solar tiles, where do they fit vs traditional solar panels?

In the UK we are starting to see issues arise with business that are operating out of listed buildings that want to adopt solar pv, but do solar tiles offer a solution?

Solar roof tiles are a relatively new sustainable technology solution. Solar tiles replace existing roof tiles, unlike solar panels installed onto your existing roof. Solar tiles can cost up to twice as much as bolt-on solar PV panels, but the price is expected to decrease over time as the cost of solar panels has. 

Solar roof tiles are great for roofs that lack space but are not suitable for all homes. Solar arrays must be pitched at certain angles, making them unsuitable for flat or low-pitched roofs. 


Solar roof tiles: What are they?

Solar roof tiles, also known as solar slates or solar shingles, work much like traditional photovoltaic systems. Solar roof tiles are one of the latest means of converting solar energy into electricity to power homes.

The main difference is their appearance. Solar roof tiles are manufactured to suit different roof styles, while traditional solar PV panels are not. Solar roof tiles seamlessly blend in and are mostly unnoticeable, which makes them a popular choice for homeowners who live in heritage areas or are generally concerned with aesthetics. 

It’s important to note that solar roof tiles can only be installed alongside a new roof/reroof – it’s not possible to install them on top of your existing roof. This is why they’re more suitable for new buildings or homeowners already considering replacing their existing roofs rather than using bolt-on additions.


How much do solar roof tiles cost?

Solar roof tile technology is a new technological advancement that is still in progress. The cost of solar roof tiles can be twice as high as traditional bolt-on solar panels. Factors that affect the overall cost are roof size and the proportion of the roof you choose to cover with solar roof slates. 


Should I choose solar panels or solar roof tiles?

Solar panels and solar tiles are both sustainable ways to power your home. They function in the same way, but their performance differs. 

Solar tiles cost up to twice as much as solar panels. 

Bolt-on solar panels can be mounted to almost any angle for maximum sunlight exposure or to suit existing structures. With solar tiles that replace your existing roof tiles, your roof’s pitch must be 35-45 degrees. If it isn’t, this could affect performance, so they’re not recommended for flat roofs. 

However, if you’re considering replacing your existing roof, solar roof tiles are just as durable as traditional ones. Their ability to withstand adverse weather conditions such as hurricanes, hail and strong winds makes them a good roof material. Unlike traditional solar panels, tiles can also protect the roof section they’re installed on.

Thanks to solar tiles’ discrete design, they’re ideal for homes situated in conservation areas and may be a viable solution for those wanting to update listed buildings. Solar roof tiles blend seamlessly into the surrounding tiles, whilst most externally mounted panels sit away from the surface.

Original Article – https://www.independent.co.uk/advisor/solar-panels/solar-roof-tiles

Image – https://www.gb-sol.co.uk/gallery/pvslate/default.htm


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