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Solar Roof Shingles

Solar Roof Shingles can cut down your electricity bills by more than you might have thought, by using the most abundant renewable source of energy.

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Renewable energy sources seem to become more and more popular among people looking for alternative methods to produce electricity and protect the environment at the same time.

Among all the available solutions, solar energy is a free and easy to explore source of electrical power. This is why various devices based on solar cells are increasing pretty quickly in popularity. And from all these equipments run by daylight, roof shingles are probably the most efficient and impressive ones.


What are solar roof shingles and how do they work?

Everyone knows what solar panels or photovoltaic cells are, but solar roof shingles aren't so common among average customers.

These equipments are designed and produced to replace a basic roof and make it energy efficient! In other words, solar shingles are roofing materials that can be used in both residential and commercial buildings, in order to capture sun rays and convert their heat and light into electric current for current use.

The photovoltaic panels are integrated into the roof when a building is constructed but they can also be added when the conventional wood or slates roof has come to the end of its life.

Solar roof shingles are a smart way of reducing the electricity bills, as they use free solar rays to power an entire building; from the largest household equipments to the smallest gadgets, every electronic device found in your house can be powered by these roofing materials that require no expensive fuels!

Isn't it wonderful to know that you can have unlimited electricity from a renewable, unobtrusive energy source?

The shingles are usually made of silicon photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and transform it into energy. These solar cells come in various dimensions, but the standard ones are 12 x 86 inches and are suitable for any type of surface. There are two main types of solar roof shingles that work a little different:

  • On grid ones are solar shingles that, besides converting solar energy into electricity, are also connected to the conventional energy grid. This type is usually used in areas with less shinny days or in buildings with huge electricity needs, where the solar panels aren't able to provide enough power. One of the advantages is that, in case the cells manage to produce more electricity that the building requires, you can actually sell the excess to the national grid. Also, you can be sure you'll never run out of energy in case of rainy days and during nighttime. So these types of solar shingles are actually additional sources of energy.

  • Off grid systems are not connected to other electricity sources, so you'll only rely on sunlight to power the entire building where the panels are mounted. This type of solar roof shingles are more recommended for rural areas where people don't have access to power lines or where the weather allows them to produce huge amounts of electricity using photovoltaic building integrated cells. Unfortunately, these shingles aren't very suitable for large commercial places, neither for buildings located in shady areas.


Advantages of solar roof shingles

These photovoltaic systems have lots of advantages, besides the already mentioned ones!

  • Solar shingles look very similar to regular roofing materials and they come in two different colors, dark purple and blue. Due to their aspect, there is a lower risk for you to have complaints from your neighbors than in case of other renewable energy sources, like wind turbines for example.

  • The solar panels are very durable and they're specially designed to withstand rain, snow, wind and storms! So you don't have to worry about them getting damaged to early - these photovoltaic integrated cells are as resistant as any regular roof. Also, most of them come with a 20 year power output and 5 year system warranty.

  • Depending on the country you live in, you may be allowed to access different grants available for solar technologies. Governments all over the world are actively encouraging people to opt for renewable energy sources and to explore them, so you may have the opportunity to reduce the costs of the equipment by accessing such grants.

  • Having more solar roof shingles installed upon your roof means having more electricity to use for powering your electric devices. So don't think of these innovative energy systems as expensive, inutile tools - they're actually a very smart long term investment! Don't expect to recoup your money very quickly - it usually takes around 10 years to see a return on your investment. However, the quick benefits are visible from the first month of use: lower electricity bills, continuous free energy to power household equipments!


Tips For Buying Solar Shingles

Before starting to browse for online stores selling this type of roofing materials, it's better to ask yourself:

  • Why are you doing this investment? Are you ready to pay for an advanced solar shingles system or should you be buying only some isolated solar panels for producing a little extra electricity?

  • How much energy should these panels produce? Can your house frame support the needed number of shingles?

  • Is your house located in a sunny area? Will these photovoltaic cells be properly exposed to sunlight each and every day? Are there surrounding buildings that could block out light from reaching the solar roof shingles?

  • How much are you currently spending on electricity bills? Is it possible for your home to require more energy within the next months or years? If the answer is positive, are you ready to opt for a larger solar system in order to avoid future additions and structural changes?

  • Are you thinking of selling your house in the near future? Solar panels usually increase the price of a building, as they turn it into a more efficient one, from the energetic point of view. So do you think the potential customers will be interested in this investment and willing to pay more for keeping the solar shingles?
  • Now if you answered all these questions and you're absolutely sure you want to do this important investment, the best places to shop online for solar roof shingles are the official sites of the most important manufacturers. These are Uni-Solar, SunPower and Atlantis Energy.




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