Introducing: DOW’s ‘Powerhouse’ Solar Shingles

DOW is not usually a name that comes up when discussing sustainability and clean technology.

That may change now that the company has start selling and installing their first rooftop solar shingles.  This modular PV system, dubbed ‘Powerhouse’ (oh, I get it) doesn’t just mount on your roof, it IS your roof.  These individual units overlap just like asphalt shingles and string together in a circuit, giving you much more flexibility in fitting your roof’s shape and size.

RX-Dow_Powerhouse-Solar-Shingles_s4x3_lg[1]

What are the pros of a system like this?

-They are flush with the rest of your roof

One of the main complaints about roof mounted PV systems is that they literally stand out, detracting from the architectural aesthetic of a home

-No mounting brackets

The singles attach with nails, just like normal roofing shingles.  Also, no mounting brackets means less equipment to buy!

-Modular

You can install as many or as few as you like, or your budget will allow

Potential cons:

-No adjusting the angle

Solar installers typically put panels in at the optimum angle for electricity production, which varies by location.  This angle doesn’t always match your roof, so there could be decreased efficiency, especially on steep roofs

-Solar panels are less effective when hot

DOW may have a way of addressing this, but without air moving over AND under the panels, they might heat up more, making them less efficient.

 

Dow-Powerhouse-Solar-Shingle-Front-Forbes[1] Solar shingle[1]

I wasn’t able to find any pricing information per shingle, but here is a good infographic from DOW explain the total costs of ownership:

DD-Roofing-Colorado_V23-1024x791[1]

More info:

http://www.dowpowerhouse.com/

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/eiie45gfjl/madrigals-home-2/

 

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Answer to the Nuclear Argument…

Here’s a quote from sustainability leader William McDonough that is the best response to nuclear energy proponents that I’ve ever heard:


“Don’t get me wrong: I love nuclear energy! It’s just that I prefer fusion to fission. And it just so happens that there’s an enormous fusion reactor safely banked a few million miles from us. It delivers more than we could ever use in just about 8 minutes. And it’s wireless!”

William McDonough, Fortune Brainstorm Conference, 2006

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