Solar Tiles - Solar Power Without the Solar Look

If you're seriously considering the switch to solar power but you're turned off by those bulky, unattractive solar panels that set atop your house like something from a bad outer space movie, then you might want to consider using solar tiles, or shingles, instead.

They look just like tiles on a traditional asphalt roof, plus you will gain the added benefit of harnessing the natural power and energy of the sun. They're easy to install, and while they can be somewhat expensive upfront, they can result in substantial energy savings in the long run.

Roofing systems that use solar tiles incorporate traditional roofing materials such as slate, asphalt, metal, and fiber-cement with the solar tiles. In this way, the appearance is not much different from a regular roof, which makes it aesthetically pleasing.

In effect, you get the benefits of solar energy panels without the unsightly look. They're generally a dark bluish-purple in color, which makes them suitable for most homes. Many types are even compliant with areas that have strict rules regarding historic preservation of local buildings.

But the big question you may have is whether or not solar tiles really work. The answer is, yes! Although one tile by itself doesn't produce a ton of power (roughly between 50 and 200 watts, or about enough to power a small window fan) covering an entire roof can be quite substantial. In fact, an entire roof covered with solar tiles can generate enough power for your entire home.

However, you still will need to maintain ties to the local power company since even the sunniest climates have cloudy days, which limits how much power the tiles can actually generate. Still, the savings in power costs should be huge over a period of time.

As far as the cost, solar tiles are somewhat more expensive than solar panels, but like with just about anything involving solar power these days, there are lots of additional benefits. For example, if you live in a sunny part of the country like Arizona, the tiles may actually produce more power than you actually need. This unused power can be sold back to the local utility company for a credit, resulting in substantial savings.

If you are looking for ways to cut energy costs, solar tiles could be the answer.



http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Smitts