Are you battling with the thought of whether you should install solar roof tiles or solar panels for your brand-new house? If so, you are in the right place! Let me help you decide which of these two would be an ideal investment for your future as well as your bank balance.
A solar panel is a collection of solar or photovoltaic cells arranged in a grid-like pattern. They generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
Solar tiles, on the other hand, are the best inventions in roofing technologies so far. They are designed to appear as ordinary roof tile; however, they harness solar energy and generate electricity. The best part is, they are as durable and flexible as a regular roof tile.
Moreover, like every other tile, they are lightweight and easy to set up. Solar roof tiles can withstand extreme natural forces like wind, snow, rain, and hailstorm. A single solar tile can produce 13 to 63 watts of energy depending upon the quality and various external factors.
Solar-powered homes are trending, no argument! And, as solar power has multiple benefits ranging from environmental factors to financial concerns, installing them will undoubtedly increase your property value. Homeowners see it as an investment towards being free from fluctuating energy prices!
As the law of balance goes, for every pro, there is possibly a con. Here are a few pros and cons of solar panels and solar roof tiles for you to better understand how they work. Consider both the advantages and disadvantages of these two and analyze what’s best for you!
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Pros and Cons of Solar Panels
The popularity of solar panels has upsurged exponentially in the present day. They are popular in our homes, schools, businesses, and public spaces as well. It is not a surprise for us to come across street lamps working on solar power through solar panels.
An eco-friendly solution to meet your daily energy requirements!
Cost: Solar panels are cheap investments. The system and installation will cost around 15,000 USD to 25,000 USD depending upon the size of your roof. The financial aspect is the primary reason for their popularity.
Efficiency: Solar panels are much more efficient in comparison to solar tiles. The average efficiency of solar panels lies between 16% to 22%, while for solar roof tiles, the efficiency is only about 10% to 20%.
Return On Investment: Solar Panels give a considerably good return on investment. It takes as long as five years to get your money back in terms of energy saving.
Transferability: Solar panels are very portable and can be easily moved from one location to other. If you are a frequent house mover, this is your go-to green energy!
Installation and repair: Installation and maintenance of solar panels come at a manageable cost. As they have been around for quite an extended period, getting a solar panel specialist is not a problem. Additionally, solar panels are low-maintenance investments. Give it a good wash if you see any dust or foreign objects, and you are good to go.
Wide range of products: You will find various solar panels depending upon your needs and power requirements. You can go for thermal panels if heating requirements consume most of the electricity. Or, you can go for an all-in-one battery system if you wish to store the power. Whether you are performance-focused or budget-oriented, there is one for everyone.
Did you know that you can sell the excess energy produced by your solar panels in some countries like the USA, India, United Kingdom, and a few European countries?
Appearance: Solar panels might not look as aesthetically pleasing as solar roof tiles since they are huge and bulky in appearance. Solar panel companies might need to work a little more on their outlook and make it look catchy.
Durability: Solar panels have a shorter lifespan in comparison to solar roof tiles. They work pretty well for 25 to 30 years. However, some companies have reasonable provisions if you would want to reinstall a new solar panel. And, if your panel undergoes any damage, you can easily claim the warranty!
Location-specific: It is best to place your solar panel on top of the roof at a certain angle to maximize its power. But if you are a resident of colder countries, you might need to add numerous panels to fulfill your energy requirements.
Pros and Cons of Solar Roof Tiles
Solar roof tiles are similar to small solar panels that basically convert your entire roof into a huge solar panel. They come in various shapes and sizes, bringing sophistication to your rooftop along with energy-saving benefits. What more do we need, right?
Moreover, the solar roof tiles will undoubtedly impress the neighbors.
Sophisticated look: Solar roof tiles give the appearance of regular tiles. Therefore, the slim and trim outlook is more pleasing to look at than straight-up bulky solar panels sitting on your roof. This is the biggest selling point of solar roof tiles.
Durability: An average solar roof tile will perform exceptionally well up to 40 years. It will continue producing electricity even after the designated time; however, like an old battery, it may not produce as much electricity as before.
Fire resistance: And, did you know that solar roof tiles are fire resistant? They meet a Class A fire rating, which is the highest-class specification for fire resistance.
Impact-resistant: Solar tiles are made up of solid glass and go beyond the highest impact rating of Class 4 impact resistance. Some solar companies claim that their solar roof tiles are three times stronger compared to regular tiles. They are infrangible and will not break from being walked on.
Wind resistant: Solar tiles are resistant to strong wind speeds up to 130 mph, making them a better option for those of us residing in windy locations.
UV resistant: Who would have imagined that your roofs could be UV resistant? Manufacturers today use UV-resistant glass to produce solar tiles. It protects the roof and extends its durability.
On a brighter note, the solar roof system manufactured by Tesla can be linked to your mobile phones, making it easy for homeowners to calculate their energy savings daily!
Availability: The major disadvantage is that, as solar roof tiles are not very popular, many solar companies do not work with solar roof tiles. Or, you might be kept on a long waiting list before you get them installed on your roof. Solar tiles are yet to hit the market at a full range.
Every so often, solar roof tiles can be less energy efficient than your regular solar panels.
Location-specific: If you live in an area with extreme sun exposure, this might be a perfect fit. As for residents in the northern hemisphere, your solar tiles might not prove to be as good. Also, your roof needs to have a good slope. In the absence of an angle, the tiles may not be able to absorb a large amount of solar power.
Testing phase: One of the biggest cons of solar roof tile technology is that it is still in the testing phase. They were made commercially available since 2005. The early adopters may experience some issues concerning its maintenance and durability. Although the manufacturers claim that solar tiles last almost 40 years, the accuracy of the claim is yet to be proven.
Cost: Solar tiles roof installation will cost around 60,000 USD to 75,000 USD depending upon the size of your roof and slope. An average price for one square foot of solar roof tiles would be between 20 USD to 25 USD. However, your cost might go up or down depending upon the solar power company.
Transferability: If you decide to get a new house, you may not be able to carry your solar tiles along with you as easily. The reinstallation process is highly time-consuming and complex.
Installation and repairs: The installation process of solar tiles is very technical, requiring specialists trained in both roofing and electrical work. The installation process can take days as there are not many people trained for this technology. And, same goes with the repairs.
It was reported that a crew of 20 people spent around two weeks installing solar roof tile for a single client with an average-sized house!
Return on Investment: Solar roof times have high installation costs. On average, you can expect to get your Return on Investment (ROI) from power-saving only after 15 years.
NASA has been incorporating solar power for space study and manufacture of mass-energy.
As a solar panel user, I would undoubtedly say that it is a good investment, and I would choose solar panels over any other form of electricity any day! However, I would also emphasize that solar roof tiles are the new sophisticated alternative to a regular solar panel.
To sum it up, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution, getting a solar panel might be a good idea. However, if appearance is more important to you, best go for the sleek-looking solar roof tiles.
Whether you choose to install a solar panel or solar roof tiles, the future of solar power seems promising. To back this up, the International Energy Agency declared that solar power is the cheapest form of electricity at present times!
Make your roof solar-powered and enjoy free energy!
(Last Updated on August 15, 2021 by Sadrish Dabadi)