Solar Shingles: Making Solar Safe for Suburbanites

June 19, 2014

Now what this needs is a SolarCity-like business model. Maybe its already got one – anybody know?

Triangle Business Journal:

A Cary homeowner has become the first person in the Triangle, and most likely in North Carolina, to have solar shingles installed on his home.

Don Hyatt says people have been stopping by his house to admire the shiny new roof.

“I’ve been waiting for them to become available in North Carolina,” Hyatt says. “It’s not like solar panels, which have the big blue rectangles that stick up above everything else and are obtrusive looking. These blend in nicely.”

Sun Dollar Energy of Raleigh, owned byDan Lezama, installed shingles on the roof of a home which double as solar panels. The shingles came from DOW Powerhouse, a division of DOW ChemicalCo., which manufactures the shingles in Michigan. The project has allowed Lezama to become a certified DOW Powerhouse solar shingle installer.

“It’s a building integrated PV (photo-voltaic) module,” explains Lezama. “Solar panel and listed roofing material in one. It’s perfect for a new home or a home that needs a new roof and the HOA won’t allow for traditional solar panels.”

Lezama says the installation wasn’t easy, and the cost of materials was “double or more” than what he pays for solar panels. He says he hand-nailed all 306 solar shingles onto the roof himself. He’s already got another solar shingles customer in Chapel Hill, and others in Cary have expressed their interest, he says. The Cary homeowner needed to replace his roof, and decided after researching the product to up the ante. The total cost of the system is $15,000.

According to DOW Powerhouse, the shingles are hail-resistant and were tested for wind and storm resistance and “generally performed better than the asphalt shingles surrounding the array.”



3 Responses to “Solar Shingles: Making Solar Safe for Suburbanites”

  1. I want I want I want!

    Researchers in (Czech Republic??) also have invented solar paint, how awesome is that? It’s not yet efficient enough to make sense for anything other than very large buildings, like skyscrapers, but it’s coming.

  2. Jim Jenal Says:

    Solar shingles are not new and they have had a fairly troublesome history. There have been fires associated with solar shingles (or more often solar tiles) and Centex built a bunch of houses in CA with them but later had to deal with a major recall. You can read about that here:

    Solar panels are more efficient (so the energy yield is higher), less expensive to install and maintain, and they help cool the roof when properly installed as opposed to solar shingles which actually transfer heat into the house.
    Jim Jenal, Founder & CEO, Run on Sun

    • If I am not mistaken, the shingles are thin cells, which are often made with toxic materials; unlike the panels, which are silicon, glass, and aluminum, primarily.

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