Should I consider solar shingles/roof tiles?
One of the more recent developments in Solar Power technology is the availability of solar shingle and roof tiles. Their primary attraction is that they have a sleeker, more attractive aesthetic than standard, roof-mounted solar panels. These products replace your existing roof with shingles which have small solar panels integrated into their design.
While they use the same technology as solar panels, they are less efficient, partly because they can’t cool as easily as panels with traditional racking. Unless you’re building a new home, you’ll have the added costs of removing and disposing of the existing roof, adding to the cost for this option.
However, this aesthetic advantage comes with some significant drawbacks. Here are some factors to be considered before choosing solar shingles as an option:
Price – Solar shingles cost significantly more than solar panels. The total cost of a solar shingle installation is typically 15%-25% higher compared to a traditional solar panel system. Add to that the cost of removing and disposing of your existing roof.
Availability – Solar shingles are not yet being produced at a large scale and are only available in limited geographic areas. There are often significant delays in the availability causing homeowners significant delays in installation. Some customers have been on waiting lists for years.
Efficiency – Solar shingles are significantly less efficient than roof-mounted Solar Panels. A typical roof-mounted solar panel can have an efficiency of 22-23 percent, whereas solar shingles typically have efficiencies of 14 to 18 percent.
Adaptability – Solar shingles won’t work on every roof. While standard solar panels can be mounted on just about any existing roof, solar shingles are better suited to new construction or when you need to replace your existing roof for other reasons. Not all existing roofs are adaptable to solar shingle installation—you may have to rebuild your entire roof.
Lifespan – lifespan of solar shingles is shorter compared to other roofing materials like metal, clay, or slate
Maintenance – You can’t reach out to local roofing companies for solar tile roof repairs or maintenance.
Every situation presents unique circumstances which need to be evaluated to arrive at the best option for the home or business owner.
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