Builders visited the Moscone Center`s north-, south- and, this year, west-wing exhibit halls - all filled with free exhibits. Entire buildings were constructed in the mammoth halls, some on shake tables to demonstrate vibration isolation for earthquake locations (53 second video).

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This year`s PCBC, which took place May 30-June 1, was my fifth time at the show. The most obvious difference was the increased number of vendors of residential roof-integrated photovoltaics (PV) - up from the lone vendor, Atlantis Energy Systems, in 2001, to five vendors this year. Vendors like General Electric, Kyocera, Open Energy, PowerLight and Sharp Solar vied for attention with their unique offerings.

Photo of General Electric Consumer & Industrial Marketing Manager Steve Anderson and GE Solar`s Charles Korman (get the picture?).
Both Kyocera and Sharp boasted modules that can be individually replaced.

Photo of Kyocera`s Dave Metcalf.

Open Energy promoted a rotationally molded plastic structure that holds a glass laminate comprised of high-efficiency SunPower cells; various colors or other manufacturer`s cells are also available. PowerLight touted the fact that its product can be installed with three different roof types, and GE now markets a 66-watt module. Most of these vendors seemed to be concentrating on performance, having solved the aesthetics challenge. (30 second video on Open Energy)

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