Solar System Aesthetic: What are my Options?

August 13 2020

The traditional solar system aesthetic isn’t a fit for every homeowner. In fact, the most common concern among people who are considering residential solar is, “What if a solar installation looks weird on my roof?”

This a completely valid question. After all, you’re the one who will have to look at it every day. Traditional solar panels are bulkier, and that bothers some people. While everyone agrees on the financial benefits of solar, not everyone is sold on the typical solar system aesthetic.

Luckily, there are other options available. When most people think of solar panels, they think big, raised panels that are bolted to the roof. The truth is that solar panels have evolved exponentially over the past few decades.

Now, homeowners have choices. For instance, solar shingles and thin-film solar panels offer a more modern look. Even with traditional silicon panels, you have options. Today, you can reap the financial benefits of going green while creating a solar system aesthetic that you feel great about. Learn more about all of your options below.

Solar Shingles

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is a collection of new solar innovations that give homeowners more natural-looking options for solar power. One type of BIPV system is solar roof shingles.

Solar shingles are designed to look like ordinary asphalt shingles. These systems consist of durable shingles comprised of integrated monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, or thin-film cells. The type of solar roof shingles you choose will affect their efficiency and cost.

Black solar tiles on a residential roof

Also known as solar tiles, these shingles are actually part of your roof. They aren’t bolted onto your roof like silicon panels are. This helps solar roof shingles seamlessly integrate into the look of your home. If you want a minimalistic solar system aesthetic, this is a great option.

Solar shingles protect your roof in the same way traditional shingles would. That means that while they’re converting the sun’s light into energy, they’re also keeping your home safe from the elements. Plus, solar tiles can even be removed and reinstalled if you move homes.

While they are pretty neat, solar roof shingles do typically come with a higher price tag. The difference in price between solar shingles and solar panels varies depending on where you live. Tax incentives on both the federal and state level can greatly reduce these prices. Let us connect you with a solar installer to get an accurate estimate for your home.

When considering the price, keep in mind that installing solar tiles means replacing your roof. This is a big reason by the cost is higher, so factor that into your decision. If you are in need of a new roof or want to retain the aesthetics of your home, solar shingles are a great choice.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Dark blue thin-film solar panels installed on the roof of a home

Thin-film solar panels are another new type of building-integrated system. These panels are less bulky than their silicon counterparts. Thin-film solar panels are thin layers of semiconductor material rolled out across a surface.

Because of their narrow design, thin-film solar panels are somewhat less efficient than monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon options. However, they are typically cheaper.

In addition, the carbon offset required when producing thin-film solar panels is less than the emissions produced when manufacturing traditional panels. If you want a greener and more affordable option, this is a great choice. These panels also offer a slim and modern solar system aesthetic.

Traditional Panels

Even if you choose traditional panels, you still have options in terms of solar panel aesthetics. First, you have a choice between bluish polycrystalline silicon and black monocrystalline silicon.

Large solar panels with a traditional solar system aesthetic

There are also options when it comes to the frame color. Both black frames and silver frames are available, depending on the solar panel aesthetics you want. Black and white solar cells and panel backing are also available. On top of that, you have the choice of whether or not to have open or hidden wire.

Each of these elements can be combined into a variety of ways to produce a variety of solar system aesthetics. If you like the features of traditional panels, but just aren’t sold on the look, keep this versatility in mind.

Of course, while solar panel aesthetics play a big role in the type of system you choose, each type of panel has different strengths. Keep in mind that how a panel performs on your particular roof is the most important element in optimizing your financial return. For instance, price, efficiency, and even size all vary. Learn more about the different types of solar panels here.

Residential Solar Installation

Once you’ve decided on solar panel aesthetics, you’ll need an installer. Unfortunately, this can be tough. It’s hard to know who to trust to properly set up and take care of your system. After all, most solar panel installations last around 30 years.

On top of that, you’ll want upfront pricing and information before you commit. Wouldn’t it be nice to just compare all of that at the start? That’s where Greenlife Solar comes in.

We’ve created a system that matches you with potential solar installation companies in your area. You can compare all of your options in one place and find the best fit for your home.

Going green has never been easier. Use Greenlife Solar to find the solar installation company you need today.

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