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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 7, No. 10, October 31, 2012
ISSN 1932-3018

Solar shingles
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with a new approach to photovoltaic systems for individual dwellings. It describes the use of roof shingles with photovoltaic capabilities. In terms of the Atlas of Technology it is concerned with the Processing of Energy (E).
The growing reliance on renewable sources of energy has emphasized the need for better building components that are compatible with existing structural elements.
There is an increasing emphasis on integrated energy systems to reap the benefits of improved functional performance metrics of individual components. So photo voltaic cells are being developed that:
  • Serve as other building elements as well — such as roof tiles
  • Are integrated into the domestic energy monitoring and management system
  • Invert the DC electrical current to a conventional AC current
  • Produce surplus electricity that can be supplied back into the grid
The shingles are made from copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). They have the dimensions of a conventional shingle, and reportedly operate at efficiencies just above 10 percent. This seems to be in the range of cells made from poly-silicon. However power costs are estimated to be lower. Installation times are shorter than conventional cells - a roofing contractor, instead of a specialist, can install the shingles.
The shingles are esthetically integrated, and designed to operate in a wide range of climatic conditions, including temperature variations and the challenges of wind and hail.

On the NASA nine point scale of technology readiness levels (TRLs), this technology is at level 8.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.