As the world continues to move toward clean, sustainable energy, new innovations continue to arise in the solar industry. Climate change, various changes in tax codes, and the steady rise of electricity costs continue to drive changes in the way we generate and consume power. With solar energy as one of the main players in the clean energy movement, a new type of solar panel has emerged: the solar shingle.
To be completely honest, this isn’t that new of an invention. Solar shingles have been around for over a decade, though they didn’t begin to gain any popularity until Tesla unveiled the Tesla Solar Roof in 2016. As more companies begin throwing their hat into the ring, solar shingles are finally starting to become more popular.
Solar shingles, also known as solar tiles, are small solar panels designed to resemble standard asphalt roof shingles. They are intended to be integrated into your roof for a more discreet look (fittingly, this is also referred to as solar integrated roofing). Solar shingles are uniquely designed for dual functioning as both solar panels and standard roofing, generating electricity for your home while also protecting it from the elements, leaks, wind, and harsh weather conditions. Since they function as roofing, they can be installed on their own or on top of an existing roof.
For all their great qualities, what truly sets solar shingles apart from standard solar panels is their sleek aesthetic. While bulky solar panels can be an eyesore, solar shingles have a low profile – they are often less than an inch thick – and do not harm your home’s curb appeal. Despite the many benefits of going solar, the idea of a home’s appearance being tainted by a large solar panel system has been an insurmountable hurdle for some. With solar shingles, you get a quality solar system without sacrificing your home’s curb appeal.
Solar shingles come with many benefits. These include:
Even with all these benefits, there are also drawbacks to consider when comparing solar shingles to standard solar panels, with the main one being efficiency and production. Efficiency is measured by the amount of absorbed sunlight converted to energy. Solar panel efficiency can be as high as 24%, while the efficiency of shingles is between 14% and 18%. To add to this, solar panels can be angled in different directions to absorb more direct sunlight. Solar shingles, on the other hand, lay flat and flush with the roof, limiting their potential in some instances. Lastly, solar panels are generally more cost effective than solar shingles if they are being installed on an existing roof.
So the big question is: are solar shingles worth it? The short answer is yes. Solar shingles can give you most of the same benefits of solar panels (and of a sturdy, durable roof) without sacrificing your home’s curb appeal. As the cost of electricity continues to climb, having any solar system will greatly affect your ability to cut down on your utility bills, especially if paired with a battery. If you’re installing a new roof, going with shingles may actually save you money. Solar shingles are also substantially smaller than solar panels, which, in addition to their sleeker look, means that they won’t require any roof reinforcement that heavier solar panels may require.
At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference and circumstance. What are you looking for: design and aesthetics, or optimal efficiency? How much electricity does your home require? How much of a difference would it make to be able to angle your panels for maximum production? There are a range of scenarios where one option might be better than the other. While solar shingles are not the perfect solution, they do offer a more discreet alternative to panels while still providing many of the same benefits.
CertainTeed’s Solstice® Shingle solar shingles utilize state-of-the-art technology to make it one of the most robust solar shingles on the market. CertainTeed’s Solstice Shingle is designed to seamlessly blend in with any asphalt shingle roofs and has no exposed wiring, giving it an incredibly sleek look. These shingles offer an efficiency of 70 watts per shingle, which is higher than most in the industry. It also offers industry-leading impact and wind resistance, and superior performance even on cloudy days and evenings when there’s less sunlight.
CertainTeed also offers top notch reliability and a 25-year power production and workmanship warranty. Together with ABC Supply, North America’s largest wholesale distributor of roofing supplies, Solar Discovery has become a leading installer of CertainTeed Solstice® Shingle solar roofing. Contact us today to learn more about the potential of adding a solar roof to your home.