The Tesla Solar Roof is undoubtably an excellent idea for people interested in harnessing solar power to keep the lights on. Tesla Roof distinguishes itself by using much smaller solar panels than is expected and blends them with typical roof shingles so that your roof can soak up the sun’s rays and use that energy to power almost everything in your home.
However, if you’re looking for something other than Tesla, this list has some great options. These solar panels are called building-integrated photovoltaics or BIPV for short. They are part of the actual roof, so you won’t need to worry about laying panels over your delicate roof tiles. You can stay perfectly weather-proof while putting the sunlight to good use.
1. SunTegra Solar Shingles
Whether you want to add solar panels (called shingles on SunTegra’s website) or have your entire roof made with solar tiles for maximum sun absorption, SunTegra has you covered. With both options available, you do not have to worry about finding a different company if you change your mind about what your household needs.
Do not be fooled by the name, though; these shingles do not hang on top of your roof like other solar panels. They can be attached to both asphalt and tile roofs without a problem. You get to keep your old roof and still rely on those shingles you have been trusting for years, but now your precious roof can also generate electricity too.
On the other hand, the tiles integrate perfectly with concrete tiles and lay flat against your roof without needing any kind of attachment or fixture. They are light enough to be used on a carport or shed if you want to get even more sunlight from your home. These tiles can stand wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour!
There is one prominent drawback for this company’s solar shingles and tiles, however. You will need to have the company come out to provide you an estimate for the price. That can make it challenging to compare SunTegra with its competitors when deciding which product to use for your home.
|Shingles (110-watts)||Tiles (70-watts)|
|Warranty||25 years||25 years|
2. Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles
Technically, Dow Chemical Powerhouse doesn’t exist anymore, but the trademarked shingles are now being produced by a different company: RGS Energy. Even though the company has changed, the efficiency has not. Once you can get past the name change, you notice that these shingles are surprisingly efficient and perfect for any solar home.
The main difference between the original design by Dow Chemical Powerhouse and the ones on offer from RGS Energy is that the new shingles utilize silicon to harvest the sunlight and convert it into energy. In contrast, Dow Powerhouse used copper indium gallium selenide or CIGS for the power conversion.
Other exciting features include a 25-year weather performance warranty so that even after the product warranty expires, the manufacturer guarantees that extreme weather will not be enough to damage your solar shingles. Too bad that warranty does not cover the rest of your roof too.
There are two types of shingles available: a 55-watt shingle and a 60-watt shingle. The 60-watt shingles are more effective at harvesting the sunlight for your electrical needs, although they are more expensive to buy and install. Depending on your household’s electrical needs, you might not need to spend the extra money on a higher wattage.
|Warranty||11 years||11 years|
3. Luma Solar Roof
Unlike other alternatives on this list that sell individual shingles to add to your pre-existing roof, the Luma Solar Roof takes care of everything a roof needs to do. It incorporates solar and non-solar shingles so that you can feel safe from the weather while you harness the solar energy and let it save you money on utility bills.
Compared to their competitors, Luma charges you a lot for their solar shingles in the context of the roof. For households with a lower energy need and fewer solar shingles, this cost may be easily recouped in a few years of saving money on utility bills. Still, some people have trouble swallowing the large investment of the Luma Solar Roof.
However, if you do not want an entire roof, Luma also offers a few other options. Single shingles offer 65-watts each. The Edge-to-Edge option gives you an entire roof, but their Mirage collection of complete roof coverage gives you customizable options and the ability to upgrade the roof later on.
Unlike other companies, Luma focuses on their products’ aesthetic appeal and can give you either painted tiles or metal shingles so that your curb appeal does not suffer after installation. Let your house be the perfect representation of your dream while using solar energy from nature to keep the environment clean.
|Price||$292.50||$38/sq foot||Not specified|
|Warranty||25 years||25 years||25 years|
4. Exasun X-Roof Solar Roof
Based out of the Netherlands, Exasun works hard to make a roof that not only absorbs solar energy efficiently but increases your roof’s insulation so that your house stays at a comfortable temperature for longer without even running your air conditioner or heating system. You can both save money by using solar energy and save on utility bills too.
Exasun also offers an individual shingle system to place their tiles in between your pre-existing roof tiles. By only needing to replace some of your tiles, you can hope for a faster installation and save money on the project while still benefitting from the solar power harnessed by the shingles themselves.
The individual shingles look like terracotta shingles, too, so your house’s curb appeal will not be lessened by the addition of these solar shingles. They blend right in with your pre-existing roof, and no one would even know that they were there. If you have a drone, you could send it up to take pictures of your house, and you might not see the shingles either!
5. Forward Solar Roof
Forward prides itself on efficient installation. Some companies might take almost an entire week to install your new solar roof, but Forward will get in done in just a few days. The amount of headache you will save yourself by having a faster installation will also be noticeable in the price since it will be far lower.
They also offer an amazingly extended warranty so that you will never have to worry about part of the roof breaking and the warranty has ended. Forward will be sure to cover the maintenance and having that portion fixed. Thirty years is a very long time, certainly long enough to recoup the costs of buying and installing your great solar roof.
On top of everything else, Forward also offers eight different colors for their roofs. Their colors sit below the top glass panel, which protects the roof from the harsh elements outside and ensures that the roof does not fade like individual tiles or cement. Your colorful roof will stay the same vibrant shade for years under the protective glass panel.
Because of how they have designed the shingles, your solar and non-solar tiles will all blend beautifully, without standing out against each other and disrupting the pattern of your roof. The solar shingles’ attachments are hidden underneath the shingle itself, so you will not have to deal with any ugly fixtures on your roof.
6. Hanergy HanTile Solar Roof
Hantile roofs might just be the wave of the future. These roof tiles have an attractive wavy shape that helps with the house’s weather-proofing and absorbs the maximum amount of solar energy from the daylight hours. Plus, because they are made of glass, they look beautiful on your house to maintain your aesthetic.
This Chinese company uses lightweight glass to make their tiles, making it easier for installation companies while working. Despite their glass manufacturing, these tiles can stand up to the weather’s everyday wear and tear without any trouble. Hail does not stand a chance of shattering these tiles.
When the company performs a survey of your house, they will also find out from you about your household’s energy needs so that they can calculate the ratio of non-solar and solar tiles for your roof. That way, you do not end up paying for roof tiles that you do not need to power your home and wasting that extra solar power.
The major downside of Hanenergy is that the company does not install their product. Some customers who are worried about having the tiles installed under ideal conditions can be something of a let down to simply purchase the tiles from Hanenergy and then have to find a separate contractor to install them.
7. Sunflare Solar Shingles
Sunflare takes a very different approach when it comes to making solar shingles. Instead of making large or small panels set on a roof tile, Sunflare makes ultra-thin and flexible solar shingles. These shingles are so thin that you could roll them up like a sheet of paper into a tube if you wanted to, and there would not be any damage.
They do not require a complex mounting system with tons of fixtures and riggings that will be easily visible on your roof, nor do they involve any glass panels. Each panel is less than two millimeters thick! Plus, Sunflare takes the environment just as seriously as you do, and even their manufacturing process is much cleaner than their competitors’.
The main benefit of these shingles is that they can sit atop any type of pre-existing roof. It does not matter how your roof is pitched or what kind of materials you used to build it. The installation is quick and easy. Not to mention that they do not require as much heat to generate energy, so you can fully utilize every part of the day.
Although these shingles do not replace your roof, they work for people who want to keep their existing roof and just turn it into a solar roof instead.
|Warranty||25 years||25 years|
8. CertainTeed Apollo Solar Shingles
If you are usually worried about installations, you do not need to be with these solar shingles. Regular deck screws are all you need to attach these shingles to the standard roof sheathing. The best part is that each shingle covers the attachments from the last one, so your roof will not have lots of ugly fixtures on top of it where everyone can see.
These shingles use silicone similar to Dow Powerhouse’s shingle design to harness the solar energy. Each shingle has fourteen solar cells, which gives you a whopping 63-watts per shingle. That allows for increased efficiency, so even if the sun is not shining many hours during the winter, these shingles can absorb it anyway and make the most of the day.
Although the warranty has a shorter period than similar competitors, the warranty covers the shingles in extreme wind, meaning wind of up to 110 miles per hour. For the product and the installation, the warranty is for twenty-five years. A quarter of a century of guaranteed solar power is nothing to sneeze at.
For people concerned about the aesthetics, it is true that CertainTeed Apollo does not spend as much time working on the look of their solar tiles as other companies, but they can stand up to incredible wind speeds. If you are looking for a more delicate or pretty tile, this might not be the right company for you, however.
|14 Shingles (63-watts)|
How Does The Tesla Roof Compare?
One of the advantages of a Tesla Roof that other competitors have not yet equaled is the ability to have the solar shingles, and the non-solar shingles look the same. In the grand scheme of things, this might not be a priority for you, but many homeowners want their roof to look a certain way and not have distinctively different tiles in some places.
Tesla makes the news because of its prominent brand and the constant innovation in their company. Many of the other advantages that the Tesla Roof boasts are still in development. You might say that Tesla is counting their chickens before they hatch, but these advantages have sound science behind them and will likely be a hit commercially.
Tesla has been working to increase the warranty and time that their roofs will last before needing maintenance. This is handy since the roof is difficult to reach for most people, and even contractors do not enjoy clambering around on top of other people’s houses every so often to repair roof tiles.
They have also announced that the next generation of the Tesla Roof will involve making larger solar panels out of the smaller ones. Think of a matryoshka doll. However, the upside of doing that is that installation will be a lot faster, saving you money when you pay for it and saving the contractors the time of installing it.
|Tesla Solar Roof|
|Efficiency||Not released by the company|
|Windspeed Capable||166 miles per hour|
One of the best advantages of using Tesla for your solar energy needs is their giant battery for your house, also known as the Powerwall. Although initially conceived as a way to store the electrical energy your solar panels, or roof, generates during the day in the case of a power outage, it is much more than a backup generator.
The Powerwall automatically kicks on during the night, so if you do not use most of your household’s energy until the sun is about ready to set, you can still make use of all of those daylight hours when you were at school or work. Plus, the Powerwall monitors your energy usage so that you can modify it to save yourself even more money.
The Powerwall is integrated with the solar roof to tell you throughout the day how much energy you are producing and if it will be enough to sustain your daily household electrical needs. When it is not enough, the Powerwall will purchase power from the local utility company when the rates are especially low.
Although it is sold separately and will cost you a pretty penny, the Powerwall is the future of solar energy, and most people are willing to spend the extra money on Tesla’s products because they work so well together and are continually being upgraded with the latest and greatest new idea over at Tesla.
If you have been considering installing a solar roof but are unsure about the Tesla Roof, this article has hopefully given you some exciting ideas for possible alternatives. All of these alternatives are comparable competitors for the Tesla Roof and are sure to fit your solar energy needs, whatever your household might need.