Solar Tiles - Renewable Energy

Solar Tiles - Choosing Solar Tiles - Solar Roof Tiles

Solar tiles are built from several solar cells that are made from silicon, one of the most abundant elements on earth. The solar cells are connected together inside the solar tiles which produce direct current (DC) when exposed to daylight

Solar Tiles - Image Provided by RedlandChoosing Solar Tiles

Solar tiles produce energy from daylight, not necessarily direct sunlight, so they will still produce electricity on cloudy days. The direct current (DC) electricity produced is normally converted to alternating current (AC) for use in homes and commercial buildings, by an inverter situated in the loft or adjacent to the fuse board inside the building.

Conventional Solar PV Panels

Solar panels are a comparatively thick profile and are ‘bolted on’ to a roof slope using fixings that pierce the roof envelope. Even though they are usually fitted in the same plane as the roof, they sit proud of the roof finish in an ungainly fashion.

Visual Impact of Solar Tiles

Solar tiles, however, are designed to match the modular sizes of popular roof tiles. They can be produced to match individual tiles but it is more common for them to be made wider (typically, one roof tile high and several tiles wide). The Solar tiles have a slim profile that enables them to interlock with the concrete roof tiles. They are fixed to standard tiling battens, by the roofer, as normal tile laying proceeds. Different manufacturers produce solar tiles to match particular roof tiles, so it is important to check the suppliers data sheet before proceeding.

Positioning Solar Tiles

It is usual to fit solar tiles on a new-build project, on a new extension or where an existing roof covering is being replaced. Solar tiles are fitted to the main body of the tiled area and kept clear of the roof edges, where the wind uplift forces are at their strongest.

Fitting Solar Tiles

Solar tiles are easy to handle, contain no moving parts and can be fitted to most large format roof tiles roofs easily by trained roofers. A roofer can fit the solar tiles as work progresses which helps avoid unnecessary delays to the contract. The cabling from the solar tiles can be concealed in the structure of the pitched roof and, if the roof void is not in use, the electrical equipment can be stored inside the roof space.

Solar Tiles – Connecting the Electrics

When the roofing work and the solar tile fitting has been completed the cabling from the solar tiles can be connected to the electrical circuit in the building. This part of the work must be done by a qualified electrician. It is important to note that, in order to comply with UK building regulations all electrical work associated with dwellings must comply with current standards.

Solar Tile Product Performance

Solar tiles are fitted directly onto the standard roofing battens, replacing conventional tiles, to provide a completely weathertight roof. The solar tiles are designed as construction products in their own right and undergo the same rigorous testing as the roofing tiles they replace. The solar tiles and installers are both required to be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) in order to qualify for the UK government's Clean Energy Cashback Scheme.

Solar Tiles Profitability

With a relatively small capital investment considerable profits can be made with a solar tiles system, even after 20 years of operation, regardless of whether the installation continues to feed the national grid or the solar power is used in the host building. A solar tile installer should be able to provide an exact profitability analysis, giving bespoke calculations as part of an individual consultation.

Solar power is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, with continued developments leading to solar cells that are evermore efficient and economical. The technology of photovoltaics is proven and safe and such products do not release any emissions that contribute to global warming

About Solar Tiles - Solar PV - Building Integrated PV