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Solar Roof Tiles: Advantages and Disadvantages. Pv roof tiles cost

Solar Roof Tiles: Advantages and Disadvantages. Pv roof tiles cost

    Thinking of getting a Tesla Solar Roof? Here’s everything you need to know

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    First launched in 2016, Elon Musk’s Solar Roof system has taken the photovoltaic (PV) world by storm. Tesla’s Solar Roof is not the only solar roof tiles on the market but is some of the most attractive and most expensive.

    Solar tiles offer a completely different approach to solar PV installations, the final product is, inarguably, far superior in aesthetic terms to traditional solar PV installations, and seeks to add a cool factor to generating your own power.

    While Tesla claims its Solar Roof is competitive in terms of providing a two-for-one solution (you do get a new roof after all), ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    So, is Tesla’s Solar Roof all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take an honest look.

    What is Tesla’s Solar Roof?

    Tesla’s Solar Roof, like other solar roof tiles, is an innovative system of specially engineered roofing tiles or shingles. Unlike conventional solar PV panels that are mounted onto an existing roof, a solar roof acts as a direct replacement for existing roof coverings.

    The system allows potential customers to benefit from generating their own power without unduly affecting the aesthetics of their homes. Win-win.

    Tesla’s Solar Roof consists of two main types of textured glass tile shingles. The first is purely decorative and is termed inactive. These look exactly the same as the second kind, called Active, to ensure a uniform look of the finished roof.

    The Active shingles are effectively small, shingle-sized solar panels that are integrated into the main roof surface in strategic places to maximize their efficiency. In most cases, most of the south or west-facing areas of a roof will consist of Active shingles, with the rest of the surface consisting of the visually similar Inactive shingles.

    Active shingles, like conventional solar panels, will also be fitted as close to the best angle of incidence to the Sun’s rays throughout the year. In the northern hemisphere, this is as close to a 60 degrees inclination as possible, which, on most domestic homes is around 30-45 degrees, depending on the pitch of your existing roof.

    Of course, if you choose to install a Solar Roof, your old roof will need to be stripped and replaced in totality.

    The system can also be used with a Tesla Solar Inverter to convert the direct current generated by the shingles to useable alternating current in your home. While non-Tesla inverters can also be used, the use of Tesla’s own proprietary equipment ensures the systems will run with fewer potential snags.

    This inverter also enables you to tag on a Tesla Powerwall battery to store excess energy, if desired.

    The system was developed in a collaboration between Tesla and its subsidiary SolarCity and was first announced in 2016. It wasn’t until 2018 that Tesla and SolarCity were in a position to begin the manufacture and delivery of their first Solar Roofs, however.

    Since then, Tesla has continued to make improvements to the technology, with its latest variant, Solar Roof V3, boasting the best efficiency and durability to date. The product comes with a generous 25-year weatherization warranty.

    Great, but what are some of the downsides? One is whether Tesla actually serves your geographical area.

    For the most part, Tesla should be able to provide an installation in most of the continental United States. However, in some states, they may use authorized installers to do so.

    The same is true for other parts of the world, with the rollout continuing around the world. If you are interested in finding out if they serve your area, the best thing to do is contact Tesla, or try to get a quote, and they will tell you.

    How much does a Tesla solar roof cost?

    According to data from actual Tesla quotes, their Solar Wall system costs approximately 1.80 per generated watt of electricity for their Active shingles. The cost of their Inactive shingles then varies depending on the complexity of the roof in question.

    For simple roofs, i.e., basic pitched roofs start at around 13.30 per square foot. For more tricky roofs like hipped roofs or multiple-level roofs, these shingles should cost about 15.30 per square foot. For more complex roofs (i.e. cross-gabled, steep or variable pitched, multiple heights, or lots of obstacles), costs could be as high as 18.54 per square foot.

    You will also be charged for the removal and disposal of your old roof at a rate of around 3.55 per square foot.

    Just like any solar energy installation, the actual cost will vary depending on the size of roof coverage, location, and construction of the building. Smaller pitched roofs on a single-story home will be considerably cheaper than a large complex roof on a multi-story building, for example.

    This is for a variety of reasons, but chief among them are additional costs for access equipment to higher roofs or increased time in labor to design and install the roof on larger and more complex roofs like cross-gabled roofs.

    Tesla may also require customers to upgrade their electrical systems in order to actually work with their Solar Roof system. Upgrading elements like electrical panels can cost anywhere in the region of 5,000 and up.

    However, to give you a rough estimate, using Tesla’s own calculator, a good-sized family home would cost around 70,000 dollars to install an 8.05 kW system before tax incentives. This quote is based on a home in Nashville, Texas, with a floor area of 2,500 feet 2 (232 m 2 ) and using an average monthly energy bill of 115 (this was the U.S. average in 2019, according to the EIA).

    This, according to Tesla’s estimates, should be able to produce for this hypothetical home, somewhere in the order of 12,800 kWh/year, or roughly 100% of the building’s electrical energy consumption. You also get the added bonus (for additional cost) of energy storage with this system, which is a considerable advantage over some conventional domestic solar panel arrays.

    If this estimate is accurate, that should provide a payback period (the time taken to recover your initial investment) of about 50 years, give or take. This will likely be closer to 40 years after tax incentives are factored in to reduce your initial capital outlay.

    Another estimate for a 1,700 ft 2 (158m 2 ) roof in California with an electrical bill of 150 per month came in at 39,000 before incentives for a 6.13-kilowatt system. It should be noted that this quote was generated in 2022 and for a different state, so costs likely vary for that reason.

    You should also remember that energy costs from the grid are likely to rise over time, so the true payback will likely be much shorter, ignoring any maintenance and cleaning costs of course.

    We’ve chosen this square footage as it is about the average size of a new family home in the United States.

    To put that into perspective, installing a similarly sized conventional solar panel array would cost around 26,000 before incentives. Using the same statistics as above would give you an equitable payback of between 15 and 22 years, depending on tax incentives.

    However, remember that the estimated lifespan of conventional solar panels is also roughly 25 to 30 years, so you would probably need to replace the array after a few decades.

    It should be noted, however, that such estimates should be taken with a pinch of salt. The final figures will likely vary widely depending on where your home is located if you were to actually order an installation.

    This is especially the case for conventional solar panel installations and you are always advised to source several quotes from recommended installers before authorizing any work.

    Any and all costs for such installations should also include any planning and design work required prior to the installation. This will not only ensure the costings are as accurate as possible but also discover if your existing roof is appropriate for such an installation.

    The latter is less relevant for Tesla solar roofs, as these tend to be a direct replacement for your existing roof covering.

    You should also note that costs are likely to vary over time as labor, consumable, and material costs will fluctuate, given the current economic climate. There may be other costs, too, such as various local authority planning requirements, where relevant.

    Solar panels vs. Tesla solar roof: which one is better?

    Generally speaking, on a per watt average cost, Tesla’s Solar Roof is actually pretty reasonable, all things considered. According to some estimates, in the United States, Tesla’s come in at around 1.80 per watt. Traditional solar PV panels tend to cost around 3.00 per watt.

    However, any direct comparison between the two is complicated by a few factors. The first is that Tesla’s Solar Roof is not just some PV solar panels but actually a new roof and some PV panels in one package.

    Traditional solar PV panels are where your roof can handle it, simply mounted to an existing roof without needing to replace it. So, in order to provide a fair comparison, we’ll need to do a like-for-like summing up.

    Solar Roof Tiles: Advantages and Disadvantages

    Solar roof tiles provide an alternative to conventional solar panels. Instead of being installed on existing roofs with racking systems, solar tiles are part of the roof itself. They can be a viable option in new constructions and major renovations, since a roof installation and a solar array can be combined into a single component. Solar roof tiles are also known as solar shingles.

    In New York City, solar tiles can be used to meet Local Laws 92 and 94 of 2019, which mandate sustainable roofing systems. These can be solar power systems with at least 4 kW of capacity, or green roofs. These laws apply for new roof installations, and also for modifications and expansions in existing roofs.

    In existing buildings, the main disadvantage of solar shingles is having to remove parts of your roof for their installation. They are also more expensive than conventional solar panels. However, in cases where a new roof or a roof expansion was planned anyway, solar tiles may achieve a lower cost than the sum of a normal roof and solar panels.

    How Much Do Solar Roof Tiles Cost?

    The cost of solar tiles varies depending on the provider, but you can expect to pay over 5,000 per kilowatt. For comparison, a residential solar panel system costs around 3,000 per kilowatt, while large commercial and industrial projects can reach costs below 1,000 per kilowatt. In terms of cost, solar shingles cannot compete with solar panels in large projects. However, they can be cost-effective in the residential sector, especially when a roof upgrade and a solar power system are being considered for the same property.

    The new version of the Tesla solar roof is promising, since the company website reports an estimated price of 33,950 for a 10 kW installation. This is equivalent to 3,395 per kW, and much closer to the typical cost of a solar panel system. A 10 kW solar roof from Tesla requires an area of 2000 square feet, which leads to an installed cost slightly under 17 per sq.ft. and a power generation density of 5 watts per sq.ft.

    Personal preferences also play a role when deciding between solar panels and solar shingles. Since solar roof tiles have around twice the cost of normal PV modules, their payback period is twice as long. However, both products have a typical service life of over 25 years. Long-term savings can be expected in both cases, but solar shingles need more time to reach positive cash flow.

    When Are Conventional Solar Panels Recommended?

    In addition to being more affordable, solar panels can concentrate more watts per square foot of capacity. High-efficiency solar panels have over 300 W of capacity within an area of 17.6 sq.ft. This means you can fit over 34 kW of generation capacity in 2000 sq.ft.

    Solar panels are the recommended option if you want to maximize electricity production with the space available. On the other hand, solar shingles offer the appearance of a normal roof without panels, but the available space is used less efficiently. Using solar tiles that generate 5 watts per square foot, you need 6,800 sq. ft. to reach 34 kW of capacity.

    If you are considering a roof upgrade and a solar power system, the best recommendation is getting quotes for both options: solar roof shingles, and a normal roof with solar panels. Also consider the electricity output over time. solar panels produce over three times more energy per square foot.

    In New York City, LL92 and LL94 of 2019 require a minimum solar power capacity of 4 kW, or otherwise you need to install a green roof. This can be a limitation if you want to use solar shingles for a small roof, since you need around 800 sq.ft. to reach 4 kW. On the other hand, by using high-efficiency solar panels, you can fit 4 kW in less than 200 sq.ft.

    Solar Roof Tiles: Cost, Options, and How They Work

    The solar system market is changing each year, with different technologies coming up to make for more comfortable installations and usage. One of the newest technologies to grace the solar market is solar roof tiles.

    Solar roof tiles, also called building-integrated photovoltaics or BIPV, are materials that make up part of your house’s roof, inconspicuously integrated with other non-solar roofing tiles to cover the entire roof. Unlike solar panels, they are not separate from the regular roofing tiles but are actual roofing tiles with photovoltaic properties.

    These tiles typically cost more than solar panels, but they come in handy if a property does not have a roof that can hold solar panels for the best output. This article will look at the cost of solar roof tiles, how they work, and the options currently available in Australia.

    Average cost of solar roof tiles

    The average cost of the tiles will depend on the retailer. The installation will depend on the installation area, contractor, roof size, pitch, and slope.

    If you are considering using solar roof tiles, you may want to choose a contractor and discuss these factors with them before determining the cost for your specific installation.

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    Solar roof tiles options

    Several options for solar roof tiles are available in Australia. As mentioned before, the tiles’ cost varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. And because solar roof tiles are relatively new, there are not many options to consider.

    However, more people are becoming aware of them, which will eventually affect availability and cost in the long run.

    Tesla solar roof tiles

    The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, announced the Tesla Solar Roof product in 2016 to offer consumers an option for solar panels. Some homeowners do not like the look of the panels on their properties, so solar roof tiles are a more modern way to get green energy without defacing their property.

    Tesla offers both active and non-active solar roof tiles. It may cost between 80 and 130 per square meter to install the tiles. The cost to install a watt of Tesla solar tiles is 1.80. This is cheaper than installing a solar panel, which costs about 3 per watt. You can also buy non-solar tiles so that you can blend all the tiles with none standing out.

    However, the Tesla solar roof tiles may not be currently available for consumers in Australia. You may have to visit the official website to determine whether you can make a deposit for a future purchase.

    Monier solar roof tiles

    Monier is another popular manufacturer of solar roof tiles in Australia and has some of the best products on the market. It was previously known for putting tiles on the roofs of houses, but it launched its solar roof tiles about half a decade ago.

    The product has a warranty of 25 years with an output of over 80% for the duration. But the life of the solar tiles has a warranty of 10 years.

    The Solartile product is made from monocrystalline cells, so they are some of the most efficient on the market at 17.3%. However, the tiles fit only the flat-profiled concrete roof tiles from Monier and can be retrofitted or added at any point. Buying and installing a 4KW unit on your roof, including an inverter, is 4,500. Monier supplies the system, installs it, and manages the rebates on your behalf.

    Bristile solar roof tiles

    Bristile is a roofing company in Australia but ventured into producing solar tiles in 2017. You can easily integrate the solar tiles into the Bristile flat tiles in concrete or ceramic/terracotta range. Bristile claims the tiles have the same solar efficiency as regular monocrystalline solar panels at 16%.

    A 4KW unit, which will cover about 28.5 square meters of a roof, will cost about 15,700 at 550 per square meter, complete with an inverter. Depending on the size of the unit and roof, you can cover a portion of the roof and use the regular flat non-solar tiles from Bristile for the rest of the roof. The non-solar tiles cost 65 per square meter.

    The product has a warranty of about 25 years, performing at 80% of its overall power generation capacity. There is also a 10-year warranty to guarantee the structural integrity and a total roof warranty of 10 years for the unit.

    Nulok solar inserts

    The Nulok roofing system is an Australian company with some of the finest roofing systems, including solar inserts. It also makes ceramic and slate tiles in its roofing systems.

    The solar inserts designs are discrete and top-quality, and architects favor them for new buildings. The systems are highly efficient, ranging between 18.6 and 22.3%, which is one of the most efficient units on the market.

    A fitted 4KW solar roof tile unit costs between 8,000 and 14,000, but it does not include an inverter or the electrical installation. The cost of the system can significantly increase, depending on the type of tiles, the size of the unit, and the installation.

    There is a warranty of 12 years with a power output of 90%. It also has a warranty of 25 years with a power output of 80%.

    Tractile solar roof tiles

    Tractile has a patented style of interlocking roof tiles, which are about six times the size of normal roof tiles. The uniqueness of this product is that it has hot water channels that preheat water to about 30 degrees Celsius.

    With a 20% power output, the roof tiles sit on modern buildings and are a favorite with many builders. They are made up of cells that perform better in hot conditions, as they are cooled by water being channeled behind them.

    An installed 4KW solar tile system costs 55,000, but this amount excludes rebates and includes an inverter and a solar-warmed water and heat exchange tank. This total cost can vary depending on location, roof size, design, and site. But a typical 4KW system with water channels, battens, and an inverter may cost about 13,000.

    Solar roof tiles are typically more expensive than regular solar panels because they are new, so not everyone uses them yet. Therefore, there are a limited number of contractors and installers around the country. They also cost more because of the installation; it will take reroofing a house to install the tiles in an already-existing structure.

    What are solar tiles?

    Solar tiles are similar to regular solar panels and function in much the same way. But they are smaller and fit more compactly on a roof than solar panels. In other words, the tiles fit in with regular roof tiles and do not stand out.

    With solar panels, you have to mount them to sit on top of the roof, but solar roof tiles are part of the roof. Many roofing system companies are working hard to produce these tiles along with the regular tiles in their ranges, with a few already selling the tiles in Australia.

    How do solar roof tiles work?

    Solar roof tiles work like the familiar solar panels. They trap sunlight in the cells and convert the energy into usable electricity through the help of an inverter. Therefore, there is not much difference between solar panels and solar roof tiles except in their appearance and installation.

    solar, roof, tiles, advantages, disadvantages

    Where solar panels are bigger and are mounted on the roof, the tiles are part of the roof. So, using the tiles covers a larger surface area because they blend in with the roofing tiles or shingles. In addition, they are more aesthetically appealing and less bulky than solar panels.

    Advantages of using solar roof tiles

    If you do not want the hassle of solar panel installation or do not appreciate their look on your roof, solar roof tiles could be a better option.

    There are several advantages of using solar roof tiles, and as they become more popular, we are sure to see more.

    Aesthetically appealing

    The tiles fit better into a building’s roofing than solar panels. As a result, they are more pleasing to look at from every angle. Newer buildings that want to go the solar way prefer using them, even though they are more expensive because they do not detract from the design or beauty of the property.

    Suitable for use in difficult places

    Solar panels may be difficult to install in certain roof areas. If those areas get the best sunlight at peak hours, you may be losing the best use of the solar system.

    Contractors and installers may have a hard time reaching those areas for installations. But with solar roof tiles, the reverse is the case. They can be installed during roofing, which is usually much easier than installing panels. Besides, they have a better balance than panels.

    Protection for the roof

    Since the tiles are part of the roofing system, there will be no need to drill holes in the roof, which may be potentially damaging. Also, the installers will not need to mount equipment for the installation, eliminating the risk of straining the roof. Furthermore, unlike solar panels, the tiles do not pull on the roof if there are strong winds or rainstorms.

    Solar Shingles: Turn Your Roof a Power Source (5 Brands)

    In the U.S., residential solar installations have been continuously increasing during the last few years, reaching 1GWDC in the Q4 of 2021.

    This solar energy adoption is driven by many factors, such as the cutting-edge technologies that are being developed, like instance solar shingles.

    Out there in the market, there are many solar shingle manufacturers. To help you decide which brand and product is best for your needs, we chose 4 different solar shingle companies as an alternative to Tesla solar shingles. For each brand, we will check out the products they offer, breaking down their characteristics and more importantly let you know if a solar shingle might be a good match for you.

    Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made from our affiliates through links in this article. (Learn )

    At are solar shingles and how do they work?

    Solar shingles are basically solar cells that convert the sun’s radiation into usable electricity, but also, they work as the roofing material for your home. These roofing solar cells are commonly shaped into shingles or tiles which are seamlessly arranged to provide structural support for the house roof and other types of buildings.

    Using solar shingles allows you to have a roof that achieves two functions: generate clean energy and give your home, office or any other of your buildings, an aesthetic look.

    Composition/Structure

    Solar shingles or tiles are made of solar cells that are commonly manufactured using semiconductor materials, such as monocrystalline silicon and copper-indium-gallium selenide. The cells are assembled in bands or strips to form the shingle or tile shape.

    In addition, since solar shingles are quite thin, this allows them to have greater flexibility and be lightweight.

    How do solar shingles work?

    Solar shingles or tiles perform as roofing material for your home. The main idea is to combine the solar cells with the roof sheathing rather than mounting solar modules on top of the shingles.

    Solar shingle’s basic principle works just the same as with conventional solar panels. In other words, the PV cells absorb sunlight in order to produce a flow of free electrons, which results in generating an electrical current that can power electrical equipment. The difference between solar shingles and solar panels is mainly their construction.

    Why should you choose solar shingle technology?

    In order to help you analyze whether choosing solar shingles for your photovoltaic system is the right option, we summarize and list the pros and cons of having them:

    Pros

    • Perfect solution for those cases in which a roof replacement is required.
    • Elegant and sleek design provides a futuristic look to your roof.
    • No obstructions from solar panels will be visible on the roof.
    • No external wiring that could be exposed to damage and cause potential hazards.
    • No weak spots on the roof from roof penetrations as with conventional solar systems.

    Cons

    • Higher upfront costs and lower return of investment (ROI) than conventional rooftop solar panels (unless roof is to be replaced).
    • Solar shingles generally have less energy efficiency than standard solar modules.
    • Few companies perform solar shingle installation.

    What is the average cost of solar shingle technologies?

    The amount of money you are going to pay for installing solar shingles in your roof is going to depend on your energy usage, the conditions, and age of your roof, the solar shingle manufacturer, and other factors.

    However, the cost of going with solar shingles can go anywhere from 20,000 to 70,000 whereas Tesla’s solar roof is generally located in the high-end scenario.

    Reviews of the best solar shingle brands

    Tesla’s Solar Roof

    Elon Musk presented the Solar Roof back in 2016. Since then, the product has gained huge popularity across the U.S. and other countries.

    It’s clear that the Solar Roof provides a futuristic and sleek look for homes and other types of buildings. Although, the Solar Roof is quite an expensive product and still not as efficient as conventional solar panels.

    Tesla’s Solar Roof consists of a rooftop built with solar shingles that contain solar cells. There are two types of shingles used in the final product design: the active ones, those which produce electricity, and the inactive ones, which just act as a roofing material. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using the Solar Roof.

    Advantages

    • Aesthetics: Solar Roof offers 4 different styles of tile. All have a modern and distinguished looking design.
    • Durability: It is claimed to be resistant to hail, wind, and fire, as well as to mechanical forces. Solar Roof is backed by ANSI standard tests.
    • Warranty: Offers a 25-year tile and power and weatherization warranty.
    • Renowned brand: Who is not excited to have a product of a brand like Tesla? Claimed to be one of the leaders of a zero-carbon emissions future.

    Disadvantages

    • High upfront Cost: Compared to building a new roof or replacing an existing one plus adding a regular solar system mounted on the rooftop, it can be 2 to 3 times more expensive to buy the solar roof of Tesla. Depending on the complexity of your roof, you could end up paying a total of somewhere between 40,000 to 70,000 to install the solar shingles.
    • Low ROI: Depending on many factors like your energy usage habits, the size of the system, your location, and others, the solar roof may have a very low payback in a 25-year lifetime compared to conventional solar systems. In some cases, it could simply be not economically viable.

    Considering the previous facts, it would be interesting to look for possible alternatives to buy and install solar shingles. Let’s check out some of them.

    CertainTeed Solar Shingles

    Another important brand that has been leading the roofing technology in the US for a long time is CertainTeed. It offers two different product alternatives related to solar shingles.

    Design Choices

    • Apollo Shingle ll: This design has solar shingles that can be installed in a new or existing asphalt shingle roof. The result is a combination of regular asphalt shingles and active solar shingles.
    • Apollo Tile ll: This product offers a more integrated design by using tiles that are embedded to a new or an existing concrete tile roof.

    Performance

    In both Apollo Shingle II and Apollo Tile ll systems, 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells are used in every tile/shingle with a power rating of 70 watts per piece. The conversion efficiency of the shingles and the tiles are 17.2% and 17.8% respectively. In addition, both have an operating temperature that can go anywhere between.40˚C and 90˚C.

    Both systems are relatively easy to install, they are placed directly into the roof sheathing using standard deck screws, just as conventional asphalt and concrete tiles are installed.

    Their weight is much less than conventional tiles at three pounds per square foot. over, they are long-lasting withstanding up to 250 pounds per square foot. Also, they are waterproof and can resist high wind velocities of 140mph.

    Aesthetics

    Apollo II provides all-black solar shingles which look like suitable solar stripes or bands placed over the roof.

    On the other hand, Apollo Tile II matches the profile of flat concrete tiles. These tiles look like black solar laminate with a custom-colored frame that can complement a wide variety of earth-toned concrete tile colors.

    Cost

    The cost might change depending on your energy requirements, the difficulty of installation, your roof inclination, and roof age. However, some estimations are shown in the following table.

    ProductCost per watt

    These figures are estimated and subject to changes depending on the specifics of the project, which can elevate the costs by 25%.

    Warranty

    CertainTeed offers a 25-year limited power warranty claimed to be all-encompassing. The coverage includes 25 years on installation workmanship, PV cells, microinverters, and mounting system. Also, comprises 12 years on optimized inverters, 10 years on wind, and 5 years on data monitoring hardware.

    Suntegra Solar Shingles

    Another important player in the solar roofing industry is Suntegra, which claims to give a 2-in-1 roof and solar solution by providing solar cells that generate electricity and a roofing material that protects your home or building. It gives installers a cutting-edge way to integrate solar directly into the sloped roof of a house, commercial building, or carport.

    Additionally, Suntegra products are regarded to be constructed with 50% fewer materials than conventional rack-mounted PV systems and thus, they might be an alternative to adjust efficiently to your budget.

    Available Options

    • Suntegra shingles: Like the Apollo ll system, Suntegra also includes a solar shingles that are placed on a new or existing roof composed by asphalt shingles.
    • Suntegra tiles: Similar to the Apollo tile design, this system integrates to the existing concrete tiles that are inserted in combination with inactive concrete tiles. They can also be used when a new roof is to be built.

    Performance

    The solar shingles of Suntegra offer 3 different models with a range of power output between 105W and 114W. All of them use 24 monocrystalline cells per piece, capable of achieving an electrical efficiency from 15.9% to 17.2%.

    On the other hand, Suntegra tiles have lower efficiency than the shingles, ranging from 13.9% to 15.1%. Also, the tiles have 16 monocrystalline cells per piece.

    Both tiles and shingles have a maximum wind rating of 130mph and a maximum static load rating of 112 pounds per square foot or 5,400Pa. In addition, the temperature operating range is the same as the Certainteed product (between.40˚C and 90˚C).

    Aesthetics

    Both Suntegra shingles and tiles offer a low-profile, all-black, and pleasing-looking. They are characterized for being a discrete installation, almost hidden and barely noticeable from the ground level, which makes them an elegant design for any home or building.

    Price

    Just as we did with the CertainTeed shingles and tiles, estimations on the cost are shown in the table below, which are subjected to variations depending on the conditions of your roof, energy requirements, and location.

    ProductCost per watt

    Warranty

    For both shingles and tiles, Suntegra offers a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year power output warranty.

    Forward Solar Shingles

    In the few recent years, Forward startup company has had significant growth in the solar shingles market. Forward offers an engineered integration of the roof and the solar cells by the means of state-of-the-art technology and a unique aesthetic that matches the classical U.S. home.

    They offer their star product called Forward Metal Solar Roof, claimed to be a cost-effective and efficient solution that harvests a great amount of clean energy while it gives a sleek and futuristic appearance using shining metal standing seam type of roof. The system comes in 8 different possible colors to cover all requirements.

    It has a non-solar portions cost of 9.75 per square foot and a 3.75 per watt cost related to the solar parts, which are quite competitive compared to the previous brands mentioned. Also, it has a weatherization warranty of 30 years.

    The product is claimed to achieve an energy density of 19 watts per square foot while having an excellent thermal performance by the means of a passive ventilation system, which optimizes the heat dissipation and the airflow between shingles and your roof deck.

    Additionally, this design is claimed to be reliable, robust, long-lasting, and can withstand powerful mechanical forces. The most interesting fact about Forward is that they are probably the only valuable brand available that offers a solar-roof integrated solution based on metal standing seam roof type, making it perfect not only for homes but also for garages, barns, and other industrial types of roofs.

    Luma Solar Shingles

    Luma Solar is another important interesting solar shingle company that has been gaining momentum for many years in the US. It’s recognized by having solar shingles products with a high rate of electrical efficiency while also having a futuristic, seamless, and luxurious looking. Luma offers results in your house that have combinations between active and inactive solar shingles.

    The price changes depending on the conditions, roof complexity, energy requirements, and others. However, estimations set the average cost of the solar shingles of Luma at 4.5 per watt and could go up to 38 per square foot.

    Additionally, it offers a 25-year limited power warranty at 80% and a 5-year limited product warranty.

    Performance

    Luma Solar Roof claims to have solar shingles with an incredible conversion efficiency of 22,1%, which is even higher than standard solar panels. It uses 16 monocrystalline 80W cells per shingle.

    It handles a temperature operation range between.40˚C to 85˚C, having a great thermal and airflow management that maintains excellent levels of energy yields.

    Additionally, every shingle weighs 19.8 lbs., and they are designed to withstand mechanical forces of 2,400 Pa for static wind loading and 5,400 for static load snow loading.

    Aesthetics

    Luma offers a distinguished good looking for your house, not only because of its futuristic appearance but also because of the Matte black finish, which gives a sleek line.

    Are these “solar shingle technologies” right for you?

    All the products mentioned above will provide an extraordinary aesthetic view for your home. Not to mention that some of them will offer the functionality of performing as the roofing material and act as the structural support by the means of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV).

    Replacing roof or just adding solar?

    If you are only looking for a solar PV system, installing solar shingles in the roof of your home can be an interesting alternative to go with if your requirements are more focused on aesthetical objectives than on cost-effective and efficient goals. From an economical point of view, it is still hard for solar shingles to compete with conventional solar panel systems.

    However, in cases where changing your roof is necessary, solar shingles may present themselves as a more economically viable choice that combines both approaches into one for a cost similar to a solar panel system plus roof installation. In some other cases, replacing your roof may not be what you need, but the structural engineer may require you to replace the roof to make the solar panel installation feasible. If you find yourself in a situation like that, you may want to reconsider going with a solar shingle installation.

    New Home?

    Another situation where solar roof shingles can definitely be a great choice is for new houses. Choosing solar shingles since the construction process can drastically reduce the cost impact, increase your ROI, and ease the installation process.

    Compare Quotes!

    In any case, if you are interested in solar shingles, it is advisable for you to get a quote for your roof-specific layout and compare it with other conventional solar panel systems plus roofing installation quotes. This will allow you to find out which approach would best suit your needs. However, keep in mind that in the end, the house will always look better with solar shingles, which is a plus to consider for the value of your property.

    Shingled solar panels: A must-consider solar shingle alternative

    Finally, shingled solar panels are an innovative technology which is carrying out a wide range of advanced features in terms of solar energy optimization.

    They should not be confused with solar shingles, which are part of BIPV, whereas solar shingled panels are more similar to standard solar panels but with cells that are cut into several strips that are subsequently connected to form modules by the means of an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA).

    Major developments on this technology have taken place in the residential sector so far. Solar shingled panels are a promising technology that is much less expensive and more efficient technology than solar shingles.

    Final Thoughts

    We have examined multiple solar shingle products and brands with the objective to show you some of the best brands available in the market today. We learned that a solar roof shingle investment is a solution that must balance aesthetics and functionality where the new shingles of your roof will actually be generating electricity.

    However, we also learned that the decision to install it must be balanced with the costs for such type of project since they can be considerable depending on the house. New houses or cases where a roof replacement is required due to structural stability reasons, are probably the best ones for solar shingle installations. In these cases, the economics can definitely be balanced with the benefits of a high-end finish.

    Solar shingles still have a long way to go and with the variety of products available for multiple roof types that go from shingles, concrete standard tiles, and even metal standing seam, there are plenty of choices that you can consider to start generating clean energy and potentially improve the look for your house. comment

    Last updated: February 15, 2022

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