There are many reasons to want rooftop solar production. It reduces your carbon footprint, gives you an electricity source when the power goes out, and in the long run will save you money. One choice you have to make is whether to install regular solar panels or solar shingles. We all know that PV (photovoltaic) solar panels are a great choice for rooftop solar production, but is the same true for solar shingles?
What Are Solar Shingles?
Solar shingles work similarly to solar panels but with a few key differences. While solar panels are attached on top of your shingles, solar shingles are installed in place of your shingles. They’re roughly the same size as your shingles but weigh quite a bit more. Like regular shingles, they’re installed to overlap each other, but these are designed to not block any solar material. They use similar PV (photovoltaic) technology to shingles but are much thinner and are designed to blend into your roof’s aesthetic. The PV material is usually copper indium gallium selenide but other materials may be used such as monocrystalline silicon, which is what computer chips are made of. Silicon is more expensive than copper but has a higher conversion rate of 15 to 20 percent, as opposed to 10 to 12 percent. One drawback to solar shingles is that they don’t have the airflow that you have under solar panels, which means they may trap too much heat and make your home too warm. This has to be counteracted by running more AC, which reduces efficiency.
Availability and Cost
Since there are many different kinds of shingles, and solar shingles are new technology, it can be hard to find a solar shingle that will work well for your house’s aesthetic, even if you’re building a new home. If you’re replacing a roof on an existing home this is more difficult, and extensive work will be required to make these new solar shingles work perfectly as a replacement for your current roof.
In theory, installing solar shingles could cost less than installing shingles and then solar panels on top of those. You are buying less material, after all. But since there are more manufacturers and suppliers of solar panels than solar shingles, and competition pushes costs down, the relative price is very hard to predict without full details of your project and your preferences.
At InfinityEnergy, we’re proud to have built a team of trained, in-house professionals devoted to bringing affordable and clean energy to the Northeast. We help homeowners save money each month, with the best solar energy system available while making a better tomorrow for us all. And with our advanced in-home monitoring controls, A+ warranty, and exceptional service, our customers know they’re getting the best in the industry. Based in Mahwah, New Jersey we service Northern New Jersey, Hudson Valley, NY and Connecticut. Feel free to get in touch with your questions or contact us for your free quote!