What are Solar Roofing Tiles
†††††Solar roofing tiles are exactly what they sound like - thin, discreet, aesthetically pleasing solar panels. These solar energy collectors are for those who are interested in energy conservation but donít want to reduce their home's visual appeal.
††††† Sometimes solar roofing tiles are referred to as solar roofing shingles. They are dark and bluish-purple in color and often blend in with generic tiles or shingles. They can be mixed in with traditional roofing materials like slate, asphalt, and metal. They also take up about four times the space of a normal shingle. The only difference from a normal roofing tile is that solar roofing tiles are covered with a thin film of solar photovoltaic material that generates enough energy to power household appliances.
††††† You will need more than one shingle since a single solar roofing tile will only collect about 50-200 watts of energy - which is only enough to power a small reading lamp.
††††† Traditional solar panels must be attached to the roof with various ties and must be appropriately angled. Some individuals even have free standing solar panels in their yards or gardens. Solar roofing tiles are thin and attach directly to the roof of a home.
†††††It is important to make sure that there is adequate sun throughout the day on the area of roof you wish to convert. You can check locally to find out exactly how much sun reaches the location of your home as well as the watts. On average, a home uses about 25 kWh of energy. Make certain that at least this much wattage of solar rays will hit your roof.
††††† Tree limbs can be a problem, and they may need to be pruned away from the solar roofing tiles. Other debris such as leaves, dirt, grime, and smog may also cause problems. Snow must be regularly removed.
††††† While it is necessary to have consistent sunlight to generate power with the solar roofing tiles, sometimes poor weather or other variables may affect the collecting. This is acceptable because most solar roofing tiles and panels store energy in batteries or other collection devices. While most devices only store a day or two of energy, there are some that are designed to save a season or more worth of energy.
††††† Whether the energy generated from the solar roofing tiles is collected or not is decided by the type of solar inverter that is chosen to work with the tiles. Grid-tie inverters will allow you to transfer energy back to the utility company to make a profit, but this also means that when the utility power goes off, the power goes off at your home. Other types of inverters allow the solar roofing tiles to be off-grid, which means that if the utility power goes off, your solar roofing tiles will still supply your home with energy.
†††††Most solar roofing tile warranties average 25 years, though many last 40-80 years with minimal maintenance.