As the population grows, the energy needs of the population grow as well. And with energy needs growing, it's becoming more and more important to expand alternate sources of energy production. While solar roofs have been around for a while, installing large, clunky solar panels on top of the house isn't practical for every home. Luckily, solar manufacturers and roofing experts are working to make solar roofing more accessible to more people. If you've been thinking about solar energy for your own home, check out some of the newest options that are available or will be available soon for your roof.
Not interested in the clunky look of large solar panel installations? A hybrid of trendy tile and solar panel might be right up your alley. Manufacturers calculate that these tiles will be able to produce as much as 860 kilowatts of power per year. If you don't use all of the energy produced by the tiles to run your home, the excess goes into the power grid, which results in an energy credit for you, the homeowner.
The tiles are designed to work independently of one another, which means that if one shorts out and stops working, the others will continue to work to generate energy. This should make repairs affordable, as you'll only have to replace tiles as they stop working, as opposed to having to replace the entire roof at one time.
While the tile/solar panel hybrids currently only come in blue and are only available in select parts of the country, you can expect variety and availability to grow as the research into solar power technology continues and the popularity of the option increases. Eventually, these unique and stylish tiles will be available in a range of colors to homeowners everywhere.
Hidden Solar Shingles
In some areas, the look of solar panels poses a different kind of problem. Most solar panel options are very visible, which makes them an attractive target for thieves who steal the solar equipment for its resale value. If you live in an area where solar theft is a problem, you may be looking for a way to install solar roofing without tipping off the robbers in the area that you're storing valuable materials on your roof.
The solution? Solar shingles that are designed to blend in with regular asphalt shingles. That means they can be added to, or installed with, regular asphalt shingle roofs. The result of integrating asphalt shingles and solar shingles is that the solar shingles become much less obvious, while still generating up to 60% of the energy needed to power the home. And even if they are noticed, they're much more difficult to steal than a solar panel.
In addition to those benefits, these solar shingles are also less difficult and time-consuming to install than solar panels, meaning that you'll pay that much less for the labor involved in the initial installation.
What's the easiest way that you can think of to give yourself a solar roof? If your answer is "paint it on," then good news – soon you may be able to do just that. Solar paint isn't available to the consumer just yet. Scientists still have some work to do to get it ready for the market. However, it's definitely coming in the future.
Right now, the solar cells in solar paint are only one percent efficient. But the good news is that the product does exist, so the hard part is done. It can only improve from here. Even better, when solar paint does emerge fully functional, you'll be able to use it on more than just the roof. Paint it on the walls or your outdoor deck to generate even more power.
To find out just what solar options are available for your home now, talk to a solar roofer about ways you can power your home while adding on a great new roof. And keep your eyes peeled for emerging technology that will make your efforts at power generation even more successful.Share