How does the mixture of beauty and energy generation on your roof sound? Yes, I am talking about solar shingles. Discovering the various ways in which solar can be harnessed is the best thing that has happened to the world at large.
A new spec has been added, and this time it is as wonderful as others. Solar shingles while performing the exact function of conventional roof tiles, comes with an added advantage of energy generation. So what exactly are solar shingles?
WHAT ARE SOLAR SHINGLES
Solar shingles which are also known as photovoltaic shingles is a type of solar panel that performs the task of roof covering and energy generation for households. It could be said to mimic the functions and appearance of conventional roofing materials.
What this means is that, once you have solar shingle installed, it will serve as both your roof and your solar panel for energy generation.
The producers of solar shingles believe that it can last as long as the common solar panel in use. Solar shingle appear in sizes smaller than the normal solar panel.
So this means that the no of solar shingles that you will install in your home depends on the size of your home and the workload involved.
Solar shingles are composed of thin-film solar cells that are made from copper indium gallium selenide. This is a semiconductor known to have one of the highest energy conversion efficiency rates of about 12%.
In terms of availability, solar shingles are only being produced by a few companies now, so they are not yet very rampant, but you can be among the early users.
It will interest you to know that in the US, the total capacity of installed solar power has reached 71.3GW in the third quarter of 2019, and has increased significantly in 2020. This means that with the introduction and awareness of solar shingles, it will increase more.
HOW DOES SOLAR SHINGLES WORK
Solar shingles operate just like the normal solar panels because they are building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) products. Solar shingle make use of silicon semiconductors.
When sunlight strikes the solar shingles, the semiconductor captures the energy. After a while, electrons will loose freely from the semiconductor and travel through a circuit to the area where other electrons are stored.
All these stored electrons will in turn be harvested to produce electricity. For a detailed explanation of how solar panels work, I recommend you read “what is solar panels”.
As the people getting solar shingles installed in their homes are excited about the added beauty, it doesn’t cover the fact that they need to get the maximum satisfaction from using solar shingles. So it will interest you to know that an average roof solar shingle will produce from 50 watts to 150 watts.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE SOLAR SHINGLE
I will recommend that we use solar shingles because of its numerous benefits, some of which includes:
- It is highly convenient and wonderful to use because it can fit perfectly with the existing design of your roof. It is more attractive than most traditional roof coverings.
- Solar shingles will go a long way in saving you a great cost if you are building a new home. This is owing to the fact that you don’t have to spend on the traditional roofing materials.
COULD THERE BE DISADVANTAGES ASSOCIATED WITH SOLAR SHINGLE?
As funny as it may sound, the only fault you may find with solar shingles at the moment is that if you are going for advanced options like Tesla, you may need to put an entirely new roof.
Again most solar installers don’t offer the services yet. This is not really a problem as there are others like me who can install it. But if you are not in Nigeria, I can give you a good recommendation from my international partners depending on your location for fast and quick service delivery.
However, not all types of solar shingles can be installed in the existing roof.
Since the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, there is no doubt that you are already considering getting one installed. So the next thing is to tell you the cost of solar shingles.
COST OF SOLAR SHINGLE AS COMPARED TO SOLAR PANELS
Solar shingle actually cost much when compared to conventional solar panels. It has been noted that solar shingles cost double of what a normal solar panel will cost.
This is because solar panels are very common in the market now. So many companies are producing solar panels, hence there is an increased competition which led to a massive reduction in price.
Solar shingles are still new in the world of solar. The competition is not much and is only a few companies that produce it now, hence the increased cost.
Depending on the slope, pitch, and size of your roof, the average cost for solar shingles installation ranges from $60,000 to $75000. You may have to pay $21to $25 per square, or $2100 to $2500 per square, for a standard roof.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOLAR SHINGLES IN THE MARKET
You are likely to come across different solar shingles products in the market. Some of them include:
• Tesla solar shingle
• Dow solar shingle
• CertainTeed solar shingle
• SunTegra solar shingle
• Luma solar shingle
Owing to the high cost of solar shingles, you should go for the best type when choosing the one to install in your home. That is why I will recommend you use Tesla solar shingles any day, anytime.
DO TESLA SOLAR SHINGLE WORTH IT?
The CEO of Tesla solar company “Elon Musk” says he strongly believes that aside mounting solar on your roof and making it appear like a load, that the beauty and appearance of the roof should be highly considered.
So Tesla’s solar shingles creation could be said to be operating on the principle of the roof first. The plan to make the solar shingles has been ongoing since 2016 and was launched first in 2018.
PROS OF TESLA SOLAR SHINGLE
Tesla solar shingles are quartz-based, unlike other ones that are silica-based. This means that it promises high resilience and efficiency.
Tesla usually handles everything about your installation, from design to installation.
Talk of a company that gives you 30 years warranty, then talk of Tesla. They offer you a long warranty period of 30 years for power output and a lifetime warranty of the roof itself. This gives you the maximum time for payback while generating energy.
Tesla has a unique spot for style. You have the option of choosing textile tiles that will blend in with your building, or futuristic glass tiles that will obviously make it appear stunning.
The most beautiful thing about Tesla is that you can make use of your smartphone will keep track of your battery storage level.
CONS OF TESLA SOLAR SHINGLE
Of course, Tesla solar shingles have few challenges which could be considered insignificant if you want to get the best solar shingle.
Because of the high-quality Tesla presents, it is more costly than other solar shingles in the market.
Other solar shingle may take three days of installation, while Tesla might take up to 2 weeks. Leave it for Tesla to be highly meticulous in their installation, hence the number of weeks taken.
For those using an electric car, if you wish to recharge it with your Tesla solar installation, you will need to get additional power wall batteries.
Tesla solar roof installation might require the complete removal of your existing roof. This will definitely not go down well with people that they roofs are fairly used, as this will be an additional expense.
SOLAR SHINGLE INSTALLATION
With this advanced solar innovation, it’s very much possible to have a good looking rooftop and also generate clean energy as well. Solar shingles combine the benefit of solar-generated electricity with the reliability of traditional roof shingle.
Installation of solar shingle can be very tiring because the size of a solar shingle is the same as that of typical roof shingles. This means that more shingles are needed to complete a job compared to the number of panels required for the same project.
Also, the installation process is a bit different from conventional solar panels because each solar shingle is put in one shingle after another after another and wire each one inside the building. So its a very labor-intensive job for installers, thus a highly certified solar engineer is needed.
OTHER TYPES OF SOLAR SHINGLE
Though tesla solar shingles are the most popular type of shingle, there are other solar shingle that you can install as well. Please pardon me here because I won’t go into details, so just focus on the main points that I will list out. Read on!
DOW SOLAR SHINGLE
In 2016, dow chemical company partnered with an old-school solar installer(RGS Energy)
to market the POWERHOUSE 3.0 after stopping production.
RGS Energy has a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement to install and market the shingles. It said that the price of the system including a full replacement of a shingle roof and the system will be the lowest-cost complete solar and roofing offering available.
Available pricing information from RGS indicates that the solar shingles will cost roughly $3.89 per watt for the average new construction project, including the cost of labor, electrical balance-of-system work (such as the inverter, monitoring, and wiring), and the equipment kit.
This does not include the cost of the roofing installation, which comes
out to roughly another $0.85 per watt of solar shingle installed (for a total of $4.74 per watt of solar).
While tesla solar roof cost about $8.14 per watt, the POWERHOUSE
3.0 also comes with an 11-years warranty and 25-years warranty on the roof. If you are looking for a low budget solar shingles, then this might be a good option for you.
CERTAINTEED SOLAR SHINGLE
This set of solar shingles offers an efficiency of about 15.5% which is of course less compared to standard solar panels with an efficiency of about 17% to 20% on average.
One main advantage of this solar shingle is that it can be integrated into your roof, which means you don’t need to worry about replacing your roof in other to install it.
Speaking of the price, Certainteed has no specific pricing list on their website right now but definitely, it should be within the average cost of standard solar panels.
It’s worth to note that CertainTeed solar shingles come with the following warranty:
- Installation & workmanship: 25 years
- Inverter & other components: 10 years
- Power output: 25 years
- Wind warranty: 10 years
And just so you know, Certainteed solar shingles are available across the states.
SUNTEGRA SOLAR SHINGLE
SunTegra solar shingle is building-integrated photovoltaics” (BIPV) just like other solar shingle, this low-profile, high-performance solar shingle is integrated directly to the roof without the conventional racking system.
The company offers two solar shingle options: the SunTegra Tile system and the SunTegra Shingle system. The Shingle system is designed to integrate with asphalt shingle roofs, while the Tile is designed to suit roofs with concrete tiles.
You can visit their website to learn more about their pricing and other products at sunTegra.com.
LUMA SOLAR SHINGLE
Just like other building-integrated photovoltaics” (BIPV) solar shingles, you might think luma as the best alternative to a to your solar shingle.
On their website home page, they stated clearly and I quote “We developed the first fully-integrated solar rooftop shingle system in North America, perhaps the world. We are the only upgradeable solar shingle system. Luma Solar brings clean energy to customers who want beauty AND enduring quality craftsmanship”.
You can learn more about their products and prices on their website.
GENERAL MAINTENANCE OF SOLAR SHINGLE
It will interest you to know that as long as you took your time to select the best solar shingles and accompanying materials, you won’t have to fear about maintenance. Normal garden cleaning tools is enough to clean your roof.
If you are about building a new house, you should be considering using solar shingles. What is the need of putting a roof and then installing solar panels separately? Of course, that will be too much load, so we should all be switching to solar shingle.
Solar shingles have high resistance against wind and hail, so you are very much secured. Just get a good installer, to do the proper checks, and Mount your solar shingle in the best position where it can trap sunlight, then you are good to go.