There have been huge advances with solar roofing technologically in the past decade. While previously an unsightly solar panel was needed to generate solar power, nowadays you can harness solar power using solar roof shingles that look the same as normal roof shingles. These blend in with the rest of the roof and don’t impact negatively on the design of your roof.
If you’re thinking about installing solar roof shingles on a building, whether your home or office, there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, think about whether the roof gets a lot of sun during the day. The best facing roof to install solar shingles on is the south side because it will get the most sun. You can still put solar roof shingles on eastern, western or northern facing roofs, but these will not be as effective at harnessing solar energy because they won’t receive as much sun.
Ideally, you should install solar roof shingles when the building is being built so they can blend in with the design of the rest of the building. Nowadays, though, you can get blue, purple or even black solar shingles that are made to merge into already existing, traditional shingles.
If you have solar shingles installed on your roof, you have the option of staying “on grid” or going “off grid” with your power company. The solar shingles will generate power which can then be used in your home or business. Once your solar power runs out, you move back to traditional power from the power company. If the solar roofing generates more power than your home or business uses, you can sell the excess power back to the power company to be used by other people.
If your house or office gets a very large amount of sunlight and generates a large amount of power through solar roofing, it may be possible for you to go “off grid.” This means that the building is not connected at all to a traditional power source provided by a power company. However, this can be risky due to the unpredictability of the weather, so it’s a good idea to have a backup power source such as wind or water, just in case.
Solar roofing shingles are among the more expensive roofing materials, costing around the same as tile or slate shingles. This is more than asphalt or metal shingles, but solar shingles will most likely recoup any costs in around ten years, depending on weather and positioning, due to savings on power bills.