The latest offering is solar roof tiles at https://www.volt-tile.com/. It boosts interest in the technology and brings it to a commercial audience.
What are these solar roof tiles?
Solar roof tiles are designed to match the existing slates or tiles, solar PV tiles, also known as solar slates or solar shingles. These are mini solar PV panels that produce electricity from the sun. These are government-approved and you can still claim the feed-in tariff if you decide to install these instead of the traditional solar system.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is the future of solar energy generation. The solar glass development and solar tiles mean people soon build solar PC systems into their homes. Solar roof tiles make better aesthetics. One biggest reservation of the critics about traditional solar panels is being ugly. So, the ability to blend in with the roof is one of the most promising innovations of solar tiles.
Why install solar tiles?
Solar tiles are a solution for homeowners living in conservation or listed property areas where planning consent makes it more difficult to install traditional solar panels. There are examples of these solar tiles installed on Grade 1 listed properties. Currently, a lot of solar tile manufacturers nowadays, which means there is a huge selection for consumers, but ensure there will soon be loads. Solar tiles are pricier than the existing solar systems.
Hopefully, the price comes down once they begin to be mass-produced.
How do these solar tiles work?
Solar tiles work the same way as solar PV panels, but they form part of the roof rather than bolted on. Once the sunlight shines on it, it creates an electric field that provides free energy, which is used inside the home.
Solar tiles versus solar panels
The PV tiles are attached to the connection point in the attic through electrical leads. The major difference between solar panels and solar tiles is bolted on the top of the existing roof. You have to install an inverter to convert the DC electricity produced by the tiles into AC electricity used for appliances at home.
Unless the solar diverter is installed or a home battery storage system is, any energy unused is sent to the grid and paid for it through the feed-in tariff. How much electricity is produced? It depends on how much sunlight the tiles are exposed to. Solar tiles store and generate more energy on a long sunny day than on a short cloudy one. Keep them clean as it helps them work at max efficiency.
However, they should not require any other maintenance, unless they are damaged. The design of the older solar tiles will affect the efficiency. The new solar tiles are designed to lay side by side without overlapping.
Solar tiles can create energy; it is easier to install. It is an ideal roofing system for today’s generation.