Save Money With Solar Roofing!
- Author C. Michael Hunter
- Published November 23, 2011
- Word count 639
There are a vast number of environmentally-conscious people from all walks of life who have different reasons for being passionate about this subject. Some want to save on energy costs and plan to do so by installing solar roofing panels to produce energy and generate electric power for commercial buildings. With the latest advances and innovations in roofing technology that promote efficiency and sustainability, the implementation of solar roofing products offers a great money-saving opportunity for business owners.
For many years, the conventional method for solar panels was the installation of thick crystalline panels on top of the existing roofing materials, which increased the chance of premature leakage. With the technological evolution of these materials, new and lighter weight panels contain embedded solar cells. Another advance in this type of roofing was the integration of photovoltaic products. Both of these new materials deliver a greater amount of energy and offer lower installation costs which equates to large savings in a company’s monthly expenses.
Types of Technology
There are two different types of this technology available based upon how light is transformed into different kinds of usable energy. The first method of technology is the actual passive and active solar power, while the latter are systems widely used today such as thermal, photovoltaic, and a concentrated solar power source.
• Passive – This type of technology does not use any electrical or mechanical devices to transform usable heat. Examples of this are the use of south-facing windows, interior walls, and tile floors to harness, store, and distribute heat radiation.
• Active – This type of technology is employed using mechanical devices to collect, store, and distribute heat energy. The electricity generated is used for cooling and heating purposes. Examples of this are water heating systems, fans to circulate fluid, and solar collectors.
• Solar Thermal Energy – Radiant light can be transformed into heat. This is widely used to off-set some of the utility costs for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In addition, it is effective in heating swimming pools in either residential or commercial buildings.
• Photovoltaic Power – This is a technology that transforms the sun’s radiation into usable electrical power using photoelectric cells or semi-conductors. It has a wide array of applications such as electricity for pumping water, communication gadgets, lighting, and appliances.
• Concentrated Power – This technology uses mirrors or lenses to focus a large area of the sun’s radiation onto a small area. The concentrated energy is converted into heat to generate electrical power. It is commonly used in power plants or sometimes in the heating and cooling of commercial buildings.
Types of Solar Roofing
The latest introductions in roofing are photovoltaic metal and shingle materials. As an eco-friendly roofing technology, this solution generates a sufficient amount of energy to produce electricity.
• Photovoltaic Shingles – These shingles have thin-film cells that are integrated and embedded into the material so that they look like conventional asphalt shingles. The up-front cost is high; however, a great amount of savings can be experienced over time.
• Metal Roofs – This is the most cost-effective, sustainable, and practical method of producing electricity. Basically, the thin-film photovoltaic panels are integrated into standing seam metal roofing and designed to last longer as compared to shingles. The benefits of these materials are durability, longevity, and cost savings.
It is wise to invest in this new, greener technology to save energy and money. Currently, there are several different types of solar energy systems available that are efficient and save money. They work by simply harnessing, storing, and distributing heat radiation to run household appliances as well as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Since sunlight is free, a great deal of money can be saved by a business owner once the initial installation costs of solar roofing have been recovered – what an exciting, eco-friendly opportunity this presents!
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