While it’s easy to love what Solar photovoltaic roofs offer us in terms of clean and natural energy from the sun, it’s also easy to see that most solar panels are just not a very attractive architectural characteristic once those huge panels are mounted on the roof of your architecturally-authentic historic home.

Definitely not the way to keep a historic home looking historic.

There are, however, some options coming along that can help historic home owners go solar and yet keep the design integrity of their homes.  Two large photovoltaic technology providers, Uni-Solar and Dow Solar, have developed roofing shingles with embedded photovoltaic panels that can be nailed into a roof alongside regular asphalt shingles to create a roof that looks much more standard than one with large panel structures on top yet generates power to run the home.

Uni-Solar’s PowerShingle


Dow Solar’s PowerHouse

both offer what’s known as Building-Integrated PhotoVoltaic (BIPV) power to homes.  Granted that the Dow photo may have been poorly chosen since that house uses brown roofing shingles to go with the black PV shingles, but Uni-Solar seemed to have better understood the key benefit of their product…

Check out this installation with the Dow Powerhouse shingles on SmartPlanet.