Solar power popularity continues to increase. This has led to a desire for more options when it comes to solar energy. Solar shingles, or tiles, are quickly becoming the most popular option. These are panels designed to look like conventional roofing materials or tiles. The solar industry has a lot to offer homeowners that want to make their home environmentally and budget-friendly. Solar tiles are more durable than panels alone as well as ordinary roof shingles. They are also lighter weight so better for roofing that cannot take too much stress. This makes them a multifunctional roof covering, which is a long-term beneficial investment.
Solar Roof Tiles: The Pros and Cons
What Are Solar Tiles?
Solar tiles consist of thin-film solar cells that are made from copper indium gallium selenide. The tiles are 12×86 inches and weigh approximately 13 pounds per square foot. The cell material is light and flexible and a great semiconductor. Solar tiles are relatively new and very high-tech, so you want a professional to install them. Installation is a labor-intensive job, so you want to make sure it is done properly to protect your investment. Each tile is placed individually while wiring each one inside the building. This is tedious and mistakes can be costly, so you need to hire a professional. You also need permits to own solar-powered equipment, and a professional installer can handle this for you too.
How Much Power Do Solar Tiles Produce?
To get the best energy efficiency with limited spacing, all the features of solar panels needed to be put into the tiles. There were challenges to this, but one solar tile can produce between 50 and 114 Watts. When it comes to getting the most power, homeowners need to pay attention to the roof sides. Solar tile installation is best along the true south. The northern sides of the roof should be covered with matching tiles of regular roofing material.
Solar Tile Maintenance
Solar tikes look just like roofing tiles, so maintenance is simple. You do not need specialized equipment to clean solar tiles. You want to make sure you remove leaves, debris, snow, and ice, but other than that, a regular hose can be used to clean solar tiles. These tiles are lightweight but can withstand large loads and heavy gusts of wind. With regular maintenance and cleaning, solar tiles can last between 25 and 30 years.
Pros of Having Solar Tiles
- Save Money: Just as with solar panels, tiles will reduce your energy bills and save you money. You may even have the opportunity to make money back from the power company, for the excess power your solar tiles send back to the grid.
- Aesthetically Pleasing: Solar tiles look more like regular roofing tiles, so are more aesthetic. The natural look is more appealing especially to prospective homeowners. The way solar tiles blend in with the roof is more natural and popular as a result of their subtlety.
Cons of Having Solar Tiles
- They Are Not Panels: Solar tiles are energy efficient, but they are not as equally efficient as panels. You can tilt panels to get maximum sun exposure through the day, which you cannot do with tiles. You may have to buy more tiles to get the same energy efficiency levels as homes with panels.
- Expensive: in the long run, you will save money, but the initial installation is costly. Installation of solar tiles can cost anywhere between $10K and $20K. Some states offer grants to help with initial installment costs, so it is worth checking into that option to save money.
Solar solutions are one of the best solutions to the energy problems we are currently facing. In many cases, solar panels are not practical, which makes solar tiles a great alternative. Solar tiles will also save money over time because they only need a single installation and very little maintenance. In addition to this, solar pricing continues to decrease as more homeowners grow accustomed to having these systems.
Your roof, with the addition of solar tiles, can keep you cozy and safe, and generate electricity. Manufacturers continue to make solar tiles more affordable and more efficient, so the future is definitely looking brighter for solar-powered homes.