Sunday, November 6, 2011

Solar Roof Shingles in the US

I've yet to jump into the solar panels on the roof idea but I am very eager. I have been hesitant for a couple of reasons. One has been the initial cost to buy and install and wire the panels. The other is that from everything I read, unless you get some really solid governmental subsidies, then the life span of the panels (25ish years) aren't long enough to repay for themselves in electrical savings. This blog is called Saving Green for a reason. Yes I am all about the environment and I want to save the planet for sure, but I want to do it in a way that will save people money too. Otherwise I believe the masses just won't do it.

So one other option that I've really been eyeing for quite a while from a far is solar roof shingles. These are roof shingles similar to asphalt shingles commonly used. However these shingles has solar panel on top of them and wires run from them into your attic and eventually wire into the grid to save you money on your power bill. I really just think this is a great idea.

Well I noticed on a blog today that they are going to be come largely available in the US for the first time in 2012. They are going to roll them out in Colorado with many more states coming by the end of 2012. Check out some of the details here.

Apparently these shingles' solar panels are made of a less efficient type of solar panel without the silicone. The bad news is they are less efficient but the good news is that they are much more durable. So they can take the beating of being walked on and a hail storm now and again. And since you are going to cover your entire roof edge to edge with them then you are still going to get a good amount of electricity from them.

One nice side effect is that since these panels are soaking up the sunlight they are also keeping that heat from transferring to the roof below them. So you are going to use less power to cool your house anyway.

In the long run I'm not sure that these shingles will become more widely used then regular panels but I really think they have the cool factor down! I did see someone mention that because each shingles is it's own panel then there are obviously going to be a lot of electrical connections on your roof. That alone is fine but the problem is there is a high change of needing lots of maintenance as those connections begin to fail with time.

Over all I think solar of any form is a great idea and I really want to push in that direction myself. In the next couple years I hope to buy the house that I'll retire in, and hope that the cost of solar panels/shingles will have come down to a point where it makes financial sense as well as green sense too!

1 comment:

Sam Gerrard said...

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