The solar industry has made tremendous strides in the past few years. Solar panels are becoming increasingly more affordable, more efficient at power generation, and more advanced in almost every way. However, the latest disruptive innovation is something that nobody saw coming – solar shingles.
Solar shingles are proving to be a leading contender for large-sized solar panels in the residential solar market. So, are they a worthy alternative?
Decide for yourself.
Aesthetics is the primary USP of solar shingles against solar panels. They look like asphalt shingles and blend into the overall décor of most roofs that are designed for shingles.
Truth be told, solar installers have devised ways to install solar panels non-obtrusively. Yet, solar shingles have a clear advantage over them as far as appeal is concerned.
Solar shingles are relatively new and not widely available. In fact, shortages are more the norm rather than the exception. So, even if you decide to buy solar shingles, you may find it challenging to obtain them. What’s worse, if you have to replace them at some point in the future, it’s a likely scenario that you will suffer delays due to shortages. In contrast, solar panels are widely and readily available in Durham and across the world.
Solar panels hit it out of the park when it comes to cost. Relentless innovations in design, technology, and manufacturing have reduced the cost of solar panels to a fraction of what it used to be.
On the other hand, solar shingles cost as much as 2x to 3x that of solar panels to produce the same amount of power.
Virtually, solar shingles use the same photovoltaic technology like solar panels. So, on paper, both options are equally efficient in terms of their ability to generate power. However, their real-world performances diverge due to external factors.
Firstly, solar shingles hug the roof surfaces on which they are installed. For all practical purposes, solar shingles are part of the roof. For this reason, there’s no ventilation below them. When they get hot under the day’s sun, they stay hot, which drastically reduces their performance generation efficiency. Secondly, unlike solar panels, solar shingles cannot be installed at optimum tilt or orientation. They just sit on the roof as per the roof’s design, which may not be conducive to receiving direct sunlight at all times of the day.
Choosing the Right Solution
If aesthetics matter to you and you are ready to pay a pretty penny, then solar shingles could be the right fit for you. If affordability, performance, and easy availability matter to you, then solar panels are the natural fit for your needs.