Home News RGS Energy Revives Dow’s Solar Roof, Claiming Better Efficiency and Lower Costs

RGS Energy Revives Dow’s Solar Roof, Claiming Better Efficiency and Lower Costs

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Image Credit: RGS Energy

A new seller says it has fixed key problems that plagued the infamously hard solar roof enterprise.

RGS Energy, an old-school stand and panel firm that set up its original rooftop solar panels at 1978, entered the solar roof market from licensing the Powerhouse new from Dow Chemical, which ceased manufacturing at 2016.

After the third-generation version received UL certification in November, RGS logged its initial order December 26 and started installing from the first week of January. 

The solar business has long toiled at turning photovoltaic materials into roofing tiles, which offer a cleaner appearance by removing the clutter of panels and racks. However, solar roof tiles typically deliver higher prices and lower efficacy than traditional solar panels, so an inauspicious mix from the competitive world of rooftop solarpanel.

As such, despite the excitement round Tesla's much-lauded however seldom-seen roof tiles, the category known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) historically has produced more failures than flames.

“You've never seen any BIPV vendor succeed in the United States,” explained Ben Gallagher, that tracks solar technologies at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The example was Dow, which installed roughly 1,000 Powerhouse roofs.

The brand new Powerhouse (not to be confused with the similarly named Oakland cleantech hub and venture fund) will prevent that fate with greater efficiency, lower prices and a brand new business model, stated Kimberly Farnham, vice president for business development at RGS Energy.

A whole new mobile

Dow's exit from solar roofs marked a blow to the segment: If among the biggest materials companies in America couldn't make it work, that can?

There are A couple of things different this time around.

To begin with, RGS is a solar firm, unlike Dow, which provides a vast selection of merchandise. Focus could help.

More to the point, RGS continued job Dow had started to improve the panels ' performance.

“With Powerhouse 3.0, we’ve been able to increase the power and efficiency and lower the cost,” Farnham said.

Powerhouse 2.0 used copper-indium-gallium-selenide solar panels (Dow obtained thin-film solar startup NuvoSun at 2013) that delivered 40 watts per shingle at 10.6 percent efficacy — well below the efficacy of a normal crystalline silicon solar panel.

For version 3.0, RGS switched from CIGS into half-cut mono-PERC silicon cells, Farnham said. That upped the ability to 55 watts at 15.6% efficacy. 

Solar panels still perform better at converting sunlight to electricity, however, RGS' updates deliver significant progress relative to the former tile layout.

A whole new sell

Solar roofs defy apples-to-apples contrasts with solar panels since they have roofing. That's an impediment to your own enterprise enterprise and an advantage.

When installed on a home or through a re-roofing, the solar roofing costs significantly less than it will to build a traditional roof and place solar panels RGS explained.

As a consumer ' s interest in power doesn’t always coincide with the demand for a new roof, the obstacle is getting the timing right. Solar roof economics aren't as competitive if the consumer begins with a roof and has to fix it.

RGS' sales strategy is for what the organization chose to not do itself well known. It designs and assembles the tiles from the U.S., but resources the solar components from manufacturers.

RGS' wallpaper is in design and installation, not roofing. Rather than dip head-first to the roofing business, as Tesla chosen to do, RGS is hitting out to roof and homebuilding networks. The business has certified more than 125″Powerhouse Professional” installer partners covering 37 countries; they get free installation training and support for both sales and marketing.

The selective specialization has allowed RGS to move from receiving an arrangement to installing a method.

The weeklong shipping period contrasts with the aid of ancient Tesla solar roof clients, like one GTM interviewed who waited 10 weeks from order to installation (That customer reported satisfaction with her system, which cost approximately $55,000 to get a 9.9-kilowatt range, after federal incentives).

“There’s room in this space to have a high-end luxury product like Tesla, and there’s room to have a more affordable product like Powerhouse,” Farnham said.  “A couple of differences between us and Tesla: We believe we will be at least half the price, and we’re manufacturing today.”

Other competitions include GAF, a top roofing manufacturer who launched the DecoTech solar roof line at 2017. GAF chosen favor of panels against solar tiles.

Shingles that are powerhouse don't replace the roof, which saves money but contributes to visuals compared to a roof replacement. (Image credit: RGS Energy)

Challenges remain

A more efficient solar roof faces difficulties versus panels.

RGS has chosen to buy a manufacturer to its components out of a contract producer, since it isn ' t itself. It bakes greater, although that ' s sensible than attempting to construct a brand new cell factory itself. Additionally, it must pay Dow to your permit to use the technology.

A habit solar tile manufacturing is going to have another cost disadvantage compared to panels, which benefit from years and enormous scale of enhancements.

Solar roofs benefit. The issue with RGS and GAF shingles is they only replace some traditional roof tiles, dependent on where the solar generation spots are. That produces a hybrid vehicle rooftop appearance, including Tesla, which replaces the whole roof (hence raising costs).

Economies to get a brand new roof paired together with tiles’ arithmetic makes sense, even in concept. RGS' job today is to establish it at the field. That's a tall arrangement, based on the foundation of the current market, but at least the field isn't.

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