If you are interested in placing solar panels and saving money, it is a correct decision that you are going to make, but if your concern is that it will happen with the aesthetics of your house when the solar panels are installed on the roof, I must tell you that there are solar tiles for solve this problem
Photovoltaic solar tiles, the future of solar energy in homes
Back in 2009, the “Solar Texas” project was presented at the University of Minho and the Nova University of Lisbon. At that time it was considered one of the most innovative projects in the area of solar energy around the world, explored the possibility of using solar energy through photovoltaic tiles.
Photovoltaic tiles can be the future because of the possibility of making our homes independent of the commercial electricity network, they can easily produce electricity by means of photovoltaic solar energy, and this technology can now be installed in the construction of new homes.
What are photovoltaic tiles?
An interesting sustainable bet, similar to conventional models, tiles or tiles that incorporate mini solar panels inside, in various shapes and templates. Currently for sale, most of them are made of ceramics and have 4 photovoltaic cells, the installation passes under the roof to the converter.
With the installation of these solar roof tiles in an area of 45 m², it is possible to generate 3 kW and supply the energy demand of a house. Its installation is similar to that of any conventional tile.
Manufacturers of photovoltaic solar roof tiles.
Two large Italian companies have partnered to develop these photovoltaic tiles, Area Industrie Ceramiche and REM. They are already being sold and installed by several European countries. They produce a tile model called «tegolasolare», a red tile with four solar cells. 40 m2 of tegolasolare tiles, could generate up to 3 KWh of electricity.
The renewable energy company SRS Energy also launched a photovoltaic tile. Solé is a polymer of high performance polymer of dark blue color, unbreakable, light and recyclable.
The Italian company REM SPA has also launched the Techtile system, a new system that converts the roof of your house into a solar roof thanks to the solar roof tiles they have designed. They are injection molded plastic tiles from PLEXIGLAS . TECHTILE tiles have a great resemblance to a traditional tile, but contain photovoltaic cells or solar thermal modules inside to be able to heat water or generate electricity.
With Techtile you can generate electricity or heat for free with different levels of integration. Made with ceramics, the «solar roof tiles» are the same as the conventional ones (maybe a little prettier;)). The only difference is that they are filled with four photovoltaic solar cells, capable of producing 3 kW of energy every 40 m² of installed area. According to the manufacturer it is more than enough to meet the energy demand of an average house. Its installation is very simple, like any other roof.
The only drawback for the popularization of the product is the cost, which is greater than that of conventional solar panels. The difference, however, can be compensated over time by the reduction in the electricity bill.
A south-facing roof with a size of 18 square meters and an inclination angle of 30º can produce up to 1,650 kilowatt hours per year.
The latest innovation in reaching this market comes from the hand of Tesla / SolarCity , which a few months ago launched its first roof with integrated solar cells. A new integrated sunroof that eliminates the need for independent solar panels. The photovoltaic cells fit right on the roof giving an attractive and elegant finish.
Another system that uses the roofs but not in the same way as the previous ones is the SolTech Energy system, a unique heating system with tiles made of transparent glass.
The Dutch of ZEP BV have also designed their photovoltaic solar panels integrated in ceramic tiles .
The company Solarcentury has also launched its C21t solar roof tiles , in a system that combines photovoltaic and thermal solar energy into a single tile.
The Spanish company Mascarell has also developed a photovoltaic glass roof tile .
These types of tiles are so similar to the classic ones that do not affect the traditional aesthetics of the building and in addition to generating electricity, they are used to generate heat. They can cover the roof totally or partially.
The black solar tiles of EXASUN are striking , photovoltaic tiles that promise a much higher performance than conventional solar panels .
And little by little they will appear more and more systems very similar to those we are talking about, since solar energy will feed our homes in the future hopefully not far away.
Advantages solar roof tiles.
Photovoltaic solar tiles have many good advantages, some of the most important are:
- Its aesthetic adaptation to the roofs.
- They help you save money on electricity and gas.
- If you have enough roof to install photovoltaic solar roof tiles, you can cover 100% of the electrical demand of your house.
- In some countries, you can even sell the surplus electricity, recovering part of the investment and expenses.
- You can store the energy you generate in solar batteries , there are already some that are sold for the domestic market at an affordable price.
- If, under any circumstance, any solar roof tile breaks or breaks down, it can be changed individually without affecting the installation as a whole.
- They can be installed both on sloping roofs (recommended), and also on roofs where the orientation is not ideal.
Disadvantages solar roof tiles.
- It is currently a more expensive technology, although Tesla has proposed that this change.
- The initial investment for its installation is substantial, although you will amortize it over time.
- Solar roof tiles are more difficult to clean and maintain, due to their difficulty in access.
- Its fixed orientation compromises its efficiency with respect to other photovoltaic solutions.