Solar energy is a renewable energy that converts sunlight energy into electricity. This is made possible via photovoltaic modules. You can then use the generated electricity directly. The extra power is stored by either getting fed back to the power lines or battery banks. This energy source is very clean and reliable and can be used both in residential houses or industries.
Now, people interested in this power source do not have to rely on only panels since there are now solar shingles (roof tiles). These shingles are typically a hybrid of both roofing sheets and solar panels. They work just like panels by absorbing the sunlight and then changing it to electricity.
Hence, they help you protect your house the same way conventional roofs do while supplying the home with electricity as well.
You can’t install these shingles by yourself. Instead, you will have to hire a professional with the technical know-how, equipment, and software to handle the job. You can visit https://www.solargraf.com/ to learn more about the software used by contractors for solar installation.
In this article, we will be guiding you through the various sizing that has to be done when your solar roof is being designed. But let’s first take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of solar roofs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Roofs
The following are some of the major advantages of solar roofs:
- If you’re building your roof from the scratch, solar shingles are more cost-effective than panels
- Maintaining them is easier than maintaining panels
- They are durable and weather-resistant
- They are more aesthetically pleasing than panels as their look is sleeker. If you’re layering them on your already present roof, they will integrate seamlessly with it. This is especially true for asphalt and concrete roofs
The following are some of the major disadvantages of solar roofs:
- They are relatively new when compared to panels that have existed for a while now. Therefore, they are not offered by all manufacturers
- They are relatively costlier
- It’s still an evolving technology and some installations issues sometimes arise. For instance, they aren’t suitable for every kind of roof. So, sometimes, you may need an entire roof replacement before the solar roof can be installed.
- The colors and styles they are available in are somewhat limited.
Sizing Involved in Solar Roof Design
The following has to be done for you to design your solar roof:
1. Determining Power Consumption
The first thing that has to be done when designing the system is figuring out the exact energy and power consumption of the loads the system will be supplying. This is done by calculating the exact Watt-hours every appliance will use in a day. The Watt-hours required from your system per day will also be calculated.
2. PV Modules Sizing
The PV modules’ size typically determines the amount of electricity being produced, and different size produces different electricity amount.
The PV modules’ size as well as the location’s climate determines the peak watt that the system produces. When it comes to PV modules sizing, the Watt-peak the photovoltaic modules need will be calculated, as well as, the PV shingles needed.
The shingles estimate gotten is usually the minimum shingles required. If you install more than the required shingles, then you will be optimizing the system. But if fewer shingles than what is calculated are used, your system’s performance may be affected, it may even fail to work during cloudy weather.
3. Battery Sizing
For PV systems, deep cycle batteries are the recommended battery type. These batteries are specifically designed for discharging energy at lower levels and cycle discharged and charged daily for several years. You can watch this video to learn more about deep cycle batteries.
Another thing that has to be properly considered in a PV system design is the battery size. The battery has to be big enough so that it can conveniently store energy that will be enough to power the home and appliances during cloudy days and night times.
4. Inverter Sizing
Inverters are used for systems that need AC power outputs. The inverter’s input rating must never be below the appliances’ total watt. The inverter also needs to have the exact nominal voltage that the battery does.
If you are designing a stand-alone system, then your inverter has to be big enough to carry the total Watts that will be used at a time. Your inverter needs to be twenty-five to thirty percent larger than the appliances’ Watts.
Solar roofs are new but they have a lot of potentials and would most likely soon become very popular. While they have their disadvantages, they have so many other pros over panels. If you want to get solar roofs for your home, then some components sizing have to be properly evaluated while designing the system. We have discussed some of these components in this article.