Are Solar Shingles Right for Your Home?
Solar shingles are the one of the newest solar power technologies on the market. In professional solar circles and among solar installers, they are typically called photovoltaic shingles. They are comparable to complete solar power systems in that both convert solar power to electricity that can be used in the home. Further, they can be installed right on the shingles of one’s roof by stapling them directly to the roofing cloth.
The folks at Total Roofing & Reconstruction hypothesize that solar shingles have risen in popularity because they tend to be more “aesthetically pleasing” than solar panels installed on one’s roof. They are a bit more expensive than solar panels, and they do take longer to install. In terms of their aesthetics, solar shingles are typically dark blue/purple and add a sheen to your house tiles.
Reducing the Cost of Solar Shingles
The easiest way to reduce the cost of solar shingles is to install them with your power grid as a backup source of energy. Federal, state, and local incentives also may further reduce the front-end cost of installation. The two primary companies that sell solar shingles at relatively low price points are Dow and CertainTeed, though there are others out there. They each offer installation instructions and different package rates, depending on the square footage of your home.
Dow’s Powerhouse line uses copper indium gallium selenide solar cells, called “thin-film” solar cells. They are grid-tied and generate approximately 12 watts per square foot. CertainTeed offers another grid-tied option called Apollo, which is less bulky and more power-efficient. Other companies that offer excellent pricing for solar power shingles are Sun Energy Engineering and Atlantic Energy Systems.
Popular Types of Solar Shingles
The most common types of solar shingles are thin-film ones, which utilize CIGS technology (a type of copper alloy) that is less expensive than other options, but also a bit less efficient. The more common type of solar shingles are silicon-based, which is the material that most solar panels are made out of. These are the two options most widely available on the market, and both will look equally at home on your roof!
If you are interested in learning more about solar shingles for your home or office, and you want the help of a solar installation professional, simply fill out the form in the sidebar of this site to get all of the information you need to go solar and save money today.
[Photo Via: Brandon Home Designs]