The company was present at Solar Power International in Los Angeles (October 12-14) showing the PowerShingle, which it says “removes the barriers which have kept many homeowners from installing solar on their roofs”. Namely, a lack of visual appeal.
The company says its product is the first UL-approved standard production residential solar module roof shingle available for the U.S. photovoltaic marketplace. And it looks much prettier than the competition, it adds.
The company says its emphasis on aesthetics was a response to customer demand. “A consistent message from homeowners is that until residential solar options became aesthetically pleasing and fit into their homes’ current roofline, they simply weren’t ready to take the solar plunge – or at best will limit solar to the backside of their home,” said Mark Morelli, president and CEO of United Solar’s parent company, Energy Conversion Devices. He says PowerShingle finally brings “solar for the front of the home”.
The solar devices were engineered to look like asphalt shingles. They are glass-free and weather resistant, holding up against Category 3 hurricane winds, hail and other types of heavy impact.
New Jersey is the first region in the country to try out PowerShingle. That’s going to happen through a residential solar lease program offered by New Jersey Resources Home Services.
Morelli believes there’s huge potential in the residential market for his product. “We believe PowerShingle’s sweet spot will be the new roof and re-roofing market, which is estimated at more than four million homes per year in the U.S., a large potential market for a residential product.”
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.