Dow Chemical Co. has announced that it plans to begin selling power-generating roof shingles by 2011, as part of its US$50 million Dow Solar Solutions project to sell thermoplastic solar roof shingles in North America.
The company has partnered with homebuilders and Global Solar Energy, Inc., a flexible materials producer in Arizona, for the project.
“We’ve thrown everything you can imagine at them from (simulated) hail to fire to see how they react,” stated Robert Cleereman, senior director of solar development for Dow Chemical, regarding the company’s tests in preparing the shingles for market. “”One day, a person would no more think about buying a house without solar shingles than they would buy a house without plumbing. That is our hope, at least.”
A US$2.5 million injecting and moulding machine, nicknamed “The Beast,” produces the solar cell-imbedded shingles.
“I can see utility companies paying for the roofing for customers. It would save them money on building power plants because the solar shingles can act like individual little power plants,” commented Cleereman.