Solar Roof Shingles - Energy Efficient and Stylish
December 29, 2009
Solar shingles are a great way to go green, save money, and keep your home looking great. Solar shingles are actually photovoltaic cells, or PV cells, which look like normal asphalt shingles.
These are not your grandpa’s Subaru-sized solar cells that can wreck your roof deck. Solar shingles can either replace or be mixed in with normal shingles. The happy consequence is that you could decrease your electric bill without advertising it.
How Solar Shingles Work
Solar shingles have PV cells laminated to the surface of slate, metal, or asphalt shingles and are usually manufactured in long strips instead if 3-tab shingles. Energy is generated when the sun strikes the semiconductor in the PV cell. That energy travels along wires through the roof deck and into the home’s electrical system. Most solar systems are engineered to work with existing power lines, so at night or on rainy days you can use your electrical provider, if you prefer.
What Solar Shingles Cost
The cost of any green technology must be figured on a continuum. The initial purchase and installation price is fairly high. The shingles are expensive, and should be installed by professionals, while an electrician is required to wire the system into your home. After installation, though, you will save real money on your electricity. Additionally, if you live in states such as California or Arizona, you could sell your unused energy back to your local provider. Keeping this in mind, perhaps the question should be, “How much money can I make with solar shingles?”
Solar shingles are a great home improvement option, though not necessarily a DIY project. If you want to save money, the earth, and your curb appeal, this might be worth looking into.
Advanced Solar Energy