Examine 4 Main Types Of Solar Shingles: All You Need To Know

Mounting photovoltaic roof shingles

The traditional image of solar panels — bulky and often industrial-looking — might be a thing of the past. Solar technology is rapidly evolving, offering homeowners sleek, integrated roofing solutions.

Photovoltaic roof shingles protect your ceiling while providing green electricity to power home appliances. We’ll explore the advantages and considerations of each type of solar tile, from standard options to bold textured and metal choices.

Types of Solar Shingles

Modern solar tiles can be classified into 4 main groups:


Standard solar tiles They look like mini versions of traditional solar panels.
Textured solar tiles These are solar tiles with textured design. They enhance the visual appeal of your roof with unique textures.
Tile-integrated solar tiles These tiny solar panels look like traditional shingles. They will suit those who want to preserve their home’s architectural style with a conventional tile roof aesthetic.
Metal solar tiles These shingles combine the strength of metal roofing with integrated solar technology for a long-lasting and low-maintenance solution.


Standard Solar Shingles

Classic photovoltaic roof shingles on the house

Solar tiles are a relatively new technology that directly integrates solar panels into roofing. Those shingles can generate clean electricity while functioning as a waterproof barrier for your home.

You don’t need to place additional panels, as your new roof tiles act like solar panels. Connect the wiring to the inverter, and you’ll have enough energy to power all your appliances.

Check their crucial parameters below:

  1. Size and weight: Like traditional shingles, standard solar tiles are typically around 12 inches wide by 86 inches long and weigh approximately 13 pounds per square foot.
  2. Material: Silicon and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) are common materials for standard solar tiles, allowing for a thin and flexible design.
  3. Output: It depends on the model and is usually less potent than traditional solar panels. Considering the surface area on your roof, they will produce enough to power a house.

Photovoltaic shingles offer a sleeker, more integrated design rather than solar panels. They are made from weather-resistant materials and last for 25+ years without any repairs.

Price of the photovoltaic roof shingles per square foot

Source: Homeguide

However, they are more expensive than traditional solar panels. The average solar shingles cost $30,000, with some reaching over $100,000, depending on the brand and roof size. Meanwhile, the average price for a solar roof starts from $15,000.

Textured Solar Shingles

These solar tiles feature a bold design but maintain crucial specs like size, weight, and output. The main benefit of textured panels is that they come in various designs, allowing you to match your house’s unique style.

Textured Tesla solar roof shingles

Source: Teslarati

Those shingles may resemble the look of any material: metal, concrete, clay, etc, making them distinct from traditional solar panels. Certain textures might improve dirt and snow shedding, potentially improving panel performance during the cold season. Textured surfaces can help reduce glare from the sun, making the roof less reflective.

If you prefer a discreet solar power solution, textured tiles are ideal. Textured and Tuscan Tesla solar shingles look just like classic roof tiles while providing green energy to your household.

Tile-Integrated Solar Shingles

These solar panel roof shingles mimic the look and feel of conventional roof tiles. However, they are distinct from the textured options. While all tile-integrated solutions feature some texture, not all textured panels resemble traditional shingles.

Tile-integrated photovoltaic roof shingles are made from materials that resemble traditional roof tiles, such as concrete, slate, or clay. It ensures a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing roofline. While textured solar panels can be made in any color, tile-integrated alternatives usually match standard classic shades: wine, brick, gray, or brown.

A worker repairing tile-integrated photovoltaic roof shingles

Tile-integrated solar power shingles can come in various styles, including Spanish barrels, flat tiles, and even S-shaped Mission styles, catering to different architectural preferences. Depending on the used materials, they can be slightly heavier than standard solar tiles.

Metal Solar Tiles

They combine the durability and weather resistance of metal roofing with solar technology. Made from galvanized steel, aluminum, or copper, they are often mistaken for thin-film solar shingles, but that’s not entirely true.

Most metal solar tiles still use the traditional multi-layer photovoltaic approach. They incorporate silicon wafers similar to classic solar panels encased within the metal design. Meanwhile, metal solar roofing shingles offer superior resistance to fire, impact, and strong winds compared to traditional asphalt shingles.

Customizable Solar Tiles

Solar tiles are evolving towards greater customization, blending functionality with aesthetics and optimizing energy generation. However, the high cost of custom solar roof shingles makes them accessible mainly to businesses, not most households.

You can order solar panel shingles in any color, including gold or white. You may even choose between different materials and shapes, which provides more flexibility to complement your architectural style.

Customizable photovoltaic roof shingles offer more chances to match your existing roof design or create a unique look that complements your home’s architecture. However, they will require more planning and expertise than a standard installation.


Powering Your Roof With Choice

Solar tiles offer a compelling way to generate clean energy and add a touch of modernity to your roof. They come in various forms, each with its advantages and considerations.

To find the best solar shingles, figure out your electricity needs by studying electricity bills and choosing a suitable shingle type. Then, consult a qualified solar installer team so they can design a system that suits all your needs.

Looking for affordable solar panels that look like shingles in Chicago, Illinois? Don’t waste another minute—get your free solar quote right away!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a solar roof?

A solar roof integrates specific solar panels resembling traditional tiles directly into the roofing system. These panels generate clean electricity while serving as a waterproof barrier for your home.

How do solar shingles work?

Like traditional solar panels, solar tiles work based on the photovoltaic effect. They contain thin layers of semiconductor materials, commonly silicon in standard shingles or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) in thin-film solar shingles. When sunlight hits these semiconductor materials, it knocks electrons from their atoms, creating an electric current within the shingle.

What factors should homeowners consider when selecting solar tiles?

Consider the style of your home to find a matching design. Evaluate your energy needs and choose shingles with a power output rating that can contribute significantly to your energy consumption. Be aware that solar roof shingles cost more than traditional asphalt shingles.

Is Tesla’s solar shingles silicon of cigs technology?

Tesla’s current iteration of solar tiles relies on silicon photovoltaic cells, not CIGS technology. Tesla’s solar roof uses silicon photovoltaic cells, similar to traditional solar panels. These cells are encapsulated within a durable tile, creating a sleek, integrated look for your roof.