Bob's Links and Rants

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Solar Shingle Project!

My big plan for this year is to install a solar photovoltaic system to provide most or all of the electricity for my house. I've been leaning towards Unisolar's solar shingles, especially since my current roof will be needing replacement soon. I've been wondering if the shingles are a good choice, or if I should go with the somewhat less expensive standard solar panels (like the two small ones I have now). Fortunately, I just discovered (while sitting in my brother's house here in California) that there is an awesome demonstration project using the shingles at Oakland University--which is not in Oakland, California, but in Rochester Hills, Michigan, about 50 miles from Ann Arbor. They've got a web site documenting the project, including a full report, historical kilowatt-hour production, and real-time power production monitoring. Since the latitude and climate are almost identical to mine, I should be able to quite accurately determine how many shingles I'll need for my situation.

I may have to take a trip over there in the next month or so and see if I can get any advice or maybe find a consultant who is actually interested in helping me with my project (I'm 0 for 2 on that so far).