Solar panels are becoming more widespread on homes as the technology improves and becomes more cost-effective at generating renewable energy. Solar roof, a newer technology, have been gaining favor as a viable alternative to panels.
This begs the question – what’s better? Solar panels or solar roofs?
Solar Panels vs Solar Roof - Our Answer
What's the Difference Between Solar Panels and Solar Roofs
Photovoltaic (PV) cells are used in both solar panels and solar tiles to catch solar energy and convert it to electricity, allowing you to power your home with more free, renewable energy, lower your energy costs, and lessen your reliance on energy sources and fossil fuels.
Solar panels are mounted on mounting brackets that are attached to the roof tiles or slates. The panels are normally put with a space between them and the roof, and they can be positioned on the best side of the roof to get the most sunlight.
Solar roof tiles are similar to small solar panels, but instead of laying on top of them, they are installed as part of a roof alongside ordinary roof tiles. They’re designed to blend in with the roof’s looks and can only be fitted when a new or replacement roof is being installed.
Energy efficiency is vital since the more efficient the panels or tiles are at providing electricity for your home, the better. The more electricity they generate, the less money you’ll have to pay on utilities. Solar panels can currently generate more energy, which means they take up less roof area and are more cost effective.
Solar roof tile technology, on the other hand, is constantly evolving, and there have been gains in their generation levels, with some CIGS models able to achieve conversion efficiencies comparable to regular panels.
Solar tiles have an average efficiency of 10–20 percent, whereas panels have an average efficiency of at least 16 percent. The most efficient solar panels can attain efficiencies of up to 22%, which means they can produce faster return on investment.
For starters, solar tiles aren’t an option if you don’t want to replace your entire roof. Even if you’re replacing your roof, not all homes are appropriate for a solar roof because the pitch and angle of the tiles must be ideal; unlike standard solar panels, they cannot be tilted and altered.
Solar panels are significantly easier to install because they are fixed on brackets on top of the existing roof. They also provide more placement freedom and can be adjusted for best solar exposure.
Solar panels and solar tiles are both getting cheaper, but solar tiles are still a lot more expensive. One of the main reasons is that the installation is a more complicated entire roof replacement, but another is that the technology is younger and the market is less competitive.
Solar tiles are nearly twice the price of solar panels, and because they are less energy efficient, you will see a return on your investment in terms of energy savings take longer.
However, the cost of solar tiles should not be a deal breaker for everyone.
The cost of a solar roof may be equal to the cost of a standard roof if you’re replacing your roof anyhow. So you get the new roof you wanted anyway, but with the added benefit of solar energy for your home and, perhaps, a stronger and weatherproofed structure.
The priorities and motivations of each homeowner are unique, but in general…
Solar roof tiles are an excellent option for:
- Homeowners who are worried about their property’s appearance, such as those who desire solar energy but don’t want solar panels on their roof.
- New construction projects and homeowners who are replacing their roofs and want to take advantage of solar technology’s dual benefits.
Solar panels are an excellent option for:
- Homeowners that want to install solar technology without having to replace their roof
- Homeowners that wish to install solar panels but are on a tight budget.
- Homeowners who want to generate as much solar energy as possible to get the most out of their solar panels and maximize their return on investment.
You’ll benefit from free, renewable energy for your house, cutting your energy expenses and carbon emissions, whether you choose tiles or panels. Keep in mind that solar energy is a long-term investment for both your family and the environment.
Call Florida Solar Energy Group to get started on your solar energy goals today!