A new product – solar roof tiles – is the latest in string of innovative solar photovoltaic roofing products hitting the North American market. With energy prices zooming through the roof people are looking for alternatives to conventional energy sources. Solar energy has long fascinated the common for its limitless potential. But, as there was no effective way to tap in to it, people more or less has used it for limited purposes like solar garden lights or for heating water. Today, with billions being poured into research to find the next cheap energy source many new and improved technologies are hitting the market.
Solar roof tiles is being offered by SRS energy and its comes as an upgrade for all US Tile company customers. US Tile is the largest clay tile maker in America and the offer is irresistible as you can generate your own electricity with your roof top power plant. The tiles blend in with existing roofing tiles and is as a building integrated roofing product. The curved roof tiles will easily match curved tiles found in most of parts of the country.
You don’t have to worry that your roof top looks ugly as the solar roof tiles design is as same as the normal roof tiles. It won’t stand out or stick up like the old solar panels and make your roof look un-appealing even if energy efficient. Today’s design is both aesthetically appealing and functionally superior compared to products of the old.
The solar roof tiles are 18 inches long and 37.4 inches wide. With 3 inches overlap on either side the length exposed to sunlight is about 15 inches. Even assuming just 100 square feet of solar roof tiles are installed on your roof you will be generating around 860 Kw/h per year assuming you have around 6 hours sunlight per day. The thin film triple junction amorphous silicon is more efficient than crystalline silicon panels of same power.
If you are generating more power than you need then there are two options either you can save it in batteries or feed it back into the electricity grid. The utility companies will compensate you for the extra power you are generating through extra credits or getting free power when you need it. The net metering system will do this for you. You will be paying only for the amount of net extra power you use from the utility company. Many homeowners using solar roof tiles have seen a drastic drop in their energy bills.
Both the solar roof tile manufacturer and US tiles monitor the solar tile system on your roof to see that the system functions at peak efficiency in energy production. They claim that product will give homeowners years of trouble-free life. The system is monitored and tailored in such a way that even if one of the tiles stops funcitoning the other solar roof tiles will continue to produce electricity and are in no way affected by the failed tile. This is truly beneficial as you don’t want a whole row of tiles not working just because one tile has failed.
The solar roof tiles are made of thermoplastic polymers and can be safely recycled. So, any tile that has reached the end of its operational life or a failed tile can be easily sent for recyling.
Limited Color Options
Currently, the solar roof tiles are available only in one color – blue. The solar technology used in these tiles have certain limitations and hence the only option available is blue. As the technology advances more color options should become available. You can always match your roof tiles with solar tiles by going in for blue colored roof tiles.
The tiles were available for a limited number of customers when launched but today it is widely marketed and available to all customers in the USA and even outside the States. Because of a variety of reasons – including installation costs, the cost of transportation and manufacturing costs differences the solar roof tiles prices are not the same everywhere. For details you need to contact the company directly. But, you should also remember that there are number of financial and tax incentives available from both state and federal governments.
Retrofitting old roof tiles with solar roof tiles is also possible.