"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."