Solar panel roof shingles have caught on in a big way because of the ease and convenience of use. For a long time home owners were reluctant to install solar panels as they were stand-alone, large and clunky rectangular panels which marred the appearance of their homes. The panels for best results needed to be in direct sunlight and had to be bolted to the roof tops. The drilling or bolting on the already installed roofing could void the warranty of shingles. Sometimes, expensive roofing shingles got damaged during the installation of solar panels. To avoid all these hassles many families in America did not embrace the solar technology even though they were eager to take advantage of the many savings and tax-breaks on offer from state and federal governments.
Advances in roofing and solar technology have lead to design and production of state-of-art solar panel roof shingles which are easy to install over existing panels or as stand-alone shingles. Solar panel roof shingles are also called photovoltaic shingles. These have been designed to blend in and look like existing conventional asphalt shingles. The interlocking mechanism allows the panels to be integrated with almost all roofing systems either on top of existing shingles or replacing them altogether.
There are different types of solar panel roof shingles, including solid panels which are shingle sized to fit on top of existing shingles either as a strip or as thick blocks the size of conventional shingles. The latest technologies use thin film solar cells which mimic the regular shingles in size and flexibility. There are several leading power companies like Atlantic Energy, General Electric, Power Light and Sharp which have all jumped on the Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) trend to capture the market for photovoltaics. Other non energy majors like Dow Chemicals have also entered the solar market in a big way to take advantage of the high growth rates in the solar sector.
Another big advantage of the latest advances in solar panel roof shingles is the reduction in cost of installation. The simplified mechanism for fixing the panels to roofs reduces the installation cost by nearly half or one-third of what it used to be previously. This greatly reduces the initial cost of solar panel installation which was a major reason why many people did not adopt solar panel technology in the earlier days. Also, the aesthetics have greatly improved over the years. Today, the panels are attractive looking with their dark purplish blue shading that blends in with most roofs. Homeowners are quite willing and eager to adopt them as they are aesthetically and functionally appealing.
The wires run underneath the shingles and can be easily connected to the electric mains by a trained electrician and roofers. The wires require a minimum punching of the roof to run below the roofing and be connected to the inverter. So, you don’t have to worry about ugly looking wires jutting out from your roof tops. This will all be concealed by the solar panel roof shingles and other nearby roofing shingles. You can either distribute the shingles throughout the roofing or install it all together on one part of the roof. Having all the shingles in one place makes the job of wiring easy. Distributing it all over makes it look like part of design and is aesthetically appealing. Best location to put up your roofing shingles would be somewhere south-facing with no obstructions like trees or any buildings near by that can cast shadows on the energy producing shingles.
Solar panel roof shingles help produce electricity that is pollution-free and also, noise-free. There are few technologies that as environment friendly as photovoltaic cells. With the help of these solar cells it is possible for homeowners to generate energy for their own needs and any excess can be sold back to the grid. A lot of power companies are offering net metering services to households with solar power generating units like solar shingles or solar panels. When you have excess power you can sell it to the power grid and when you need power you can draw from it. This helps you to cut your dependence on conventional energy sources and also reduces your energy bills.
Solar technology is improving rapidly both due to the huge amount of money being pumped into the sector both through government support and private investments. It is one of hottest sectors of growth today, with annual growth rates of 30 percent or more. The technology advances have made solar panel roof shingles light weight and tough. They are aesthetically appealing and functionally superior to the solar panels of the old. They are more efficient in converting sunlight to energy. They are durable and come with warranties of 25 years or more. A home with solar panel roof shingles installed and producing electricity has a higher resale value. All these advantages make adopting solar panel roof shingles a no-brainer.