Jan 222009

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With the rapid advancement of solar power we are now seeing new products enter the market containing “integrated solar panels”.

For example, solar shingles. Essentially, these are ordinary roof shingles which are made out of photovoltaic materials. They perform the same function as ordinary roof shingles, with the added capability of producing electricity.

The advantage of these thin “solar panels” is that they can now be integrated right into one’s building materials – so instead of having solar panels on your roof, you would now have a solar roof.

Aside from being more desirable from an aesthetic standpoint, this also eliminates the need for bulky and heavy “traditional solar panels” to be installed.

How are Solar Shingles Made?

Advancements in solar power technology, such as the inventions of solar ink and other combinations of semi-conductors, have made it possible to combine or include photovoltaic materials in with a wide range of other products and materials. Solar cells no longer need to be made out of bulky heavy weight silicon panels, but can in fact be printed on just about any type of material – such as metal, plastic, and others. Researchers have even found ways to produce organic photovoltaics, though that is at the moment still in a purely experimental phase.

Benefits of Solar Shingles

– Attractive style

– Fully integrated shingle roof

– Lower electric bill

– Free electricity

– Pollution-free power

– Increased home value

– Protects the environment

– Exceptionally durable

– Great investment

– Significant state cash rebates available

– Federal tax incentives available

Costs and Financing

To be honest, right at this moment solar shingles might still seem expensive to some, but as any new technology develops its products become cheaper with time. However it does appear that the cost will be considerably lower than installing a comparable set of conventional solar panels. In one recent example, the entire cost of a home solar shingle installation was approximately $16,000, with a $12,000 tax rebate. This brought the entire cost to only $4000. Not only is that considerably lower than the usual cost involved in installing a home solar power system, but one has to keep in mind that the cost of tiling or shingling a roof is covered at the same time. These are, after all, shingles as well as solar panels.

Clean energy cash incentives and tax rebates are available at a federal level, and most states also have a clean energy or sustainable energy source rebate program. This, combined with energy savings, does make them affordable, and will in most cases pay for itself over time.

For more information on solar energy, please see our Solar Power Blog.

You can find a variety of solar power products at this Solar Power Store or learn more about solar energy at Solar Energy.

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 Posted by at 7:21 am