Your Full Guide to Solar Shingles
Solar shingles are a type of solar panel that can be used in lieu of traditional roofing shingles. Solar shingles are also sometimes called photovoltaic (PV) shingles or solar PV shingles. They are a relatively new technology, first introduced commercially in 2005, and they are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional rooftop solar panels.
The professionals at Homefix Custom Remodeling claim that the popularity of PV shingles is increasing for a reason. Let’s have a look at why solar shingles are so special.
What are the pros and cons of solar shingles?
Solar shingles have a number of advantages over traditional solar panels, but they also have some disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of PV shingles.
- Aesthetically pleasing: PV shingles can be less visible than solar panels and can complement the look of your home.
- Protective: They can provide an extra layer of protection for your roof.
- Durable: PV shingles are designed to last for many years with little maintenance required.
- Bigger investment: PV shingles may require you to invest more money into them than traditional roofing shingles.
- Installation: Installation of solar shingles can be more difficult and time-consuming than traditional ones.
- Weight: They can be heavier than traditional shingles, so your roof may need to be reinforced before installation if it cannot support them.
What’s the difference between thin-film and crystalline silicon solar shingles?
If you go with PV shingles, you’ll then need to decide which type is right for you. We’ll take a look at two of the most popular types of solar shingles on the market today: thin-film and crystalline silicon and their pros and cons.
Advantages of Thin-Film Solar Shingles:
- Cheaper: Thin-film solar shingles are less expensive than their crystalline silicone counterparts.
- Lighter: They’re also lighter in weight, making them easier to install.
- More flexible: Thin-film solar shingles are more flexible, so they can be installed on a wider range of roof types.
Disadvantages of Thin-Film Solar Shingles:
- Less efficient: They don’t generate as much electricity per square foot as crystalline shingles, so you’ll need more square footage of them to generate the same amount of electricity.
- Shorter warranties: Thin-film solar shingles also have shorter warranties than crystalline silicon solar shingles, typically around 15 years, compared to 20 or 25 years for crystalline silicon shingles.
Advantages of Crystalline Silicone Solar Shingles:
- Efficiency: Crystalline silicon solar shingles are more efficient than thin-film solar shingles, so you can generate more electricity with less square footage.
- Warranties: They also tend to have longer warranties than thin-film solar shingles.
Disadvantages of Crystalline Silicone Solar Shingles:
- Rigidity: The biggest drawback of crystalline silicon solar friggin singles is their rigidity. They can only be installed on certain types of roofs without fear of cracking or breaking.
- Heavier: They’re also heavier than thin film singles, so installation can be more complex and time-consuming.
- More expensive: Finally, they’re also more expensive than thin film singles
How do solar shingles work?
According to the basics of solar photovoltaic technology, shingles are made up of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. The electricity produced by the shingles can then be used to power your home or business, or it can be fed back into the grid.
They’re connected to each other and to an inverter using wires embedded in the asphalt backing. While PV shingles are a relatively new technology, they’ve already been installed on millions of homes and businesses around the world.
What should I do if I decide to install solar shingles?
If you’re considering installing solar shingles on your roof, the first step is to contact a reputable contractor who specializes in this type of installation. Be sure to get several estimates before choosing a contractor, and make sure that the estimate includes all necessary permits and fees. Once you’ve selected a contractor, they’ll work with you to determine the best location for your solar array and help you with any paperwork that’s required.