They are roof tiles that contain solar cells. They both generate solar electricity and function as a waterproof roof product. Solar shingles have been around for a number of years. However, in 2018 the first installations of the Tesla solar shingles, also known as the Tesla solar roof, have turned the way we think about solar shingles on its head.

Solar shingles are a small niche of the overall home solar market, but they got a prominent boost when Tesla introduced their Solar Roof. And that’s why here at Milledgeville Roofing Company we take the time to stay up to date with new technology, we realize how important it is. While we know that Tesla was not the first manufacturer to enter this market, they were innovators by creating a glass-faced solar tile that looks like a conventional roofing product. One of the factors that contributed to its popularity are that it comes in a wider range of styles than other solar shingles available on the market. Tesla has a rabid following, and new Tesla products instantly go viral. The Solar Roof was no exception, and its entry into the BIPV market has spurred a lot of interest in the segment. Some companies already had solar shingle products, while other companies were seemingly inspired by Tesla to develop competing products.

So what is so special about Tesla’s solar shingle? Tesla is the first solar panel shingles manufacturer to achieve the following: make the active solar shingles (that contain the solar cells) look the same as all the other non-active roof tiles (that don’t generate power). This idea is popular among many homeowners who want to do their part to help their environment, but they don’t want their home to look like it was dropped on earth from another planet.

Many homeowners have not installed a solar power system despite the positive economics and utility bill savings because they think traditional solar panels are ugly. Elon Musk saw this as a massive opportunity to grow a new division to complement the electric cars produced by Tesla Motors. And so today we have the Tesla solar panel roof tiles.

Alternatives to the Tesla Solar Shingle

CertainTeed Apollo II: CertainTeed is a North American company that manufactures products for roofing, insulation, wallboard, and more. They have two solar products under their Apollo line: Apollo II is a shingle that lays on top of your existing roof, while the Apollo II Tile is a replacement tile, similar to the Tesla Solar Roof. Unlike Tesla, CertainTeed doesn’t use glass louvers or hyrdographic printing, so the product isn’t as attractive as the Solar Roof, nor is it offered in a variety of appearances that mimic conventional high end roofing products like slate. Still, the Apollo tiles are undeniably more atractive than a standard solar module.

Luma Solar Roof: Luma Solar offers a complete roof replacement product that is simply called the Solar Roof. Similiar to Telsa, this is a complete solar roof replacement product that includes both non-solar and solar cell components that gives the roof a more uniform appearance than the solar-only shingles offered by RGS and CertainTeed. Luma’s claims to fame are that they developed the first fully-integrated solar rooftop shingle system in North America, perhaps the world. They are the only upgradeable solar shingle system. Luma Solar brings clean energy to customers who want beauty AND enduring quality craftsmanship.