Solar energy systems are taking the world by storm, and it is clear why. Solar power is a renewable energy source that is both clean and cost effective. And now, in addition to solar panels that you can add on to your roof, there is a new way to generate solar energy for your home: solar roof tiles. Tesla has created solar roof shingles that are installed on the roof, just as regular shingles would be, as a replacement for big solar panels that are installed over regular shingles. With these two options of shingles and panels available, you might be asking yourself which option is best for your home or business.
Solar Roof Tiles/Shingles
Surprisingly, solar roof tiles have been around since 2005, but they have only recently become popular. They have been growing in popularity because these small solar panels that are designed to look like roof shingles are aesthetically pleasing. They look great, but, just like large solar panels, they are photovoltaic sheets that convert the sun’s energy into renewable energy for homes and businesses. Each single can produce between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand. They protect your roof and provide the same durability and flexibility as regular shingles, and, just as with larger solar panels, you can expect to save anywhere from 40-70% on electricity costs.
Solar Panels Vs Solar Roof Tiles
Both solar panels and solar shingles will increase your property value. Solar roof tiles and solar panels both perform the same function; however, there are some variables to consider when choosing between the two:
Solar shingles can be less energy efficient than regular solar panels. In order for the tiles to be more efficient, you would need to have a particular roof slope with high sun exposure. Solar panels are hands-down the more efficient of the two, having an efficiency rating of about 22% as opposed to 18-20% for tiles.
Solar panels can be installed on almost any roof and do not need to cover the entire roof to be effective. Solar roof tiles, however, are part of the roofing material, so you will need to cover your entire roof with them. If you want to install solar roof tiles, it is best to do so when you’re planning to replace your house’s roof, because the old shingles will need to be removed entirely. Replacing your current roof with solar tiles will take a lot longer than installing solar panels, because panels can be placed on top of your current roof shingles. In addition, solar panels allow for more flexibility during installation, and for maximum efficiency because they can be tilted depending on the position of the sun.
Because of the need to cover your entire roof with them, the average cost of installation for solar roof tiles is anywhere between $45,000 and $75,000, depending on the slope and size of your roof. Solar panels, on the other hand, typically cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 to install, and depending on your roof, you might not need as many panels. Both qualify for the U.S. federal government tax credit!
Solar panels usually come with a 20 to 25 year warranty, and even after their warranty expires, they will still typically provide 80% of rated power. Solar roof tiles are relatively new, but companies like Tesla promise an “infinite tile warranty,” meaning that they expect the tiles to last for at least 30 years. However, after 20-30 years, they may not produce as much energy as they did when they were new.
Maintenance for both solar roof tiles and solar panels is relatively simple. They can be cleaned with water and soap. However, when it comes to any repairs that needs to be done, panels can be replaced far more easily than can roof tiles. For a damaged solar panel, a technician can simply remove the faulty panel and install a new one. But for solar shingles, the repair process is more complicated because a technician will have to remove the tiles all around the faulty one to get to it and replace it.
Both solar panels and solar roof tiles are effective solar energy systems that will reduce your energy costs. When choosing between the two, it can come down to your roof design, budget, and aesthetic preference. Solar roof tiles are the pricier option, so if you are looking for a more affordable system, solar panels are your best choice. Solar panels are also easier to install and can offer more efficiency.
The best way to compare all of your options is by working with a licensed agent. Go Solar Energy can get multiple quotes from the top-rated solar energy companies in the country, and compare the quotes side by side. We will go over all of the pros and cons of each and help you determine which option is best for you, as well as which one will save you the most money. If you are interested in getting free quotes and guidance, simply enter your zip code in the bar on our home page. If you would like to speak with one of our agents in your area, call 888-290-3112.