Solar Shingles Pros and Cons – A Technology Continuing to Improve
Solar shingles will soon be an excellent solution if you like the idea of powering your home with solar power energy. Solar roof tiles are not quite there yet and not as efficient as solar panels, but within 3 to 5 years experts say they will be on par with the conventional solar panel.
In the past people worried about what neighbors would think about those monstrosities perched on top of a house that looked like a shack built on a roof. You must remember those solar power systems back in the seventies. “Yes”, they where unsightly but even then they provided clean efficient energy for the home. Believe it or not there are still a few of these systems still in operation today proving solar reliability and long life. Fortunately today we no longer have to see those hideous solar shacks sitting on someone’s rooftop. Nowadays there are many solar panels out there on rooftops that you hardly notice, and you’d probably never notice solar shingles unless someone actually pointed them out to you.
Solar panel roof tiles are made with built-in photovoltaic cells, and because of their design blend into most type of roof tiles no matter what roofing material used. Asphalt, slate, metal, and concrete, are the most common type of applications. Solar shingles blend in so well that in a short time they will be the most preferred solar energy option people will choose. Each solar tile has a connector and the tiles are wired together during the installation process. These new solar tiles will be installed during roofing or re-roofing a home. Some of the major companies manufacturing solar shingles are DuPont, Sun Power, General Electric, and Premier Power.
Even though photovoltaic tiles look great incorporated in all roof styles, there will be a few roof purists who may not care for the look of solar roof tiles unless the whole rooftop is completely roofed over with solar shingles. You can clearly tell the difference between the photovoltaic roof tiles and the tiles or shingles that are blended in with them. But they are not elevated above the roof like a regular solar panel, and solar shingles still preserve the appearance of the lines on your roof. If your house has a medium to dark-colored roof, the solar tiles will blend in even more than a white or light colored roof.
Most renewable solar power contractors will not yet recommend solar roof tiles. The solar shingles available on the market today are not quite as efficient as poly-silicon-based solar panels. What it all leads to, is that you’ll need to install solar shingles on a much larger area of roof to get an adequate amount of electricity for your home. Some homes may have limited roof space, so the obvious choice would be to install a higher efficiency solar panel that will generate more energy per square foot. As of today solar shingles don’t really measure up, but the technology is vastly improving.
We still think that solar shingles are a good option, and the shingles efficiency rate continues to get better everyday. After doing tons of research on the matter we’ve come to the conclusion that within the next 5 years, solar tile technology will be as efficient as solar panels, and the costs will be much cheaper than today. Solar installers most likely will be more apt to include solar roof tile options in their free solar home energy evaluation as the technology improves.