If you live in an area that’s exposed to sunlight year-round, then it might be wise to consider installing a residential solar system. Solar panels are the most common way homeowners harness the sun’s energy, but solar shingles are another viable option. So what are the differences and similarities between panels and shingles?
What Are Solar Shingles?
Think of solar shingles as small solar panels that integrate with your existing roof shingles or roofing system, if necessary. Shingles work the same way standard solar panels work, yet shingles are used to build a roof. Panels, meanwhile, are assembled on top of an existing roof.
The biggest benefit to installing shingles is that your roofing system will simply look like a normal roof. Just like panels, these shingles will absorb energy from the sun. Some of the energy may be stored in a solar battery and some might be converted into useful alternating current. This allows you as a homeowner to power appliances and other devices in the home using renewable energy.
Pros And Cons Of Solar Shingles And Solar Panels
As you consider options for residential solar power, it’s crucial to take note of the pros and cons of both panels and shingles. Both PV systems can efficiently supply your home with energy, but there are some drawbacks. Below are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a solar system.
Solar Shingles Pros
- More aesthetically pleasing than panels.
- Quicker installation.
- Lower conversion efficiency than solar panels.
- Can be the more cost-effective choice.
Solar Shingles Cons
- Not as many options readily available.
- Less companies install shingles.
- More expensive than regular panels.
Solar Panels Pros
- Many different options to choose from.
- Lower cost than solar shingles.
- More efficient than shingles.
- Easier to adjust positioning.
Solar Panels Cons
- Do not offer the same aesthetic appeal.
- You roof must be in good condition prior to installation.
- Longer installation process.
How Much Do Solar Shingles Cost?
Solar shingles are generally more expensive than solar panels. The overall cost will depend on the company you buy from. For example, SolarMagazine reports solar shingle installation costs between $15,000-$20,000. There are some outliers, though. High-end solar shingles from a company like Tesla could cost as much as $70,000.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
The typical cost for a 7kW solar system of panels runs around $24,500. This price is dependent on how many watts of power your home will use, multiplied by the current rate of solar panels (per watt) in Arizona. An average home in the valley of the sun will use around 7 kW. The cost of $24,500 includes installation costs and materials.
Solar Panels Cost Per Square Foot: According to HomeGuide, solar panels will cost about $7 per square foot in Arizona. Prices will range from $4-$10 per square foot, typically.
Commercial Solar Panels Costs Per Watt: Typically, commercial solar panels in Arizona will cost between $2.50-$3.50 per watt, meaning business owners can expect to pay $3.00 per watt, on average.
Should I Get Solar Shingles Or Solar Panels?
There are clearly many benefits of installing a solar roof. Your energy bills will decrease over time, as will your carbon footprint. Of course, though, there are some drawbacks, including the high overall cost of installation and upkeep.
Options for homeowners to generate solar power continue to increase. Solar cells are becoming more and more efficient, while more solar shingle offerings are inevitable. As more offerings hit the market, the prices will likely become more competitive and reasonable for homeowners.
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