from thin air? Youre stealing gas from people to do this stuff, and frankly I ALREADY PAY TAXES.

By sld on 10/11/2009 10:32:31 PM , Rating: 2
Assertions, and no signs of evidence.

Solar Panel Makers Not Out of Business
By jdietz on 10/6/2009 12:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
The solar panel makers aren't out of business.
1) The cost per watt is only 10% different.
2) Applications which require a lot of power will still need solar panels.
3) Applications that aren't home roofs will still need solar panels.

By Hieyeck on 10/6/2009 1:03:03 AM , Rating: 3
1) The shingle alone is 10% cheaper cost/watt. The man-hours is 50% the time and probably 1/3rd the cost/hr.
2/3) Plywood + shingle = solar panel. Am I missing anything here? (yes I'm being simplistic, I imagine some weather proofing for the plywood and what else, but I'm trying to make a point)

I've never really been a supporter of solar, with installations being butt-ugly and more often than not unable to blend into our existing environments very well, but this could be done by a DIY'er on a regular weekend and you could drive by a house entirely roofed with these and would have to look hard to spot the difference.

Even so, I agree solar panels won't die. But only because the manufacturers will be desperate to survive and it'll drive down prices for sure.

Will HOA give the go ahead?
By j33pownr on 10/6/2009 10:18:33 AM , Rating: 3
This is great news for people like me who live in a community which has a home owners association that bans "unsightly" solar panels. They are equal opportunity solar panel haters, no matter what type or size. These solar panels pretty much blend in with the shingles except for the shininess. I don't think they can complain about that. Time will tell.

Don't trust Dow
By Yawgm0th on 10/6/2009 3:36:03 PM , Rating: 3
The color Blue is a Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company
Dow is taking colors away from us. What will the company take next?

How they're wired
By donxvi on 10/6/2009 6:23:27 AM , Rating: 2
re: Questions already arising about how these are wired
If you blow up the photo, it looks like the pictured installation is two large panels made to look like individual shingles; note the apparent seam down the middle. Each panel may have wires run from it, or perhaps they link to each other electrically.

Sounds awesome but...
By UltraWide on 10/6/2009 8:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
How durable are these shingles? Can they withstand the elements like regular shingles? I don't want to invest $10,000 and then find out 5 years later that I have to replace my solar shingles because they are leaking water into my home. Can they work like regular durable shingles yet produce electricity?

By lenardo on 10/6/2009 9:57:37 AM , Rating: 2
If the price & construction costs are about right i'll redo my roof with them-- the south facing side of my roof that is.

solar panels right now are about 20% efficient so these will be generating- i guess- about half the power. but if i choose to do most of my roof with said panels, i can have ~380 square feet (leaving 4' for frost heave protection and 3 feet each side as well) of solar panel

so they are about half as efficent at traditional panels

so if size per size a 80w "section" is the same as a 160w panel(~13 Sq.Ft.) my half roof can generate ~2300w of power... that is if it is eqiv to a 160w panel, 210w panels are similar size, we need SPECS for the shingles......

about equiv price wise as a system that costs 9300 dollars traditionally- if labor costs are less etc etc... i'd do this provided it cost NO MORE than say 6-7 grand..

Solar Roof Singles
By btc909 on 10/6/2009 11:19:20 AM , Rating: 2
This is why I didn't want to install solar panels. You can get double the solar square footage (who is going to put a solar panel on the front side of a roof especially with a roof with a front facing slope) vs. a solar panel install. You can upgrade when you want to. Much cheaper to replace a damaged solar shingle. Less roof weight. I would like to see some specs on these.

Walk On Them?
By alphadog on 10/6/2009 11:41:26 AM , Rating: 2
Can I walk on them? I guess I'll have to blow the pine straw off my roof more often if I install these suckers...

By tygrus on 10/6/2009 9:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
You would need to halve the cost-per-watt for a solar technology to put solar panels to shame. 10-15% is less than existing bulk discounts for standard panels.

I can't see how retro-fitting 10x more little panels is less time consuming to fit larger panels. If it's a new roof and you were already going to fit shingles then it might be a big improvement.

By sleepeeg3 on 10/9/2009 7:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
Check this out:

If you think thefts were bad before, wait until people start using costly solar panels!

Reality currently is, you could not even run your overclocked PC with a roof full of expensive solar panels:

By guiri on 10/16/2009 5:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
How much power I can get out of a certain size roof?

100w or 1000w or what? Huge difference and hugely important.

By Indigo64 on 10/6/2009 1:25:16 PM , Rating: 1
Shiny Solar Shingle. See Solar Shingle Surely Suck Sun. Shine, Shiny Solar Shingle, Shine.

Not very impressed
By kroker on 10/6/2009 6:05:04 PM , Rating: 1
10-15% lower cost per watt doesn't sound that exciting to me. Maybe that's OK for developed countries but they'll still be expensive as hell for most of the world (which, you know, it's where it's needed the most).

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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