Solar Cell Roofing Looks Like A Normal Roof
Solar cell roofing made from solar shingles or solar panels is becoming increasingly built into the construction of new residential and commercial buildings.
In many areas, people are choosing to replace their conventional roof with a solar roof when it is time for maintenance. That may cost afew dollars more. But it pays big dividends in electricty saving and resale value of the property.
Building Integrated Photovoltaiv (BIPV)
A solar cell roof is called “building integrated“. It is also known by the more complete name “building integrated photovoltaic” or BIPV.
BIPV suggests that you would have needed that part of the structure built anyway. And you have chosen to use material that will also serve the purpose of generating power through solar energy.
The first advantage of solar cell shingles or panels on the roof is obvious.
- Some of the initial cost is paid by lowering the overall material and labor costs involved in the construction.
- The second advantage is that the BIPV does not stand out.
- It is a normal and expected part of the design and structure of the building.
These advantages often make BIPV solar roofing the clear choice over rooftop wind turbines, raised solar panels, and backyard windmills. Two alternatives that cost a lot more to build and install.
Government Subsidies Promote Solar Installation
In some parts of the world, often due to government subsidies, many new houses are built with solar roofs. Until recently, this was not the case in the USA, UK, and much of Europe. The prime reason is because the cost was prohibitive.
However, with the invention of what is called “thin film solar technology”, solar roofing tiles, panels and shingles have become easier to fabricate. Plus, to the building owners they are much more aesthetically pleasing.
This technology is best for pitched roofs where shingles or small tiles are the norm. Large flat roofs, such as the tops of many commercial buildings, can have one giant layer of solar film, or large integrated panels. Solar panels can accomodate just about any type of roof.
Connect to the Grid or Stay Seperate
Solar cell roofs can be hooked up in two ways – on and off the grid.
Off the grid solar power means that you will rely on the energy you gain from the solar panels and either not be connected at all to the electric company or connected in a way that is completely parallel and unrelated.
Off grid applications might be appropriate for houses that are far from electric power lines but get enough sunlight to be completely solar.
On grid systems are hooked in with a conventional electric supply. When the solar power system generates more electricity than you need, it actually sells it back to the power company. Your meter literally spins backwards and you can get a zero bill or even a check in the mail instead of a bill. Getting an invoice from the power company with a credit on it is a great feeling!
Developers Look To A Return Over 10-Years
There is some debate among real estate developers about the return on investment. The general rule is that any renewable energy source for the home pays off if it returns your original installation investment in ten years or less through energy savings.
The invention and perfection of integrated thin film solar roofs is a catalyst in rapidly approaching that return. In fact, as technology improves, it very well may even out perform this rule of thumb on the ROI.
Recognizing the potential saving and anticipated return, things to consider when looking into a solar cell roof include:
1. How much sun does your area get each year?
2. Where does your roof face?
3. What is the cost now,and projected cost of electricity down-the-road?
4. What is the general attitude of Real Estate Agents to solar, especially if you might sell your home within 10 years?
Conclusion Solar Cell Roofing
Taking the decision to go with solar cell roofing for your home or business will provide efficiency, cost, and savings. The technology is improving year-over-year. It is a renewable energy significantly reducing the carbon footprint.