Home solar panel adoption continues to rise in the U.S. Moreover, the government has recently passed a new law with a 30% solar tax credit that is expected to entice more Americans to embrace green energy over the next decade. Homeowners with an eye for style are going beyond traditional solar panels, with solar tiles and windows upping the design appeal of sustainable living. How are these innovations making it more appealing than ever to live in an environmentally responsible way?
Sun-Loving Roof Tiles
Solar tiles work similarly to solar panels, absorbing the sun’s rays and converting the light into electrical or thermal energy. They come in the same size as typical tiles (around 12×86 inches long), though they are less than an inch thick. Their fineness can be attributed to the material they are usually made from—copper indium gallium selenide, which also boasts the quality of flexibility. One of the most sought-after (and priciest) solar tile types is made of monocrystalline silicon. The latter is also used to make computer chips.
Windows With a Difference
Imagine windows that look like regular glass windows, but that work to harness the energy of the sun and convert it into energy. Solar windows were pioneered by scientists at Michigan State University and today, they are already being used in many homes and offices. Estimates suggest that solar windows and other transparent technologies could provide around 40% of the US’s energy demand. When combined with rooftop solar panels, this figure could rise to 100%.
Reducing Costs of Replacement
Depending on the frame you use for your windows, you may find that you have to replace them every 15 to 20 years. Factors that determine the frequency of window replacement include the frame material, energy efficiency of the window (which can affect its ability to insulate your home), and glass quality. They are additionally influenced by how many panes your window has, and where your windows are located. Solar windows are made of particularly sturdy quality, and they have a lifetime of around 30 years.
Powered by Tesla and Other Cutting-Edge Brands
Cutting-edge brands like Tesla, Sunflare, CertainTeed, and 3 in 1 Roof are just a few of the many brands that are focusing on designing an array of beautiful tile designs for residential roofing. Tesla’s roofing, for instance, comprises both solar and non-solar tempered glass tiles. They are available in smooth, textures, slate, and tile appearances and they boast a Class Four hail rating, Class F window rating, and Class A fire rating. Many tile styles are integrated seamlessly into the roofs of homes and buildings and cannot be distinguished from conventional shingles. Currently, top brands are looking for ways to reduce the expense associated with the manufacture of these materials.
Solar energy is an increasingly more powerful force to contend with in the US and abroad. Savvy builders, architects, and designers are looking beyond traditional solar panels. Today, beautiful solar tiles and windows are showing that the power of the sun can be harnessed without sacrificing aesthetics.