In a pretty cool project recently Bob Vila helped in a Habitat for Humanity house building that included solar shingles.
Deane Evans (from the Partnership to Advance Technology in Homes) and Ren Anderson (from the National Renewable Energy Lab) talked extensively with Bob about special photovoltaic shingles, which convert solar energy into electricity.
Bob and Ren then began applying the shingles to the shed roof, before Bob heads to the roof to help.
Bob talked with Deane Evans of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) about the photovoltaic roof shingles and how every home owner could incorporate them into their own roofs.
This new product from United Solar Systems, called the Solar Shingle, generates electricity at the same time that it does the job of a normal shingle, protecting the house from the weather.
Ren Anderson from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed Bob how to nail the solar shingles on the roof, just like conventional three-tab roofing.
Within the framework of the regular shingles , eight solar shingles are blended into the conventional fiberglass shingles to provide about 120 watts for charging battery-operated tools and children’s toys in the shed they built.
Ren hooks up the wires leading from the shingles to the other system components, which include a fuse, a voltage regulator, and an inverter (which converts the direct current from the shingles into an alternating current that can be used by typical household appliances).
It was a totally simple install that anyone could do. Just add the wires through the roof, and install the solar shingles just like normal. Bob Vila was very impressed with the Habitat for Humanity project including solar shingles within the design and made it very clear that any homeowner could do the same.