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Do you ever find yourself being completely uninformed on a subject until it becomes relevant to you? You suddenly realize that you're not quite as knowledgeable as you think you should be, and scramble to find information. We find this to be true when it comes to solar panel roofing as many people aren't fully aware of the options, benefits, and details. We're here to explain the top 7 things you should know about solar panel roofing – whether you think you need it or not.
It was only the 19th century when scientists first started harnessing solar energy. Over the next couple hundred years, one person after another would apply for patents on their own take of solar energy applied to different devices. Solar PV specifically, was invented in 1954. However, it wasn't until the Solar Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 1974 that the federal government pushed for the use of solar energy as it became more affordable and reliable. It's only been in the last decade that solar panels have been fully embraced and become popular for residential use.
There are two types of solar panels: solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal. Solar PVs take sunlight and convert it directly into electricity, while solar thermal takes sunlight, transforms it to heat, and then the heat is stored to later transform into electricity. Both are useful, though solar PV has more bang for its buck, proving to be more durable and effective for a variety of electrical needs.
Solar panels aren't necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing addition to your home, even if the benefits far outweigh the appearance. That's why solar panel roofing tiles have hit the market, making panels much smaller, but just as efficient. These cover your roof and provide all of the benefits of panels without the bulkiness.
Solar panels may be expensive, but the return on investment is well worth it! For a 5kW system in Georgia in 2019, the out-of-pocket cost ranged from $12,665 - $17,135, with the payback period being between 8 and 12 years. Over the course of 20 years, it's estimated that the home or business owner will save $18,140 - $24,542. Additionally, the value of your home goes up if you have solar panels installed.
For optimal sunlight consumption, you have two options: if you're building your home, build it in a direction that allows for optimal exposure to sunlight. If your home is already built, make sure you place the panels on a part of your roof that gets plenty of sunlight and won't be heavily affected by storms as this will weaken the energy consumption. Be sure you find a place that doesn't have any shade from 10 am to 4 pm for the best results.
When you install solar panels, the majority of homes and businesses are still part of the electric grid. If your panels produce more electricity than you need, you will receive credit for your electricity. If you don't produce enough electricity, you can still draw from the grid.
Asphalt, shingle, tile, metal, and flat roofs are all great roofs for solar panels. However, wood and slate roofs aren't optimal as they make for a difficult and expensive installation. The pitch, material, and necessary mounts should all be considered when deciding whether or not you're ready for a solar panel roof.
Solar panels are a great option and they're even cooler when you know more about how/when they were invented, how they work, and how they can decrease your electricity bill. We hope this serves as an excellent resource as you look into solar panel roofing.