Solar Shingles for Schools and Homes
Submitted by Bob Phinney, Dexter School
Have you seen those new solar roof shingles that look like real roof shingles? Have you thought about using them for an educational project at your school? Here are some useful tips and links.
- They are made by Uni-Solar (United Solar Ovonic), www.uni-solar.com, model SHR-17, and cost about $125 per 86-inch sheet.
- A typical roof installation will require assorted accessories such as DC to AC power inverters, safety circuit breakers, and grid interconnects, so the price of an installation is not cheap.
- An excellent web-log of a homeowner installation is Bob's Solar Project at www-personal.umich.edu/~bgoodsel/solar/2005_06_01_archive.html.
- You can find complete grid-tie kits at www.alphasolar.com with prices as low as $6,000 for a small system to $20,000 for a full-house system.
- If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, there is a company called Solar Works, www.solar-works.com, that specializes in bringing solar energy to schools and homes. They have offices in Vt, NH, MA, and RI. They installed a 5.4 kW grid-connect system at our school's new science center.
- For an excellent energy monitoring system that can be used in the classroom, we went with the Solar Learning Lab by Heliotronics Corp., www.heliotronics.com, which allows students to monitor our energy system in real time. They can even calculate how much greenhouse gases have been avoided by generating clean energy.
- If you are interested in the possiblility of a large-scale installation using solar roof shingles, check out Oakland University's 10-kW Public Demonstration Project at http://www.oakland.edu/energy/solar.htm.