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Are there solar PV tiles to match clay roofs?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 November 2014 at 11:13 am

Q: We are going to build a house. We want to use solar/photovoltaic tiles but may have to use clay tiles for the roof. There seem only to be slate photovoltaic tiles. Are there any that look like clay? Any advice very welcome.

A: At the moment the vast majority of solar tiles are blue. However, a quick search did reveal that there are a range of emerging varieties. I suspect that they take quite a bit of tracking down, and will be pretty expensive, as they aren't yet mass market. 

If you are determined on solar slates, rather than panels, then a self-build is the best time to go for them. However, they are still more expensive than panels, and the performance tends not to be as good. This is because solar PV performance tends to dip if they get too hot. Panels are mounted with a gap between them and the roof, which allows airflow underneath to keep them cool. 

Of course, if it's the visual effect you're looking for, then solar slates generally win hands down. And as the pictures above shows, blue doesn't look as bad as you might think on a clay roof!

Pictures: envirosolar

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2 comments - read them below or add one


M.LealComment left on: 15 December 2014 at 11:16 am

I believe change the format of the plates , and the veto of a tilt adjustment , you would be considerably reducing the efficiency of your solar panel.  ELE-2B


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FrancisMcNComment left on: 10 November 2014 at 9:17 pm

The physics of PV surely means that an efficient cell needs to be a dark colour near black otherwise it is reflecting light that could otherwise be converted into electricity

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