Solar Shingles — Roof that provides shelter and Power

Solar Shingles - Roof that provides shelter and Power

Solar Shingles

Solar roof shingles or Solar shingles are next generation technology used for capturing solar energy and converting them to electricity and heat.

Loosely called solar panel shingles, solar roof shingles are successors to Solar Panels as solar energy collectors.

Solar roof shingles resemble like regular shingles does 2 things for the home:

1. Cover the home like the regular shingles do.

2. Collect solar energy and initiate the conversion of this energy to heat and electricity.

Solar roof shingles are a good fit to those home projects where roof replacement is required or where new homes are being constructed.

The beauty of this is that one need not have to replace the whole roof with solar roof shingles; they can choose an area on their roofs to have solar shingles and fill up the rest of the roof with regular shingles. The dimensions for the area where solar roof shingles need to be used, depends on the purpose and amount of solar power one is intending to generate and use.

Having Solar roof shingles either partially or fully increases the resale and utility value of the home. A good selling point if one wants to count on.

A new emerging standards in constructions industry is to use photovoltaic materials in constructions. This concept of using solar energy materials during constructions of homes and buildings is called as Building Integrated Solar Photovoltaics ( BIPV)

Some intriguing facts from around the world about BIPV based buildings are as follows:

1. The CIS tower in Manchaster, England built in 1962 under went parts of reconstruction to get a new dress in the form of solar panels. – The largest solar project for the British. These panels are expected to generate more than 150,000 KWH per year, powering up about 100 homes.

2. The city that never sleeps – New York has a pride to itself in having one of its sky scrapper at 4 Time Square built using BIPV technology built in to the building structure.

In the recent past the construction industry is promoting solar roof shingles as a very attractive option for new homes.

Solar roof shingles are very durable to be used in place of regular shingles. Due to their nature of absorbing good amount of sun’s light, typically it may require to have under deck made up of plywood and ventilation. The shingles are connected together and wired to the inverter. There is heat activated Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) which keeps the shingles together glued-in.

Solar roof shingles average life span is about 20 to 25 years and here are good extended warranties provided by the installing vendors for these shingles.

Solar roof shingles are little pricey and factors about 50 to 75% of Solar Cost. but the return on investment over period of time out weighs the initial price.

One should do market research on their needs and ask the right questions before investing in Solar roof Shingles, below are some common areas one needs to gain knowledge to make the right decision:

1. When do you plan to either upgrade your current conventional roof or buy a new home.

2. Find out how much Sun your house gets every year in all the 4 seasons. There are free online calculators available to identify and measure the Photon energy for a given area.

3. The direction the roof faces. Southward facing roof are best. Make sure tree shades and buildings don’t overcast shadows on your roof.

4. Identify your electricity expenses over a period of time (usually measure your past 2 years of electricity bill) and also estimate the cost based on your growing needs for the next 2 years on the electricity bill. Use this as an estimate to find out the break even in investing on solar roof shingles.

5. Identify the rebates and incentives offered by local state and Vendor Company.

Solar Roof Shingles like other solar collectors can work in 2 modes:

1. On-grid mode

2. Off-grid mode

On-Grid Mode:

In on-grid mode the whole setup is connected with the main power supplier company. This way a shortage of power can be compensated by the electrical company. When produced excess solar power the excess power can be transmitted ( Net metering) back to the service provider. When net metering happens the meter actually goes back and resets itself for the power transmitted from the shingles to the power grid.


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