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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to generate some 'serious' electricity from the sun at our house. Partly to save on utilities and partly to have a daytime power backup during our occasional power grid failures. We were without power for five days recently.

The asphalt shingles on our 2,000 square foot brick rancher need to be replaced soon. We have a good bit of south facing roof.

I've seen some articles and ads for roof mounted photovoltaic systems.

Are there any solar shingles/systems that I should consider?

Would a good roofing company know how to install these?

Are they likely to last 25 years, trouble-free, like the asphalt shingles will?
 

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I have been looking at solor for the house recently, to include solar shingles. Dow has them coming - http://www.dowsolar.com/ - later this year they say. Googling solar shingle will find more info. This and similar are the coming thing methinks - maybe a bit early yet.
 

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iam not one to tell someone how to spend thier money , but i have been in the home improvement retail for over 15 yrs and i have never heard of these and i would be very leary about them , why not get a generator , they make them so get wired right in to your house it would be alot cheaper , or just maybe iam just old fashion and iam unsure about new things
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
iam not one to tell someone how to spend thier money , but i have been in the home improvement retail for over 15 yrs and i have never heard of these and i would be very leary about them , why not get a generator , they make them so get wired right in to your house it would be alot cheaper , or just maybe iam just old fashion and iam unsure about new things
Good thoughts.

We can get by for a few hours without power of any kind. And that is the most common outage we get here.

We thought about getting a generator during those five long days without power. But power was out everywhere in our county, so gas stations couldn't pump gas. And I don't like the idea of storing a lot of gasoline on the premises - just in case we need it someday.

For us, the power outage part is minor. The energy/money saving part is our main interest.

Solar shingles are certainly new. So new that it seems you can't even buy them yet. I will only put money into them if I'm convinced that they make sense in every way.

If solar shingles do make sense, the only shot I will have at them is when I get the roofers out.

Since my existing shingles are close to the end of their lives, I will have to do something fairly soon. Ideally, this year.
 

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Regarding the generator, you could look into a natural gas powered one. They are wired right to your main panel and would power the entire house when the main power goes out. That solves the issue of only powering certain appliances and dealing with fumes/gasoline, etc.

As for solar shingles, I'd be leary of anything brand new on the market. Sounds more like a gimmick to me.
 

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I've installed some solar shingles on a house in Chicago from Open Energy. These are not brand new on the market items but are basically mini solar panels. This was in 2007 we installed the solar shingles. The manner in which they are installed still requires a water proof underlayment, the solar shingles are not for water protection. Then the way the shingles get installed with overlap you get a great ammount of energy generated per sq ft, more so than with regular solar panels because of so much wasted space.

It's goign to be expensive, very expensive upfront, but there are tax credits that will help, plus you can sell back to the grid to offset your night time use. My customer says in the spring and fall it's not uncommon for them to get credits instead of bills from the electric company.
 
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