What Are Solar Shingles and How Do They Work?

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Solar Shingles Might Be Your Best Option for Going PV

solar shingles

An exciting new technology in the developing solar industry, Solar Shingles provides an enticing alternative to classic Photovoltaic panels. Solar shingles are thinner and more lightweight, blending in with the asphalt shingles already on your roof. For those who want a sleeker look for their home, solar shingles are a great option.

Solar shingles are easy to install, and are as durable as traditional solar systems. And there are few different types of Solar shingles available, as you’ll see in the handy guide below.

Silicon Solar Shingles

Silicon Solar Shingles work the same way as traditional PV panels. The shingles contain cells of Silicon, which is the same semiconductor used in microelectronics. These cells are designed so that sunlight knocks loose the electrons from the Silicon molecules, generating electricity. Integrated with your roof, solar shingles will be difficult to spot from the neighbor’s yard. This makes them more favorable than traditional panels when it comes to restrictive building codes and town ordinances.

Thin-Film Solar Shingles

This is a brand new development in an already new technology. Thin-film solar shingles are made with layers of solar reactive film and use a CIGS compound mixture instead of Silicon. They are less efficient than the Silicon shingles, but are cheaper to make and cheaper to install. Thin-film Shingles can simply be stapled to your roof’s tar cloth when installed.

Installation of these shingles is estimated at half the time when compared with installing Silicon shingles. Thin-film shingles can even be attached to Spanish tile roofs, which has been a stumbling block for solar installers.

Shingles vs. Panels

There are advantages and disadvantages to both PV panels and PV shingles. Solar shingles are an exciting new technology and can be a very attractive addition to the home. Solar panels, on the other hand, are time-tested hardware, and have been producing green energy for years. When it comes to solar shingles, your roof’s pitch is important.

Shingles cannot be angled or adjusted to absorb daylight all year long. This is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to installing shingles. A south-facing roof with little or no tree obstructions is required to make the shingles productive.

Another consideration is if your roof can handle the shingles at all. All Photovoltaic surfaces heat up, and with Solar shingles, that heat is directly against the roof. Properly insulated roofs are necessary when it comes to solar shingles.

The Cutting Edge of Green Living

If you are an early adopter of cutting-edge technology, then Solar shingles are for you. This adaptive, attractive technology is sure to become more and more common in the years to come. Solar shingles have brought great design to Photovoltaic technology, and more people are considering going green with solar energy than ever. Solar systems are an investment that only grows in value over time, so the sooner you look into sun-powered living, the better.

[Photo Via: 1SunforAll]

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