The traditionally mounted solar panels are what get the most attention in the world of solar energy. For people who want to get into the solar energy scene without the bulk of roof-mounted solar panels, there is another option that gets much less hype. A photovoltaic tile is the technical way to say solar roof panel. The result of implementing this kind of panel is a really invisible tile that interlocks with the shingles on your roof, giving you an inconspicuous way to benefit from solar energy without breaking homeowner association codes. These require little to no maintenance and pay for themselves by producing clean, renewable energy for your home. The differences between solar roof tiles and traditional solar panels center on aesthetics and cost.
Aesthetics are the number one reason people choose to install the solar roof panel options versus bulky panels. The fact that your house can still look great with an uninterrupted roofline is a huge benefit of these discrete tiles. They are not invisible, however, as their colors range from dark blue to purple and muted tones. Conversely, people may hesitate to go with solar roof panels because they are more expensive. They are more intensive to install, so it can not be categorized as a do-it-yourself project, as many traditional panels can be.
The lifespan of solar tiles is comparable to that of solar panels, which is 20 to 30 years. Sometimes one solar tile may wear out before another. In this case, it is usually a simple matter of replacing a single tile as needed. During the lifespan of either product, efficiency is a key player. Solar roof tiles are made a little thinner, so they are slightly less effective than their silicon-based panel counterparts. However, since they can be incorporated over an entire roof, they can easily produce enough energy for powering a home.
No matter which you decide, the overall efficiency of your solar panels will be determined by the orientation of your roof and exposure time based on surrounding shade. Because of this, you should have your home evaluated before you proceed with your solar project. If the traditional, bulky solar panels do not bother you or the homeowner association of your neighborhood, it will be the more cost-effective way to go. However, if you really want a solar option and want something more aesthetically pleasing, solar roof paneling is certainly an option you should consider.