What is a solar roof?
A solar roof consists of solar panels, an inverter, and a battery (which serves the purpose of storing energy for later usage). A solar roof generates direct current by the absorption of UV light. This direct current cannot be used by electrical appliances as they require alternating current. Therefore, a solar inverter serves the purpose to convert DC(direct current) into AC(alternating current).
What is the average lifespan of a solar roof?
Solar roofs can last for 30 years. But, this does not mean that they stop generating electrical energy by the end of this time. Rather, the power output is slowed down but not completely terminated.
What are the different forms of solar roofs?
A solar roof is available in two types:
- Solar shingles
Solar shingles imitate the traditional asphalt or slate roofs and blend perfectly with any roof. This now seems like tiles assembled on any roof making it appear attractive. Solar shingles are costly compared to solar panels.
- Solar panels
On the other hand, solar panels do not themselves form a roof as in the case of solar shingles but, they can be placed on top of an already available roof or even can stand alone with the help of support(mounting system).
Solar panels are cheaper as well as highly efficient. The reason for its high efficiency is its ability to be moved to places where there is maximum sun exposure. Whereas solar shingles when once installed cannot be moved.
The design of solar panels
The design of a solar system can only be decided by a professional roofer. However, it depends on the availability of the space where the panels are to be placed and the consumption of electricity annually. Solar panels can vary in size but normally they are rectangular shaped about 16 square feet. The solar panels are attached to racking systems. The correct design of a solar panel is essential to ensure maximum power output.
The following measures are taken before finalizing the design of solar panels:
- Checking the area for solar panels placement
Before purchasing solar panels, the space where they are to be put is checked by an installer and an estimated number of solar panels that can be installed there is given.
- Calculating electricity usage in a year
This is determined from the monthly electricity bill and the energy consumption is calculated in watt-hour. By doing so, the solar installer can tell the number of solar panels on which all the electrical appliances could smoothly function throughout the year. Knowing the exact number of solar panels required for your roof, they would waive off the electricity bill.
- Check for shading areas
Shading areas such as adjacent tall buildings, enormous trees, or large chimneys can act as a barrier between sun rays and the solar panels which would lead to a decrease in energy production. Solar panels are not to be placed in such areas or if they are installed, they would generate low power.
Also, solar panels which work best even when placed in a shade can be used instead of the normal solar panels. These solar panels would be a little more expensive but they would guarantee maximum electricity production.
- High-quality solar panels
Make sure that solar panels are purchased from a trusted company that does not compromise the quality of its materials. A high-quality solar panel would last longer than a low-quality one.
What are the energy-saving benefits of a solar roof?
Solar roofs are preferred over traditional roofing types because it is purely based on sunlight, which is a renewable energy resource instead of using non-renewable energy resources.
The list of the advantages of a solar roof is a long one but here will be listing a few which make it businesses’ and homeowners’ choice:
This is the major factor that is kept in consideration when someone wants to switch to a solar roof. Installing a solar roof would cost a single time and after its placement, there would be observed a decrease in power bills. So, it won’t be wrong to say that a solar roof surely pays for itself or even more.
Upon combustion of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide is a major by-product that leads to global warming and climate change. Therefore, a solar roof saves the environment from excessive carbon dioxide emissions and helps in preserving the atmosphere for the coming generations. It also assists in the reduction of carbon footprints.
Preserving Fossil Fuels
Electricity is generated from fossils and their continuous usage can make them go extinct. Also, fossil fuels require a large amount of water which can cause water pollution. Thus the increasing usage of solar roofs would put an end to our dependence on fossil fuels.
A solar roof puts its owners at rest and makes them enjoy every weather condition without having to keep an eye on the monthly electricity bills. Also, the production of electricity by a solar roof can raise the value of your home if you ever decide to sell and move.