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Thornton Roofing: Article About Solar Shingles

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Solar shingles are a recent development in the domain of residential and commercial solar power. They first appeared on the market in 2005, but the technology to make solar shingles affordable did not develop until the last few years. Solar singles are photovoltaic cells that differ from standard solar panels by mimicking the shape and appearance of ordinary asphalt roof tiles. In the realm of Thornton roofing, solar shingles are beginning to gain traction as a popular solar energy option for eco conscious clients. These shingles offer an affordable alternative to standard solar panels and appeal to home and business owners because they can be tiled to match the dimensions of a roof, serving the same waterproofing purpose as ordinary shingles.

Solar shingles convert sunlight into electric energy through thin film solar technology, which is one of the three main silicon based technologies used to generate solar power. Thin film technology employs a compound known as copper indium gallium diselenide, or CIGS, which can be lain out in extremely thin layers. CIGS based solar cells differ from silicon crystal solar technology, which uses thicker crystalline structures to capture light energy.

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Because of the layer's thinness, thin film technology can be used to create solar shingles that are just as flexible and easy to install as regular shingles. Each individual shingle plugs into the one next to it, and the full system is meant to be "grid tied," meaning that the energy generated by the solar system can supplement the utility grid or divert excess into a battery.

Regardless, solar shingles present the possibility of enormous financial and energy savings for those who use them. 350 shingles can reduce energy spending by up to 60 percent, and homeowners may find that their initial investment is paid back within 15 to 20 years. The number of years required for solar panels to pay for themselves depends on the number and type of solar shingles applied to a building. Additionally, installation of solar shingles often raises property value well beyond the initial cost of the shingles and their installation, so homeowners who decide to move after installing them are financially protected.

Best of all, state and local governments and utilities stand to benefit greatly from private solar power installations since the use of solar power relieves stress on public electrical infrastructure. Most states and towns have incentive programs to help homeowners and businesses pay for solar installations by rendering them tax deductible. For small businesses, grants are available to this same end.

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