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SOLAR SHINGLES VS. SOLAR PANELS

When you’re considering investing in a solar installation, it’s smart to explore your options and maintain that exciting momentum. Keeping your finger on the pulse of new solar technologies is a must.

With that in mind, you may have heard about solar shingles — if not, we’ll give you the rundown. If you’re here with us, we’re guessing you’re familiar with what solar panels are!

We know a home solar installation is a cost-saving energy solutions. Solar shingles are a new, albeit snazzy, twist on key solar panel technology. But what else do you need to know?

So, solar shingles vs. solar panels: Let’s compare, and you decide which makes the most sense for you.

 

SOLAR ROOF SHINGLES VS. SOLAR PANELS: WHAT ARE SOLAR SHINGLES?

 

First, solar shingles (aka “solar roofs,” “solar roof shingles” or “solar roof tiles”) are essentially small, thin solar panels. However, they’re fixed and take the place of an existing roof or roof tiles.

In other words, solar shingles interconnect and comprise a single roof.

Next, solar shingles use the same energy-generating principles as solar panels: photovoltaic cells converting sunlight into electricity. They may send excess energy to a storage battery for backup power, like solar panels can.

Now let’s talk about size. A run-of-the-mill solar shingle is 12 inches wide, 86 inches long and under 1 inch thick and weighs 15 to 20 pounds per square foot. These dimensions are fairly standard across the board, but they may vary a bit among brands.

By contrast, the average solar panel weighs 40 to 50 pounds and measures 39 inches wide, 78 inches long and 1.5 inches thick. These numbers also differ per manufacturer but remain relatively constant for residences.

Finally, speaking of manufacturers, your solar shingle choices are currently sparse. Tesla, SunTegra, CertainTeed, Timberline Solar, Luma and a handful of other companies offer solar roof systems.

If solar shingles are basically small, set-in-place solar panels, what’s the buzz all about? Frankly, most of it comes from the excitement surrounding new solar tech (and Elon Musk’s bold claims).

But here’s the kicker: Solar shingles and solar panels have distinctive differences. Cost is likely the most influential — we’ll definitely get to it.

 

SOLAR PANELS VS. SOLAR SHINGLES: A COMPARISON

Let’s check out what solar panels have to offer against solar shingles, and vice versa.

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