DOW Chemical has been one of the leaders in a solar application; solar shingles or Building-Integrated Photovoltaic System (BIPV). Backed by a $17.8 million dollar tax break, Dow launched a product that is so well designed that it seamlessly integrates with existing shingles and roofing systems. Dow is not the only company launching solar solutions that are integrated into the building or home either. Many other manufacturers already have launched solar shingles, tiles, and even windows. And, College Station roofers are installing them across the Brazos Valley.
A Difference in Design
Most business and home owners are very familiar with the traditional solar roofing system, which includes the solar collection arrays, DC current to the inverter box, and then AC current to run household devices.
According to several roofers in College Station, the familiarity is due to the same reason many homeowners elect to pass on solar installations; “it looks clunky”. What many are referring to is the mechanical framework and scaffolding that supports the solar system. The bulky look is there to support the weight of the photovoltaic system without compromising the structural integrity of the roofing system.
However, as homeowners become increasingly interested in investment opportunities in their own properties and the effect of property values, demand for a more integrated solution has dramatically increased since Dow’s 2009 initial launch.
The Strength of Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Systems
Besides a cleaner or more integrated look, solar shingle installations have many advantages over the traditional solar systems.
Because the shingles themselves are individually wired for electrical storage, there is no need for the bulky support structures. This lightens the load on the roofing system and less prone to damage.
2. Can be Applied Over Existing Roofs
Many homeowners that have previously installed or currently have an asphalt roof, especially due to initial cost savings, can extend their current savings because solar shingles can be installed directly onto the existing shingles, be seamlessly integrated into existing clusters of shingles, or used as the shingle itself.
Application of the photovoltaic materials is also just as easy as normal roofing materials. The solar collection components are actually integrated in the shingle itself, which means applications allow for multiple adherence types: adhesive strips and nailing.
*Attachment and installation of roofing materials to structures have to follow municipal guidelines to meeting building code and basic safety requirements. Be sure to check with the City of College Station to make sure your roofer is following local building code.
3. Variety of Roof Types
In addition to access of multiple lines of solar shingle types, colors, sizes, and manufacturers, homeowners also have their choice of different roof types. BIPV roofing systems also come in lots of tile types. The solar tiles can also be applied much in the same way as the solar shingles; on-top of existing tiles, integrated into clusters, or used as the primary tile in reroofs or new roofing.
A Cost Effective Solution
According to Dow, small clusters can save homeowners anywhere from 40-60% on their energy usage. Even after the electrician’s installation work (electricians are required by code to handle the electricity connection to the grid) BIPV roofing systems are affordable when all costs are considered.
In addition to costs dropping dramatically over the 5 years since initial launch, Federal tax credits will reduce the price of materials by 30%, state and local credit combined with insurance rebates can bring these roofing systems down to the price level of traditional roofing.
Beyond all of the savings between various agencies, BIPV roofing systems also allow building and home owners to sell electricity back to the grid, when not in use or during low usage times. This creates extra savings and in some cases, even cash back, turning your home or building into a revenue generating source.
Schulte Roofing is a College Station roofer with over 20 years of business in College Station. Familiarity with building code, material costs, and the latest technology and installation processes have made Schulte Roofing the #1 Roofing in the Brazos Valley for the past 5 years (The Eagle Newspaper, Bryan Broadcasting, The Navasota Examiner). Contact Schulte Roofing today for more information on solar shingle installations that look great and save you money!