You are considering installing a solar energy system for your home but you are a little scared about the complexity of solar panel installation or you do not like their aesthetic look on your home roof. Today you have another option, solar roof shingles.
Homeowners are increasingly considering solar alternative to the conventional energy.
There are three factors leading to this change of mentality namely:
1. The desire and need of homeowners to lower their energy bills;
2. The amount of Federal and State tax incentives;
3. The increasingly people concern regarding scarcity of natural resources and the desire to reduce our carbon footprints;
Why Solar Shingles Are the Right Option for Your Roof
Solar shingles unlike solar panels do not stand out but on the contrary, they are an integral unit with the rest of the roof, blending in with the roof structure.
In fact, therein lies their main advantage over solar panels. Solar panels look like pool tables, perched on the roof, while solar shingles perfectly fit in the roof line. On the contrary, they increase the curb appeal of your home blending almost seamlessly together with the conventional roof shingles.
Besides generating energy, solar shingles protect your roof as any traditional shingles. Therefore, installing solar shingles on your roof will not be more expensive than installation of a traditional roof.
One of the leading manufacturers in this domain, the chemical giant “Dow Chemical” produce roof solar shingles that can be nailed to a roof structure as any traditional shingles. Moreover, any roofer can install these solar shingles without any help of an electrician or a trained solar system installer.
These solar shingles manufactured by “Dow Chemical” cost between 30% and 40% less than other solar building products and 10% less than total cost of traditional roofing material plus solar panels.
However, the total cost of a solar shingle roof is cheaper than the cost of a roof with rack-mounted solar panels, because you do not have to purchase the racking equipment and additional solar modules.
What are Solar Shingles?
Solar Roof Shingles are photovoltaic materials or otherwise called “Building Integrated Photovoltaics”, shortly “BIPVs”.
They consist in a combination of solar cells with asphalt roofing, slate, metal or fiber-cement. A semiconductor layer of crystalline silicon captures the sunlight and generates electricity. This semiconductor layer is laminated to the surface of the shingle.
One single solar shingle does not generate too much electricity, not more than between 50 and 200 watts. However, it means something and imagine hundreds of solar shingles connected together. The amount of the produced electricity is quite considerable.
Not to mention that your solar system work together with the conventional system and with the local energy supply grid. In the sunny days you will be able to sell back your unused watts for a credit making your electricity meter to spine backward.
Solar Shingles Installation Tips
The pitch of your roof should be at least 3:12.
How I mentioned above solar shingles are installed as any conventional shingles with only a difference, you should pay attention to the wires.
You need to select a sunny area of your roof.
The ideal roof area is south facing where your solar shingles can receive the maximum amount of sunlight.