Solar Shingles and Solar Panels: Technology in the Roofing Industry

Although most homeowners do not think the roof of their home could save them energy and money, technology in the roofing industry has provided homeowners with many advantages. Solar shingles and solar panels provide homeowners with the ability to power light bulbs, solar vehicles, and more. Solar shingles were first introduced to the public in 2005 and were designed to resemble asphalt shingles.

Types of Solar Shingles
There are two types of solar shingles, which include thin-film solar shingles and silicon-based solar shingles. Thin-film solar shingles are the latest type of solar shingle. Thin-film solar shingles use copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). CIGS are thin films, which are laminated, and are place of the shingles. CIGS make solar shingles just as flexible and strong as regular shingles. Although thin-film solar shingles are not as energy efficient as traditional silicon solar shingles, they are less expensive to manufacture. Silicon-based solar shingles are more energy efficient than thin-film shingles and can convert up to 22% of sunlight into electrical energy.

How do Solar Shingles Convert Sunlight Into Energy?
Solar shingles are designed to function similar to traditional solar panels. Solar shingles use sunlight as a source of power to create electricity. Every solar shingle contains photovoltaic cells and a material known as a semiconductor. A semiconductor works to provide conductivity between metals and an insulator, which is because of the temperature or the addition of impurity. There are a wide range of devices that are made of semiconductors, which include silicon that is an important component of many electronic circuits. When sunlight comes in contact with solar shingles, it is trapped in the silicon semiconductor. After the sunlight is trapped in the semiconductor, it contains energy that flows freely. The photovoltaic cells harness the energy and force it to flow in one direction, which successfully creates a current that is used for electrical power.

Solar Panels vs Solar Shingles
Many homeowners use solar panels as opposed to solar shingles because solar shingles are not made to function on every type of roof. If a homeowner is interested in solar shingles, then a roofing Toronto professional will need to inspect the roof to see if it is angled to support solar shingles. Solar panels are designed to be angled correctly to receive sunlight regardless of if a roof isn't angled correctly or is facing in the wrong direction. Solar panels are more efficient than solar shingles, which means a homeowner will not need to use as much roof space to reduce an electric bill.