New Solar Shingle Hits the Market!


We’re starting to see a number of interesting products in the building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) area of solar innovation. A company out of Grass Valley, California – Sun Energy Engineering Co. – has developed a low-profile solar shingle, or Sun Energy Shingle, to be used instead of roofing shingles or over existing shingles. It’s available in custom colors, too, depending on what kind of look you’re trying to get on the rooftop.


Currently, the company is building up a dealer base and can design and install a system that fits the needs of any given building. Shown in these photos is an installation of the solar shingles over asphalt shingles on a building in Northern California.

Sun Energy Engineering Co., as discussed in a recent article in The Union, is not a manufacturer. Components of the solar shingle are manufactured outside of the U.S. and assembled in Union City, California. Taking this approach, Sun Energy has been able to bring the product to market quickly.

Perhaps they’re trying to beat out a certain competitor, Dow Chemical Company. In October 2009, Dow introduced the POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle, which is made with CIGS photovoltaic cells. Dow’s solar shingle, therefore, differs in at least one regard because the one offered by Sun Energy is made of multicrystalline cells.

In addition to Dow and Sun Energy, roof-integrated solar products provided by other companies include the Solé Power Tile for clay roof tiles and the EnergyPeak system for standing seam roofing.  And we're certain to see more …



Photo credits: Sun Energy Engineering Company.

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  • draakan

    I guess they are strong enough to stand on. So that is a good sign.

  • Gary

    Interlock Roofing has this product too

  • Affordable Solar Power Kits

    This is an amazing solar product. We need more of these

  • steffmarcusky

    Wish you would tell us what mph wind rating this is – we can’t have these in Florida because they’re not rated high enough. Last one I saw was 80 mph, but we need 130 – 150 mph.

    • Trent

      I represent a company called SolarTek Solutions and we have actually done two installations with this module…both the standard shingle as well as the custom brown shingle.  We were the first to install these in Utah and continue to have this in our lineup for our customers who seek a more aesthetically pleasing solution.   These are rated up to a minimum of 120 mph and can go higher depending on the number of roof connections that are made.  They have been used in Southern states where hurricanes are a risk.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions.  Here is a video we recently participated in regarding the custom brown shingle.  It is part of the Utah Solar Tour this year.

  • Laffncrzy

    What’s the cost on these types of units? What are the differences between the Dow and the Sun Energy (cost/installation time/warranty/etc)?

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  • Thomas – EV

    The installation looks quite simple! What about the wireing?

    • Trent

      This is SolarTek Solutions again.  The wiring is very similar to a standard module.  These are run in strings to an inverter.  The wire management is actually very good considering they sit against the roof.  The installation is very straight forward.  We have even installed an array that included a battery backup system without any issues.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.  We have a couple of pictures of installs we have done on our website if you want to check them out.  Thank you.   

  • Green Iowa Energy

    I’m just not a fan of solar shingles. Not sure why. I’d prefer solar panels over the shingles anyday

  • Devin Gaughan

    Why was no useful information about the product actually included in the article? Price? Power output? Conversion ratio? Anything?

  • SEPCO-SolarLighting

    What a great way to take advantage of your roof while not adding panels on top. Great for people who do not have a directly south facing roof and need more solar to provide power. I love this concept!

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