Solar Shingles vs Solar Panels in 2022- EcoWatch (2022)

What Are Solar Shingles and How Do They Work?

You can think of solar shingles like small solar panels that integrate with the regular shingles on your existing roof or a new roof (if you need one). They work the same way standard types of solar panels do, but where solar panels are assembled on top of your roof, solar shingles are used to build a roof.

The most obvious benefit to this type of solar energy system is simple aesthetics; while photovoltaic solar panels tend to be pretty obtrusive, solar shingles blend in with the traditional roofing materials, allowing you to have a completely normal-looking roof. Like solar panels, solar shingles provide clean energy production through photovoltaics (absorbing energy from the sun), some of which may be stored in a solar battery and some of which is converted into useful alternating current (AC).

Additionally, solar panels are rack-mounted, meaning that dozens of holes need to be drilled into your roof. Solar shingles, on the other hand, do not require that and thus require a less intrusive installation process.

This allows you to power appliances and devices throughout your home with renewable energy. Note: Those who prefer the appearance of a “tiled” roof to a shingled one may wish to consider solar tiles.

These work in roughly the same way that photovoltaic energy shingles do but integrate with roofing tiles rather than asphalt shingles.

Watch Below: While Tesla’s marketing team helped to spread recent awareness for solar shingles, other companies – like GAF Energy – have been installing them long before joined in.

Solar Shingles Vs. Solar Panels: Which Is Better?

As you consider your options for residential solar power, it’s worthwhile to note the pros and cons of both solar shingles and conventional solar panels. Both PV systems can supply your home with energy, but with its own advantages and drawbacks.

Solar Shingles: Pros and Cons

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether solar shingles are the best choice for your residential solar system:

Solar Shingles Pros Solar Shingles Cons
Solar roof shingles are more aesthetically pleasing Shingles are a newer solar technology, so there aren’t as many options readily available
Shingles are typically quicker to install Fewer top solar companies install solar shingles
They can be a more cost-effective if you need a roof replacement anyway Solar panel shingles are much more expensive than regular solar panels
Shingles have a lower conversion efficiency than solar panels
Solar shingles are more difficult to take with you if you move
Shingles are much more dependent on the slope of your roof

Solar Panels: Pros and Cons

Now, consider how standard solar panels compare:

Solar Panels Pros Solar Panels Cons
There are plenty of products to choose from Panels look bulkier and do not have the same elegant aesthetics
There are many solar installers that work with panels You’ll need your roof to be in good condition before you can install solar panels
The cost of solar panels is much lower than that of solar shingles The solar panel installation process is usually a little longer than solar shingle installation
Solar panels are more efficient than solar shingles
You can more easily adjust panels to get an optimal position

Generally speaking, solar shingles are a better option if you:

  • Need to replace your roof
  • Care a great deal about the aesthetics of your roof
  • Have a roof that is already well-positioned and sloped to capture sunlight

If you don’t fit into any of those categories, you may be better off pursuing solar panels, which are the more time-tested, widely available, energy-efficient and affordable option.

(Video) The Problem With Tesla’s Solar Roof

To connect with a verified installer in your city, follow the links below.

How Much Do Solar Shingles Cost?

As a rule of thumb, you can assume that solar shingles will be more expensive than panels. With that said, the exact cost of a solar shingle roof can vary depending on which company you go with.

According to Solar Magazine, the average solar shingle installation cost runs somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 (or around $21 to $25 per square foot). But of course, there are some outliers. High-end solar shingles from a company like Tesla may cost as much as $70,000 or more for full roof installation.

Before installing, it’s best to shop around and compare rates from at least two or three different solar shingle companies, ensuring you get the best value. Also, keep in mind that the solar tax credits, rebates and other incentives for homeowners who buy solar panels are also available for those that opt for solar shingles. The current federal incentive program will give you 30% of the cost of your system back as a tax credit and applies to all installations through 2032.

Solar Shingles vs Solar Panels in 2022- EcoWatch (4)

Installing Solar Shingles: How Many Do You Need?

Installation of solar roofing shingles may take up to a week; old shingles will need to be removed from the home, new shingles put into place, and the entire solar system connected through your inverter and solar battery.

Before the installation process begins, a roofer will join you at your home to help you assess how many solar shingles you’ll need. There are a couple of factors that will determine how many shingles you need: The size of the shingles you select, the square footage of your home and the amount of energy you need to generate.

One thing to keep in mind is that most homeowners do not need to cover their entire roof with solar shingles; you can intermingle them with traditional roof shingles to cut costs while still generating plenty of solar power.

Which Companies Offer the Best Solar Shingles?

Solar shingles are still relatively new, which means there aren’t a lot of companies offering them. Some of the heavy hitters in the solar shingle industry include:


Though the Tesla Solar Roof system is one of the most expensive options on the market, many homeowners find it totally worth the cost. Indeed, Elon Musk’s high-efficiency solar shingles may actually be more cost-effective than traditional solar systems, at least in the long run. And while they only come in one style, their sleek aesthetics will be appealing to anyone who prefers a more contemporary look.


A bit less expensive than Tesla’s system, SunTegra shingles are notable for their low-profile appearance, ease of installation and high level of efficiency.



CertainTeed was one of the companies that pioneered solar shingles, and its products are still top-notch. They have a number of options to choose from, including solar shingles as well as solar roof tiles.

Luma Solar

Luma’s shingles are efficient and aesthetically pleasing and fall somewhere in the middle of the pack with regard to price.

To connect with a verified installer in your city, follow the links below.

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FAQs: Solar Shingles vs Solar Panels

If you’re thinking about switching to solar shingles, here are some other questions you may have:





Writer and editor with more than a decade’s experience in journalism. Josh worked for Christianity Today for seven years, and has contributed to special assignments for Apple Music and iTunes. Josh lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife, Kati, and two sons, Henry and Dylan.


Are shingled solar panels better? ›

Essentially the three key advantages of the shingled solar panel design are they produce more power, improve reliability and are aesthetically pleasing.

What roofs are best for solar? ›

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is the most common type of shingle used on housing and is also the best roof for solar panels. These shingles are made from a fiberglass or cellulose type of mat that is very flexible and durable, making it the perfect material for solar panels.

What is the likely future of solar panels? ›

In the coming years, technology improvements will ensure that solar becomes even cheaper. It could well be that by 2030, solar will have become the most important source of energy for electricity production in a large part of the world. This will also have a positive impact on the environment and climate change.

What is the biggest problem with solar panels? ›

One of the biggest problems that solar energy technology poses is that energy is only generated while the sun is shining. That means nighttime and overcast days can interrupt the supply.

How much energy do solar shingles produce? ›

Each solar shingle will produce between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand of solar roof shingles. Solar shingles are lightweight and easy to install and just like ordinary shingles, they are designed to withstand rain, wind, and hail. They can be a great energy-efficient roofing option for your home.

What is PERC shingled technology? ›

M6 PERC Shingled cells

The overlapping “shingle” structure gives the panel greater efficiency with a lower risk of hot spots by reducing the amount of current for each individual circuit and avoiding overheating, thus ensuring greater performance at high temperatures. Hyundai Energy Solutions. 45 subscribers.

What color roof is best with solar panels? ›

Grey or grey-blue and black are good. The most ideal roof color for black solar panels is a lighter color, because they're far enough from black to be complimentary. The bluer solar panels, while less professional-looking overall, are easier to match to your roof; blue looks okay on any background.

What type of roof is not good for solar panels? ›

Roofing materials that are not ideal for solar include wood and slate roofs. For one, these roofing materials are brittle, so solar panel installers can't just walk around on the roof as they normally could. This makes for a more difficult and, therefore, more expensive installation process.

Will solar panels ever reach 50 efficiency? ›

A new kind of solar technology has set a world record for the most efficient generation of energy by a solar cell. By stacking six different photoactive layers, the record-setting multi-junction cell has reached nearly 50 percent efficiency in the lab and nearly 40 percent in “single sun” real-life conditions.

What is the issue with solar panels? ›

In general, the disadvantages of solar energy include the high initial costs, low efficiency, space needed for installing solar panels, the unreliability of sun exposure, and high pollution from manufacturing solar panels.

Are solar panels actually worth it? ›

Homeowners who install solar power systems can receive numerous benefits: lower electric bills, lower carbon footprints, and potentially higher home values. But these benefits typically come with significant installation and maintenance costs and the magnitude of the gains can vary widely from one house to another.

What is the downside of getting solar panels? ›

Disadvantages of solar energy include a high initial cost, an inability to work on every roof type, and it may be difficult to find a local installer depending on where you live.

What are 2 problems with solar panels? ›

Nine Common Problems with Solar Panels
  • Delamination and internal corrosion. If moisture finds its way into the panel, it can cause internal corrosion. ...
  • Electrical issues. Faulty wiring prevents your solar panels from performing well. ...
  • Micro-cracks. ...
  • Hot spots. ...
  • PID effect. ...
  • Birds. ...
  • Snail trails. ...
  • Roof issues.
16 May 2019

Do solar panels affect homeowners insurance? ›

Most rooftop solar energy systems are covered by standard homeowners policies, which doesn't change your insurance plan. However, you may need to increase the amount of coverage on your home to account for the cost of the system which can then raise your premium.

How much does it cost to install solar shingles? ›

On average, the cost to install solar roof shingles runs $21 to $25 per square foot or $2,100 to $2,600 per roofing square. So a total project could easily average $60,000 to $75,000 — at least. That's considerably higher than the cost of a conventional roof (between $5,646 and $12,031, according to HomeAdvisor).

Does hail break solar panels? ›

Quality Solar Panels like the LG brand panels used by Solar Power Pros are extremely resistant to hail damage. Solar panel manufacturers test their panels to withstand up to 25 mm (1 inch) diameter for hailstones. While your actual roof is susceptible to damage form all sizes of hailstones.

How long does a solar roof last? ›

As a general rule, solar panels last for about 25-30 years. However, this doesn't mean that they stop producing electricity after 25 years – it just means that energy production has declined by what manufacturers consider to be a significant amount.

Who makes PERC solar? ›

Oxford PV, the world's leading perovskite solar cell manufacturer, has created “tandem cells” by embedding a layer of perovskites on top of traditional silicon solar cells. These cells set a world record for efficiency of 29.52% in December of 2020.

What is half-cut technology in solar panels? ›

Half-cut solar cell technology increases the energy output of solar panels by reducing the size of the cells, so more can fit on the panel. The panel is then split in half so the top operates independently of the bottom, which means more energy is created - even if one half is shaded.

What is Hjt solar panel? ›

Heterojunction technology (HJT) is a not-so-new solar panel production method that has really picked up steam in the last decade. The technology is currently the solar industry's best option to increase efficiency and power output to their highest levels.

Should I install a new roof before solar panels? ›

As long as your roof can support the weight of a solar energy system, and it has a significant number of years of life left in it, there is no need to install a new roof at the same time that you install a solar energy system.

Do solar panels make your roof hotter? ›

According to a study conducted by researchers at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, solar panels reduced the amount of heat reaching the roof by an incredible 38%, keeping a building's roof 5 degrees cooler than portions of a roof exposed to sunlight directly.

What angle of roof is best for solar panels? ›

Most roofs aren't extremely steep, but even if yours is, your solar panels will likely still function well enough to produce enough energy for your home. The optimal roof angle is about 30 degrees, but if your roof tilt is at 40 degrees, this will only decrease your energy generation by approximately 1%.

Do solar panels cause roof problems? ›

For most homeowners, as long as your solar panels are properly installed, they shouldn't do damage to the exterior or the infrastructure of your roof. If you are working with a qualified licensed professional and your roof is in good condition, your solar panels won't affect the integrity of your roof.

Do solar panels void roof warranty? ›

In most cases, solar panels will not void a roof warranty. However, you have to be cautious of some companies that may install solar panels without considering the consequences of some actions, such as drilling holes in your roof.

How do I know if my roof is good for solar? ›

Ideally, they should face true south, which is a slightly different direction from the magnetic south you would find with a compass. An easy way to find out if your roof, and thus your property, is good for solar is to look it up on Google Maps. If you show the grid, it will tell you which direction true south is.

Do solar panels work in rain? ›

Photovoltaic panels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, though they are most effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt.

Will solar panels work in winter? ›

Yes! The long answer to “Do Solar Panels Work in the Winter?” is that solar panels work in winter weather, but due to snow, their output might get affected. Solar PVs have the ability to produce electricity even if they are exposed to mild sunlight, thereby producing electricity even during winters!

Is solar going to get cheaper? ›

"The cost of solar projects has declined considerably in recent years, but the cost reductions have now started to taper off and move closer to a floor, currently defined by the price of input factors such as labor, polysilicon, silver, copper, aluminum and steel," according to a report by Rystad Energy in September ...

What is the most efficient shape for a solar panel? ›

Out of the three novel shapes researched in this study, the conical-shaped panels have emerged as the option with the best thermal performance, efficiency, and power output.

What is the most efficient solar cell today? ›

Monocrystalline: Best for Efficiency

Monocrystalline solar panels are often touted as the most efficient option and are therefore best when installed for larger energy systems in commercial and residential properties. However, panel sizes do vary; therefore, monocrystalline can be used in smaller installations as well.

Is it difficult to sell a house with solar panels? ›

Selling Your Home with Solar Panels Can be Easy

If you're planning to sell a home with solar panels, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is. In addition to the fact that buyers love solar panels, a residential solar system may also boost your home's value and make it more attractive to new buyers.

How many years does it take to pay off solar panels? ›

The most common estimate of the average payback period for solar panels is six to ten years. This is a pretty wide range because there are many factors that will influence the number of years it can take to pay off your panels and the monthly savings you can expect.

Can installing solar panels cause roof leaks? ›

In virtually all cases, the answer is no. Roof leaks after solar panels are extremely rare. When roof leaking after the solar panels are fitted does occur, however, it usually becomes evident very quickly after the installation process is finished.

Can a house run on solar power alone? ›

With a modern solar energy system, including power storage, you can definitely run a whole house completely on solar power. Today's high-efficiency solar panels and solar batteries make it cheaper than ever before to power an entire home exclusively using solar energy.

What happens to solar panels after 25 years? ›

Most solar panel companies will provide a standard 25-year warranty for the expected life expectancy of the solar panels. After 25 years, your solar panels won't necessarily need to be replaced; however, their ability to absorb sunlight will be reduced.

How much do solar panels cost for a 2500 square foot house? ›

Home. The cost range of installing solar panels for a 2,500 sq. ft. home ranges from $18,000 to $55,000.

Where are Hyundai solar panels made? ›

The solar panel manufacturing activities are predominantly based in South Korea and according to Bloomberg's module tiering list, Hyundai Solar's manufacturing capacity is small compared to their tier 1 counterparts at 600MW per year.

What is the meaning of shingled hair? ›

Shingling is a styling technique where you apply a curly hair product, like a curl cream, hair gel, or a leave-in conditioner, through each curl to separate and smooth it into a bouncy coil. When working products through your hair, shingling requires attention to detail.

What is a half cut solar panel? ›

Half-cut solar cell technology increases the energy output of solar panels by reducing the size of the cells, so more can fit on the panel. The panel is then split in half so the top operates independently of the bottom, which means more energy is created - even if one half is shaded.

What is monocrystalline panel? ›

A monocrystalline solar panel is a solar panel comprising monocrystalline solar cells. These cells are made from a cylindrical silicon ingot grown from a single crystal of silicon of high purity in the same way as a semiconductor. The cylindrical ingot is sliced into wafers forming cells.

Are any solar panels made in the USA? ›

Key takeaways. The top five solar panel manufacturers in the U.S. include Hanwha Q CELLS, Jinko Solar, Silfab Solar, Mission Solar Energy, and Solaria. These companies produce high-performance solar panels for residential and commercial installations.

Are there any solar panels not made in China? ›

Most solar panels are manufactured in China, but some companies in Canada and the U.S. are gaining traction. Some well known solar panel companies with manufacturing facilities in the U.S. include: LG Solar, CertainTeed, Q CELLS, Silfab Solar, JinkoSolar, Solaria, and Tesla.

Are LG solar panels made in China? ›

At LG, we don't believe in outsourcing the production of our solar products. We produce all of our solar panels in our own in-house manufacturing facilities in Gumi, South Korea, and Huntsville, Alabama.

What is another word for shingles? ›

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a member of the herpes family of viruses. This is the virus that also causes chickenpox.

How long does it take to shingle hair? ›

Shingling can take about 20 minutes or more, depending on your hair length and density; you'll want to start with freshly co-washed and deep-conditioned hair.

How do you start shingles on a roof? ›

How To Properly Start Shingle Courses On A Roof - YouTube

Are Split cell solar panels better? ›

Since half-cell modules produce more power and are more efficient and reliable than their full-cell counterparts, their use can lead to time and money savings for the installer. “By delivering more power per square meter, fewer panels are required to generate the same power,” Seber said.

What is the difference between half cell and full cell solar panels? ›

Half-cut solar cells are essentially the same silicon solar cells – except that they've been cut in half with a laser cutter. This means that instead of the usual 60 cells found in a conventional solar panel, one with half-cut cells would have 120.

Are half-cut solar panels better? ›

Thus half-cut cells divides the internal current in the system and improves its performance, longevity and shade tolerance. As power loss is proportional to current, half-cut solar panels reduce the power loss by a factor of 4 which increases the power output.

Which solar panel is more efficient? ›

The most efficient types of solar panels are usually monocrystalline (rather than polycrystalline panels or thin-film). In this type of panel, the solar cell is cut from one solid monocrystalline silicon crystal.

Which solar panel is best for high temperature? ›

Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
  • Monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency rates, typically in the 15-20% range.
  • This high efficiency rate means they produce more power per square foot, and are therefore very space-efficient.
  • Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be more efficient in warm weather.

How long does a monocrystalline solar panel last? ›

Because of the above features, the main advantage of monocrystalline solar cells is the higher efficiency of conversion of solar energy into electric energy than its two other counterparts. These panels have longevity up to 30 years.


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