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The Power of the Homes of Tomorrow: Solar Shingles

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posted on Jun, 21 2007 @ 08:09 PM

Increasing numbers of people are putting their roofs to work generating electricity. And that does not necessarily mean installing unsightly steel-and-glass solar energy modules.
Today you can get photovoltaic shingles (or tile, or slate) that will do the job and still look like a roof.

For instance, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has been testing various forms of photovoltaic roofing products for the past year on roofs in Maryland to calibrate their output. Brian Dougherty, project manager, said the test includes tile (popular in the Southwest), slate (popular in Europe) and shingle (popular everywhere). All of them have inactive areas where the roofer can drive nails and not short out any circuits.

Additionally, California and New Jersey offer tax credits that actually make solar power economically sensible, Maycock added.
Other states offer less juicy tax credits, and the Federal taxman offers one that caps out at $2,000.

Live Science

While we are'nt going to see everyone turn there roofs into home power units in the
next few years, this is good news and is a move in that direction.

Personally I'm going to be considering things like this, among many other Green technologies
and such when I move, which will be int he next few years.

Comments, Opinions?

posted on Jun, 21 2007 @ 10:55 PM
The University of New South Wales (Australia) has developed their "Sliver" photo-voltaic cells which cost one tenth of conventional PV cells. These cells also transmit much of the light through and so can be placed on windows or above heat collectors making them able to do double duty.

The world needs manufacturers to embrace this technology and get it into service. This will not happen soon because capitalism still sees fossils fuels as its main milch cow. Now we are being asked to contribute a surcharge to pay capitalism to take steps to reduce its global pollution. This surcharge will undoubtedly rise regularly as capitalism runs its campaign of fear and obfuscation. When capitalism finally runs the money-for-nothing-well dry and can no longer con the public into subsidising invalid technology we might see worthwhile technology come onto the market - at premium prices of course.

posted on Jun, 22 2007 @ 02:50 AM
There are 2 problems to overcome for these systems to be used on a wider scale.

The first is that these PV systems typically generate power in the 24-48v range and must be stepped-up to 110/240v (depending on whether your house is in the US/UK) and therefore losses of power-efficiency will occur. If the household lighting circuits or other domestic power requirements were to be adapted to run on low-voltage then overall building power-efficiency would increase.

Second is a basic economic factor of supply and demand. At present there is little demand or incentive to either incorporate these systems into new-builds or adapt existing structures. What incentives there were on offer were limited in scope and funding. An example of this was the 'ClearSkies Initiative' here in the UK which offered domestic residences up to a 40% rebate on the cost of the overall purchase of a solar thermal/PV array, but as only a limited amount of funding was on offer and little publicity given to the scheme, it was discontinued last year (so much for forward thinking there Mr Blair!). As there is only a limited take-up of this technology, the cost-per-unit remains prohibitively expensive to the average homeowner. It will only be when there is an economy-of-scale in manufacture of the units that the cost-price per unit will fall within the range of the average wallet

posted on Jun, 22 2007 @ 02:54 AM

Originally posted by citizen smith
It will only be when there is an economy-of-scale in manufacture of the units that the cost-price per unit will fall within the range of the average wallet

I think thats coming CS, because people are getting increasingly disillusioned with the crap in the Middle East, rising oil and energy prices and having to rely on someone else for their energy needs. Cost reductions in these items have been happening steadily over the past ten years, and my prediction is that within the next 5 years we'll see them being much more affordable.

posted on Jun, 22 2007 @ 03:32 AM
If you want to get into a lucrative business, get into renewable energy design/fitting/sales! There is a national UK initiative similar to 'ClearSkies' but on a far, far bigger scale coming in 2009. ...It's going to be the Architectural equivalent of the mobile-phone market explosion 10yrs ago!!

posted on Jun, 22 2007 @ 03:36 AM

Originally posted by citizen smith
It's going to be the Architectural equivalent of the mobile-phone market explosion 10yrs ago!!

That or find a company or two who are looking at it and buy a few shares

I'm considering doing one or the other

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