Solar Shingles for the trailer? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-08-2009, 07:52 AM   #1
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Source: Dow Unveils Solar Roofing 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.

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.

Dow designed the shingles, which will initially be manufactured at the company’s Midland, Mich., facility. Global Solar of Tucson, Ariz., is supplying the thin-film solar cells.

Thin-film has generally not been used for residential systems because of its relatively low efficiency – Global Solar’s cells are 10 percent efficient. That means a larger array is required generate the same of amount of electricity as conventional solar panels.

But Dave Parrillo, the senior research and development director for Dow Solar Solutions, said the solar shingles can offset between 40 percent and 80 percent of a home’s electricity consumption.

Ms. Palmieri said a solar shingle array is 10 percent to 15 percent cheaper than a standard rack-mounted solar panel system and about 40 percent less expensive than competing building-integrated photovoltaic products.

“Our objective is to prove that this can be a mainstream adopted product,” she said.

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Old 10-08-2009, 07:53 AM   #2
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I'm guessing these could be glued. The caveat might be lower efficiency than traditional solar panels.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
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I haven't seen them up close & personal, but if they really do act like regular roofing shingles they're very, very heavy.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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I think there would be a problem with 60 - 70 mph winds experienced while driving.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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Uni-solar makes a stick on panel that is being used on the roofs of campers made in Australia. The folks in OZ who build them claim you can walk on the panels and not damage them. Solar Laminates
The Dow idea sounds great for new construction. Hope it works out.

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if Uni-Soler panels are still available in the US, but they did used to be.

Advantages are that they are flexible (you can roll them up and store them), and that they will still produce output when partially shaded (a problem for most panels).

Disadvantages are that they typically cost quite a bit more per watt, and that they never do produce as efficiently as the more common type of panels.

The reason I say "not sure if still available in US" is that some places that I know used to stock them don't any longer. That said, I haven't researched it and don't know what the actual situation is.


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