Solar roof shingles have come a long way in development over the past ten years. It used to be, that if a consumer wanted to use solar power, he was required to mount unattractive solar panels on the roof to collect the sunlight. Today, there are solar roof shingles that look like regular shingles so that they blend into the rest of the roof and do not disrupt the design of the house or office building.
There are some considerations when thinking about adding solar roof shingles to a building, whether house or office. One consideration is whether the roof of the building gets a lot of sunlight during the day and especially if it is on the south facing side of the roof. This is the best facing roof to collect the most possible rays with the solar paneled roof. It is still possible to use the solar roof shingles on eastern or western facing roofs, but it is not as ideal and will collect less energy than on southern facing rooftops.
The ideal time to implement solar roof shingles is when the building is being built so that the entire look of the building can completely flow together. Today however, there are blue or purple solar roof shingles that blend into the traditional shingles that are used on rooftops. There are also some black solar roofing shingles that can blend into certain types of roofs with darker shingles.
Using solar roof shingles allows the consumer to either stay ‘on grid’ or go ‘off grid’ with their power company. Basically, the power from the solar roofing shingles is used first in the house or business. When that energy is consumed each day, then the house or business moves over to the traditional energy source from the power company. If, by chance, the solar roofing shingles make more than the energy used by the building, then the overage energy can be ‘sold’ back to the power company to help other people.
If a building gets exceptional sunlight, then it could be possible to go ‘off grid,’ meaning that the building is not connected to a traditional power source at all. This is somewhat risky due to weather considerations and it is usually recommended that there be some sort of back up power source such as wind or water.
Solar roofing shingles are still more expensive, costing about as much as tile and slate shingles, which is significantly more than asphalt or metal roofing shingles. However, these shingles usually pay for themselves in about a ten year period, depending on the sunlight received by a particular roof.