Everybody knows that the best place to put solar panels is on the roof. This is because roofs are free from most obstructions in residential areas, like small trees, large shrubs, and small outbuildings. They can also be installed facing the direction with the most solar output. But solar panels are installed above the roof. While many approve of this arrangement, some may have something to say about the effect of solar panels on a house’s aesthetics. This is where solar roofs come in and give homeowners another option for having a solar module system at home.
Solar roofs are basically a roof constructed from special roofing materials with photovoltaic capability. For those who don’t know, photovoltaic cells are the basis for solar energy generation. Solar roofs are made from shingles and tiles with photovoltaic or solar cells embedded at the top surface. This allows the whole roof exposed to the sun to generate electricity, giving more area for energy generation than conventional roof-mounted solar panels.
Solar shingles and solar tiles typically look like the conventional roofing materials they are mimicking except for the fact that these have surfaces necessary for converting sunlight into energy. The surface is typically a shiny black or dark grey like all solar panels.
Many people consider solar shingles to be more aesthetically pleasing than solar tiles. Collectively, they look like a regular black roof with an attractive sheen when struck by sunlight. However, the effective surface of solar tiles is not 100% since installing shingle roofing requires the part of them to overlap with others. The part not covered with solar cells, even if only a small one, can be considered dead weight since it could not generate electricity.
In contrast, solar tiles have every part of their surface exposed to the sun. This helps in weight to energy efficiency since the tiles can be installed next to the others with no overlapping, hence no surface is covered by other tiles. However, there are homeowners who might not like the aesthetic effect of solar tiles, since they make your roof look like a solar panel.
Still, there are places where it is not allowed to install conventional roof-mounted solar panels. It is in these places that a solar roof could be your only available option. Also, solar tiles and solar shingles can’t be installed on a previously constructed roof. It needs a special understructure so that means you can only install a solar roof when you are building a new house or replacing your roof. But with the projected savings on both electricity bills and on construction costs (solar roofs are expected to last up to 40 years, way longer than conventional tiles and shingles), getting a solar roof could be the way of the future.
For the best deals in solar technology, get in touch with the professionals at Soleeva Energy. We are the top solar roof installer in the Bay Area and San Jose, with years of experience in the business. Check us out and schedule the consultation for your new solar roof.