As conventional energy sources get more and more costly, the need for alternatives grows in importance. The cost of energy alternative sources like solar and wind have been restrictively high, but are coming down in price as new products are introduced. The size and look of solar componants are becoming more integrated in the home, less obvious to the passer by. There are homeowners installing solar roof shingles rather than large panels. A few years ago, no one had even heard of installing solar roof shingles. Even now, not many people are familiar with this great new product.
Solar roof shingles are possible now, because of recent strides made in thin film solar technology. They are thin film photovoltaic cells made to look similar to regular roof shingles. They come in a dark purple/blue or black color. The solar cells are made in various small shingles or tiles for pitched roofs, or in large continuous sheets for flat roofs. Solar shingles or sheets can be integrated into new construction or added later as a solar upgrade. Homes using solar energy can choose to remain on the electric power grid, or go off the energy grid entirely and be totally self sufficient. Installing solar roof shingles should be left to professionals at this point.
Considering use of solar in your home is good for the environment, but is it good for you? Consider the location of your home in relation to other buildings, the amount of sun each day, the return on your investment, your homes’ energy consumption and the cost of the solar components and their installation. Generating 100% of a homes’ solar power needs is difficult, so most people stay on the power grid for rainy days and so on. Installing solar roof shingles or panels can be a huge benefit to you and the earth. Just do your home work first.
Another consideration, when factoring the cost of installing solar roof shingles, is that you do not have to cover the entire roof. You can have your solar installer help you figure out how much area you need to cover, to meet your energy needs, then install the solar roof tiles in sections on the parts of the roof that get the most sun. Just keep in mind-the more shingles used, the more energy generated. Your return on investment can take up to 10 years, but will drop as energy costs go up and solar component costs go down.