How do POWERHOUSE™ Shingles Work?

At Sorensen Roofing & Exteriors, we get plenty of questions about how solar shingles work and how well they work. There are plenty of homeowners like yourself who want to take advantage of solar shingles as a profitable and environmentally responsible home improvement project — and we’re here to make sure you get all the information you need to make the right solar decision for your home. Let’s take a look at how effective solar shingles can be, how long they last, how well they stand up to the elements, and how they are best installed as a part of your roof.

Are solar shingles more effective than solar panels?

In general, yes. Solar shingles can withstand more heat and sunlight than the large majority of consumer-grade solar panels, which means your home will generate more energy for longer periods of time. This is because solar shingles are made from an amorphous silicon material instead of glass. With traditional solar panels, glass breaks up light which reduces the overall efficiency of solar energy production. Amorphous silicon absorbs light directly without the use of glass, which makes their energy production far greater than their glass counterparts.

How long do solar shingles last?

With proper installation, favorable weather, and routine maintenance, solar shingle systems can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years or more. Since most systems pay for themselves in five to 10 years, that means you’ll be saving money for a half to two-thirds of your system’s lifespan.

Can solar shingles handle tough weather?

Yes — they’re called POWERHOUSE for a reason. These shingles can withstand winds upwards of 200 miles per hour, and are resistant to water and hail. RGS POWERHOUSE has received awards and accolades throughout the years for having some of the toughest solar shingles on the market.

Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels

Aesthetics

Shingles

Solar shingles lay flush with your roofing shingles — in fact, they’re barely even noticeable from a distance. Up close, they give your home a modern and luxurious look without distracting from other beautiful visual elements that make up your curb appeal.

Panels

Compared to solar panels, solar shingles are remarkably sleek and seamless in appearance, blending into your existing roof structure. Solar panels are usually raised at least 6 inches above your roof structure, and depending on your location, can be propped up even higher for maximum electricity production. Solar panels that are lifted can collect leaves and other debris, taking away from the otherwise clean look of your home.


Installation

Shingles

Solar shingles from RGS can either take the place of regular shingles during a roof replacement or be installed on top of existing shingles. Solar shingles are just as easy to install as traditional asphalt shingles, which is why many roofers have been trained in installation.

Panels

Solar panels are much more difficult to install. Since they’re much heavier and more complex than solar shingles, they take much longer to haul, lift, and install on the roof.


Efficiency

Technically, solar panel technology is slightly more efficient than solar shingles. High-end solar panels peak at anywhere from 22 to 25 percent efficiency, while the large majority of consumer shingles peak at 20 percent efficiency. This might seem like a big difference in efficiency, but there’s a big difference in price as well. Solar panels with 20 percent efficiency can be twice as expensive as similarly efficient solar shingles. Same energy efficiency and better cost efficiency? That’s the power of solar shingle systems.