Solar Roof Shingles & Tiles
The solar power industry is one of the fastest growing sectors on the planet. In 2014, it added a whopping 6.2 gigawatts of power to the U.S. grid, and in 2015, it looks like it will beat that figure too. Thanks to a surge of interest in solar power, a plethora of new innovations are being brought to the table, so much so that it can be hard to keep up. Solar shingles are one of those advances.
These solar roof tiles are designed to look like a regular shingles, and they are just as durable. They can withstand rain, hail and high-speed winds. However, unlike regular shingles, which just sit on your roof, solar roof shingles convert light from the sun into electricity, which you can use.
The advantages are clear. Solar roof tiles are more modular than solar panels. If you do not have a lot of space, or if your roof is asymmetrically designed, regular solar panels might not be a good fit for your property. But thanks to their slim profile, solar panel shingles can be installed such that they blend in naturally with your roof's form without sticking out.
There are essentially two types of solar panel shingles available:
Crystalline silicon based solar shingles: These use the same material as a typical solar panel. The efficiency of crystalline silicon (c-Si) has come a long way from what it was a few years ago. Today, solar roof tiles and panels made using c-Si offer a sunlight to electricity conversion rate of 15% to 20%.
CIGS based solar shingles: CIGS or Copper Indium Galium Diselenide based solar roof shingles are the latest product of solar technology. These shingles are thinner and lighter than those made using traditional crystaline silicon, which is why they are also called thin film solar roof shingles. Being very flexible, CIGS based solar roof tiles can also be installed onto a variety of different bases. CIGS adoption was hindered by poor power conversion efficiency, which stood at around 10%. However in 2008, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory1 shattered all records by demonstrating CIGS solar cells with efficiencies touching 19.9%, putting them on par with c-Si based solar products.
Ninety-five percent of America's roofs are covered with asphalt based shingles, a petroleum product that doesn't last long and is hard to dispose. In fact, asphalt shingles are sometimes jokingly called a "disposable roofing system that is hard to dispose of."
Solar shingles are the ideal replacement for an obsolete roofing solution. Not only do you get an extremely durable shingle that can take punishment far longer (30 years approximately), but you can also turn your roof into a power station, all while maintaining its aesthetic appeal.
Of course asphalt shingles don't cost nearly as much as solar roof tiles do, and price is a factor. However, thanks to innovative financing models, you can get a complete solar shingle based power system for zero down.
Interested in finding out more on how you can save by going solar? Start by getting a free solar quote from us. Verengo® Solar has helped thousands of home owners get a solar power system built specifically to their needs, and we will be glad to help you get one too.
- Get an Energy Audit for Your Home
- Save Energy in the Bathroom
- How to Lower Your Electric Bill
- How Solar Power Works
- How Solar Energy Adds Value to Your Home
1National Renewable Energy Lab: CIGS Absorbers, http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy08osti/42539.pdf
What Can You Save With Solar?
With no end in sight for soaring electricity rates, your switch to solar will secure affordable power for your home & family for years to come.