For commercial building and historical building owners who are looking to make their buildings more eco-friendly, one viable option is to utilize the natural power of the sun and consider a new commercial roof installation that incorporates solar panels. Solar power has been around for quite awhile, and recent improvements in the technology now provide for several options for tapping into the solar power of the sun.
Basic Types of Solar Power Systems
Before considering solar power for your commercial building or historical building, it is highly recommended you speak with your energy provider or roofer to find out what their abilities are to work with solar power systems.
Some energy providers have developed technologies where it is possible to connect a solar power system with your existing electric system. With this technology, when you have excess solar power it feeds it into the electrical grid and basically causes your power meter to run backwards.
If your energy provider does not offer this option, then they should at least be able to provide a separate device for powering your building from the sun. With this type of system, when you are using solar power, you are not drawing any electricity from the power grid or energy provider. Any excess solar power either has to be stored in rechargeable batteries or is lost.
Solar panels are a common method for being able to harness the sun’s energy to power your historical or commercial building. Solar panels are installed over the existing roofing materials. The main benefit of solar panels is they are able to be angled to maximize the amount of sunlight they get and the energy they can collect. In addition, they are easy to remove for commercial roof maintenance, repair, or installation, and can be relocated elsewhere, even onto the ground.
One of the newest types of solar technologies recently developed are solar shingles. They are similar in size to regular roofing shingles. They are a thin material, which can be incorporated in place of regular roofing shingles. They are less expensive to manufacturer than solar panels. Solar shingles are either made from silicon-based materials, like solar panels, or laminated thin-film materials.
However, you will need more solar shingles installed in order to collect the equivalent amount of energy you would collect with solar panels. Another drawback to solar shingles is your roof has to be angled in the right direction and has to receive maximum exposure to natural sunlight.
In addition, the roofing substrate might need to be upgraded to be able to support higher heat levels, since the solar shingles are absorbing energy from the sun. Further, the roof could require additional air circulation in order to help keep it cooled. Since solar shingles are a relatively new technology, currently there is not much information on their expected lifetime.
To learn more about solar power options, and assistance in choosing the best solution for your historical or commercial building, call the professionals at Pfister Roofing now at 1-973-569-9330.