Solar Roof Shingles vs Solar Panels

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Comparison List


We have published this comparison list below to help everyone understand the basic differences and similarities between solar roof shingles and solar panels.

Below you will find a comparison list with the two split up on the left side and right side. If you have other facts that you would like to contribute, please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.

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Solar Roof Shingles
Solar Panels
1. Solar roof shingles didn't come into use until recently. One of the first solar shingles came into use in 2011 in the State of Colorado. The shingles were produced by Dow and are one of the most popular solar shingles on the market.
1. Solar panels have been in use for much longer than solar roof shingles and in fact were primarily used first in space for satellites.
2. Solar shingles are installed much like a regular asphalt shingle. Solar shingles actually replace the asphalt shingles in the area they are placed. This means that on a re-roof project less asphalt shingles need to be purchased and installed because the solar shingles double as energy producers and roofing shingles.
2. Solar panels on roofs have to be mounted above the shingles. This means that additional installation takes place after the protective shingle layer is installed. Installing solar panels takes longer and is more technical.
3. As of 2013, there are mainly two manufacturers or solar shingles products. The most well known is Dow's Powerhouse solar shingles and followed closely behind is CertainTeed's Apollo solar shingles.
3. There are many solar panel manufacturers and companies that sell solar panels. The two main companies are Suntech (a china based company) and First Solar (a U.S. based company).
4. Solar shingles have a quicker installation time. In fact, in most instances it is almost 2/3 faster to install solar shingles onto a new roof than solar panels.
4. Solar panels take longer to install onto a shingle roof.
5. One of the main differences that consumers are most aware of when it comes to solar shingles is how they look. Solar shingles are much more aesthetically appealing because they are flat like a shingle and are not bulky and too noticeable.
5. Solar panels are big and hard not to notice. This is one of the major drawbacks that many homeowners admit is something they don't like about solar panels.
6. Solar shingles used to be much less efficient when compared to solar panels. In fact, before 2008 solar shingles or a.k.a thin-film solar cells barely peaked above 10% conversion efficiency. But in 2008 there was a breakthrough with (CIGS) copper indium gallium diselenide that allowed the thin-film solar cells to reach a conversion efficiency of 19.9% which was a new world record for this type of solar cell.
6. Before 2008 the silicone cells used for solar panels far outperformed the thin-film solar cells. Silicone solar cells have been known to reach 20.3% conversion efficiency making them the obvious choice for solar power for many years. Now, however, the thin-film solar cells conversion rates are almost identical making solar panels not as desirable as before.
7. Solar shingles can be installed on various types of roofs. Although the Dow Powerhouse solar shingle is primarily designed for fiberglass shingles.
7. Solar panels have been installed on all types of roofs and in fact are very adaptable in where they can be installed. Solar panels are used for street signs, traffic lights, cars, houses, commercial buildings, etc.

We thought you should know...

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Solar Roof Shingles vs Solar Panels

Solar roof shingles and solar panels have many similarities but are also very distinguishable. Solar shingles and solar panels basically use the same technology and perform the same tasks. Their main differences and similarities are portrayed in their individual names. Solar roof shingles are in fact a shingle and solar panels are in fact a panel that must be mounted on the roof.

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We are going social and have created a new Facebook group for people who want to know more about roofs, roofing problems, fixes, ask pros, etc. Feel free to join. It is a private group so once we get your request to join we will approve it as quickly as possible.

→ Join Here: Roofpedia Facebook Group!


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