Should you replace your roof with solar shingles?
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Any homeowner who’s concerned about carbon footprints and energy costs has considered solar power — usually, in the shape of solar panels. But now there’s another option: an entire solar roof.
Solar roofs are composed of solar shingles, aka solar tiles, that can fit over existing shingles or be installed on their own. So the energy-harvesting ability is baked into the roof itself. The shingles do everything regular shingles do, roof-wise (protect your house from the elements), are fire-resistant, and are quite durable. Plus, they look a lot more sleek and seamless than solar panels.
If you’re considering replacing your roof (or are building a new one for a new home), solar shingles may be a particularly timely choice. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, offers enhanced tax credits of up to 30 percent of the cost of installations, increasing the incentive to go solar.
Let’s shed more light on the subject.
What are solar shingles?
Solar shingles or tiles are like regular roof shingles. But instead of being made of asphalt, clay or slate, they are made of glass that contain photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells act as semiconductors and transfer energy collected from the sunlight into electrons, which can then become electrical current to power your home. Each shingle typically produces between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand (one of the latest, by industry leader Tesla, claims to have a max power of 71 watts). While they both convert sunlight to energy, solar shingles are quite different from the solar panels (we’ll dig into the differences later).
The first solar shingles were developed by DOW Chemical Company, rolling out in 2011. But the concept began to get serious traction in 2016, when Tesla purchased manufacturer Solar City and began offering what it deemed the Tesla Solar Roof. Today, there are several brands of the solar roof tiles available through manufacturers like CertainTeed, GAF Energy, Luma, SunTegra and of course Tesla. (Dow dropped out of the game.)
The average size of a solar shingle or tile is about 12 inches wide by 86 inches long. It takes about 350 solar tiles for a standard-size roof. Tiles weigh about 13 pounds per square foot, so most roofs can handle them without additional reinforcement.
What do solar shingles cost?
Although the have been dropping of late, as more makers enter the market, solar roofs are expensive. On average, the cost to install solar roof shingles runs 21 to 25 per square foot or 5000,100 to 5000,600 per roofing square. So a total project could easily average 60,000 to 75,000 — at least. That’s considerably higher than the cost of a conventional roof (between 5,646 and 12,031. according to HomeAdvisor). Even expensive traditional materials like clay or slate (800 to 450,800 per square) cost less than solar tile.
What solar roof tiles will cost you depends on several factors including:
- Roof size: The bigger the roof, the more shingles needed.
- Roof pitch/slope: As is the case with any roof, the more extreme the angling, the more difficult/risky the installation will be, which affects the overall cost.
- Home location: Labor (installation) costs vary by city and state.
- Energy needs of your home.
- Particular manufacturer/brand of shingle or tile.
Still, solar shingle have dropped since their introduction, and they may continue to do so, given the Inflation Reduction Act’s significant incentives and grants for solar implementation, for builders as well as consumers. The Solar Energy Industries Association believes that the IRA’s investment in clean energy will spur “a renaissance in American solar manufacturing,” driving down costs. as its recent “Catalyzing American Solar Manufacturing” report put it.
Can You Install Solar Panels on Tile Roofing?
One of the most important decisions you will make when installing solar panels is choosing where the equipment will be placed on your home or property. Of course, you want to minimize the appearance of these panels so they don’t affect your curb appeal. At the same time, it’s crucial to ensure that you are getting the optimal amount of sunlight exposure throughout the day.
Installing Solar Panels on the Roof
The roof is one of the most common places to install solar panels. But this installation process depends on the type of roofing materials that are on your home. Placing the panels on the roof is an excellent strategy because you minimize the shadows and other elements that could block sunlight from the solar panels.
For example, unique challenges need to be addressed if you have a tile roof. Of course, it’s possible to install the panels on tile roofing materials. Still, you’ll want to talk to an experienced team about the best installation strategies to protect the quality of your roof.
Tips for Solar Panel Installation on a Tile Roof
Here are a few tips to minimize damage to your tile roof:
- Tread Carefully: The tiles can be damaged by walking on them, so the installation team is careful about stepping on the right part of the tile to reduce the risk of cracking.
- Spare Tiles: It’s likely that some of the tiles will break, even if the installation team is gentle with their movements. A Smart move is to have extra roofing tiles handy in case tiles need to be replaced during the installation.
- Roofing Adjustments: Instead of placing the solar panels on the tiles, you might consider putting shingles in the places where the panels are being installed. It’s easier to mount these panels on a shingled roof, and you won’t be able to see the difference since the solar panels will hide the shingles.
For more information about solar power installation, New Day Solar is here to help. Call for a complimentary consultation: (855) 444-6329.
Posted by New Day Solar 1 year ago / June 14, 2022
At New Day Solar, we are committed to improving the world we live in, as well as helping our community create brighter tomorrows!
With the expertise that New Day Solar provides, as well as the federal tax credits and rebates available, solar electricity is beneficial to everyone. Not only will you help conserve our environment, but you can save some money too! Solar electricity is not just a luxury, but also an investment for your home and country. Electricity is only going to get more expensive, but with help from New Day Solar, you can harness the sun’s energy and use it to your advantage.
How to Install Solar Panels on Tile Roofs Correctly
Solar panels on tile roofs can be a great way to reduce your energy bill and help the environment. But if they’re not installed correctly, they can cause damage to your roof. Here’s how to do it right:
First, you’ll need to find the right location for your panels. They should be in a sunny spot that’s not too close to trees or other objects that could cast a shadow.
Once you’ve found the perfect spot, mark the location of the panels with chalk so you know where to put them when it’s time to install them.
Next, you’ll need to gather some supplies. You’ll need solar panels, of course, as well as brackets and screws to attach the panels to your roof. You’ll also need some sealant to make sure the connection between the panel and your roof is watertight.
Now it’s time to get started. Begin by attaching the brackets to your roof using the screws. Then, set the solar panel on top of the brackets and use the sealant to create a watertight seal around the edges.
Just repeat this process for each panel, and you’ll soon have a brand new solar array powering your home.
Solar Mounting Options With a Tile Roof
A tile roof is a beautiful addition to any home, but when it comes to solar panel installation, there are a few things to consider.
One option is to use a standing seam mount, which attaches directly to the roof panels. This type of mount is very strong and secure, but it can be more expensive than other options.
Another option is to use a tile hook mount, which attaches to the edge of the roof tiles. This type of mount is less obtrusive than a standing seam mount, but it may not be as secure in high winds.
Finally, some homeowners choose to install their solar panels on the ground, using post or ground mounts. This option is usually the most affordable, but it does require more maintenance than roof-mounted systems.
Whichever option you choose, be sure to work with a qualified solar installer to ensure your system is installed correctly and safely.
Comp-out or picture framing
There are two main ways to mount solar panels on a roof: comp-out or picture framing.
Comp-out is when the panels are installed flush with the roof, and picture framing is when they’re installed above the roof surface. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Comp-out is less expensive and easier to install, but it can be more prone to leaks. Picture framing is more expensive and difficult to install, but it’s less likely to leak. Ultimately, it’s up to the homeowner to decide which method is best for their situation.
Avoid “comp-outs” on a Clay Tile Roof When Trying to Install Solar Panels
If you’re considering solar panels for your home, there’s one important thing to keep in mind if you have a clay tile roof: try to avoid “comp-outs” (also known as tile cutting).
This is when installers drill holes into your roof tiles to secure the solar panel mounts, and it can lead to long-term damage and leaks.
Instead, work with a qualified installer who can use the existing structure of your roof to support the panels without compromising the integrity of your roof.
With proper installation, your solar panels can provide years of clean, renewable energy for your home while protecting your investment in your roof.
Replacement tile mounts
If you do need to replace some of your roof tiles, be sure to get the same type of tile mount that was originally installed.
Different types of mounts can be incompatible, and using the wrong type could void your warranty.
Tile hooks are a type of mount that attaches to the edge of the roof tiles. This type of mount is less obtrusive than a standing seam mount, but it may not be as secure in high winds.
Roof Tiles Are Brittle
Roof tiles are one of the most essential parts of any roof. They are responsible for protecting your home from the elements and keeping your family safe and dry.
However, roof tiles can be quite brittle, so it is important to be careful when working with them. If a tile is damaged, it is important to replace it as soon as possible to avoid any leaks or further damage.
When working with roof tiles, always use a ladder or scaffolding to avoid putting any unnecessary stress on the tiles.
Are Solar Roof Tiles Safe?
With the advancement of solar technology, solar roof tiles have emerged as an innovative solution. While they are a relatively new technology. manufacturers have dedicated considerable efforts to enhance their durability and safety.
Solar roof tiles are designed with safety as a top priority, just like any other electrical system. They undergo rigorous research and development processes, including testing for performance, reliability, and adherence to safety standards. Manufacturers strive to ensure that the materials used in solar roof tiles are fire-resistant, weatherproof, and capable of withstanding various environmental conditions.
However, it is important to acknowledge that, like any electrical system, there is always a minimal risk of system failure. Factors such as faulty installation, external damage, or extreme weather conditions can potentially impact the performance of solar roof tiles. Nevertheless, such instances are rare, and the industry continuously improves safety measures and installation practices to minimize any associated risks.
Should You Invest in Solar Roof Tiles?
Solar roofing tiles provide an alternative option that is more aesthetically appealing compared to traditional solar panels. They can be seamlessly integrated into your current roof or even replace it entirely.
However, they are less efficient and have low power output than standard panels. This means that you’ll need more solar shingles to generate sufficient energy.
In short, solar roof installations are particularly suitable for homeowners interested in having solar power and replacing their existing roofs. as opting for a solar roof system can help reduce material costs.
Ready To Embrace Solar Roof Systems ?
If you believe solar roofing tiles are the right choice for your home, reach out to us at Yorkshire Roofing. Let’s explore the best solar roofing solution for you, and our team will guide you through the entire process and ensure a hassle-free installation.
Don’t miss out on the benefits of solar roof installation. Call (800) 794-7444 and start harnessing the power of the sun today!
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