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Nov 15, 2016
Are solar shingles a good option for my home?
We live in Atlanta on a sunny lot with unshaded southern exposure. We're considering incorporating solar power in a new carriage house. Are solar shingles (like those Elon Musk / Solar City / Tesla recently announced) a good option for us?
Nov 21, 2016

Let's hear it for Elon Musk and his efforts to move the solar industry forward!  Solar shingles have lots of potential. Hopefully, Tesla and Solar City will get it right.  We used solar shingles about 15 years ago when installing a new roof and encountered some issues: 1) They were expensive! I would recommend getting a quote for both traditional PV panels versus the shingles and see what pencils out. The cost of PV has come down significantly in the last couple of years. Once you get the quote, be sure and compare the cost/efficiency/performance ratios of the two systems. 2) Maintenance can be an issue. There are more electrical connections with a roof shingle system vs a traditional PV system. More things to create potential problems. The shingles are typically installed in "strings" - where mulitple shingles work together in units.  If one shingle has a problem, the entire string "goes down". Check to see how Solar City addressses this issue: can you easily identify where the bad shingle is and be able to replace it easily?  Otherwise the efficiency of your system is compromised significantly.  Another maintenance issue is keeping all the shingles clean.  There is more work to wash down an entire roof periodically to remove dirt buildup than there is for a traditional PV system. 3) Availability: Is Tesla/Solar City providing the units in Atlanta?  It may take them some time to gear up their distribution and train people to install them properly.  Both important things to consider.

All that being said, it certainly makes sense to have your roof generate power for you!  Regardless of whether you go the traditional PV system or shingles route.  Best of luck!

Solar shingles are expensive and unproven.  I recommend Sun Power photo voltaic solar.  An average home is $20,000 to $30,000 and the return on investment is 4 to 6 years on a 25 plus year system.

Nov 21, 2016

 Well according to Elon Musk yes they are but I'm not sure you can get hold of teslas new shingles  or get a price on them yet. But if you haven't checked them out, check out the YouTube video on tesla's new roofing

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