The energy the sun delivers to the planet is unending—at least for the next two billion years—and it would be very wrong for humans not to harness it. Thankfully, almost anybody with spare change can get a few solar panels and attach them to their roofs. It’s a wise investment with great returns both financially and environmentally.
However, one of the few problems with solar energy collection is that their panels can be tacky. Just imagine seeing those panels on top of the roofs of Victorian-style or rustic homes. They would look out of place; some people would rely on the grid for electricity rather than sacrifice the aesthetics of their homes.
Fortunately, if you’re planning to go solar, there are multiple ways that you can prevent the devices you need to buy and install to make you and your neighbors look at your home with dismay. To learn how to integrate panels into your home architecture without ruining your style, continue reading.
Contact a contractor first
Before you get any weird ideas, you should find a contractor who’ll do the home solar panel installations for you. Thankfully, most of them understand the risk of putting solar panels on your property, knowing that these panels may reduce your home’s resale market value.
Most solar system contractors will educate you on the impact of solar panels on your home’s architectural design and may provide you with options on how to counteract it. They may also help you find the right panels that would match well with your roof or the location where you’ll want them installed.
Go for a fully integrated solar roof system
Now, people can minimize the use of solar panels on their roofs and go for a solar energy collection device that meshes well with homes, it’s a fully integrated solar roof system or commonly known as solar roof shingles arrays.
Instead of putting panels on top of your roofs, you can just get a complete system that looks similar to regular roofing and place the panels on the ground to protect the integrity of your home’s architecture.
These solar roof systems are difficult to distinguish from traditional roofs. You’ll only know that they’re solar collection devices unless you look closely at them. A few companies currently offer this type of solar collection system, not to mention that they still have steep pricing. The installer or contractor can also give you a better idea of the solar panel cost.
Consider solar architecture
Instead of worrying about the solar panels being ‘aesthetically’ incompatible with your home’s architecture, why not renovate your home and make these panels appear compatible with your property’s looks? As they say, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” You can adapt solar architecture to make these panels not look out of place and reduce your home’s property value.
This might be the first time you’ve heard of solar architecture, and it’s understandable. After all, one of the reasons why solar architecture isn’t big yet is because it is costly. Unless you’re building a new home, renovating your current house just to make it look good with solar panels can be astronomically expensive.
That is not a decision you can make on the fly. But if you’re worried that your property value will take a huge hit just because of installing a solar panel system, consider renovating your home to conform to solar architecture.
Consider getting building-integrated photovoltaics
If you’ve built your home on contemporary architecture, you might consider getting building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Unlike regular solar panels, BIPVs are basically panels that appear like a typical building facade. And most probably, you’ve already seen a few of them but never thought they were solar panels all along.
BIPVs are often used as building envelopes—a separator and protective layer of a building against rain, heat, and the sun. Of course, residential homes often only have walls as a building envelope, unlike typical commercial buildings with a separate envelope layer.
And as mentioned, only consider this if your home is based on contemporary architecture. BIPV can quickly look out of place in other home architecture types.
Install the panels as shade canopies
Your home’s roof isn’t the only place where you can place solar panels. Fortunately, you can start with getting panel arrays to work as shade canopies for your deck, patio, and gazebo first. While the panels can’t ruin your property’s aesthetics or curb appeal, the biggest disadvantage with this route is that it can be costly.
Wait for invisible solar harvesters
If the previous tips wouldn’t work for your home, you may want to wait for invisible solar panels. As of now, the Michigan State University (MSU) is spearheading the research of transparent luminescent solar concentrators (LSC)—invisible solar panels in plain English. They look like tiles of glass, and one of the reasons they’re pursued is that they can ideally replace glass windows and panels on a property.
Other companies and universities are also racing to develop these devices. However, it’s still considered to be in its infancy stage. Only a few transparent LSCs exist, and their efficiency at collecting solar energy is still a work in progress.
Wait for solar paint or coatings
Aside from invisible panels, development has already started on solar or photovoltaic paint. Note: don’t confuse this paint with solar paints that help reflect light on panels to improve solar energy collection.
Just like before, if any of the tips can’t work for you, you can wait for this new tech. You don’t need to get bulky panels to collect solar energy with this tech. With solar paint, all you need to do is spray your home with it, and you’ll be able to harvest the sun’s energy.
The main idea behind solar coating or paint is that small organic photovoltaic cells can collect solar and conduct it to your home. Unfortunately, like with LSCs, this is still a work in progress and isn’t commercially available yet.
There are a bajillion reasons why people should go solar. It can help people save money, go green, and encourage others to follow suit. While it’s true that the panels needed to collect solar energy can be—an eyesore, there are multiple ways people can do to make them appear less appalling. And currently, multiple new solar collection technologies are underway, which will allow seamless and invisible integrations of solar capturing devices in residential homes and commercial buildings.