Solar Roof Tiles vs Solar Panels

Wondering about the differences between solar roof tiles vs solar panels? Learn more about them with Smartly; solar tech experts.

Solar Roof Tiles vs Solar Panels: Which Should You Choose?

Over the last decade, solar panels have become a common sight on homes and businesses across the UK. They have become an affordable way of generating zero-emission electricity, allowing property owners to power their buildings whilst reducing their carbon footprint significantly.

However, the newer 'solar tile' designs have begun dominating the US solar market, with tech giants like Tesla hopping onto the trend. With the UK market looking like it may go in a similar direction, you might wonder which type of solar system would be best for your needs.

In this blog, we are going to explore Solar roof tiles vs solar panels, to highlight the pros and cons of each system so you can make an educated decision on what may be best for your property.

The Efficiency Of Solar Roof Tiles vs Solar Panels

Typically, solar panels are regarded as being more efficient than solar tiles. This is largely due to 'solar shading', in which the panel's efficiency is affected by part of it being 'shaded'. A solar panel is only as powerful as its weakest cell, so if one is covered, it reduces the overall efficiency of the panel.

Due to the way solar tiles are often laid for aesthetic purposes, take, for instance, the Tesla Solar Roof, they can lose efficiency due to an overlap of tiles to create the appearance of normal roof tiling. Whereas a solar panel is not obstructed by anything, allowing for the maximum amount of sunlight to reach it.

Modern solar tiles have, however, come a long way forward to try and combat this issue. For example, MegaSol provides carefully designed solar tiles that are laid to minimise shading as much as possible, making them a viable option for those who want energy efficiency without the look of full solar panelling.

The Aesthetic Value Of Solar Roof Tiles vs Solar Panels

One major benefit of solar tiles is their aesthetic value. Solar tiles are specially designed to blend into your roof, offering all the same protection and durability as standard roofing tiles or shingles, with the added benefit of producing solar energy for your home.

They're a great way to incorporate a solar system into your home without an obtrusive look and offer a subtle way to make your building more sustainable. This is often preferred in neighbourhoods where very few houses use solar panels, and you don't want your house to stand out too much.

Solar panels are usually attached to the roof using a mounting system made from brackets and rails. The brackets are attached to the roof using screws, and the rails are attached to the brackets. The solar panels are then fastened onto these rails. This mounting system helps to securely hold the panels in place, allowing them to move slightly to track the sun's position and maximise their sunlight intake.

Whilst some people don't mind the aesthetics of solar panels, they take up a significant amount of space on your roof or, if you set up a solar farm, on your land. However, some new innovative solar panel options can make them more aesthetically pleasing.

For example, with MegaSol, you can get your solar panels built into your roof, so no fixing is needed on the exterior. These are called 'integrated solar panels', and they produce the same amount of energy whilst seamlessly blending into the aesthetics of your home.

Installation Times Of Solar Panels vs Solar Tiles

As mentioned above, installation time will largely depend on the size of the project and the installation company you hire. However, solar tiles will normally take significantly longer to install than solar panels because they require the house to be re-roofed to meet their aesthetic expectations.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the solar roof tiles vs solar panels debate, the winner can't be defined by aesthetics or efficiency alone. Which solar solution brings the most benefits to your home will depend on your personal needs and preferences. Both offer fantastic benefits in different ways; it will depend on what works best for you and your build.

To discuss solar panel and solar tiles options, please get in touch with our Smartly solar experts. We will be more than happy to discuss your needs and help you figure out if solar panels or solar tiles work best for you.

Embrace your sustainable future today with Smartly!