Solar Shingles Roofing Guide

What are Solar Shingles or Solar Tiles Roofing? How Do they Work? What are 5 Best Solar Shingles Brand? What is Difference Between Solar tiles for Roofing and Solar Panels for Roofing? What is Average Cost of Solar Shingles Technology?

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In this era and time, people are moving more and more toward sustainable energy options. They save the environment and also aren’t heavy on your pockets. Solar panels are one of the most famous solar energy devices and just like them, solar shingles are also becoming famous. People earlier used to use solar panels for roofing their homes but gradually they are moving towards using solar tiles for roofing their homes. Today, you will learn everything about solar tiles for roofing, solar panels as roofs, and solar roof shingles.

Solar Shingles Roofing Guide: What are Solar Shingles or Solar Tiles Roofing?

Basically, solar shingles are solar cells that convert the sun’s radiation into usable electricity. Additionally, they also act as the roof of your home. These roofing cells are commonly shaped into tiles or shingles. They are arranged to provide structural support for the house roof as well as for other types of buildings.

The main idea behind solar tiles roofing is to combine the solar cells with the roof sheathing rather than mounting solar modules on top of the shingles. They work the same as conventional solar panels. Just the construction of solar tiles and solar panels is different.

In both devices, the PV cells absorb the sunlight and produce a flow of free electrons. This generates an electrical current that can power electrical equipment.

What is Structure & Composition of Solar Shingles or Solar Tiles?

The solar cells which form these tiles are manufactured using semiconductor materials like copper-indium-gallium selenide and monocrystalline silicon. These cells are arranged in strips or bands to form the tile or shingle shape. Additionally, these are very thin which allows them to be lightweight and have greater flexibility.

5 Best Solar Shingles Roofing Brands

For use in residential installations, these are some great solar shingles-producing brands.

1. Tesla

Tesla Solar Roof
Photo by Tesla.com

Tesla is the most well-known brand in the technological industry and it also produces solar roof shingles. These are made from quartz which improves their resilience and efficiency. This company manages every step of the process starting from design to installation. If applicable the company can also indulge in the step of current roof removal. The company provides shingles in attractive textures and a 30-year power output warranty. It also provides you with an app to monitor their energy levels.

2. CertainTeed

CertainTeed roof
Photo by CertainTeed

The shingles of the CertainTeed brand are created with the same monocrystalline technology used for solar panels. They provide two design options, one that matches asphalt and another that coordinates with concrete tile roofs.

Also Read: How to Fix Solar Light Sensor 

3. SunTegra

SunTegra solar roof
Photo by SunTegra

SunTegra provides more budget-friendly shingles for roofing. Its shingles have a lightweight and simple configuration which reduces the time it takes to install them. This configuration also helps the shingles integrate well with either concrete or asphalt roofs.

4. Luma

The efficiency of Luma shingles for roofing is 21% which is very high in comparison to other shingles in the market. These shingles can also withstand Category 5 hurricanes. These shingles can also be upgraded.

5. Timberline Solar by GAF

Timberline Solar by GAF provides shingles that make solar simple. They are durable and desired to withstand up to 130 mph. To avoid having shingles drilled into your roof, these are rack-mounted.

Solar Shingles vs Solar Panels

After learning about Solar tiles roofing, let’s learn about the differences between solar panels and solar shingles. Both work in a similar fashion- they absorb sunrays and convert the light energy into electrical or thermal energy. However, these two devices have some considerable differences. Let’s understand solar panels vs shingles through these points-

1. Appearance

The shingles have a sleek aesthetic. They can easily blend into roofing materials such as asphalt or concrete and that is why a lot of people prefer them. On the other hand, solar panels have a bulky appearance. The roofs with solar panels don’t look aesthetically pleasing.

2. Efficiency

Solar panels have higher efficacy in comparison to solar shingles due to several reasons. To achieve the best angle to capture the sun’s rays, solar panels can be adjusted as needed whereas the shingles need to stay in the same place as they were initially installed. To harness more energy you can add more shingles, but that also means more money.

3. Service Life

Both solar roof shingles and solar panels as roof have long life spans. They can work for more than 20 years. However, based on the installation and the manufacturer, the longevity of the solar shingles varies. Their warranties also vary greatly, some warranties last for a couple of decades whereas some can span the lifetime of your home.

4. Installation

The solar roof shingles can take around a week to be installed and that too if your existing roof is in a good shape. If you are redoing or building your roof before adding these shingles, then it can take an even longer time. Solar tile companies like Tesla can take two weeks or even more to install roofing solar tiles. In contrast, you can apply solar panels as a roof in just a day.

5. Durability

Solar roof shingles are more durable than solar panels as roofs. Unlike panels, the roofing solar tiles sit atop the roof and part of the roof. They can withstand fallen debris, harsh weather conditions, etc. These solar roof shingles are also fire-resistant. On the other hand, solar panels for roofing aren’t fire-resistant.

6. Cost

The roofing solar tiles can be pricer than solar panels as a roof. Their price is based on which type of solar tile you choose and how much area you need to cover.

Also Read: How to Use Solar Panel Directly Without Battery?

What is Difference Between Solar Tiles for Roofing and Solar Panels for Roofing?

After learning about solar shingles vs solar panels, let’s see the difference between solar tiles for roofing and solar panels for roofing. Their differences can be understood by the following table:

Solar Tiles for Roofing Solar Panels For Roofing
They are mini solar panels and like normal roof tiles are installed alongside the tiles. They sit over roof slates or tiles.
They are designed to blend with roof aesthetics. They can also be used as a replacement for traditional roof tiles. They are bulky and are not a replacement for roof tiles. The roofs with solar panels don’t look aesthetically pleasing.
They need a specific slope and pitch. They can’t be adjusted or angled like traditional solar panels. They are suitable for any roof angle or pitch.
They are designed in colors. They are available in either black or blue color.
Their replacement is a tough procedure. If damaged, they can be easily replaced.
They have high material and installation costs. They are less expensive.

What are the Pros and Cons of Solar Shingles?

You can understand the pros and cons of solar shingles through this table-

Pros Cons
  1. They are more attractive and sleeker. In particular, they can integrate well with asphalt and concrete roofs.
  2. They are more durable and weather-resistant.
  3. They are easier to maintain in comparison to solar panels.
  4. If you are building a new roof, they can be pretty cost-effective
  1. They are pretty new in the market and thus not every manufacturer offers them.
  2. Not all existing roofs are good for solar roof shingle technology. You might need to rebuild your entire roof to install it.
  3. They are expensive compared to solar panels.
  4. Currently, they have limited style and color options.

What is Average Cost of Solar Shingles Technology?

The amount of amount money you will need to spend for installing solar shingles in your roof depends on a variety of factors like the age and conditions of your roof, your energy usage, the solar shingle manufacturer, and the like. On average, going with shingles can cost you anywhere from around $20,000 to $70,000. However, Tesla’s solar roof is a bit high-end in price.

The price of any solar shingles technology depends on the following factors-

  • Home Location: The Installation cost can vary by state and city.
  • Brand/particular manufacturer of shingle or tile.
  • Energy needs of your home.
  • Roof slope/pitch: Just like any other roof, installation in extreme angling can be risky or difficult and this risk can affect the overall cost of the installation.
  • Roof size: Bigger roofs need more shingles.

Also See: 8 Best Rechargeable Batteries for Solar Lights

How Long Do Solar Shingles Last?

At maximum, energy output, your solar roof shingles can last anywhere between 20-30 years. Even after the 20-year mark, they will continue to produce solar power however they may not do it at the maximum capacity they did before. Like any device, Their efficiency decreases over time. Over time they don’t suddenly stop working but gradually their work becomes not as effective as its initial years.

How Many Solar Shingles Do You Need?

The number of solar-powered shingles you need to install to power your house depends on your energy usage and house. However, even installing a few can help you out. You can integrate these shingles into your existing roofs, it’s not necessary to replace your whole roof. If your roof is in the need of repair anyway then replacing it with solar-powered shingles will not be a bad investment.

Should You Shift to Solar Roofing Shingles?

Yes, you should. These shingles are formed by solar cells that convert the sun’s radiation into usable electricity. They also act as the roof of your home and are commonly shaped into tiles or shingles. Unlike solar panels, these solar devices aren’t bulky. They are aesthetically pleasing, flexible, and lightweight. They also easily blend into roofing materials such as asphalt or concrete. They can last anywhere between 20-30 years. On average, they can cost you around $20,000 to $70,000. All in all, using solar singles is a great way of making use of your home’s roof and that too without making it look ugly. They are a great alternative to solar panels.

Recommended: Top 30+ Renewable Energy Companies in India

Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet's long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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