Solar roof shingles offer more than a roofing solution for modern buildings. Modern solar shingles harvest free energy from the sun. Photovoltaic ( PV) cells convert energy from sunlight into electricity.
Solar shingle electrical arrays may be designed in several configurations:
- To produce electricity sent directly into the hydro-electric grid system
- For electricity used directly by the home or utility
- For electricity sent to a battery storage system and systematically withdrawn
- A combination of the above
An inverter converts electricity from direct current (D.C.) to alternating current (A.C.) whether used immediately or withdrawn from a battery storage system.
Why Choose Solar Shingles?
Solar shingles or tiles look like ordinary shingles and typically have a dark blue or deep purple-blue colour. Functioning as regular solar panels, solar shingles are similarly manufactured by fusing a layer of amorphous silica onto a substrate which may be rigid or flexible. The efficiency of photovoltaic technology is advancing rapidly.
Contrary to the popular myth that solar cells can not function unless exposed to direct sunlight, photovoltaic cells produce energy from indirect or diffused light, although at a reduced level. A homeowner may benefit substantially from the installation of solar shingles. It is worth observing that a small solar array that produces 20 volts of electricity in sunlight may continue to produce 15 volts or more in diffused or reduced light conditions.
Solar Shingle Durability
Solar shingles will function efficiently for 20 years or longer, depending upon the type chosen and the manufacturer’s specifications.
Solar Shingle Installation
The installation of solar shingles can replace all asphalt shingles on a roof. Solar shingles are typically assembled in strips and applied to the roof as other roofing products using staples, nails or screws, depending upon the manufacturer’s recommendation. An array or group of shingles is then connected together in the desired configuration and necessary wiring from each array is routed through the roof, connected and subsequently wired to the inverter and chosen storage system.
Ideal Applications for Solar Roofing Shingles
Going green with solar shingles can be more than just an excellent environmental choice. Solar shingles are a good option where a PV system is desired and solar panels are not an option because of aesthetic or other considerations. Homes in remote areas, or in locations where access to an electrical grid is impractical because of infrastructure cost can also benefit from solar shingles.
Ratings of Solar Shingles
Solar shingles have up to a Class A fire rating. Specific products vary, depending upon the substrate chosen by the manufacturer.
The resistance of solar shingles to hail and other impact damage depends entirely upon the substrate used and specific design.
Solar shingles can withstand winds to 80MPH or higher depending upon manufacturer, substrate, and design.
Solar shingles are more expensive than asphalt shingles. The additional cost of the installation wiring, special installation and accessories must be considered. Government green program incentives may reduce the cost of installation.
The weight of solar shingle systems varies with the type chosen and manufacturer. Some manufacturers are producing thin film products which are lightweight.
Solar shingles may last as long as 30 years. Verify the manufacturer’s warranty offerings.
Solar shingles have the attractive glossy look of dark blue or purple-blue shingles. Curb appeal is high.
The recycling content of solar shingles is determined by the substrate mounting chosen by the manufacturer.
Want to generate free electricity with your new roof instead of using solar panels? Choose solar shingles instead!