Solar shingles are becoming more common, particularly due to their aesthetic appeal. At Project Solar, we feel solar shingles are not efficient enough to be cost effective in most cases.
In recent years, a few companies have started offering solar shingle options. Solar shingles are essentially small solar panels integrated into the structure and pattern of roof shingles.
The main appeal of these types of modules is aesthetics: some consider solar panels to be a bit of an eyesore, and solar shingles blend in more seamlessly with roofs.
Still, as with all new solar technology, there are some drawbacks. Keep reading to discover the positives and negatives of solar shingles, how they compare to solar panels, and why Project Solar doesn't currently offer them:
Solar Shingle Benefits
Solar shingles share some of the same benefits as solar panels: they're able to offer clean energy, they can help you be more grid-independent, they can lower your utility bill significantly, and more.
Perhaps the central most desirable feature of solar shingles is their look: they can be more aesthetically integrated with your home, making solar is less noticeable.
They're also a durable roofing option, especially if you're planning on installing a new roof--in the case you were already considering replacing your roof before adding solar, you could combine the two projects into one.
This can help by combining the costs of solar and roof replacement together--however, this bundled price can be similar (sometimes more) in comparison to the price of simply installing a new roof and a standard solar system, depending on your vendor's pricing.
Solar Shingle Drawbacks
The main negative of solar shingles boils down to their recent introduction into the industry. Since they're a newer product, it's hard to know exactly how well they perform over time.
In addition, since they aren't as common as solar panels, it's hard to find installers that offer solar shingles. This means a high demand with a low supply, which keeps prices higher than standard solar panels.
Last (but not least), solar shingles are not quite as efficient as most residential solar panels. While standard solar panels have an efficiency of approximately 19-23%, solar shingles are typically have a lower efficiency of 14-18%.
The shingles' flush mounting on the roof also prevents air flow behind the modules, causing them to heat up in the sun. Heat can further decrease efficiency, and this is the reason solar panels are generally installed with 3-6 inches left between the roof and the panels: for air cooling.
This drop in efficiency means fewer savings on your utility bill, particularly for those with limited roof space.
Project Solar's Policy
At Project Solar, one of our main values is providing customers with the best equipment at the lowest price possible. Solar shingles aren't very compatible with these values--they're more expensive and less efficient than the residential solar panels that we use.
For these reasons, we do not currently offer, source, or install any solar shingle options.
To learn more about the equipment we offer, see here: Project Solar Equipment Specifications