Solar roof tiles resemble standard roof shingles. But instead of asphalt, clay, or slate, they are made of glass with solar cells inside. Solar roofing, like solar panels, tries to use the sun’s energy as it shines on your roof to produce electricity for your home.
Depending on the maker, each shingle usually makes anywhere from 13 to 70 watts of electricity, sometimes even more. Even though there are different kinds of solar roofing, they are all made of small solar panels that look and work like common roofing materials. The key market driver of solar roofing goods is consumer preference for less obvious and more obvious solar panels. Solar roofs may generate power and resemble asphalt shingles or slate tiles. Building-integrated photovoltaics encompasses all varieties of solar roofing (BIPV). Roofing solar shingles are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners looking to reduce their energy costs and environmental impact.
Best Brands of Solar Shingles
The following companies produce solar shingles for use in home installations:
This renowned automotive company also makes solar shingles. Tesla shingles are made of quartz, which increases their durability and effectiveness. In addition to producing the shingles, Tesla also manages the entire procedure, from design to installation, including, if necessary, the removal of the old roof. So, these tiles have nice textures and a guarantee for electricity output for 30 years. With the use of an app, you can quickly check the energy efficiency of these shingles.
Assurance Apollo II
A low-profile roofing system may produce significant solar energy thanks to these solar shingles. There are two types, one that matches concrete roofs and the other that matches asphalt, and their solar shingles may be fitted on either a new or old shingle roof. Additionally, the monocrystalline silicon solar cells are very effective and have a power rating of 70 watts per solar shingle.
SunTegra may be integrated with composition shingles and other low-profile roofing materials and is attached directly to an existing roof. However, this is another choice for anyone looking for a less expensive solar roof. It is easy to set up because it is simple, light, and works well on concrete and asphalt roofs. In addition, their roof-mounted systems have 50% fewer parts than a typical rack-mounted solar system.
The Luma solar shingles stand out from comparable products due to their high efficiency (21%) and robustness. In addition, they are rated to resist Category 5 storms. An excellent advantage to have as technology advances is that they are touted as the only solar shingle that can be updated.
GAF Timberline Solar
The goal of Timberline Solar by GAF is to make solar energy simple. The sturdy solar shingles can resist winds up to 130 mph. Additionally, they are rack-mounted to prevent the need for drilling the tiles into your roof.
Solar Roofing Facing Forward
Forwarding Solar Roofing has developed solar roofing that looks like traditional metal roofing and is offered in a variety of colors. Their multi-layer solution is a reasonable option that looks like regular metal roofing. It is made up of a layer of monocrystalline solar photovoltaic cells, a layer of colored coating, and a layer of glass. With a multi-layer construction method, the wiring and attachment parts are hidden under the metal, giving this solar roof a clean look. A few additional layers, including tough tempered glass, optical chromatic cloaking, silicon solar cells, and galvanized metal panels, are placed on top of a vented racking system.
Solar Panels vs. Solar Shingles
Regular solar panels and solar shingles both harness the sun’s energy to produce electricity or heat. Solar shingles are preferable if you choose between the two for your roof. But there are a few significant differences to keep in mind when figuring out how much solar energy your home needs. Solar shingles have several advantages over bulky solar panels, including being more visually beautiful, cost-effective (if you need to replace your roof anyway, 10% to 15% more cost-effective per watt of solar energy), and movable.
The drawbacks of solar shingles are that they occasionally perform less efficiently than conventional solar panels, you need a specific roof slope with high sunlight exposure, your lifespan is shorter, and many solar installers still need to offer solar shingles because of their relatively newfound popularity. But if you compare the cost of installing solar panels to the energy they produce per watt, solar installation is also a better deal. So here are some additional benefits of solar shingles over solar panels.
Do You Require a Lot of Solar Shingles?
You’ll use a formula using essential variables like your house’s size and everyday energy use to determine how many solar shingles are required to power a home. The number of solar shingles you’ll need will depend heavily on the roof size and how much money you want to save on your power bill because solar shingles may be integrated into an existing roof. The more shingles you have, the more energy you’ll produce.
Copper indium gallium selenide is typically used to make solar shingles, which accounts for their flexibility and thinness. Also, this semiconductor has a high conversion efficiency rate, between 10% and 12% on average. This makes it a suitable material. On the other hand, monocrystalline silicon, also used to make computer chips, is utilized in certain shingles instead. Even though they cost more, they are worth it because they are 15% to 20% more effective.
Many like this style better than bulky black panels attached to the roof because solar shingles blend in with asphalt or concrete roofs. Solar shingles look more stylish than large solar panels, especially since they only need to cover a small part of the roof, like the edge, to work.
Shingles and solar panels both have long lives, usually over 20 years. Solar shingle lifetime, however, varies depending on the installation and the brand. Also, warranties are different, so when you buy solar shingles, pay attention to the different power guarantees. Solar shingle warranties can last for a few decades, depending on how they are made. Still, durability warranties on the shingles can last the house’s life.
For various reasons, solar panels outperform solar shingles in terms of efficiency. Shingles remain in the exact location where they were first installed. Conversely, solar panels can be moved to get the best angle to detect the sun’s rays. You can always add additional shingles to the roof to capture more energy. Still, like any home repair job, more materials cost more money.
If your current roof is in good condition, installing solar shingles might take up to a week. It may take longer if you are building a new roof or remodeling an existing one before installing solar shingles. Installing solar tiles from certain companies, like Tesla, might take two weeks or longer. On the other hand, solar panels may be installed in under a day.
Solar shingles offer one significant benefit over solar panels; they are more robust. Solar roof tiles are built into the roof, as opposed to panels, placed on top of the roof. As a result, they are stronger and can withstand adverse weather and falling objects. Solar shingles also have built-in fire resistance that solar panels do not have. However, there is hardly any possibility of a fire forming with solar panels.
This is a significant factor to consider when installing solar panels since the whole point is saving money on energy costs. Most shingles will provide electricity in the range of 13 to 70 watts. Adding more tiles to a standard residential roof may increase energy production while cutting utility costs by 40% to 70%. However, solar panels and shingles turn the sun’s rays into electricity.
Depending on how much square footage of your house you need to cover and which type you choose, solar shingles might be more expensive. Therefore, before investing in a solar shingle project, it’s critical to understand your budget.
How Long Will Solar Roofing Last?
Solar panels typically last between 20 and 30 years at their highest energy production. But your solar shingles will continue to produce solar electricity after 20 years. Still, they might not do so as efficiently as they once did. Homeowners considering installing solar panels on their roofs to reduce their energy costs may find it helpful to read a guide to solar shingles that lists the top brands available and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of solar shingles versus solar panels.
“Solar shingles protect your home from the weather and other elements, just like ordinary roof shingles do,” In addition to being energy-efficient, these shingles also provide a house a more excellent look than the unwieldy, extensive solar panels that are often used. Solar roof tiles are a component of the roof, making them more robust. As a result, they are stronger and can withstand adverse weather and falling objects even though the terms of each manufacturer’s warranty and service life vary.
Solar roofing materials like solar shingles are portable and straightforward to install. They are made to endure rain, wind, and hail like all other roofing options and should last for at least 25 years. For instance, the Solar Roof from Tesla has the following features. Its warranty is a 25-year tile warranty, a 25-year power warranty, and a 25-year weatherization warranty ASTM D3161 Class F wind classification; Class A is the highest fire classification. At the same time, ANSI FM 4473 Class 3 is the highest hail rating.
What Benefits may a Solar Shingle Provide?
They are anticipated to last a long time. They lower costs, carbon impact, and energy utilization. They look more like conventional roof materials and blend better in your roofing. Compared to solar panels, they are more cost-effective per solar energy watt.
Solar shingles require less upkeep than solar panels. In addition, they have a more appealing, slimmer appearance. They work particularly well with concrete and asphalt roofs. Compared to solar panels, they are simpler to maintain. If you are constructing a new roof, they are affordable.
What Drawbacks are there in Using Solar Shingles?
Because solar shingles are a relatively new technology, they have some issues. Since their supply is more constrained, not all solar manufacturers provide them. In addition, they cost more than traditional roofs. Although companies like Tesla are bringing new possibilities, they need more style and color options.
Since they are part of the roof, they can’t be put at an angle to get the most energy out of it as solar panels can. This makes them unsuitable for a do-it-yourself installation. Additionally, technology is still developing, so this issue could be improved in the near future. Finally, because not all roofs are suitable for solar shingles, you may have to rebuild the roof from scratch if you want to add them.
Conclusion on Solar Shingles
There may be few knowledgeable installers and contractors in your area because solar shingles are a relatively new technology. Additionally, it is still being determined how long they will last and how durable they will be. The forecasts cannot be verified since nobody has been around long enough. Furthermore, it has yet to be discovered how they will affect a property’s market worth (even though eco-friendly features are becoming more popular with home buyers overall). Nevertheless, solar shingles are still an excellent alternative for environmentally aware homeowners who want a new or complete roof replacement.
Now might be a good time to switch to solar power since some countries require solar panels in newly built homes, and the government is offering better tax breaks for people who wish to switch. Solar shingle manufacturers are Tesla, CertainTeed, SunTegra, Luma, and Timberline Solar. Each has benefits and disadvantages, according to GAF. SunTegra is a cheap option that takes less time to install because it is easy to put together and not too heavy.
In contrast, Tesla, for example, makes its shingles using quartz for increased longevity. Luma also stands out for having extraordinarily high efficiency. Solar shingles should be added to the roof if it needs to be rebuilt because they are the best roofing option currently available for your house.