Solar shingles are both a roofing product and an energy generator that can really save property owners money on their monthly electrical bill and increase the value of their homes. They work by transforming sunlight into power. Although the technology has existed since the 1960s, it is only in the last decade that these small, more aesthetically pleasing solar cells have been available for use on private residences. Talking with a certified Madison roofing professional can help homeowners determine whether a solar shingle installation is right for their home, but here are some basics on how they can work to save money.

Solar shingles work just like the larger solar panels that have been available for years. Their small size, however, makes them far more attractive and efficient for use on residential properties. Like the panels, each solar shingle is coated with a semiconductor, like silicon, which captures the energy from the sun’s rays. These small cells are attached to each other via couplings and then wired together. This bundle of wires is connected to an inverter, which transforms the captured energy into alternating current. It is sent, via wire, to the home’s electrical box, where is it used to power the home’s everyday electrical needs.

When the sunlight hits the coated surface of the solar shingle, an electron is broken off and stored inside the cell.

Once several electrons have been amassed, they travel to the inverter and then on to the electrical box. This system is both efficient and cost effective. The inverter box is approximately the size of a large shoe box, and can be affixed to an attic or garage wall quite easily.

While no solar system transforms 100 percent of the captured energy, solar cells do a sufficient enough job to save money on the monthly power bill. The amount of energy produced is dependent on the number of solar shingles installed, and a qualified roofer will be able to calculate, with a fair degree of accuracy, the amount of monthly savings the homeowner can enjoy.

Any trained roofing professional can install the system, but an electrician will be needed in order to connect the solar wiring to the electrical box. Many roofers will likely already have qualified electricians that they work with routinely, so that they can ensure that the installation is done safely and correctly.

For homeowners who are interested in reducing their carbon footprint and in saving money, solar shingles are a great way to roof a home.