Check out this guest post from Matt, a roofing specialist, to learn more about how adding a solar roof can benefit your smart home!
One of the factors of pollution and various environmental problems is building. Harmful materials and techniques we use have a negative and powerful influence on the air we breathe and water we drink. The green movement is making firm steps towards the creation and use of sustainable materials and technologies to decrease these adverse effects. One of the steps in finding such solutions is the multi-use of roofs; the development of solar rooftop technology.
Solar roof technologies represent an efficient and green way of generating electricity by using a renewable source of energy with a minimal footprint. For homeowners, this system blends the best of both worlds: energy savings and higher life quality. Generating electricity was not a particularly attractive idea a few decades ago because the technology was not standard. However, solar panels evolved in their appearance and performance. Even though solar panels still represent a significant financial investment, they promise tremendous money energy savings throughout the years.
Knowing how to use solar rooftop technology wisely is crucial. Recognizing your energy needs plays a key role in using solar technology. Countless programs could help determine a household’s power consumption; which is necessary for choosing what kind of solar system you need.
Once they’ve analyzed their use and found out where their energy slips, homeowners usually have to pick between two leading solar technologies. These are both efficient, but they serve different purposes: photovoltaic and thermal solar rooftop systems.
The photovoltaic system is widely used all around the world since governments recognized its potential. This efficient system uses individual solar cells that utilize solar power and transform it into electricity. Two central elements of the system are the panel itself and the solar inverter that changes the current.
The prices of installation dropped which motivated thousands of homeowners to invest into their lifestyle quality. Households with photovoltaic system leave zero footprints behind since the PV doesn’t emit any gasses and doesn’t pollute the environment.
Solar Thermal System
Solar thermal energy or STE is equally efficient as the PV is. It is a technology that allows harnessing solar power and converting it into electricity or thermal energy. STE absorbs and captures sunlight and provides households with cost-effective heated water.
Solar thermal roofs are used in commercial buildings for space heating, while residential homes also use them for hot water and to keep the pool warm; as hot water is a significant part of the energy bills. It can make a difference in big families when there is a frequent usage of the washing and laundry machines, or car washes and laundromats in commercial water application. This roof type has proven to be quite cost effective when large quantities of water are required to operate and when other heating systems are pricey.
Deep Cycle Batteries
Even though deep cycle batteries are not directly installed on your roofing system, they are related to the PV and complete it. The battery cells are connected to the solar grid and have the ability to obtain the energy. Therefore, they represent a solution when there is no Sun for solar panels to capture. Batteries keep useable energy inside of them that you can use whenever there is no direct sunlight.
One of the advancements in solar energy is the solar roof shingle, also known as the photovoltaic (PV) shingle. It is a way to turn shingles – whose primary function is, as the traditional asphalt shingles, to protect the interior of the house from weather – into energy producers. They take in the sunlight and turn it into electricity. To get that result, different companies use different methods – for example, DOW uses solar thin-film technologies, such as CIGS, while SunTegra and CertainTeed use the standard of the industry: the silicon solar cells.
Solar Power on a Roll
Recent technological advancements have led to the existence of foldable solar panels – the latest trend in solar roofing. These panels can be partially or fully deployed up to 50 meters in length, and thanks to a simple control panel, they are very easy to operate and install – two people can set it up quickly! For now, this type of solar panel has been adopted by humanitarian organizations for disaster relief purposes, as well as military base camps and remote mining areas that require pop-up and flexible equipment, but it is undoubtedly picking up in popularity with the general population.