PV Solar Panels VS Solar Shingles

There’s no doubt that solar shingles are highly attractive and aesthetically pleasing, but how do they perform when compared to conventional photovoltaic (PV) solar panels? Our team of product experts provided us with data to help consumers compare costs and efficiencies when selecting the right solar solution for their project.

What does it cost?

Here’s some insight at the estimated average cost of a solar installation with solar panels compared to solar shingles.

A solar system size of 6.38kW will cost an average of $19,778 to install when using solar panels. Recent studies have shown that the price tag on a 5.57kW system can amount up to $58,000 when opting for solar shingles. That’s an instant upfront cost difference of $39,122.

Whether you’re in the market for a new roof or not, when installing solar shingles you will need to replace your existing roof with a blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. This elegant product definitely comes with an upsold price. The average cost of a new roof can range from $8,000-$14,000. Even when bundling a brand new roof with your PV solar panel system (which is not typically needed to install solar) you will still get quite the savings, costing an average of $33,778.

Let’s look beyond upfront costs. One of the main reasons homeowners choose to invest in a solar system is to save money in the long run. The ROI (payback period) for an average solar panel system is 5.15 years. It will take a whopping 19.49 years to see your return when investing in solar shingles, giving solar panels a 74% quicker return in investment than solar shingles. Modules will put you in the black for 10 extra years before the end of your warranty as opposed to shingles.

Solar panels installed by The Green Panel l 14.4kW l MSE PERC 60 l Plymouth, Michigan

Performance, advantages and disadvantages

Although both solar panels and solar shingles will have the same end result of producing solar energy for your home, when closely observing their performance capabilities, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

A top advantage of using solar panels is the ability to monitor energy generation at a module level. Real time monitoring is a capability that comes in handy. This is a feature that is available when working with a solar shingle installation.

Another thought to consider is that the average solar panel system will have 22 interconnection points. Solar shingle systems have anywhere from 220 to 660 connection points. Why is this relevant? Think of each point of connection as a potential point of failure during installation and operation. This means your install will have 10 to 30 times more chances for system failure which can lead to lengthier troubleshooting and repair time.

The last thing you want to do when investing in a solar system is be counterintuitive. Because solar shingles rest directly on your roof, they have been known to generate hot air which will end up in your attic and heat up your home. This will cause your air conditioner to work harder and lower the overall energy efficiency of your home. To combat this issue, solar panels are installed to be lifted off the roof to provide air flow and minimize heat transfer.

Choose solar!

Whether you go with solar panels or solar shingles, we want you to CHOOSE SOLAR! We hope this information is helpful to you when deciding which direction to take your first or next solar project