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Published on June 29th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


Does YOUR Spouse Hate How Solar Looks?

June 29th, 2010 by  

If you are a Californian who’s been wanting to put on solar, but your spouse has objections on aesthetic grounds, you now have an alternative. There are now more CSI-approved choices for building-integrated solar (BIPV) modules in the updated list this month at GosolarCalifornia. Expected performance of all the new BIPV is listed at the CSI-EPBB site.


California has just approved the SRS-Energy curved thinfilm tile. These can be added to your terracotta-colored clay tile roof like this…

… or you could go whole-hog blue, and re-roof entirely in the matching blue ceramic tile made by USTile, for those parts of the roof, like the North gables, that won’t be used to make power.

In California, rebate-eligible solar BIPV includes Xunlight‘s thinfilm flat modules.  I don’t see an image of their actual BIPV that CSI approves, but if they can make this brown-colored thinfilm then they could make a BIPV that would blend with even the most banal of your neighbors’ powerless roofs.

The Jimmy Carter-generated (most ancient, oldie but goodie) solar company Sharp makes these little regular silicon PV modules that look at least as good as the dumb part of your roof, that only keeps out the rain.

Atlantis Energy’s Sunslates lovely flat slate PV tiles – they are bonded to standard fiber-cement roofing tiles – can be installed in a charming zigzag pattern, as here, making for a solar installation which almost looks as if it was set in the days of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.

Suntech is also listed for its BIPV module. In an install I’ve seen these practically disappear while imparting a subtle classy gleam to a gray slate roof.

Sunpower’s CSI approved BIPV panels can be set below the roof tile like this for an interesting look or,

as here in a beautiful design installed by CobaltPower, sit on top.  These are not building integrated in the strict sense of the words, yet look as comfortable and integrate as well, they might as well be. Sunpower panels always look gorgeous either way.

There’s no excuses now!

Susan Kraemer @Twitter 

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

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