A company named Dow Chemical revealed a new line of solar roof shingles that convert sunlight into electric energy, being able to generate $5 billion in revenue for the company by 2015.
Dow said that these new solar shingles can be installed into roofs made of conventional asphalt shingles. The company claims that the solar shingles will be introduced by 2010 in a limited supply and then readily accessible by 2011. “We’re looking at this one product that could generate $5 billion in revenue by 2015 and $10 billion by 2020,” Jane Palmieri, managing director of Dow Solar Solutions, told Reuters in an interview.
The solar shingles will be composed of thin-film cells of copper indium gallium diselenide, a photovoltaic material that compared to other traditional polysilicon cells is more efficient at turning sunlight into electricity. Building Intergrated Photovoltaic systems often are integrated into roofing tiles, but Dow Chemical says their technology costs less and is more efficient. The energy efficiency of their shingles has been reported to be above 10 percent.
The new shingles could be installed in about 10 hours, compared with 22 to 30 hours for traditional solar panels. The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored the Dow Chemical company with about $20 million, to help develop their BIPV products.