Solar panels and solar shingles are both roof mounted installations that provide your home with power from the sun. Though they both perform the same function, solar panels and solar shingles operate in very different ways, and as such fit different needs. Understanding the differences between solar panels and solar shingles can help you choose the right one for your situation.
Solar panels tend to be quite large, most of the time several square feet. They have extremely long lifespans, lasting several decades if properly maintained. Solar panels are mounted on top of already existing shingles, often creating a gap between the roof itself and the panels. This gap can become a home to animals, and trap debris which can place a greater strain on your roof, though screens can be installed over it.
It should be noted that solar panels are not restricted to rooftop use. They can be removed and mounted in other locations fairly easily, such as on the ground or on a pole. Additionally, some models of solar panels automatically track the sun as it moves through the sky, which means that you gain greater energy generation throughout the day. However, all types of solar panels can be angled to the sun, no matter the slope of your roof.
Much smaller than solar panels, solar shingles are a new product that has only been around for about a decade. As such, the actual lifespan of solar shingles is not yet known, but it is fair to assume that, since they take the place of regular shingles on a roof, they will have a shorter lifespan than solar panels. This is because they are designed to have the features of asphalt shingles, such as weather resistance and durability, as well as being able to generate power from solar energy.
Solar shingles are fairly easy to install, and the process is quite similar to regular shingles, which means that most roofing contractors can complete the job. However, it should be noted that solar shingles cannot be angled towards the sun as solar panels can, as they must be placed on the slope of the roof itself. Additionally, solar shingles can pose a fire hazard to your roof, as they generate a great deal of heat. While this may be a massive benefit in the winter months, when energy costs are high, it can pose a significant danger in the dry summer months. Contact Better Contracting Services for more information.