How will Solar Power Shingles compare to the traditional shingles I currently have?
Solar power shingles, which are renewable from the sun’s energy, can save homeowners up to 60% on their monthly energy cost. Not only do these shingles provide energy and electricity to your home, they also are a source of energy for utility’s power grid. Any excess electricity that is produced will feed back into the grid for future use. These shingles can be a great investment, but may not be for everyone. Ok what you really want to know is how do the shingles work and how to they compare with what I currently have? Here’s a couple more you’ll be interested in as well. Will this be the best decision for you? How do I know which company to look at and what cost is reasonable? Let’s tackle some of these questions to help you out when making your decision.
How exactly do solar shingles work? Solar power shingles incorporate PV (photovoltaic) cells whose surface is made of slate, metal, or asphalt. When the sun’s energy meets with the semiconductor in the PV cell, energy is generated. The shingles include a grid wiring, which allows the energy to flow through so it can connect to the electrical system within your home.
Will these shingles look similar to the neighbors’ roofs, or will the solar powered house awkwardly stand out in the neighborhood? Solar power shingles actually have very similar qualities as traditional asphalt shingles, and provide the same protection and durability. They are visually appearing, and will blend in with the rest of your home. Most solar shingles have a deep, dark purplish-blue color to them, but can have brown, terracotta, or slate gray accents. Furthermore, solar shingles are applied the same way as other shingles, directly to the roof with no need for additional materials underneath. Ideally, you will want to place shingles facing the South. If that’s not possible, then have the shingles face East or West.
How will you know if they really are the right option for you? When making your decision on whether to purchase solar shingles, assess whether you have a section of your roof that is in direct sunlight. Smaller homes will generally need a 10x12 area and larger homes will need about 1,000 square feet. Also, you will need to take the cost into consideration, as the initial installation is expensive but the upside is that solar power shingles last about 20-25 years, and will greatly reduce your monthly energy bill.
Once you have made the decision that you will be either replace your current shingles, or blending in solar power shingles with your current roof, you should look at your different options that are out in the marketplace. The current three top leading brands are Uni-Solar, who has been awarded the “Best of What’s New” by Popular Science Grand, Atlantis Energy Systems, popular in Europe, and SunPower, well-known for their SunTiles which blends well with current home designs. The cost of solar power shingles will vary greatly, depending on the amount and product type purchased, and the location of the home. Generally, in order to decrease 60% of your home’s non-renewable energy consumption, the estimated cost of a new roof with solar shingles will be $27,000 (Dow Chemicals cost for their Powerhouse Solar Shingles product).
Whether you are replacing your whole roof, or looking to blend solar power shingles into what you currently have, this is a great option to consider for you to reduce your overall energy costs. Solar shingles are not only visually appealing, but will also provide protection and durability to your home. Begin by getting some cost estimates from Uni-Solar, Atlantis Energy Systems, SunPower, or Dow Chemicals to compare overall prices and to see what is affordable for you. You will not be the one house that awkwardly stands out in the neighborhood, but you will be the one that is saving money through your solar shingles!