We’re Comparing a Solar Roof vs. Solar Panels
For most homeowners, going solar means installing an array of solar panels on their home. This has been the main technology available for adding solar capabilities to a home for many years. However, recently new products have hit the market that attempt to more seamlessly integrate solar power with your roofing needs: solar shingles. If you’re comparing solar panels vs. an integrated roof that uses solar shingles, here’s what you should know about the pros and cons of each.
Advantages of an Integrated Solar Roof
A roof built using solar shingles offers a few unique advantages that solar panels can’t replicate. First off, they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing. For some homeowners, an array of solar panels stand out too much when installed on a roof. Solar shingles, on the other hand, are designed to give a seamless, intentional appearance, and they match especially well with metal siding.
In addition, when comparing the efficiency of a solar roof vs. solar panels, some solar shingles are more effective at converting sunlight into solar power. The Tesla solar roof, one of the most popular solar shingle systems, generally performs a bit better than solar panel arrays in this regard.
Drawbacks of Solar Shingles
Despite the advantages, solar shingles also have significant drawbacks that should be considered. First, an integrated solar roof will typically be much more expensive than solar panels. This is both due to the need to remove your existing roofing system entirely and because of the cost of this product, as well. As solar shingles are relatively new, there are few manufacturers, and the price has yet to be driven down by competition or by improvements in efficiency.
In addition, solar shingles are much less flexible in terms of installation. They’re incompatible with certain roof types, including flat roofs and roofs with complex designs. They also cannot be taken anywhere very easily.
Advantages of Solar Panels
Solar panels are still the tried-and-true means of going solar, and there are several reasons for this. First, solar panels tend to be much more affordable than a solar roof. Homeowners also have a broader range of options in terms of which products they choose and how large of a solar array they purchase, giving them more options for saving money.
In addition, installation of solar panels tends to be a bit less complicated. If your roof is relatively new, there won’t be any need to replace it before installing solar panels, unlike with an integrated solar roof. Finally, if you decide to move within the next few years, you may be able to take your solar array with you—albeit at a cost. This is not possible with a solar roof.
Drawbacks of Solar Panels
Despite these advantages, solar panels aren’t perfect. Compared to a solar roof, it’s hard to deny that solar panels stick out much more, which can interfere with the overall look of your home. They’re also somewhat more vulnerable to damage. While solar panels are more durable than you’d think, they can still be affected by severe storms to a greater extent than solar roofing systems, which are intended to double as both solar power and roofing.
Solar Roof vs. Solar Panels: What Makes Sense for You?
At Dolan Roofing & Construction, our solar division is all about helping homeowners get the most from going solar. This means exploring all options and carefully considering the needs of each of our clients.
For the majority of homeowners, solar panels still make the most sense as the right solar solution, but keep an eye on solar roof technology! Solar shingles will likely become less expensive with time, which may make them more viable as a solution for green-minded homeowners.