Solar Shingles

Most people are familiar by now with the sight of solar panels mounted onto roofs. The savings in energy costs that results from the use of this technology is also common knowledge.

Perhaps not so familiar are the new solar shingles that combine the energy production of a solar panel with a shingle that can be installed like any other shingle. Since solar shingles completely replace the asphalt shingle, fewer asphalt shingles are needed to do the job.

Because this is a relatively new product, it is important to consult a reputable and experienced Ocean County roofing professional. Although solar shingles are installed like regular shingles, there are electrical skills required. With any installation, you will need both a roofer and an electrician to install and connect the system.

The main difference between solar panels and solar shingles is one of aesthetics. Solar shingles are integrated into the roof while a solar panel is bolted on. Solar shingles are less likely to suffer damage from the elements than solar panels.

The greatest benefit of installing solar shingles is in energy savings.

Solar panels used to generate about double the amount of electricity as solar shingles, but advances in technology have given both about a 20% conversion efficiency. Solar cells are best used in sunny areas like the desert Southwest, but virtually every state receives some direct sunlight, so solar shingles may be an appropriate choice for every U.S. resident.

The estimated payback period for the installation of solar shingles is 5-15 years, with the longer period being for less sunny areas. In addition to the energy savings, the costs of installation are eligible for tax credits from the Federal government and some states. Additionally, some states require that the electricity companies buy back any excess electricity, so there are reports of some households receiving a check instead of a bill each month.

Solar shingles make the most sense if someone is planning to stay in the house for a relatively long time in order to eventually reap the rewards of the investment in the solar technology. Even if the house is sold, a solar roof will increase the property value of the house.

As with any technology, it is likely that the cost will continue to fall and the efficiency to rise as more and more people adopt it and the production increases. Because of all of these benefits, solar shingles are worth considering when purchasing a new roof. A roofing contractor from Fortified Roofing of Ocean County NJ can answer your questions about new roofs or skylights.

Roofing term from Fortified Roofing, Ocean County NJ:

Conversion efficiency

Conversion efficiency is a ratio that, when talking about solar cells, means the amount of the sun’s energy that is converted into usable electricity. For a long time, solar panels had an efficiency of about 20% while solar shingles were half that. Today, both forms of solar energy are about equal at 20%.

Ocean County roofing company Fortified Roofing answers a question:

Are solar shingles more expensive than solar panels?

Looking at it overall, solar shingles are typically less expensive than solar panels today. They have a useful life of about 40 years, their installation time is a third that of solar panels, and there is no need to strengthen or otherwise alter the roof to accommodate solar shingles. Solar shingles are also less susceptible to damage.

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