Orlando, Fla. — Roofing contractors have started installing the world's first nailable solar shingles, which are being produced in San Jose, Calif., by GAF Energy with plastics that promise a pleasing aesthetic and strong performance.
The sister company of GAF — North America's largest roofing manufacturer — developed a sleek product called Timberline Solar that integrates photovoltaic technology into traditional roofing processes and materials.
Roofers in California, Colorado and the mid-Atlantic states are climbing on board early to offer the so-called energy shingles, which won top awards at CES 2022 in Las Vegas in January and the International Builders' Show in Orlando in February.
Could GAF Energy's shingles be a U.S.-made game-changer that puts solar energy in reach of more homeowners? The industry is watching.
Timberline Solar shingles are less than a quarter-inch thick with a strong, durable PV panel surface and a flexible thermoplastic olefin (TPO) backing that can withstand the weight of work crews, the force of 130-mile winds and the impact of hail and power a house.
"Timberline Solar performs just like a regular GAF roof as far as protection from the elements. The materials selected ensure we can guarantee a 25-year warranty on the product like we do any asphalt shingle that we make," Keally DeWitt, vice president of marketing and public policy at GAF Energy, said at IBS.
DeWitt said she could not offer any details about the proprietary polymer or manufacturing process developed for the energy shingles.
Timberline Solar won a Best of IBS award for the most innovative construction tool following its CES Best of Innovation in the Smart Cities category at the electronics show.
Contractors and homebuilders like the energy shingles because roofing and solar needs can be met in the same installation that is covered by the same warranty, which they equate to better protection physically and financially.