Photovoltaics is the most popular source of renewable energy that anyone can use. Walking down the street we pass photovoltaic installations on roofs or mounted on ground structures. But what if photovoltaic panels were not noticeable? If they were present, but invisible at first glance?
Photovoltaic tile is an innovative solution that allows to generate electricity without installing classic solar panels on the roof. It looks like an ordinary tile, but inside there are photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into electricity!
A roof that generates electricity?
With the development of renewable energy, we are coming across more and more innovative ideas. One of them is photovoltaic roof tiles. Such an invention at first glance does not differ much from a standard roof tile. The construction of such small panels allows the installation to fit the roof slope, neither windows nor dormers are an obstacle for them.
What is the power of a photovoltaic tile?
Photovoltaic tiles are gaining popularity, and we can find both 10 W and even 55 W models on the market. Manufacturers offer product warranties from 8-10 years upwards, and it is common to find cells with a linear warranty of 25 years – this is similar to traditional photovoltaic panels.
Someone might think “O.K.. I’ll have this photovoltaic tile, but I want a red roof, not this dark, gloomy one.” No problem! You can also find solar roof tiles in red-brick color on the market.
Well – how much does a photovoltaic tile cost?
Photovoltaic tile is not as common as traditional photovoltaic panels. This means that solar tiles are a higher cost than traditional roofing. If you are building a house, check whether the additional cost associated with installing photovoltaic tiles will offset the price of any future photovoltaic installation. Prices depend on the manufacturer and are quoted differently. Some manufacturers quote a price per m². According to one source, an installation for a 100 m² roof would cost between 120-140 thou* including installation, while a similar traditional installation mounted on an existing roof will cost half the price on average.
* – The prices given are not a commercial offer.
Let’s summarize – advantages and disadvantages of solar roof tiles
Traditionally, we will start with the advantages. They are invisible at first glance, look aesthetically pleasing and do not stand out from other house roofs. Different colors of solar roof tile are available, so you are not limited to only a dark roof. Well, and the most important advantage – they produce electricity! With this feature, the roof becomes useful, without the need to install a photovoltaic system on it. We reduce electricity bills, charge our dream electric car and drive it around the world practically for free!
The time has come for the disadvantages. First of all, photovoltaic tile is a solution for newly built houses that can be adapted to this solution. It is possible to replace the entire roofing with a solar tile – but this is an expensive solution and will work for someone who had the need to replace the entire roofing anyway. Another disadvantage also applies to the traditional photovoltaic installation – energy production is high in spring summer and autumn, in winter the installation produces rather symbolic amounts of electricity. In addition, the solar roof tile is installed instead of the roof covering – this means that we have no influence on the angle of its position in relation to the world directions as well – and this can be problematic at the level of system optimization.