Weâ€™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 â€“ Sun Energy Engineering Co. â€“ has developed a low-profile solar shingle, or Sun Energy Shingle, to be used instead of roofing shingles or over existing shingles. Itâ€™s available in custom colors, too, depending on what kind of look youâ€™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 theyâ€™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. Dowâ€™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 SolÃ© 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.