What is all the fuss about solar roofing tiles? Solar power in Kenya and around the globe has become a big part of any construction project. In many countries, it is a requirement by law to incorporated solar energy in all new buildings, both commercial and residential. Old buildings are also being required to incorporate solar energy.
Kenya has not been left behind. A new law has been passed that all building must have solar energy by 2017. Whether this will be enforced or not, it is a clear indication that solar energy must be put into serious consideration.
Solar energy as part of sustainable green architecture is one of those things that require an up-front investment but with great benefits to be ripped over a period of time.
Solar Roofing Tiles – The New Solar Power Solution
Solar roofing tiles have taken center stage over the last couple of year. These tiles allow you to enjoy the traditional roof line but each tile incorporates photovoltaic cells that allow it to tap into the energy and light of the sun.
In times past, solar energy solutions were pretty expensive, requiring a lot of upfront investment. The good news is costs are coming down and solar roofing tiles cost almost the same as normal roofing tiles, despite their double duty. In some countries, governments are offering different incentives to encourage uses of solar energy.
The innovative new tiles are now being manufactured to be light weight and easy to stall. It will not take any specialized equipment or intricate mechanisms to install and use these solar panels. The strength and durability of the tile is also great, further reducing the cost of implementation.
Using these tiles is ideal for new buildings. For existing building, it would be a major cost to replace the entire roof with these tiles, unless for some reason you must replace your roof.
The tiles are created to blend in and look just like normal roofing tiles. The roof does not look any different and if one is not aware that the tiles used are solar tiles, they would never know. Basically, these tiles are aesthetically appealing.
Depending on the number of tiles installed, it is possible to meet the power requirements for your home and have extra. The extra power can be sold to others.
Here is Kenya, Kenya Power recently signed a contract to buy extra solar power from Strathmore University and three other independent power producers, giving hope to others that they can sell their excess power easily.
So how much electricity can typically be generated by solar tiles? This will depend on the manufacturer. There are brands that can produce up to 63 watts. It is estimated one can cut their power needs by up to 70%. To harness the power generated, an inverter kit is required.
The Noted Drawback of Solar Roofing Tiles
· Solar tiles do not produce as much power as solar panels. This however is something that is expected to change with technological advancement.
· With free standing solar panels, one can change the angle of the panels to accurately capture the sun’s rays. Solar tiles, being fixed, cannot be angled.
· The cost of installation, though not over the top, is still a hindrance because of the upfront investment requirement.
· Solar tiles have the limitation of either being PV or thermal. Solar PV refers to solar used to provide electricity while solar thermal refers to solar that provides hot water. Solar panels carry out both functions at the same time but tiles can only handle one function.
Given then numerous benefits of solar energy, the use of solar roofing tiles in Kenya is indeed a great investment. Not only does it allow one to cut on their power bills, but extra power generated can be sold off. All investors and home owners are therefore encourage to incorporate solar roofing tiles to their construction projects.