Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Best Roofing Materials for Warmer Climates


5
Solar/Photovoltaic Systems

Reflecting heat back up into the air is one thing, but holding the heat for use as alternative energy is quite another. If you want to store up heat but not have it stored up in your home or office, a photovoltaic system is worth looking into. Photovoltaic or PV roof shingles capture and redirect solar power into electricity. Solar electric panels and shingles come in traditional shingle shapes and sizes, so adding this energy-efficient technology is not an aesthetic sacrifice as much as some of the older, bulkier rooftop panels of past decades.

Cost and location, however, are big factors. Use of photovoltaic shingles and sheets will eventually lead to lower prices and increased performance, but usage isn't widespread yet. Start-up investment in products and installation is high. Having a sufficiently sunny locale is more of a permanent issue, as peak savings and solar energy power capabilities depend on per capita sunny days. Time will tell whether cities like London and Seattle, for example, will use the solar harnessing technology as much as Phoenix or Athens, Greece.


More to Explore