Photovoltaic Shingles Or Solar Panels – Which is Right For You?
Photovoltaic systems are becoming more popular and efficient as a means to produce electricity and reduce energy costs. Homeowners are turning to solar energy alternatives in greater numbers to help offset their home electricity needs. As solar energy technology becomes more advanced consumers can choose between photovoltaic panels and photovoltaic shingles. Each system has its own advantages and drawbacks, and it can be difficult to determine which system is right for your home. The following paragraphs will outline both systems, and look at set up, installation and energy output to help decide which system is right for you.
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells to generate electricity from the sun. Placement is important for solar panels, and for homes in the northern hemisphere, the panels should have a southern exposure. To maximize power generation, the sun should strike the panel in a perpendicular manner. Therefore the angle of the solar panel should match the latitude of its location. For example, a solar panel system on a home in Denver should be at an angle of approximately 38 degrees. Photovoltaic panels can be set up to be adjustable, allowing you to adjust the angle of the panels as the seasons change to produce as much electricity as possible throughout the year.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 100 square feet of solar panels will produce about 1 kilowatt. Many homeowners find that they can produce 25%-50% of their home electricity needs with solar panels.
A new option for photovoltaic systems is solar panel shingles. Solar roofing shingles mount directly on the roof structure and provide as much protection as traditional asphalt shingles. The photovoltaic roof shingles are made of amorphous silicon but look much like traditional shingles once they are installed. A photovoltaic shingle can produce up to 17 watts of electricity each day under full sun. The greater the area covered with the PV shingles, the more electricity you can produce.
While both photovoltaic panels and shingles produce electricity and provide a renewable source of energy for homeowners, they each have different qualities that suit the different desires of homeowners. Solar roof shingles can be much more aesthetically pleasing because they look like normal shingles and do not require a separate mounting system. Further, one product serves two jobs, both sheltering the house from the elements and producing electricity. A small or large area of roof can be covered with solar shingles, giving buyers flexibility to choose how many they want to buy and how much energy they want to produce. It is important to have a professional install photovoltaic shingles to ensure quality protection and energy production.
Solar panels produce electricity through the same means as shingles, but they can be more efficient. This is because they can be set to the most advantageous angle, regardless of the slope of the roof. Also, by being able to adjust the angle of the panels to be perpendicular with the sun’s rays, the panels can be made to work at optimum energy production throughout the year. Consumers are also attracted to solar panels because they can be built and installed without contracting a professional. By following a do-it-yourself guide, consumers can inexpensively build their own solar panels and eliminate many purchase and installation expenses. No matter which system fits your needs the best, using the renewable power of solar energy is a great way to reduce household energy costs.