Solar-Roofing or Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) panels, as they also known are the two birds-one-stone solution
incorporating photovoltaic cells into roofing panels for houses, boats and RVs.
A basic system will include something like this
Junction box to act as an ON/OFF switch
Solar inverter to convert DC into household AC power
Optional storage batteries and of course
The initial investment for either the Solar-Roofing or the Solar-Shingles can be a bit on the costly side,
but fortunately, this is an investment that pays you back in through reduced utility costs and will provide income
if you are willing to sell your electricity to the utility company
Thats right! I said it!
CLOSE-UP: Solar Roof
You can often sell power to your electrical utility if you are on the grid. That means straight from the Sun to your Solar-Roofing to the power utility to your pocket!
There are many solar incentives and rebates available to the homeowner interested in utilizing solar technology into their home, so be sure to research these before making any final purchases or decisions.
Explore the alternative; DO IT YOURSELF!
Investigate some of the reading and video material. Have a look at it, see what you think of it. Use the plans, details, tools and your own mechanical skill to assemble the components you need as you need them. Build an expandable system. One which may be grown in phases if you like. Starting with a system to power a single electrical device. THIS COULD be a good test of your skills and help you to get a "feel" for the assembly process.
Then, in time, go further with a module to power several devices in the home or even charge a storage battery.
Finally, with confidence and experience on your side, expand your system to provide as much of your estimated electrical need as you feel necessary. our first step together is to inform ourselves before making the leap.
Many ordinary people invest decades worth of inspiration, imagination, blood, sweat and tears to develop ideas and skills and then pass on their knowledge like Bret Parker,
an electrician with nearly 40 years dedicated to generating free energy
Or, another do-it-yourself guide that we've come across, "Green Powered Home, A step-by-step guide to Green Energy"
In addition, your roof will last longer with no shingles to blow off in the wind, save you money in the long run and increase your home values.
In that spirit of further exploration here are a few sites worth investigating.
For Americans, you might benefit from investigating the
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
and for Minnesotans, the
Minnesota Solar Air Heat Rebate for Business
could be a good first stop.
Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy
Programs in Canada is an excellent place to begin your search.
The directory is exactly what it says it is...A directory of Government of Canada programs available in various Provinces, Territories, municipalities, utliities and even individual companies in Canada.
Don't forget to visit
Natural Resources Canada
for any special offferings available. have a look. I'll be here when you get back.
explore the many tips, advice and dowloadable applications at the Energy Matters
For the United Kingdom and others... There will be something for you soon!
Meanwhile, make use of the search box below for more great information.
Use the search box below to find information about your
specific country or region.
THINGS TO COME?
One Size fits All? Well, not yet but sooner than you might think.
Before you dive in to this pool of products please consider the size and configuration of your own roof.
Notice in the image above that the roof of the house is a straight forward peaked roof. Your own roof may be far more complicated than that.
One size does not fit all when it comes to solar-roofing. Some roofs are small or irregular or both.
Sharp Roofit System
In a press release dated March 3, 2009
Sharp of Japan introduced a solution called Roofit.
The Roofit system has been available in Japan since April of last year and Sharp claims that with Roofits combination of small and large-sized tiles this new product covers 24% more area than do conventional systems.
Buyers can now cover spaces as small as 7-25cm compared with 117cm previously.
There are four different modules available maximum outputs range from 60.5W to 160W with price tags ranging from 450 to $780.
Let us all hope that Sharp of japan shares their toys with rest of us.
If Solar-Roofing is interesting but maybe a little
intimidating and maybe you really wanted to start with a smaller scale Solar-Roofing project. If that's the case, see the section on Solar-Kits.