Solar shingles are a different option from solar panels that use the sun’s energy to produce electricity for your home while saving on energy bills. They are the same size and shape as typical asphalt shingles used for roofing and can produce between 13 and 63 watts of energy per shingle depending on the project. There are many differences between solar shingles and solar panels, so we thought we'd outline some of the pros and cons below.
If you are replacing your roof, shingles are faster, easier and more cost effective to install. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to replace your entire roof because the solar shingles are simply integrated into conventional asphalt roof shingles. The design of solar shingles means that they are lightweight and have the same durability and flexibility as regular shingles while protecting your roof. In comparison, solar panels need to be installed or mounted on top of the roof shingles. This process is longer and more technical as a protective shingle layer needs to be installed before installing the panels. By doubling as energy producers and roofing shingles, solar shingles have the potential to produce 10% to 15% cost-effectiveness per watt of solar energy.
Solar shingles are also more aesthetically pleasing since they are thin, lie flat on the roof and are designed to look like ordinary asphalt shingles. If you decide to move, solar shingles can be removed and taken with you to be installed at your new home. They also generate more power due to efficiency factors such as ventilation-induced cooling and closer cell spacing. Finally, they are compatible with a wider range of batteries, inverters, and hardware. Overall solar shingles are energy efficient, eco-friendly, have an average of 71.6% return on investment and last between 30 and 40 years.
The conversion efficiency of solar shingles is slightly lower at 19.9% than solar panels at 20.3% due to many factors. The angle of the roof affects the effectiveness of roof shingles because they lay flat. The angle of the roof may not be the best for catching the sun at the right angle to gain the most efficient use. The flat positioning also means that the shingles are flush with the roof planes so they do not receive the same airflow or ventilation as normal modules. Because the glass surface of shingles has limited insulation properties, there is less energy efficiency but higher power generation. Solar panels also have a longer life span of 40 to 50 years, most often with a 25-year warranty.
Late last year, Tesla’s solar roof tiles were made available to preorder for the UK. There are four tile designs to choose from including Textured, Smooth, Tuscan and Slate. These tiles can replace all the tiles of a roof to act as one solar energy generator. Because they are made with tempered glass, the solar roof tiles are three times stronger than regular roof tiles. A combination of solar tiles and non-solar tiles are used so that the homeowner can customise the amount of electricity that is produced. Warranties for these tiles in the UK are still unclear, however, so watch this space!
If you are thinking of installing solar shingles or panels in your dream home, Arc Design can help you make the best decision for your project. For more information on how Arc Design Experts can help you make the home of your dreams, visit www.arcdesignservices.net or call 0161 928 4433.