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Most solar systems use traditional rooftop solar panels. While these offer excellent energy savings, they can look clunky and noticeable on your roof. New technology has led to solar shingles, which function as solar panels but provide a sleeker, more low-profile look.

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Solar shingles are an alternative to traditional solar panels that blend in more seamlessly with your roof. Like solar panels, they absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity for your home. Solar shingles are categorized as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), or solar products that replace conventional building materials such as roofs or glass windows. BIPV solutions reduce building material costs while providing renewable energy.

Solar shingles resemble standard asphalt roof shingles but vary in composition. These shingles contain thin layers of photovoltaic (PV) sheets that cover a glass base. They can either cover your existing roof or replace it. Just like your roof, shingles are designed to withstand the elements, including heavy rain, wind, and hail.

Solar shingles and solar panels both produce renewable energy to power your home. However, they differ in key ways, including construction, energy efficiency, and installation options. Review the differences between these solar solutions in the table below.

Most solar shingles use copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cells. CIGS cells are also used in thin-film solar panels, a less popular solar panel type. Instead of silicon, these cells use a combination of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium along with glass to create conductivity.

Homeowners can take advantage of solar incentives, rebates, and credits to offset solar shingle costs. These incentives are offered at federal and local government levels. For example, the federal solar tax credit provides a tax reduction equal to 30% of your solar installation costs. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) for additional state and local incentives in your area.

The third-generation Tesla Solar Roof (aka, the Solarglass Roof) is here. Elon Musk's newest energy-saving shingles were announced in October 2019 and feature a design that looks nearly identical to a regular roof. But how much does a Tesla Solar Roof cost? And where are they available?

The Tesla Solar Roof tiles have a lot to offer. They're designed to blend into your roof while providing renewable power 24/7 in conjunction with a Powerwall battery. They have a warranty of 25 years. Tesla even made a video showing its Solar Roof surviving a two-inch hailstone moving at 100 mph. That's way better than regular old roof tiles hold up.

The Tesla Solar Roof also undercuts the cost of buying a roof and panels separately. Tesla says a 10-kilowatt roof in California will cost around $33,950, equating to $5.60 per square foot or $2.11 per watt. That, Tesla claims, is cheaper than spending $54,647 on a premium roof ($34,091 at $11.92 per square foot) and retrofit solar panels ($20,556 at $2.05 per watt).

At the October 2019 unveiling, Tesla's senior director of energy operations Kunal Girota explained that Tesla is installing retrofit solar panels in 25 states, and it will be offering the roof in all of those states. The goal, however, is to expand across the country with both the company's internal teams and third parties.

At the time of writing, Tesla's website accepts orders for its retrofit solar panels in 24 locations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusets, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

The first four fields will calculate the roof's price: location, home square footage, number of stories, and average electricity bill. Tesla needs to determine how big the roof will be, how much sunlight it's likely to receive, and how much energy the house uses. The solar roof uses a combination of fake and solar tiles, meaning the roof isn't entirely made of solar panels. These figures will determine the appropriate mix of fake and solar tiles.

The website will inform you that a non-refundable order fee is due today. Curiously, an information box also informs you that "if you feel strongly about this, we'll give it back to you." The pricing breakdown will demonstrate how much the roof will cost after incentives and assuming 25 years' worth of savings. It also offers a comparison with other options like retrofit solar panels.

Nearly three weeks later on November 11, Tesla confirmed that the installation permit had been secured. Two days later a subcontractor removed their original roof over the space of two hours. Tesla delivered the materials on November 15, and the company's roofing crew completed work on November 22. This included delays from rain and the weekend.

That depends on the situation! While Tesla claims its third-generation tiles are competitive with the cost of a roof plus solar, it's still a big ask to replace the roof. If you don't need to spend the money it might be worth looking at alternatives like a retrofit. There's also a number of competitors on the market like Luma Solar, which may be worth exploring before taking the plunge.

Luma Solar, by comparison, chooses to be obsessively customer-focused. We don't work with everybody, but we're obsessed with the customers we match with. We focus on your needs. We use the best available materials. We custom-fit each solar roof system. We stand by our power warranty. We're proud of our underlying metal shingle limited lifetime warranty. We make your roof stronger.

We developed the first fully-integrated solar rooftop shingle system in North America, perhaps the world. We are also the only upgradeable solar shingle system. Luma Solar brings clean energy to customers who want beauty and quality craftsmanship.

California homeowners are lucky to experience the nearly year-round sunny weather. This, of course, makes many California homes great candidates for solar powered roof options. Roof structure also plays a factor in effectiveness. Depending on your energy needs, you will need more sunny area on the roof. In the northern hemisphere, more solar energy will also be collected from south facing roof areas. Compared to solar panels, however, roof shingles are able to be placed in areas that may be prohibitive for typical solar panel placements, which increases the amount of energy that can be produced.

Your location might also play a factor into your candidacy. Homes surrounded by forests or tall structures that block out sunlight will have a great impact on the amount of solar energy collected by the shingles. Monitor your roof at different times during the day to gauge how often it is impacted by shade. If you are considering adding solar to your home, the solar company you are considering can do an irradiance analysis to provide you with a visual representation of the amount of sun your roof gets.

A solar expert will help design your system with plansets to ensure that you understand your system size and make sure that the entire system will operate as effectively as possible. For solar roofs, you also need to make sure that your installer is properly installing the system with waterproof underlayment and proper gasketing since the shingles are your structural and protective roof surface, as well.

Solar shingles come in different styles and have different looks. Some have a fully integrated edge-to-edge design. Others have solar panels inlaid next to traditional shingles, so it has a lower profile than typical rack-mounted solar panels, but the look is not fully-integrated. Depending on your roof and your desired look, you will have a few options to choose from.

If your roof is due for an upgrade, consider a solar roof. Sure, it will cost more than a regular roof, but it will typically cost less than a regular roof plus a conventional solar array with similar power output.

Solar shingles can be a great way to go solar if you have a small roof that makes a standard solar set-up difficult or even impossible. For the same reason, solar shingles can be a good choice for a roof with awkward space constraints, such as dormers, skylights, and so forth.

After all, a shingle is far smaller than a solar panel. This means you can squeeze a few shingles onto a small area and maximize your rooftop real estate. You might even decide to skip your rooftop entirely and instead install a solar roof on your garage, shed, or an auxiliary dwelling, especially if these get more sun exposure than your home.

Standard solar panel installations require external wiring that connects the mounted solar panels to the inverter and main service panel inside your home. With a solar roof and most solar shingles, all the wiring is internal and hidden. This reduces the risk of damage from wind, rain, birds and other wildlife, and so forth.

Standard solar arrays also have to be mounted on top of roofing material, which usually means drilling into the roof. Some metal roofs allow for solar modules to be clicked into place, but regular roof shingles and tiles require solar installers to penetrate the roofing material, which can cause damage and create weak spots.

Some solar shingles are direct to deck, acting like both a solar panel and a roofing shingle. Others attach to existing roofing shingles or tiles. As such, the potential for damage to an existing roof varies greatly between differing solar roofing options.

Solar roofs and shingles also have a shorter lifespan than most regular solar panels. While a standard solar panel can usually keep producing electricity at around 80% of original output for 25 years or more, solar shingles usually maintain that level of output for just 20 or so years. They also produce less electricity to start with.

One other downside of a solar roof is that it can be hard to take with you if you move. Unlike solar panels, solar roofs are custom-made to fit your home. Solar shingles or DecoTech integrated panels may be able to go with you if you move, depending on the type of roof at your new home. 041b061a72

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