Are Solar Tiles a Good Investment

Are Solar Tiles a Good Investment For 2021?

Solar power technology is moving on apace, as the world continues to seek more sustainable methods of energy generation in order to protect finite fossil fuels. Solar panels have been around for many years now, with their efficacy, aesthetics and ease of installation advancing more and more as time goes by.

One innovative version of the technology is the introduction of solar panel roof tiles. These small photovoltaic panels are shaped to look like normal roof tiles while absorbing sunlight to convert it into electricity in the same way that standard solar panels do. They are the perfect solution for people who appreciate the idea of generating their own electricity via photovoltaic solar power but don’t like how the larger panels look on their building.

How efficient are solar roof tiles?

The best solar roof tiles are those that offer excellent efficiency to offer strong returns on their initial cost outlay.

There are three main types of solar panel roof tiles, all of which offer good efficiency.

On-roof installations

On-roof installations are exactly what the name suggests – the tiles are fitted to a frame that is fixed to the top of the roof.

In-roof, or integrated solar panel roof tiles

In-roof, or integrated solar panel roof tiles, replace some of the roof’s existing tiles, so that they sit flush with the structure of the roof and are less visible from the street.

Total overhaul your roof

Finally, you can opt for a total overhaul of your roof with an entirely new solar roof replacing your old one for maximum efficiency and coverage.

How Many Solar Tiles You Require?

How many tiles you require and how large space they will take up will depend entirely on how much power you need them to generate for you on a regular basis. Solar power, in general, has been proven to be an efficient form of alternative power generation, especially given that any surplus electricity that is produced during sunnier periods can be stored for future use when conditions are less conducive to efficient energy conversion, such as during poor weather or at night.

How much does a solar roof tile cost?

While the concept is still in its infancy there are a number of solar roof tiles manufacturers in the UK and elsewhere selling variants of the new technology to suits householders and business owners alike. Costs vary depending on the size of the roof in question type of tiles chosen and complexity of the installation. Additional features, such as tempered glass, invisible solar cells and bespoke designs will increase costs, however reputable companies offer a lifetime’s manufacturer’s guarantee and instructions on how to maintain your new solar roof tiles to help reduce unexpected costs further down the line.

There may also be grants for solar roof tiles available in selected areas of the country – information about this can be found on the internet for those interested in finding out more. The main consideration with this type of technology is that they cannot be integrated into an existing roof set-up without carrying out some structural changes to the existing tiles. The tiles are best suited for new build projects, or as a roof replacement or upgrade instead. Speak to a solar panel expert for further information and advice on solar tiles.

A beginner’s guide to solar panel efficiency

A Beginner’s Guide To Solar Panel Efficiency

In an age where everyone is far more aware of the finite nature of the planet’s fossil fuels and the growing benefits of using more sustainable energy production methods, technology such as solar power is rising more and more to the forefront of people’s minds. There has been much talk about the efficiency of solar panel systems, which are designed to absorb energy from the sun’s rays and convert it into electricity for domestic or commercial premises. The prospect of choosing, installing and maintaining such a system can seem daunting at first; however, the investment in time and money will repay itself many times over during the course of its working life.

So, how does a solar panel work? It consists of row upon row of photovoltaic cells, which are the elements that change the solar energy into electricity. They do this by allowing light particles or photons, or photons, to nudge electrons from atoms, thus creating an electricity flow. This electricity is then transferred to the building’s power network and used to power heating, lighting etc. Another benefit of the system is that any electricity that is not used straight away can be stored for use when solar energy is less evident or absent, such as during dull weather or at night.

What is the most efficient solar panel?

When considering which type of sustainable energy solution to buy, it is worth carrying out plenty of research. For example, there is a wealth of information available online around efficiency measures, including solar panel efficiency formula and solar panel efficiency calculator applications that allow you to work out how much money you can save over the longer term.

Mono-vs-Poly-crystalline-solar-panels

From a technical point of view, there are three main types of solar panels currently available on the market. They type you select will depend on what your individual set-up is and what your expectation is for your preferred system.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most established type and the oldest form of this technology. They are made from pure silicone with a solid crystal shell around it called an ingot. Each ingot is thinly sliced and shaped into the individual cells which line up together to form a solar panel. Due to the way that the silicon interacts with sunlight, these panels appear pure black. They can achieve efficiency rates of more than 20 per cent.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline are also constructed from silicon crystals, but the separate cells are made from fragments that are melted together and created without the ingot covering. They appear blue when installed and are less costly to install than their monocrystalline alternatives. Their efficiency is slightly lower than monocrystalline versions, coming in at around 15 to 17 per cent, thus producing slightly less power.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Finally, there is the thin-film variant, which is the newest arrival on the scene. These panels are not always made from silicon; they can also be formed from other materials, such as cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium. The chosen material is then placed between thin, conductive sheets and topped with glass for maximum protection. This type offers around 11 per cent efficiency, but allows greater

versatility when it comes to fitting the panels, as they don’t come in a standard size. It is also worth noting that some models can produce more power than others.

Are newer solar panels more efficient?

Despite the figures quoted in the paragraph above that indicate the best solar panel efficiency over time comes from the monocrystalline version, it is still worth keeping an eye on the newer materials too, as progress is being made all the time when it comes to improving efficiency, resilience and performance. It is also important to consider other factors, such as cost, aesthetics, ease of installation and longer-term expectations from the system. With so many aspects to consider, it is certainly worth speaking to a solar panel efficiency expert to ensure that you make the right choice for your property.