Building Integrated Photovoltaic Roofing Shingle Expected to Bring Affordable Renewable Energy to Consumers
The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today unveiled its line of DOW(TM) POWERHOUSE(TM) Solar Shingle, revolutionary photovoltaic solar panels in the form of solar shingles that can be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingle materials. The solar shingle systems are expected to be available in limited quantities by mid-2010 and projected to be more widely available in 2011, putting the power of solar electricity generation directly and conveniently in the hands of homeowners.
Groundbreaking technology from Dow Solar Solutions (DSS) integrates low-cost, thin-film CIGS photovoltaic cells into a proprietary roofing shingle design, which represents a multi-functional solar energy generating roofing product. The innovative product design reduces installation costs because the conventional roofing shingles and solar generating shingles are installed simultaneously by roofing contractors. DSS expects an enthusiastic response from roofing contractors since no specialized skills or knowledge of solar array installations are required.
"This is just one example of how Dow's $1.5 billion annual R&D investment is allowing us to deliver practical solutions for some of the world's most critical challenges," said Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris. "These types of innovative products not only showcase our deep scientific and technical expertise but also demonstrate how our commitment to R&D is fueling Dow's future growth agenda around the world."
DOW(TM) POWERHOUSE(TM) Solar Shingle arrays are being showcased today at an event at Dow's Michigan Operations in the Company's headquarters city of Midland, Michigan.
"Making Michigan a leader in manufacturing green energy products continues to be a key part of our economic plan to grow the economy and create jobs," said Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "Dow's solar shingles are another example of local research and development helping grow our green economy, and I applaud Dow's ongoing commitment to developing green energy solutions right here in Michigan."
Jane Palmieri, Managing Director of Dow Solar Solutions, noted that Dow's technology addresses two of the biggest challenges associated with solar power -- cost and acceptance. "Consumers reap the benefits of our innovation. This is about providing roof protection and electricity generation all from one product, with lower costs, improved aesthetics, easier installation and long-lasting performance," she said.
Today's announcement is the latest milestone in Dow's solar energy strategy following the formation of its Dow Solar Solutions business unit. In 2007, the Company received $20 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop "building integrated" solar arrays for the residential and commercial markets.
Dow's commitment to solar innovation extends beyond the DOW(TM) POWERHOUSE(TM) Solar Shingle arrays:
- Dow Performance Fluids is a leading supplier of heat transfer fluids that enable concentrated solar power for parabolic, trough-based solar systems. DOWTHERM(TM) A collects heat energy from the sun and transports it to a power generating station that converts water into steam, which in turn drives turbines to make electricity.
- Dow Adhesives and Functional Polymers is a leading global supplier of adhesives for photovoltaics, with exceptional performance in new backsheet substrates, as well as game-changing innovations in materials such as liquid encapsulants.
- Dow Electronic Materials recently introduced its new line of ENLIGHT(TM) photovoltaic products, which increase solar cell efficiency and yield.
- Dow Specialty Packaging & Films offers innovative polyolefin-based films used in the protective encapsulant layer and the structural backsheet of photovoltaic modules. The use of these films can improve productivity when the module is produced, and help increase its service life and reliability.
- Dow Corning, a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated, is also participating in the solar photovoltaic sector, applying its expertise in silicon-based materials to improve the cost efficiency, durability and performance of solar modules and photovoltaic devices. Dow Corning recently began construction on a facility that will manufacture monosilane gas, a key material used to manufacture thin-film solar cells and liquid crystal displays. Via its Hemlock Semiconductor joint venture, Dow Corning is also a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices, and solar cells and modules.
DOW(TM) POWERHOUSE(TM) Solar Shingle is the latest in a series of investments Dow has made to build upon its leadership position within the building and construction industry. Dow supplies a wide range of systems and solutions designed to help improve the energy efficiency and overall performance of buildings. This innovative technology also expands the ability for solar energy to be incorporated beyond roofing systems into applications such as exterior sidings, fascias and more.