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Solar energy roof shingles by Team Selficiency

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Erik Duhaime

May 7, 2013


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Hi Elizabeth, Love the idea! Now, if only we could find you someone with more engineering or manufacturing expertise to help contribute to your idea here... Here is a Scientific American article suggests that they exist and have come down in price, but I still haven't seen them anywhere actually in use so there is clearly some potential.

James Greyson

May 8, 2013


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Rene Sugar ( ) kindly suggests they're made by Dow, Currently available in 13 US states.

Elizabeth Hamblin

May 8, 2013


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I guess I didn't make my real thought clear. I know that solar shingles exist, but as they are available now, people like my husband — a master carpenter with years of experience putting on roofs — would not use them. COULD not use them without training from the manufacturer, actually, but even if that weren't an issue, you still have to place the existing technology atop a bed of either asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, or a metal roof (all of which have technical issues). What I'd like to see is development of a product that REPLACES asphalt shingles, which is currently the most widely used roof material. And for that to happen, there need to be some engineering changes, but also (as your comments have made clear) some business incentives to promote this product as an alternate to both the existing solar shingle (with its limited availability/utility) AND the asphalt shingles currently offered as the main method for roofing. In essence, my point is that this product needs to be made in such a way that it isn't ON the roof, but it IS the roof — and also, that they need to be manufactured such that anyone who knows how to put asphalt shingles on, can put these shingles on. You'd still need an electrician to hook them into the grid, of course. Thus, I've edited my proposal. Thanks for your input!

James Greyson

May 9, 2013


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This probably needs checking with Dow but their pamphlet ( ) suggests on page 2 that their shingles can replace asphalt shingles and can just be nailed on without needing to wire up each one. I may be wrong about this so apologies for sounding like a salesman!

2013buildingefficiencyjudges 2013buildingefficiencyjudges

Jul 9, 2013


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Dear team selficiency, Thank you for your submission. We like your idea for increasing the use of solar shingles, but we have not selected your proposal as a finalist because the specific actions and costs of the proposal were not fully developed. However, we think this is an idea worth pursuing, and we hope that you will consider further developing it for a future CoLab contest.

Mary Marin

Jan 18, 2017


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Well, if you want to find donors to support your idea, here is where you can apply for a long run grant I strongly believe that your idea is worth to see the world! *Fighting!*