Solar shingles are a substitute for conventional solar panels that look much less noticeable and supply extra curb enchantment. They’re sturdy, weather-resistant and supply the identical energy financial savings as lots of the greatest solar panels, however they’re considerably dearer.
To enable you decide whether or not solar roof shingles are definitely worth the funding, we on the Home Media opinions group have created this information answering key questions and weighing the professionals and cons.
What Are Solar Shingles?
Solar shingles are a reasonably new solar expertise. They perform equally to conventional solar panels however look much less noticeable in your home. Like solar panels, they take up daylight and convert it into usable electrical energy. However, they fall right into a class of solar merchandise referred to as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). These merchandise substitute typical constructing supplies, resembling roofs and skylights, with photovoltaic supplies, permitting you to scale back constructing materials prices whereas producing solar energy.
DOW Chemical Company launched solar shingles to the U.S. market in 2011. However, curiosity in shingles actually took off in 2016, when Tesla bought Solar City and launched the Tesla solar roof. Several solar producers have since expanded their product catalogs to incorporate solar shingles or tiles. Shingles nonetheless aren’t as available as solar panels, however they’ve gained reputation as a viable different.
Solar shingles are designed to resemble customary asphalt shingles. They’re comprised of skinny layers of photovoltaic (PV) sheets that cowl a glass base. Solar shingles can lay on prime of your present roof shingles or substitute them fully. They’re constructed and examined to face up to components resembling rain, hail and wind like common roofs.
Pros and Cons of Solar Shingles
We’ve listed some benefits and drawbacks of solar shingles under.
+ Built for long-term sturdiness and weather-resistance
+ Can substitute conventional roofing supplies
+ More aesthetically pleasing than solar panels
+ Cost-effective choice for full roof substitute
– Low effectivity score and power output
– More costly than solar panels
– Not as broadly accessible as solar panels
Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels
Solar shingles and solar panels each cut back energy prices by producing renewable energy, however they’ve some key variations. Compare the 2 choices within the desk under.
Solar panels are bigger and extra seen on a home’s roof. Their look varies relying on the kind of solar panels put in. Polycrystalline panels are blue, making them very noticeable and doubtlessly clashing along with your home’s aesthetics. Many householders select monocrystalline panels for his or her sleeker black colour. However, any rack-mounted set up remains to be noticeable.
Solar shingles are smaller and extra low-profile. If you go for a solar roof, your whole roof will likely be changed with solar shingles, providing essentially the most inconspicuous set up.
Efficiency and Power Output
Solar shingles and solar panels perform equally, however they’ve completely different effectivity charges and power outputs. High-efficiency monocrystalline (mono) solar panels are essentially the most environment friendly, with charges as excessive as 24%. This means they convert 24% of the daylight they take up. Solar shingles have decrease effectivity charges of 14% to 18%. The extra environment friendly a solar panel is, the less you’ll have to power your home.
Solar panels even have bigger power outputs. They vary as excessive as 400+ watts of electrical energy, whereas solar shingles generate 13 to 70 watts per shingle. It could take as many as 20 to 30 shingles to match the power of 1 solar panel.
Solar panels usually final 25 years or longer with correct maintenance. Solar shingles have a barely shorter life span of round 20 years. This time-frame varies by producer. Homeowners ought to overview the warranties that include their solar shingles. Some producers embody separate protection for power manufacturing and sturdiness. Review your guarantee carefully for full particulars.
Most solar shingles use copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cells. This materials retains the shingles versatile and skinny whereas offering satisfactory energy conversion. Some solar shingles are comprised of monocrystalline silicon cells, the identical composition as high-quality monocrystalline solar panels.
Solar shingles are significantly smaller than customary solar panels. They’re usually about the identical measurement as asphalt shingles, or 12 inches extensive by 86 inches lengthy. Each shingle weighs round 13 kilos per sq. foot. Most roofs can deal with this quantity of weight, eliminating the necessity for extra roof reinforcement. Solar shingles are lower than an inch thick, which helps them preserve a low profile.
How Much Do Solar Shingles Cost?
Solar shingles value greater than typical solar panels because of the quantity wanted for satisfactory power. Based on a number of estimates, solar shingle set up can value $20 to $30 per sq. foot. This totals $40,000 to $60,000 for a 2,000-square-foot roof.
Standard solar panels are extra inexpensive, averaging $15,500 for the standard 5-kilowatt (kW) system in accordance with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The complete value of solar shingles is dependent upon a number of elements, resembling your power wants, roof measurement and chosen installer.
Homeowners ought to benefit from solar tax incentives and rebates to offset prices. The federal solar tax credit score gives a tax discount equal to 30% of your set up prices. This credit score rolls over to the following yr if the taxes you owe are lower than the credit score.
You could qualify for extra state or native incentives in your space. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) for particulars.
How Many Solar Shingles Do I Need?
Solar installers will think about your energy wants and roof measurement when figuring out what number of shingles you want. The common roof wants about 350 solar shingles. The larger your wanted power output, the extra shingles you’ll want. However, you received’t need to cowl your whole roof with shingles. Installation usually takes one week to finish.
A roofer can even assess your roof’s situation. You’ll want to interchange any damaged shingles and restore different harm earlier than the set up. This will cut back the possibility of improper set up or defective panels. If your roof wants numerous work, think about putting in a solar roof. This will prevent cash on roofing supplies.
Solar Shingle and Roof Manufacturers
Several solar producers and corporations supply solar roofing choices. We’ve offered a quick overview of some prime firms under.
CertainTeed Solar Shingles and Tiles
CertainTeed makes solar shingles with monocrystalline solar cells, the identical expertise utilized in mono solar panels. The firm’s Apollo Tile II system integrates with flat concrete tiles and works for brand new or present roofs. The Apollo II system integrates with asphalt roofs.
Luma Solar produces monocrystalline shingles with a Miami-Dade hurricane score of Class 5+, which means they’ll stand up to Category 5 hurricane-force winds. Lumar’s solar shingles may be put in on steel roofs and have upgradable expertise, so householders can maintain their solar expertise up-to-date as their techniques age.
SunTegra Shingles and Tiles
SunTegra presents inexpensive solar shingles and tiles put in immediately over your present roof. Its solar shingles are put in in giant sheets over composite shingles, whereas its tiles are put in individually for a extra blended look. Both solar roofing choices have a glossy, black design and are much less noticeable than conventional rack-mounted solar panels.
Tesla Solar Roof
Though identified for its electrical vehicles, Tesla moved into the solar business in 2016. It presents high-efficiency solar panels in addition to the Tesla Solar Roof, which makes use of a mix of glass and metal to enhance sturdiness. The Tesla Solar Roof replaces your whole roof, making it one of the crucial costly solar roofing choices.
Timberline Solar Roofing by GAF Energy
GAF Energy’s Timberline solar roofs are designed to shed water and stand up to winds as much as 130 mph. The firm takes a unique strategy to set up than rivals: It mimics solar panel set up by rack-mounting shingles to keep away from drilling into your present roof. Its shingles are available in 4 colours to match your home’s exterior.
The Bottom Line: Are Solar Shingles Worth It?
Solar shingles supply an alternate, extra aesthetically pleasing choice than conventional solar panels. They may be built-in along with your present roof or substitute it completely for optimum discretion. However, they’re much less environment friendly and have a decrease power output than typical panels, which means you’ll want extra of them to supply satisfactory energy. They’re supreme for householders all for solar power who want to interchange their present roofs, as putting in a solar roof cuts down on roofing materials prices.
We suggest evaluating quotes from a minimum of three solar installers to make sure you get one of the best deal. Use the software under to start your seek for a supplier in your space.