Solar roof tiles or solar shingles also referred as photovoltaic shingles, are the solar panels designed to function as the conventional roofing materials while producing electricity. Solar roof tiles are built into the structure of the roof making them an inconspicuous choice for the homeowners. The tiles produce the renewable electricity same as solar panels and each tile is made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells. Solar roof tiles or solar shingles are the building- integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
Solar shingles are smaller in size comparison to traditional solar panels and are comparable to traditional roofing shingles about 86 inches long by 12 inches wide and weigh 13 pounds per square foot. Each shingle can produce 13 to 63 watts of electricity. These tiles are usually less than an inch thick and a standard installation is 350 tiles which can be installed in any climate.
Key manufacturers in the industry include:
• SolarCity (Tesla, Inc.)
• CertainTeed (Saint-Gobain)
• SolarShingle Canada
• Atlantis Energy Systems
• Forward Labs and SunTegra Solar Reef Systems
• Tesla, Inc.
• Buffalo Gigafactory
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The amount of electricity produced will depend on the various factors which include duration of the time for which tiles are exposed to sunlight, the efficiency rating of the solar tiles and orientation and angle of the roof. The electricity generated can be stored in solar battery storage system for future use. However, the price of the solar tiles is high compare to the solar panels but installing the solar tiles will add the value to the house. According to the Energy Saving Trust, installation of the solar tiles can increase the house price by as much as 10%.
Increasing demand for the tiles in new building properties for better energy efficiency is expected to enhance the industry growth over the forecast period. Furthermore, solar shingles also offer the huge opportunity for re-roof the property to the home owners for enhanced energy efficiency.
Easy installation along with the sleek appearance of the solar roof tiles is anticipated to impact the market demand in a positive manner. Moreover, high installation cost and lower efficiency of the solar tiles is projected to restrain the industry. However, the installation prices will fall as the homeowners grow more accustomed to own PV products such as solar shingles, hence providing the opportunity to increase the industry share.
Additionally, the UK government Feed-in Tariff scheme has also encouraged the property owners to re-roof their property. The tariff scheme is split into two set of payments which include Generation Tariff and Export Tariff. The scheme has stimulated the demand across the region as the people earn the money for every kWh of electricity generated through the solar shingles and also on the extra kWh of electricity fed to the National Grid.
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