This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 27, 2003

Companies Unveil New Building-Integrated Solar Power Products

Two companies in recent weeks have announced new solar power products that will allow solar power to be integrated into buildings. Solar panels are expensive, and one approach to alleviating that expense is to make the panels serve a dual purpose, producing power while acting as a functional part of the building—an approach called building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPV.

United Solar Ovonic LLC—Ovonic Solar, for short—has teamed up with GenFlex Roofing Systems to offer a photovoltaic roofing product for flat or low-slope commercial roofs. The result, according to the two companies, is a durable, weather-resistant roofing material that also generates power. See the Ovonic Solar press release (PDF 108 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Spire Solar Chicago has introduced a translucent solar module that can be used for skylights or awnings. The solar modules, which feature a clear back sheet to allow light to pass through, recently passed environmental and safety testing by Underwriters Laboratory. The modules will be used for awnings in a new condominium project and for cornices in a new commercial building, both located in Chicago. See the Spire Solar Chicago press release.