Anyone have any experiences with solar shingles?
My (soon to be) home has a slate roof, damaged by a crappy roof job (plywood glued to the slate, then asphalt interlocking shingles, then nails that were shot through the slate). I'll be replacing the roof next year, tear off (rafters, purlins, etc in great shape and staying), and I'm not going to put slate back up due to the expense. What I was originally thinking was just going to be regular asphalt shingles - until I saw this:
Solar Shingles! Unlike the old way (aluminum rails, big framed solar panel on top), these actually lay down in place of the shingles you would be using there, and get tied together, then connected into your electric just like you would any other solar setup.
Since I'm replacing my roof... this is probably the best time to look at this option. So, any experiences? :)
I saw these sorts of shingles at an environmental fair a few years back. The ones I saw were a mix of solar cell components and asphalt components. My feeling was that when the asphalt parts fail, you're losing a lot of extra expense in replacing the solar cells, too. Maybe they're made better than I was thinking and maybe the ones you're looking at are built differently.
Another option would be a metal roof (perhaps just under the section where you would mount the solar cells) and then the typical solar panels atop it. The metal will last longer than the solar cells and thus won't be the point of failure.
I'm not sure where you're located. Here in the US, the National Solar Tour will be happening in another couple of weeks. Homeowners with solar systems (not the spacey kind :)) will be hosting tours and asking questions. I don't know if there would be an organized tour in your area or not. If you happen to be on Long Island, check out http://www.renewableenergylongisland...isitorfaqs.cfm
You could attend one of these tours and ask folks who actually have these sorts of systems installed what they think.
WOW! Incredible timing - awesome link, thanks!
I'm in NJ, so theres no issue with me getting over to LI to check these out - and 2 of them have Building Integrated PV systems! Its noticeable from the pictures because the solar panels aren't so blatantly noticeable ;)
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