What Types Of Materials Do Solar Shingles Have?

If you consider solar photovoltaic panel systems but aesthetics is another essential element of turning to solar, then solar shingles are right for you. With solar shingles, you can generate energy at the same time enjoying the reliability of ordinary roof shingles. 

So, solar shingles are designed to look like traditional roofing or roof tiles capturing and converting power from the sun. The benefits of solar shingles are various. They preserve the environment and reduce your electricity bills. Moreover, solar shingles are easier to install in comparison to solar panels. However, you will pay more for the installation of solar shingles. 

Cost Of Solar Shingles

It is a cost-effective decision to install solar shingles if you are replacing your roof, which is damaged, or when you are planning a new home construction. If you already have valuable and quality roof tiles, installing solar shingles would be meaningless and costly. 

The price of solar shingles varies depending on the brand you choose, on the square footage of your roofing, your energy needs, and the installing company, of course. Installing a solar shingles roof will cost you on average from USD 15,000 to USD 20,000. Moreover, choosing Tesla solar roof tiles will cost you even more than USD 70,000. It means that the total cost of your new roof with solar roof tiles will be a few times more expensive than installing a standard solar panel system. And remember that solar shingle energy efficiency is about 30% less compared to solar panels

Shape And Size

So, we already know that a solar shingle look-alike a traditional solar panel. But speaking about the shape and size of PV shingles, they are smaller and weigh about 13 pounds per square foot. The average amount of solar tiles required is more than 300 tiles.  


The solar shingle industry is overgrowing. The first solar shingles were produced in 2005. PV shingles function like solar panels harnessing the sun’s energy and generating electricity for your home while they integrate into a slate or concrete. They look similar to asphalt shingle roofs. They will help you save on roofing and solar panels. You will also avoid future expenses connected to installing solar panels or repairing roof tiles. 

Nowadays, solar shingles are composed of thin-film solar cells made from copper indium gallium selenide or monocrystalline silicon. The copper indium gallium selenide has one of the highest energy conversion efficiency rates, about 10-12 %. The price for monocrystalline silicon has a higher price and is usually used to produce computer chips. Their efficiency rate can reach 20%.

Solar Shingles As The Primary Roofing Material

So, solar shingles can serve as a primary roofing material, or they can replace standard shingles in some areas of the roof. In the past, solar shingles used to be flexible and thin-film and were installed over a different existing roofing material. So, you could entirely cover your roof with solar tiles costing you a lot of money. 

Today, choosing solar shingles, take your time to research the solar roof market and find the most efficient roofing company.

Solar Shingles Power Generation

The amount of power produced by solar shingles depends on the type of shingle you will use. Generally, solar shingles produce direct current (DC) energy that is later converted to alternating current (AC) energy with a solar energy inverter. Depending on your annual electricity average usage, the roof area, and the amount of electricity you need to generate, you can decide the size of your solar photovoltaic system. Solar shingles usually produce from 13 to 70 watts of energy.  

Solar shingles are used both with off-grid and grid-tied solar systems. The off-grid systems are independent of the power grid and use solely solar-generated power to charge your solar batteries. It is a perfect choice for areas with grid problems or unavailability. 

On the contrary, grid-tied systems are connected to the power grid and rely on it in case of a power outage. Moreover, you can always send back the excess electricity or receive credits for it. 

Author of a publication: Irene Abgaryan 

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