How solar shingles let you go solar without voiding your roof's warranty
Posted on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:56 PM by Bryan Nisperos
viewed 18276 times
Green energy is a growing trend that helps the environment and can save you a lot of money over time. Nearly every neighborhood in America will have at least one or two homes with solar panels on the roof, but some homeowners will resist adopting solar power simply because of the look of the panels. Furthermore, although your homeowners insurance will cover your solar panels, installing anything onto your roof can often void your roof's warranty, discouraging some would-be solar converts. This is where solar shingles come into play, and this new spin on a well-established technology makes a lot of sense for any homeowner considering the switch to solar.
If you are building a new home or installing a new roof, you’re looking at an expensive investment that you’ll want to protect. Roofs typically come with a 10-25 year warranty, but what’s often in the fine print is that you will void that warranty by attaching anything to the roof (satellite dishes, TV antennas, solar panels, etc.). Solar shingles get around this problem because they are installed during the building or roof installation process.
Like you might assume from the name, solar shingles are small solar panels in the shape of a shingle, that install directly on your roof instead of traditional cedar or composite shingles. They come in a variety of colors to match your home aesthetic, but the bulk of the shingle will be photovoltaic material, which is a deep, dark blue or purple.
If you live in a high-wind or storm-prone area, solar shingles represent some of the most resilient photovoltaic products on the market. Because of the installation method, only one side of the panel is exposed to the elements, and since they sit flush with your roof, most solar shingles are rated to withstand up to 80 mph winds.
Aside from being in a location that gets plenty of sun and no major obstructions blocking the sun from your roof, solar shingles are designed for roofs that face the proper direction (typically southern facing). This is because, while solar panels can be rotated and placed in the proper direction, shingles can only really be installed in one orientation, so make sure to have a consultant take a look at your roof before you purchase a solar shingle system.
Since solar shingles are installed when the home is built or when a roof is installed, the cost will generally be a bit higher than a traditional solar panel system. When you consider, however, that these panels will also function as your roof, the cost is actually lower than if you were to get a new roof installed and then install a solar panel system.
Solar shingles won’t be the right fit for every home, but they represent an aesthetically pleasing and unique alternative to traditional solar power systems.
SOLAR ENERGY ARTICLES