Solar Power Harvest: I prefer use of empty roofs

Speaking generally, I totally support the use of Endless Solar Power.
Why, then, I promote use of empty roof to produce fresh, renewable electricity?
Because, that is so very elegant chance to use the vast surface of millions of roofs for an additional task to produce so needed, additional Eco sustainable power.

Why to waste thousands and thousands of acres of new land to place solar panels there or to build vast solar farms on the new, intact land, if there is an existing surface, which could be used. That surface are roofs of the buildings. Millions and millions of roofs.

Even, if the house is located at the top spot of, for example, St.James Square in London and its selling price is about $300m, it doesn't mean that its roof couldn't do some additional advantage/profit to its owner and to the society as a whole by harvesting renewable solar energy.

I know, that solar panel could look really awful on such an old fashioned palatial/house at St.James Square, but I also know, that it could look very good at a little bit more modern designed 'solar house'.

There is one elegant solution for old fashioned houses on the solar power market, too in the form of solar shingles - solar roof shingles, which are totally incorporated into the roofing structure and they look great, as well.

Photo by mjmonty Thanks!


  1. Very interesting, but how much power can solar shingles produce? Is it enough to power my entire home, all the time? What about the rainy season? What about winter?

    And, how much does a solar shingle system cost?

  2. It is quite hard to write about exact costs, because they are very variable. I posted some links, where you could find some practical examples with prices to get better overview.
    Here is the web site of the company, which is suggested by John Barrie, who is a principal architect with John Barrie Associates Architects in Ann Arbor, MI.
    (his blog http://sustainabledesignupdate.com/?page_id=285)


    You should also read this practical article: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1205726,00.html
    Some basics: http://www.dovetailsolar.com/unisol.htm, http://www.altersystems.com/catalog/unisolar-17-watt-solar-roof-shingle-p-287.html

    As with any other purchase, higher than $1000, I think, you are going to get the best price, if you ask at least 5 different companies for a quote, especially for your particular case and than negotiate the best offer. Keep in mind the age and the size of the company and the length and conditions of the guarantee (you are buying on a long term basis) and you also need to protect yourself, that your roof is going to be in perfect condition after the application, as well.

  3. Considering your first question, I think, that you should read 'Bob's Solar Project' http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bgoodsel/solar/2006_08_01_archive.html
    Navigation on his web site is a bit complicated, but just check up posts by months (left hand side of the screen).
    It is a very thorough practical case of applying solar power.
    Equipment in his post is a bit outdated, today, but that's a good news for you. Prices are lover, efficiency rate of solar cells is higher, guarantees are longer, equipment is more advanced. And don't choose batteries as he did, because you don't want additional care or other nuisance.
    I wrote about batteries here: http://solarshingles.blogspot.com/2008/02/arizona-guys-advice-about-solar-power.html

  4. Here you could get a free quote for your particular case:

  5. The same web site, free quote specifically for solar shingles:


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