New Solar Shingles Pave the Way for Future Solar Growth
Until quite recently, if you wanted to take advantage of the plentiful renewable energy beating down on your rooftop on a daily basis, solar panels were the only way to go.
Photovoltaic panels are still very popular, and for good reason. They’re constantly becoming more efficient and affordable, and today’s solar panels pay for themselves in only a matter of years. They’re now able to take advantage of ambient light, making them a feasible source of electric power in regions not blessed with constant sunlight. Plus, they’re much more environmentally friendly than getting your electricity from coal, and they don’t have the catastrophic risk factors associated with nuclear power plants.
Solar Shingles: the Energy Source of the Future?
Now, solar shingles are making waves in the solar industry. They were originally introduced in 2005, but their high cost made it difficult for them to gain much traction in the wider market. They were typically purchased by those who had the desire to go solar, an aversion to the appearance of traditional PV panels, and the budget to afford the extra cost of installing them.
Fast forward to 2014, and advancements in solar shingle technology have made solar roofing more competitive than ever. The overall cost of solar shingles has almost reached parity with that of solar panels, and many consumers find them more attractive.
An Economic Choice
As a result of falling costs and aesthetic appeal, plenty of eco-conscious consumers are now leaning toward solar roofing instead of opting for traditional roof-mounted solar panels.
The allure of solar shingles becomes even more apparent when one considers the fact that instead of being mounted on top of a roof, solar shingles are the roof. For solar enthusiasts who plan on replacing their existing roofing in the not-too-distant future, solar shingles are an easy choice.
Easy Installation of Solar Shingles
The ease of installing the latest solar shingles is also contributing to their current rise in popularity. Traditional solar panels can take up to 30 hours to install, while some types of solar shingles can be installed on an average-sized home in less than 10 hours.
Older solar shingle designs were a bit more complicated to install than newer ones, such as those sole by Dow Solar. They had electrical wires that had to be hidden beneath the shingles. The new version has a connector at each end, and each shingle simply plugs into the next.
I’m Thinking About Solar Shingles, But What About Looks?
As mentioned earlier, appearance has been a driving factor in the adoption of solar shingles. They’re unobtrusive, and leave rooflines looking tidy and uncluttered. They’re dark in color, and while they’re more reflective than regular shingles, their appearance is much closer to traditional roofing than the average solar panel.[Photo Credit: GeoScape]