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Clean Power dow solar roof shingles

Published on October 22nd, 2011 | by Nicholas Brown


DOW Starts Mass Marketing Solar Shingles

October 22nd, 2011 by  

dow solar roof shingles

Dow Solar company has started mass marketing solar shingles. Solar shingles are roof shingles with solar cells (electricity generating material) integrated into them, so the shingles are the solar panels. The solar shingles plug into each other and help to hold each other down very securely during strong winds.

The solar shingles can only be stolen by first unplugging those at the edge of the array and then working your way inwards, which means that securing the edge only will actually secure the entire solar panel array from thieves.

Dow’s shingles incorporate thin film solar cells, which are printed onto the shingles which permits some extent of flexibility, and have been in the works for awhile. We first wrote about the solar shingles back in 2009. Thin film solar cells may sound flimsier to some people, but they are actually more durable than traditional silicon wafer cells, because silicon wafer cells are very brittle. Both types of cells, however, are encased in protective solar panels (which is the complete product that you purchase). Thin film cells are more durable primarily because they can withstand more shock than traditional cells.

Solar shingles also have potential aesthetic benefits, because they resemble ordinary shingles, and the aesthetic appearance of traditional solar panels is a problem for some people.

Solar shingles have been installed since they were made available in 2009, but availability was limited. Colorado is the first state in which they will be available to the masses, and Dow says that it plans to sell them in large quantities in several other states as well.

The solar cells that are integrated into the Dow shingles are supplied by Global Solar (which is based in Arizona, U.S) and their efficiency is claimed to be 10%, which is in the average range of thin film solar cells.

Dow partnered with the home building company D.R. Horton to build homes with 3,000 watts (3 kW) of solar shingles installed on them. The size of the homes ranges from 2,205 to 4,115 square feet and the cost starts at $485,950.

Dow estimated that the solar shingle manufacturing plant will create 1,275 jobs by 2015!

h/t CNET

Photo Credit: Dow Solar

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

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  • Ed

    Seems like Horton should build in Frisco, Tx ( North of Dallas) a new 3000 sq foot house cost about $300,000 and it seems 3kw would supply most of the electricity needed. I average about 1400 kw hours per month. I would love to know how much the roof cost with or without the Dow panels

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  • Dow delayed making these Powerhouse solar shingles available to the public about 2 years because of a persistent moisture build-up problem inside the encapsulated cells. Can anyone show any reports or data where this has been cured….or is Dow just hoping for no fires and setting aside a huge amount of money for likely litigation and warranty claims?
    Electricity and moisture don’t go well together.
    Funny that these were “rolled out” in Colorado… right before winter.

    • hmm, haven’t heard anything since this news of the first commercial roll-out

  • Scott Jonker

    $485,950??? This seems excessive. Typo?

    • It really is $485,950. I guess they are high end houses. 😀

      • Karen

        $485,950 for the house with these shingles or is this just for the shingles?

        • Anonymous

          “The size of the homes ranges from 2,205 to 4,115 square feet and the cost starts at $485,950.”

          I see nothing in the article about the price of the shingles, but when I’ve looked into them previously they seemed too high priced for the power produced.

          • Karen

            The article says, “Dow partnered with the home building company D.R. Horton to build homes with 3,000 watts (3 kW) of solar shingles installed on them. The size of the homes ranges from 2,205 to 4,115 square feet and the cost starts at $485,950.” So, I assumed the house includes these shingles but the second sentence got me to think that maybe the price is before the shingles. I live in the Northeast and 2,205 to 4,115 SF house can start at $1 Mil.

          • Will

            2205 to 4115 sq ft houses in the Northeast starting at $1 million in this housing market? It’s time to move…

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, a lot of folks seem skeptical about the shingles.

            Dow may be looking to just market them as a boutique solar item and get good PR for it.

            But I think they may be looking at scaling and dropping the price considerably in the coming years. (Solar is money & the bug businesses know it.)

            But we’ll see..

          • Karen

            Man, I pay upwards of $1000 in electricity bill in some winters. And $500,000 for a 2000 S.F. (as in my other comments) is not too expensive in this area so if I had a choice of adding solar shingles on my next new house for this price? I’m definitely taking them. Even 10% off on my utility bill would be awesome! I might need a new roof in five years. I hope the prices come down by then. A new roof on my house would probably cost me $15,000 as is! (I think I need to move, as Will said)

          • Dcard88

            The builder is building for 100’s of homes so the price point may be close to making sense.

        • $485,950 for the houses with the shingles. $485,950 for the shingles would be totally crazy. They wouldn’t sell a single one. 😀

          • Karen

            Oh….not in the Northeast. 2000 SF house with no land can easily go for $600,000 so I was just confirming the price. Where is this development being built?

      • Dcard88

        Come on guys. Of course they would start on higher end homes before going to mid priced. Keep in mind that people who can afford nice homes are the only ones buying anyway. In my neck of the woods, 1500 sq’ condos sell for $500K and a 2200 sq’ home goes for $700 and way up to coastal at a LOT more. The shingles prolly add $30K to $50K to the cost AND value. ~$10 per watt.

        • Anonymous

          good points.

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