Electrify Your Home With Solar Shingles

Efforts into finding new ways to tap solar energy have led to the development of solar shingles which are capable of producing energy required by a home. From the name itself, it becomes apparent that solar shingles are specially designed solar panels which look and function like ordinary asphalt shingles.

Electricity produced by solar shingles is green energy that doesn’t pollute the environment in any way. If everybody swaps conventional electricity with solar energy, our earth would be a much cleaner and safer place to live. Since solar energy is a renewable source of energy, given freely by the sun, you can use it as much as you want.

In the long run, installing solar shingles will save you money too. Solar shingles serve two purposes; they serve as roofing material for your home and at the same time, produce electricity for your home needs. Since they look exactly like asphalt shingles, the beauty of your roof is not affected in any way. If you can cover a large area of your roof with solar shingles, you will be able to produce more energy than your home needs.

The excess energy can be sold to the power grid at a price and that ensures a steady monthly income for you. The only negative aspect of solar shingles is their price. Installing solar shingles will be costlier than installing solar panels. But if you add up the cost of installing solar panels and buying asphalt shingles, you will find that installing solar shingles won’t make that much difference.

Solar shingles are relatively new to the energy market. The size of solar shingles and the way the roof is made are same as that of ordinary shingles. Electricity produced by solar shingles will be more or less depending upon the number of PV shingles used on the roof. Since the solar shingles are relatively costlier, people prefer to cover only a portion of their roofs with solar shingles.

The electricity produced by Photovoltaic shingles, which are inter connected, reaches an inverter which changes it into AC. Alternatively, you can store the electricity in batteries so that you will have power even when there is no sunshine. People who don’t store the power in batteries sell the excess power to the power corporation.

Roughly, it will cost around $30,000 to cover the entire area of roof of an average house. This is definitely beyond the reach of many homeowners but when you take the benefits of installing solar shingles into consideration, you will realize that it is worth spending that amount. It is a onetime spending and after the initial cost, there is practically no more expenditure. Your monthly revenue from the power company over a number of years will set off your initial cost.

Installing Photovoltaic shingles is quite different from layering ordinary asphalt shingles. Never try to do it yourself or employ somebody who is not trained in installing solar shingles. The dealer from whom you buy the shingles will be able to provide you assistance in finding qualified personnel to install solar shingles on your roof.

Two of the leading manufacturers of solar shingles are Atlantic Energy Systems and United Solar-Ovonic. The shingles produced by them differ in their power production capacity. The good news for the homeowners is that the state governments are offering incentives and tax exemptions to those who change over to solar energy from conventional energy.

Should You Install Solar Shingles On Your Roof?

Solar energy is among the best alternatives to replace conventional power generated by power plants employing fossil-fuel. This is because solar power is a renewable form of energy, does not cause pollution by emitting dangerous greenhouse gases that are considered responsible for global warming and climate change and is also much cheaper than conventional electricity.

Out of several types of equipments available for generation for solar power, solar shingles are gaining in popularity these days compared to solar panels. This is because they can be erected directly on the roof the house. Although many engineers consider solar power technology is still in the developmental stage, solar photovoltaic technology is being adopted by many companies to produce solar power systems on a commercial scale.

The advantages and disadvantages of installing solar shingles are explained in the following paragraphs.

But first, what are solar shingles?

Solar shingles are devices composed of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight falling on them directly into electric power. These shingles look similar to conventional roofing shingles or tiles. The major advantage of solar shingles compared to solar panels is that they not only offer all the advantages of solar panels but also are visually more elegant than solar panels.

The other advantages of solar shingles are that the initial cost of installation of solar shingles are recovered quickly and are also eco-friendly. In addition, solar shingles offer excellent cushion against frequent power outages.

The PV shingles or solar roof panels can be considered either a good investment or a bad one depending upon the angle from which one looks at the issue.

However, it is more appropriate to consider them as a long-term investment. While installation of solar panels on the roof is quite expensive, the savings on energy costs are sufficiently high to recover the initial capital cost quickly and after certain period of time generate good profits. Solar roof panels can contribute considerably to the reduction of electricity bills as long as they are functional.

Home Solar Shingles System

As solar shingles are connected to the electric grid, power generation companies are legally responsible to pay the home owner who has installed shingles in his home for the energy supplied to the grid. While company owned public utilities are legally responsible to permit users to supply energy to the grid for a credit, energy cooperatives in the rural areas are exempt from this rule.

However, it is advisable to discuss with the local electric utility company before installing solar shingles. Another type of arrangement of solar shingles makes use of a huge pack of batteries to store surplus energy during the period when solar power generation far exceeds consumption and the power stored in the battery can be utilized to meet energy requirements of the home when power generation becomes less than the usage.

This type of system may facilitate the home owner to store power during the period when the local utility company is facing a power outage. The quality and the amount of solar power generation depend on the extent of sunshine received in the area in which one lives. In this context, it is educative to understand the success story of solar power generation in Germany, a country not known to receive bright sunshine all through the year.

Although the local energy crisis in California had certain impact, the bright sunshine received by the southern part of the state contributes significantly to the popularity of solar energy in that region. Any solar power system has the disadvantage of the need for extra equipment such as a DC to Ac inverter and very intricate wiring of the house. It is better to avail the services of a good electrician for internal wiring, irrespective of whether it is connected to the grid or makes use of a battery pack.

However, sometimes one may face difficulties uncommon to normal grid-connected homes if something goes wrong with the system. Whatever may be the type of system employed, there are certain dangers connected with the hardware, which is a normal feature with all electrical systems.

Although it is one’s personal choice whether or not to install shingles at his home, several factors such as financial condition, location, own convictions and other factors have significant influence in making the decision. All these factors must be carefully evaluated before arriving at a decision regarding installation of solar shingles at one’s residence.

How Solar Shingles Are Replacing Solar Panels

You may have heard a lot about solar panels and solar energy but you may not have heard about solar shingles yet. Solar panels are now being replaced by solar shingles mainly due to their beautiful appearance and power production capability.

Solar shingles are a blessing for those who want to be self reliant on power and want to contribute his/her share towards keeping the earth pollution free. People all over the world are trying to minimize the production of greenhouse gases because they already know how harmful these gases are for our environment.

Traditionally, power production depended mainly on burning fossil fuels which release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To curb the production of carbon dioxide, it became necessary to search for alternative sources of energy that don’t harm the environment. Solar energy proved to be a viable alternative and to harness the energy from the sun, solar shingles are now used.

If properly tapped, energy from the sun is more than sufficient to meet all our energy needs, both for domestic and business purposes. In appearance, solar shingles and traditional asphalt shingles don’t differ much. But solar shingles are mini solar panels, capable of converting sun’s heat and light into electricity.

The electricity produced by PV shingles is DC which can be converted into AC using a converter. It can then power all the home electrical appliances. Shingles measure thirty centimeters in width and 218 centimeters in length. They are fixed onto the roof in the same way ordinary shingles are fixed.

Up until now, solar panels were widely used to harness solar energy. A roof with PV panels on it presents an ugly look. Because of this reason, many homeowners did not like to have solar panels on their roofs. Researchers, in an effort to attract more people into using solar power, have come up with the novel idea of Photovoltaic shingles which give the roof a clean appearance.

It was in 2005 that the first solar shingles were introduced into the market. The raw material used to manufacture these shingles is polymatrix material. Since the shingles and traditional asphalt shingles look almost the same, they can be used in combination, creating beautiful patterns on the roof. It is a fact that PV shingles are much more expensive than solar panels but people prefer installing solar shingles to Photovoltaic panels just because of the beautiful appearance they give to the roof.

It will be a costly affair for old homeowners to replace old asphalt shingles with new solar shingles. But those who are building new homes can easily install PV shingles in the place of other roofing materials. Production of electricity by solar shingles depends mainly on the amount of sunlight they get.

So it is important to choose those areas of the roof which get the maximum sunlight to install PV shingles and asphalt shingles can be used for other areas which get the least sunlight. Creative workers can create beautiful patterns using a combination of solar and asphalt shingles. From whatever point of view you look at the solar shingles, you will find that they are the best bet for being self reliant in energy and to preserve our environment from further degradation.

Since you won’t be paying your monthly energy bills to the power corporation, you will also be making financial gains by installing solar panels on your roof.