dow powerhouse solar roof shingles Did you know that the solar heat absorbed by the roofs in this country would be enough to produce the electricity used by half of all Americans? Doesn’t it make sense then, that more time and capital should be invested in improving the methods of collecting and converting that energy? Those efforts are being made and the attendees of the 244th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society learned all about the most recent developments.

Solar shingles, which have been around for a while now and offered by roofing contractors, can generate electricity but are laid in much the same way that traditional shingles would be. New advancements could make this technology more readily available to the American public. How can that be? The new solar technology makes use of materials abundant on earth, such as copper and zinc. Better yet, these materials, unlike those previously used in the development of solar shingles, can be found in this country. Indium and gallium, which have been primary components until now, are imported in high proportions.

The California Institute of Technology will be joining forces with the Dow Chemical Company in an effort to produce the new shingles with readily available resources that roofing companies can provide for homeowners and commercial building owners alike. Within twenty years, solar energy is suspected to compete with coal-fired power plants for the most affordable electricity production. With the billions of rooftops in this country, it is easy to see how solar energy could reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources.

Read more about the advancement of solar shingles

Image: Dow Chemical new solar shingles / Communications Manager / CC BY 2.0