You may have noticed that there are quite a number of properties which are benefiting from solar roof panels. The reason you have observed this trend is because solar roof panels are not very discreet and can be quite prominent additions to any home. Yet, there are advances all the time and the latest efficient innovations are within solar roof tiles.
What are Solar Tiles?
Solar roof tiles work in the same way to solar PV panels, only they are much smaller and largely inconspicuous. In fact they are the same size as large roof tiles, making them ideal to be used on new builds or to be integrated into the roof when the covering is replaced. As such, they are much less noticeable than traditional solar panels.
How do Solar Tiles Work?
Solar tiles work by converting the light they receive into a usable energy source in much the same way as ordinary solar PV panels do with just one difference – they do not require full sunlight in order to generate electricity as they can work perfectly well with just daylight making them much more efficient. Also, they do not emit any noise, heat or radiation and so are perfectly safe and unobtrusive.
How are Solar Tiles Fitted?
Solar tiles must only be fitted by a registered installer; however they are very easy to fit, just like roof tiles. The installer will simply fit them alongside your ordinary roof tiles ensuring that the solar tiles are bordered by the roof tiles. Each panel has electric cables which are hooked up to weatherproof connectors. Once all the tiles are connected you can start to reap the rewards,
whether you are connected to the National Grid or want a stand-alone system.
What is a Solar Tile Stand-Alone System?
This is where there is no connection from the solar tiles to the electricity network, perhaps because your property is in an area which suffers from regular electricity interruptions or because you are not connected to the National Grid. In this case the solar tiles can be connected to a bank of batteries which can be converted via an inverter, to alternating current (AC).
Do Solar Tiles Benefit from the Feed-In Tariffs?
Solar tiles work just like solar panels, so that any surplus electricity generated can be sold back to your current provider and when the solar tiles are not producing, you are still able to buy your electricity from a provider. As you are using a renewable source of energy, you will be eligible for the government’s Feed-In Tariff.
Do I need Planning Consent for Solar Tiles?
It is always advisable to discuss your plans with your local authority but as local councils are being urged to encourage cleaner energy initiatives, unless your property is listed, then it is unlikely you will be refused planning permission. In fact owing to the discreetness of the solar tiles when compared to solar panels, the chances of getting local government agreement is significantly higher.