Dow Unveils Solar Roof Shingles


Dow Chemical has developed a roof shingle that contains thin-film solar power cells and can be integrated into asphalt roofs, which are used in 90 percent of American homes.

Dow executives said the solar shingles can be handled like a regular asphalt shingle and can be nailed right onto a roof and walked on by roofers.

The company will begin test-marketing the shingles in mid-2010 and the company will initially target new home construction.

By 2015, Dow estimates that the market for the solar shingles could be $5 billion a year as builders increasingly make the solar roofs standard on new construction.

The thin-film solar cells, made by Global Solar of Tucson, are less efficient than traditional photovoltaic arrays, but a Dow researcher that with the solar shingles covering large portions of a roof they could meet 40 to 80 percent of a homeowner’s electricity demand.

Electricians are not needed to install the solar shingles but do have to connect the completed array to the home’s electrical system.

Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360.

[photo credit: Flickr]

About Author

Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.


  1. The storage (battery & Co.) is also a very important and quite problematic part. The idea is great though, that’s definitely the right direction.

  2. Solar roof shingles are currently hot cake. This roof shingles are made by photovoltaic cell. This cell converts solar energy to electric energy. So it is both save our money as well as our environment.