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Best Solar Shingles

Best Solar Shingles

As the world is starting to become more aware of climate change and is embracing solar energy, the need for solar-powered items is rising. From solar-powered string lights to solar backpacks, the market is being flooded with innovative ideas on how to use solar energy in our daily lives.

 

One of the most interesting developments in recent years has been the rise of solar shingles (photovoltaic shingles) in place of solar panels. In this article, we’ve covered the best solar shingles on the market, their pros and cons, and a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.

 

1. Tesla Solar Roof

This is arguably the best solar roof shingle system on the market. However, it is also the most expensive. Tesla’s Solar Roof consists of glass tiles that mimic shingles and result in a normal (albeit sleek) looking roof. They also come with Tesla’s Powerwall battery and an app for both, Android and iPhone devices.

 

While most solar shingles are silica-based, Tesla’s are considered the best solar shingles because they are quartz-based, making them more efficient and durable. Tesla also handles the installation, including removal of the existing roof, making it an all-in-one package.

 

Pros:

  • Tesla name
  • Removal and installation included
  • More efficient and durable than alternatives
  • 30-year warranty
  • Inclusion of mobile app and Powerwall battery
  • Choice between textured and glass looks

 

Cons:

  • Extremely costly
  • Longer installation period
  • No integration with existing roof

 

2. Luma Solar Roof

Like Tesla, Luma’s solar shingles replace the entire roof. Luma Solar is not only experienced in solar technology but claims to have developed the “first fully-integrated solar rooftop shingle system.” It also claims to be the only upgradeable solar shingle system. They also custom-fit every solar roof system so that it is installed perfectly.

 

The Luma Solar Roof is known for living up to their warranty claims, and for the customized experience they provide, from a custom-fit design to a base study to installation. While many companies leave after the installation, Luma Solar provides after care.

 

Additionally, buyers can choose between polycrystalline solar cells and monocrystalline solar cells and 65 W and 75 W power outputs.

 

Pros:

  • Upgradeable
  • 25-year warranty (power)
  • Limited lifetime warranty (metal shingle and metal paint)
  • Available in different solar cell colors and power outputs

 

Cons:

  • No integration with existing roof
  • Extremely costly

 

3. CertainTeed Apollo Solar Roofing System

CertainTeed’s solar shingles use mono-crystalline polar PV cells, the same technology used in solar panels. However, unlike Tesla’s Solar Roof, they can be customized to your roof, i.e., the Apollo system is added to your existing roof instead of replacing it altogether.

 

Additionally, CertainTeed offers buyers two options – the Apollo II system is installed on top of an already-existing roof, while the Apollo II Tile replaces the roof. However, while the Apollo II system sits on top of the roof, it does not look out of place – the solar shingles are installed flush to the roof and blend in.

 

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Sits flush on top of the roof
  • Two options available based on desired look
  • 25-year warranty (power)
  • 10-year warranty (product)

 

Cons:

  • Less efficient than regular panels
  • No full-roof option available

 

Features to Consider Before Purchasing Solar Shingles

Many think that solar shingles are the same thing as solar panels – they are not. While they serve the same purpose, i.e., generating solar power, they do have some marked differences. In order to buy the best solar shingles, these are the factors you should consider.

 

Primary Roofing vs. Other Roofing

Solar shingles can be installed as the roof, i.e., as a primary roofing material, or they can be installed on top of already existing roofing, i.e., on top of other roofing. The former option is more expensive since the entire roof would be covered with shingles.

 

Material

Solar shingles are most commonly made from thin-film solar cells (TFSC) which are made from copper indium gallium selenide. However, another popular material is mono-Si, i.e., monocrystalline silicon, which many prefer because of how efficient it is. However, it is important to note that the latter is much more expensive than the former and would require a larger investment.

 

Partial vs. Entire Roof

The solar shingle market is not as saturated as the solar panel market, and so, there are very few options available to cover the entire roof. Others cover parts of the roof as required. This depends on both, budget and the brand you opt for. It is also dependent on personal preference, as some find covering the entire roof more aesthetically pleasing.

 

Cost

Cost is an important factor in every major purchase. However, the cost of solar shingles can vary depending on the variety you use or the conditions of installation. Going with brands like Tesla or Luma, for example, would obviously result in a much higher price tag than choosing a lesser-known company. Additionally, even when discounting the price of the shingles, installing shingles is an expensive process. Therefore, the most affordable way to install solar shingles is when an old roof or severely damaged roof is being replaced.

 

Our Final Thoughts

While all three options have been picked because of their quality, the best solar shingles and the ones we recommend are those by Luma Solar. If you’ve been on the fence about whether to install solar shingles, take this as a firm yes. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you will also benefit from lower energy bills, and may even find your new roof more aesthetically pleasing.

 

If you enjoyed reading this article, make sure to check out our article on solar-powered motion security lights.