Molex Incorporated received a 2014 Chicago Innovation Award for developing the connector system that brings electrical connectivity to the Dow Chemical Company’s POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles. The Molex Interconnect System helped enable Dow to deliver its new solar roofing solution to residential consumers across the country and in Canada.
“We are incredibly honored to receive the Chicago Innovation Award for our collaborative design efforts with Dow Chemical,” said Jeff Gaumer, manager, new product development, Molex. “Our platform of innovation is demonstrated in many ways at Molex, but most importantly through customer success. Our partnership with Dow on the POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles is a prime example of the market changing results customer collaboration can bring.”
Both a roofing solution and a source of clean renewable energy, the POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are designed to be handled and nailed directly into the deck like standard asphalt roof shingles, but with integrated PV cells that transform sunlight into electricity. The Interconnect System from Molex includes three products that link the shingles together and provide the electrical circuitry: headers, that are molded directly into each solar shingle; biscuits, which plug into the headers to connect the shingles across each row and harnesses that link together each row of shingles and connect the entire system to the inverter.
The entire solar roofing system, including the Molex interconnects, adhere to strict requirements established by Dow:
- High Durability: Can withstand the harshest weather conditions including hail, torrential rain, high winds, ice and snow.
- Easy installation: Secures directly to the roof deck, just like traditional shingles, while the “plug-style” Molex biscuits make connecting a snap.
- Superior aesthetics: Blend visually with the rest of the home's roof for a less obtrusive appearance when compared to the frame-mounted solar panels.
“Dow’s concept for the POWERHOUSE shingles was technically challenging. It called for a completely new electrical interconnect system that met very specific design requirements and remained cost-effective,” added Gaumer. “We were able to tap into our deep technical expertise to develop a solution that exceeded Dow’s expectations and we are thrilled to be part of the team that brought this revolutionary product to the market.”
(Photo Credit: Molex/PowerHouse Solar)