Solar panels and solar tiles have been duking it out for years, each determined to become the most popular roofing choice amongst homeowners. Let’s get to know the contestants a little before they end up on your roofing system. In one corner, we have solar tiles, which have been seen on roofing systems since the 1990s. Its first major victory was winning “Popular Science” magazine’s Grand Award for the best new technology in 1996. In the other corner, we have the veteran, solar panels, which was invented in the 1950s. This article will act as referee and decide once and for all who the rightful roofing system champion is: solar panels or solar tiles.
Round 1: Who Packs the Most Power on Your Roofing System?
The first round of the contest will evaluate power efficiency. Let’s examine solar panels first. In a solar panel, the smallest unit is called the solar cell or a photovoltaic/PV cell. These individual cells are what actually transform the sun’s rays on your roofing system to energy. Utilizing these unique cells, solar panels can harness between 10 and 300 watts of power. The larger solar power systems definitely gather enough wattage to power resident homes.
Regarding solar tiles, conversion efficiency—or the amount of sunlight that gets converted to electricity—has historically been its weakness, with thin-film solar cells touting about 10 percent conversion efficiency. However, in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Lab created a copper indium gallium diselenide solar cell that topped at 19.9 percent conversion efficiency. In summary, solar panels are more efficient, but further developments of solar tiles installed on roofing systems could change this. For now, this round goes to solar panels.
Round 2: The Cost of Winning
The second round of the competition will evaluate the cost of both contestants, since this is an important aspect of any roofing system. In the past, solar tiles cost more than solar panels. However, thanks to the aforementioned CIGS advancement in 2008, solar tiles for your Columbus roofing system can cost 10 to 15 percent less per watt than traditional solar panels. To add salt to the wound, the solar tiles can be installed on your roofing system in a fraction of the time, making installation cheaper, and reducing the cost even further. Solar tiles win this round!
Round 3: Tiebreaker – And the Stronger Competitor is…
For the final round in determining the champion of the Columbus roofing system—which also happens to be the tiebreaker—miscellaneous statistics will be judged. Let’s begin with solar roof panels. Solar roof panels are mounted to the Columbus roofing system in a metal frame, which requires the roof to be punctured in order to secure and bolt the technology. In addition, homeowners often cover the frame with more aesthetically pleasing roofing tiles, which reduce sun exposure and, thus, efficiency. However, these panels are very reliable and can last up to 30 years.
On the other hand, solar roof tiles use interlocking technology that allows them to attach to existing Columbus roofing system tiles without any penetration or damage. They provide a seamless look that contours to the shape of the roof, and they add a layer of protective insulation against UV rays and weather damage.
Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner! The stronger competitor is definitely solar roof tiles for your roofing system!
Have Any Questions Regarding Solar Tiles or Solar Panels?
Contact Able Roofing, the leading roofing company, at 1-614-444-ROOF, to speak with an expert.