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The options for residential solar just grew with a new competitor entering the United States market. Solar roof tiles are not inherently new. After all, Tesla has made the technology available to homeowners already. However, Ergosun’s solar roof tiles now provide a bit of competition with a second product for consumers to choose from.

The company itself is based out of the United Kingdom. It is not new to the solar industry. In fact, Ergosun has been around since 2014 and has installed the product for many years throughout the United Kingdom, Canada, and Sweden. They now have a San Diego manufacturing plant and offer these tiles in California, New Mexico, and Colorado with expansion plans.

What are Solar Roof Tiles?

The concept is honestly relatively simple to understand. Solar roof tiles are small photovoltaic solar panels the size of a traditional roofing shingle. They are installed on a roof along with traditional matched shingles to provide a standard look for a house while also allowing homes to access the benefits of solar power. Thus, they are an alternative to having large solar panels mounted atop your roof.

How Do Ergosun Solar Roof Tiles Work?

Ergosun solar roof tiles are quite simple in their design and functionality. These tiles are installed like regular shingles on your roof in areas that are best suited for solar panels. Meanwhile, the remainder of the roof is shingled with traditional roofing tiles of the non-solar variety. They are carefully selected to ensure a matching color.

The tiles themselves are connected to an inverter. This is just like traditional solar panels. The inverter is then connected to your electric panel, either directly or via a solar battery is you choose that option. The solar roof tiles allow for flexibility in the creation of a system just like traditional panels. You can determine how large of a system you want (i.e. how many tiles) and what options you want along with your system (storage or sending excess power back to the grid).

What are the Advantages of Solar Roof Tiles?

There are a variety of advantages to using Ergosun solar roof tiles. The first advantage lies in their overall functionality. The tiles take advantage of MC4 connectors, which have been a standard in the electrical industry since the 1970s and within the solar industry since 2008. This means the product can be easily installed.

Another advantage is cost. Ergosun solar roof tiles are very economical because they are easy to install. They require no special mounting or brackets. Rather, they function just like a traditional shingle. By standardizing the tiles to match traditional building materials, they can be installed by roofers who will be installing the rest of your roof. This means you don’t have to have specialized labor for the installation.

Another benefits is the tile design means that it is rather easy to ensure that any home can take advantage of solar power. Some homes may not have enough usable space pointing in the optimal direction for solar panels as the panels are large and can only be mounted so many places. However, Ergosun solar roof tiles can easily be installed around chimneys, vents, and other areas where solar panels simply cannot go.

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits is that Ergosun solar roof tiles can be easily changed out. If a tile gets damaged or stops working, it can be replaced without having to replace any other tiles. This makes it efficient to troubleshoot any problems that occur.

Finally, many homeowners are not fans of the look of a roof with solar panels. This is simply a reality of the product. Some people don’t like the aesthetics. Ergosun solar roof tiles address this concern by looking just like any other roof. There are two colors to choose from, terracotta and charcoal.

How Do Ergosun Tiles Compare to Traditional Solar?

One of the initial concerns of customers is if something so small can be as effective as larger panels. However, it is important to realize that solar systems are sized based on needs. Just as a homeowner will buy enough panels to meet their energy needs, a homeowner will also buy enough solar roof tiles to build their system.

Essentially, each tile is able to generate 15 watts of power. They are warrantied to provide 80% of peak power for 25 years. This is similar to traditional solar panels. Thus, solar roof tiles see similar quality of overall performance over time. In fact, solar roof tiles may be more efficient than traditional solar panels as the matte finish reflect less sunlight, allowing more to be absorbed. This means they will function better even in conditions with lower levels of light.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Solar Roof Tiles?

There is one major disadvantage to this product and that is weight. Solar roof tiles use concrete which provides benefits in terms of durability but has a major drawback in weight. These tiles produce roughly 12 pounds of weight per square foot, which is much heavier than traditional asphalt shingles.

Thus, not all homes are able to handle this particular load. If you don’t have an existing concrete roof, you’ll need to have your roof assessed to determine if it is able to handle the load created by installing an Ergosun solar roof. While most homes should be able to handle the weight, it is a consideration.

How Do Ergosun Tiles Compare to Traditional Solar?

One of the initial concerns of customers is if something so small can be as effective as larger panels. However, it is important to realize that solar systems are sized based on needs. Just as a homeowner will buy enough panels to meet their energy needs, a homeowner will also buy enough solar roof tiles to build their system.

Essentially, each tile is able to generate 15 watts of power. They are warrantied to provide 80% of peak power for 25 years. This is similar to traditional solar panels. Thus, solar roof tiles see similar quality of overall performance over time. In fact, solar roof tiles may be more efficient than traditional solar panels as the matte finish reflect less sunlight, allowing more to be absorbed. This means they will function better even in conditions with lower levels of light.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Solar Roof Tiles?

There is one major disadvantage to this product and that is weight. Solar roof tiles use concrete which provides benefits in terms of durability but has a major drawback in weight. These tiles produce roughly 12 pounds of weight per square foot, which is much heavier than traditional asphalt shingles.

Thus, not all homes are able to handle this particular load. If you don’t have an existing concrete roof, you’ll need to have your roof assessed to determine if it is able to handle the load created by installing an Ergosun solar roof. While most homes should be able to handle the weight, it is a consideration.

Final Thoughts

The solar industry has change a great deal over time. One of the newest innovations is solar roofing tiles, which function as typical shingles. This can give a home a traditional look while providing solar power.

Ergosun is a new addition to the U.S. solar roofing market, making it the second competitor to offer this type of technology. Homeowners wanting to invest in solar should consider whether solar roof tiles are a good fit for their specific needs. With strong performance, convenient installation, and a long warranty, they rival traditional panels.

Kenneth Wilson
March 18, 2021

Kenneth Wilson

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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