What are solar roof tiles and are they worth investing in?

There are some people who are turned off by current solar power arrays on houses because of how visible they are. These panels really stand out and that is a deal-breaker for some homeowners who invest a lot of time, money and energy into making their property look a certain way.

Well, these more ‘traditional’ solar panels may soon be a thing of the past because of a technology called building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) – roof tiles that integrate seamlessly with your current tiles but harness the power of the sun in the same way as solar panels.

Tesla is leading the way with solar roof tiles

Renewable energy innovation and technology giants Tesla are at the forefront of BIPV technology with their Solar Roof. This features ultra-stylish, textured black tiles for your roof that include a 25 year for warranty for the tile itself, its ability to draw power from the sun and any damage caused by the weather. The system is also able to be fully integrated with the Powerwall home battery to ensure you always have reliable power, even when there are mainstream grid outages.

But Tesla isn’t the only player in this space, with plenty of options available right now including tiles from Tractile, Bristile, Nulok and Monier.

Solar roof tiles are better against the elements

Not only do solar roof tiles look better aesthetically, but they are also more resistant to high winds, storms and tropical cyclones. You don’t need to drill holes in your roof to install solar roof tiles and they are even more resistant to hail damage than conventional roof tiles.

The Tesla roof tiles, for example, have a hail rating up to 1.75″ diameter, a wind rating up to 267kph (only a category five cyclone is able to exceed this) and the best fire rating of any roof rile.

Can you walk on them?

When you are installing technology into your roof tiles, there can also come an assumption that these tiles are now weak or brittle. But no, you can walk on them – they can take much more force than your size 10 Dunlop Volleys can deliver. To prove this, Elon Musk recently dropped a pumpkin from two stories onto his roof tiles to stress test them. The pumpkin lost. Seriously.

 

How much do solar roof riles cost?

The bottom line is that these solar tiles are going to cost more than regular panels. But how much more? Tesla made their solar tiles available to Australians by order in 2019 and you need to contact them for a quote. We are going to say the average cost of installing solar panels including an inverter is around $5,500. However, we always encourage you to talk to our team to get the best possible quote for your needs.

Solar tiles, once fully installed, cost between $13,000 and $18,000 and offer different power ratings and efficiencies, so ensure you are doing your homework there. If you are willing to make the investment, there are plenty of benefits that can be enjoyed for the long-term, and it’s something you’ll thank yourself for later.