Today, if you add a rooftop solar system to your house, the installers will bolt a metal rack through your existing roof and into the rafters of your house. Then the solar panels are attached to the frame. But there are other options available that simply replace your roof entirely with shingles that make electrical power from sunlight. Elon Musk has stated he expects such systems to be available from SolarCity shortly. There are companies that are already in the game, as he noted, but he says Tesla’s/SolarCity’s system will be much better. Here’s a look at what’s out there now.
Dow Chemical Powerhouse Solar Shingles
On the market since 2010, the sleek plastic-coated Dow Powerhouse shingles demonstrate just how far the industry has come in 6 short years. The shingles are only 13% efficient — new solar panels are almost twice as efficient. They are also expensive at $10,000 for 1,000 square feet of coverage. The cost of solar panels has dropped by two thirds since 2010. A stunning technological breakthrough at the time, they are hopelessly outdated today.