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Last updated: 25 July 2019

Solar Roof Tiles

Solar Tiles vs. Solar Panels

Solar Panels have become a familiar sight on the roof of many UK households. As the solar energy has evolved in the last years, the cost of solar panels has decreased, becoming affordable for more people or businesses to buy and install them. New research and development in the solar energy field has also given rise to new technologies which are more efficient and have a higher power output, making them more appealing to consumers.

However one thing that has not received so much attention is the aesthetics of solar panels. Indeed, as new technologies have emerged, panels look better and more futuristic. Nevertheless, some might find that the place taken by panels on rooftops takes away from the general appearance and would prefer a more discrete alternative. Cue solar roof tiles, small solar panels which have the appearance of roof tiles. Albeit they are not the same as normal roof tiles, however their small size offer a less intrusive look than regular solar panels.

Pros and Cons of Solar Roof Tiles

Similar to their adversary, solar roof tiles have pros and cons. To get straight to the point, the main problem with installing solar roof tiles is their cost. These are more expensive, in some cases even double the price of regular solar panels. Another con is the low efficiency in comparison to solar panel efficiency. They typically registered an efficiency between 10%- 20%.

As mentioned before, their small size and their discrete nature, make them appealing to people who would like their roofs to look more conventional. For those who crucially value the appearance of their roof and for whom cost is not an important aspect, solar roof tiles are worth the extra investment.

Installing Solar Roof Tiles

Installing solar roof tiles must be done by a certified installer using standard roofing components. The process of installation is similar to fitting normal roof tiles, yet the solar tiles must always have a border of normal roof tiles as opposed to solar panels which are fit on the roof top, making them in some cases less aesthetically pleasing. After each unit is fixed, the electric cables are fitted into weatherproof connectors. The completion of the installation is marked by fitting the laminated tops to each base unit.

If the household in question is not connected to the local energy network, the solar tiles can be installed to directly charge a set of batteries. The power from these batteries is direct current or DC that can be easily converted using an inverter into alternating current or AC, used by electrical household appliances.

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