Contemporary advancements in solar shingle efficiency have facilitated the seamless integration of shingles into roofing materials such as shake, concrete, tile, and slate. At its most fundamental, a solar shingle is just a solar panel mounted on top of a traditional Newnan, GA, asphalt shingle roof. These shingles mimic the appearance and functionality of traditional asphalt shingles, protecting your roof from precipitation. They also offer the additional benefit of harnessing solar energy to power your home’s electrical needs.

Why Are Solar Shingles More Popular Than Solar Panels?

Solar shingles are more popular than solar panels, mainly due to their more aesthetically pleasing design. To some, the more natural look of solar shingles is preferable to that of solar panels installed on a mounting system that is typically higher off the roof.

Sometimes, a solar shingle system is a good alternative to rooftop solar panels when a homeowner’s association (HOA) or community governing body wants all the houses to appear the same. Something important to keep in mind is that several states in the U.S. have passed laws giving everyone the chance to use solar power at no cost.

Photovoltaic Solar Shingles

The new generation of solar shingles incorporates photovoltaic (PV) cells into the material itself, making them both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly. There is a wide range of PV solar shingles available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. They usually use thin-film technologies or cells based on silicon, both of which have benefits and downsides.

Silicon Solar Cells

The silicon solar cell is one of the most common types of photovoltaic cells used in solar shingles. Their long lifespan and excellent efficiency make them a solid option for home solar panels. There are two main types of silicon cells: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline cells are better in low-light situations and generally have greater efficiency.

Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide (CIGS) Thin Film

Because of their lightweight design, CIGS cells work well for many roofing projects. They are highly customizable and adaptable because of their malleability in both size and form. Compared to cells made of silicon, CIGS thin-film solar cells are more cost-effective and efficient. Their efficiency is somewhat lower than that of monocrystalline silicon cells, yet many homeowners prefer them due to their affordability and adaptability.

Shingle-Sized Solid Panels

Shingle-sized solid panels combine traditional roofing materials with PV cells. Their unique design aims to make their appearance blend well with other roofing shingles while also harnessing solar energy to generate electricity. Because of their durable construction, they can withstand harsh weather, such as heavy rain, hail, and strong winds.

These solar shingles tend to have a more straightforward installation process when compared to other types. This is mostly because they come in prefabricated units. Despite their easier installation, their solid construction makes them extremely heavy, meaning you must have a sturdy roof to support their weight.

Semi-Rigid Designs

Semi-rigid design solar shingles are relatively bendable, meaning they can follow the shape of a roof without sacrificing strength or energy efficiency. Their semi-rigid construction also makes them useful on roofs that have irregular forms or surfaces. Because they are extremely adaptable to a wide range of roofing materials and constructions, they provide more variety in application. These shingles also come with the benefit of being lighter in weight when compared to solid panels. This means you can use them without adding unnecessary stress to the roof. These solar shingles usually use modern PV materials, such as thin-film or flexible monocrystalline cells.

Thin-Film Solar Cell Systems

Among the many solar shingle possibilities, thin-film solar cell systems stand out for their adaptability and portability. These systems work by applying a thin layer of PV material to a flexible substrate, which makes them compatible with a wide range of roofing materials.

Their adaptability makes thin-film solar cells ideal for use on roofs with unusual shapes or curves, among other unusual surfaces. They are perfect for structures with weight restrictions because of how light they are.

Some materials used to make thin-film solar cells include cadmium telluride, amorphous silicon, and copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS). With varying degrees of efficiency and price points, you can easily choose the one that works best for you.

How to Choose the Best Solar Shingles for Your Home

Consider your energy use and available funds before making a decision on solar shingles for your house. Find out how much power you need and how much you can afford to spend on setup and upkeep. You can then use this information to narrow down your options between CIGS thin-film shingles and higher-efficiency shingles made of monocrystalline silicon, which cost more.

The solar shingles’ endurance and aesthetics should be your next consideration. Find shingles that will perform well in weather patterns that are normal for your local climate. Although semi-rigid systems are more adaptable and simpler to install on a variety of roof types, shingle-sized solid panels may provide greater longevity and a more classic appearance.

Shingles with more efficiency, like monocrystalline silicon cells, produce more power. However, they may be more expensive. Verify if the shingles’ performance and weather-related damage warranties are comprehensive. It’s always a good idea to consult with an expert installer for advice on what features are most important and how to install them properly.

How to Take Care of Solar Shingles

Once you have solar shingles installed, you’ll need to keep yourself up to date on the latest care and maintenance requirements. Different types of solar shingles require different kinds of maintenance and upkeep.

Inspect and Clean the Shingles Regularly

Check for cracks, loose shingles, discoloration, and other noticeable deterioration of the shingles at least twice a year. Dirt, dust, leaves, and bird droppings can block sunlight and diminish energy production. Cleaning the shingles is very important. To avoid damaging the surface, clean it with a delicate brush or a hose that has mild water pressure. To remove tough grime, use a gentle soap solution. Stay away from chemicals that might damage the shingles.

Monitor the Performance of the Shingles

You can keep tabs on your solar power system’s output in real time with the help of the monitoring tools or apps that come with most current systems. Shade, dirt buildup, or mechanical difficulties might be to blame for unexpected dips in energy production. Keeping track of the shingles’ performance will help you know when to clean or schedule professional inspections.

Clear Surrounding Vegetation

Shadows generated by nearby vegetation, such as trees and shrubs, will drastically reduce the effectiveness of your shingles. By regularly trimming trees and shrubs, you can prevent sunlight from blocking the shingles. To avoid future shadowing problems, it’s a good idea to landscape around your house with plants that have predictable growth patterns.

It’s always smart to have a professional inspect your home and help you choose the right solar shingles. Fraser Roofing, LLC offers solar roofing services, including installation, repairs, and maintenance. We also specialize in roof replacement, storm damage repair, and gutter replacement. Give us a call now to speak with an expert roofer about using solar shingles on your home in Newnan.

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