There has been a rise in the usage of solar roof shingles in many areas of the country. That being said, it will still be some time before the technology is available to do it yourselfers. At this time, it is not quite suitable for retrofits, but ideal for new construction. While they do not sell them to consumers yet, many of the companies installing these shingles have been working in a variety of commercial and housing developments to install their products. Despite it being such a new way to provide solar power to your home, the prospects of unobtrusive solar shingles are very attractive to many.
Solar shingles, also known as building-integrated photovoltaics are strips of small solar panel
s that are designed to appear just like your normal roofing materials, such as slate or asphalt. They are incorporated directly into your roofing material to generate solar power for your home or business. This results in many of the same benefits of traditional solar panels, such as a decrease in monthly electrical bills. According to some, this type of solar panel is more efficient than standard panels due to the fact that all electrical contacts are located on the back of the solar shingles.
Solar shingles are flexible so that they can be nailed right into place. From the underside of each shingle, you will find a 12 inch electrical lead wire that must be passed through the decking of the roof. These wires are then attached to a converter that connects to your home's electrical system. As the shingles are exposed to sunlight on your roof, they bind together from the warmth to create a completely weather tight seal. These systems are typically rated to last 20 to 25 years and withstand winds up to 80 mph.
At this time, there are very few companies out there that will retrofit their solar roof shingles to your roof. If you are building a new home, you can work together with your contractor to see if these great-looking high performance shingles are available to you. Because of their unique nature, solar roof shingles should only be installed by a professional. Naturally, safety is the main concern here. Improperly installed electrical components could lead to injuries and danger both within your home and any electrical workers who are working on the lines nearby. For this reason, a professional must insure that the proper amount of stop-gaps for emergency shut-off have been installed into the system.
If you live in an area that provides this type of solar power option, now is a great time to look into it due to the variety of financing and other purchasing options available. This is especially true if you plan to build a new home in the coming years. Do a little research and see what companies are manufacturing and installing solar roof shingles in your area to get an idea of whether or not this is a practical solution for you and your home.
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