Dow Powerhouse Solar System


  The Dow Chemical Company took a different approach to solar panels when they introduced the Powerhouse Solar System. The system uses shingle-sized solar modules called building integrated solar-photovoltaic (BIPV) products. These photovoltaics are copper indium gallium selenide solar cells, or CIGS cells, that can be manufactured to be a thin, flexible membrane. This allows them to be made into the shingle-like product. Although BIPV products had been on the market before Dow's Powerhouse product, Dow worked hard to create a product that could be installed by roofers without a lot of extra training or extra labor-costs, which results in lower overall system costs.


The Michigan-based company's product can be integrated with most residential roof types including composite roofing, cedar shake, concrete, clay tile, and polymer and slate tile. Cost effectiveness of the product is highest when installation is integrated when doing a full re-roof or during new construction.


In 2016, Dow will introduce their Powerhouse 2.0, which has a design that has been refined to allow for even easier installation by roofers and qualified home builders. The new design features highlighted markings noting where nails go through and where to overlap the shingles. The 0.7-inch thick 2.0 features newly designed waterproofing that works with common roofing materials and requires fewer roof penetrations than other panel types. Each shingle is individually replaceable and upgradable. The design also allows for roof repairs without completely removing the entire installation.

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