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The Benefits of Solar Shingles
The monthly power bill has become an increasingly heavy burden for both home and business owners. This has spurred a dramatic increase in the popularity of photovoltaic power systems. When coupled with the increasingly inexpensive nature of solar power systems and the presence of a number of state and federal incentive programs many individuals have found themselves installing solar power systems in order to reduce or eliminate their monthly utility bill. Because of this, the field of solar architecture is becoming an increasingly central part of the process of designing effective and aesthetically pleasing structures. This field is concerned with smoothly integrating photovoltaic systems into the structure in a way that minimizes the costs of installation while providing the greatest possible benefits to the owner.
What Is Solar Architecture?
When solar power systems were first introduced into the general market, they were usually added on as an afterthought to already existing structures. Equally, the first photovoltaic power systems were both bulky and delicate which drastically limited their installation options. In general, this resulted in unsightly and expensive solar power installations that often required a great deal of maintenance.
However, modern power systems are far more advanced than their predecessors were. For example, a modern solar shingle unit can be installed just like a traditional roof shingle without interfering with the appearance of the structure. Even more importantly, these systems can be installed in any desired configuration or number. This makes it very easy to use modern solar calculator programs to determine the precise power needs for the structure and install the required number of solar panels to generate that energy.
Because these modern photovoltaic systems are so easy to install, the practice of solar architecture can focus on ensuring that a modern solar panel installation is both useful and attractive. For newly constructed buildings, the architect can make the photovoltaic systems an integral part of the structure’s design, ensuring that the units will be smoothly integrated with the building while also producing the maximum possible amount of power. In addition, modern solar panel installations can dramatically improve the appearance of the building which can be important for those individuals desiring that their residence or business be an attractive destination for visitors and customers alike.
In addition, it is easy to install modern solar shingle systems into an older structure. This can be especially important due to the fact that many older buildings have less effective insulation and thus experience higher monthly electrical utility costs. Unlike older photovoltaic systems, a modern solar power installation is both lightweight and does not require any major structural changes to the building. Not only does this reduce the cost of the installation, but it also makes it far easier to emplace the solar panels where they will receive the maximum possible amount of sunlight over the course of the day.
Another advantage of these systems is the speed of installation when compared to traditional solar power systems. In fact, a shingle based photovoltaic system can be installed in as little as 10 hours. Coupled with the elimination of the need for cranes or other heavy lifting equipment, this can dramatically reduce the labor costs associated with installing the solar power system. When combined with the falling price of solar panels, these low installation costs have made photovoltaic systems quite affordable for businesses and homes alike.
The Durability of Modern Solar Architecture
One of the greatest advantages of modern photovoltaic systems is their durability and ease of replacement. Many older solar power systems were difficult to maintain and often required expensive repair procedures. This was especially true in those regions that suffered from frequent inclement weather such as thunderstorms. However, modern systems such as solar single units are both durable and easy to repair. In fact, these components are often more durable than traditional shingle roofs and can actually improve the structure’s longevity.
When maintenance or repair is needed, a solar shingle can be quickly removed and repaired without requiring extensive structural repairs. Furthermore, because the photovoltaic installation is made up of many such shingles, the cost of repairing or replacing any single shingle unit is quite reasonable. When combined with the cost savings due to the long-term reduction in utility bills the low maintenance costs found in modern photovoltaic systems will help to provide an excellent return on their initial cost of installation.
An Affordable Path to Environmentally Responsible Living
Solar architecture also allows the home or business owner to make an affordable transition to an environmentally responsible lifestyle. By using solar shingles to supply a substantial portion of his or her electrical needs, the owner reduces the demand on the local power grid. This allows the owner to be environmentally responsible without suffering any form of inconvenience in their daily activities. In addition, many states have programs allowing the owner to sell back excess power to the local power utility. In some cases, this can reduce the property’s power bill to nothing or even result in the owner receiving payment for his or her excess power.
Solar Architecture and Real Estate Prices
In addition, solar architecture can allow a homeowner to reduce his or her utility bills while also increasing the home’s value. Attractive and dependable solar shingles can help improve a home’s value whether the homeowner intends to sell the home or obtain a home equity loan. In other cases, there may be local, state and federal tax incentives for the installation of photovoltaic systems, which can further increase the property’s value.
Ultimately, modern solar power systems lend themselves to a new form of architecture that allows the structure to be simultaneously attractive, environmentally friendly and inexpensive to maintain. In today’s world of increasingly expensive utility bills, utilizing solar shingles can help reduce the costs associated with maintaining a comfortable and modern lifestyle without sacrificing the structure’s appearance.