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Home Remodeling Improvement - Tile Roofs - Spanish Style Roofs Integrated with Solar in the Installation

Updated on November 24, 2014

Old World Design Marries Modern Day Technology

When I was small I fell in love with a red tiled roof house. It was a Spanish style complete with stucco for its exterior walls and a beautiful open porch along the very front. A graceful design for an elegant and yet distinctive home. The home would have been beautiful no matter what but the red tile roof set it apart here in the Midwestern United States. Imagine a red tile roof amidst a vast sea of plain asphalt roofs. Recently, my husband I purchased a vintage home and unbeknownst to us, the original roof was - you guessed it a Spanish style red tile roof. I don't know for sure but I envision it was the classic barrel style. I would have never known except the son of the original owner (we are the second owner in 81 years!) gave us the drawing the home was designed after along with some of the literature from the roofing tiles.

So what if you desire a classic red tile roof and also want to invest in the future of solar technology? This is the intersection where vintage architectural style meets modern day solar innovation. Journey with us as we explore several options available today.

Solar Integrated Solar Roofing Tiles

Solar Integrated Tile Roof
Solar Integrated Tile Roof | Source

How Solar Roofing Works

How Solar Roofing Works
How Solar Roofing Works | Source

Photovoltaic Field

A photovoltaic field is a system (sometimes referred to as a PV system) which uses one or more solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. "It consists of multiple components, including the photovoltaic modules, mechanical and electrical connections and mountings and means of regulating and/or modifying the electrical output."

The first photovoltaic field was built in Germany.

Traditional Field of Solar Panels on a Roof Top

Solar Integrated Roof
Solar Integrated Roof | Source

Historic Homes and Solar Tiles

"Not everyone who wants to is allowed to install conventional solar panels on their roof - the authorities for the protection of historical monuments have so far refused their approval."

Value of Solar Technology for Building

This technology offers a great opportunity to combine an essential building requirement with an established method of sourcing renewable energy.

Each solar roof tile, which does not look radically different from any standard roof tile, consists of photovoltaic solar cells that capture sunlight for conversion into solar electricity.

The electricity generated can be used throughout the home.

In the event of surplus production, the extra electricity can be sold back.

How Solar Tiles Work

You have seen the solar working in the garden lights, on the calculator and now on many street lights throughout your town. If you explored your roof tops, you might be surprised to have a few solar roofing panels. Advances in technology have made solar roofing tiles more effective with less maintenance with more durability. Some solar roof tiles will last the life of your roof - up to 30 years. How do solar roofing panels work?

In simplistic terms, the solar tiles collect the sun energy and store the energy in a battery. So just as we recharge our batteries, Mother Nature's sunshine is charging providing an energy source for us to use in any manner we choose. What amazes me is we can use solar energy to cool.

Solar Roofing Technology - Photovoltaic (PV)

The most popular technology behind the solar panels is for the most part photovoltaic or PV. The photovoltaic process is popular because it occurs on an atomic level, meaning there are no moving parts which accounts for the reason why this technology is so popular - less moving parts means less maintenance and a longer life span.

What Are Panels Made Of? Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) or Silicon

The reason for the high expense is the material used to gather the sunshine rays. Silicon is the most expensive and commonly used. Cadmium Telluride or CdTe is another option. Silicon is relatively new, Cadmium Telluride has been around since the 1950s. The delay in our use on a massive scale has been but of course the price. Predictions have been made that the cost is decreasing so the wide spread use of solar panels may be in our future.

Dow Corning - Investment in Silicon Technology

Dow Corning is applying over 65 years of experience "to bring innovation and efficiencies to the silicon-based materials that are ideal for solar applications. With significant investments including those in our joint ventures Hemlock Semiconductor Group, we are using the power of silicon chemistry to bring solar energy to everyone, everywhere."

Solar Tiles for the Swimming Pool

Solar Tile Roofing for the Swimming Pool
Solar Tile Roofing for the Swimming Pool | Source

Historic Uses - Solar Tiles for the Swimming Pool

Heating a swimming pool is the historic use of solar roofing tiles. It is a quick and efficient heating method which now has improved technology. With the new technology developing in both aesthetics and in silicon material, not consider a solar roof for the long term investment of your home.

Solar Tiles - Energy of the Future

Energy of the Future

As awareness and long term frugality are new standards of excellence, the energy of the future for mass production is sure to include solar panels. The cultural obstacle is the appearance. Regulations on a municipal level to help you not incur an eyesore from you or your neighbor is anticipated. New options and smoother panels that are more decorative are available now. Let's explore some of the current possibilities.

How Solar Tiles Can Be Integrated Into Clay Roofs

Leading the way in this industry so far is our European friends in Itay and Spain. The tiles they have developed are efficient and non-obtrusive to the sight. Take a look and see how far they have progressed.

Solar Integrated with Tile Roof

Solar Integrated Tile Roofs
Solar Integrated Tile Roofs | Source

Tegolasolare is made with four solar cells on a ceramic roof tile. The solar tile installs like a non-solar tile, while the panels are connected to create a photovoltaic field.

One can cover the entire roof or a portion, giving flexibility to avoid shade and other problem areas. Also, if a tile goes out, it can be replaced without affecting the rest of the system. Tiles are 18 inches (46 centimeters) square.

Wiring leads to an inverter, where DC is transformed and fed into the power grid. A 430 square-foot (40 m2) roof of monocrystalline tiles produces, according t

Area Industrie Ceramiche makes a red clay roof tile that the Italian company claims is very resistant to weather and capable of absorbing less water and heat. But that's just the original tile. If you go with the "tegolasolare" version, you'll end up with a roof integrated solar solution that's so handsome others may not realize it's wired to generate energy.

Clay Tiles with Integrated Solar Tiles

Clay Tiles Integrated with Solar
Clay Tiles Integrated with Solar
Clay Tiles Integrated with Solar
Clay Tiles Integrated with Solar | Source

Barrel Style Tile Roof with Integrated Solar Panels

Barrel Style Tile Roof with Integrated Solar Panels
Barrel Style Tile Roof with Integrated Solar Panels | Source

Barrel Style Technology

New technology provides an integrated solar tile that is also shaped like the classic barrel roof tiles.

"The barrel-style technology was designed for a clay tile curved roofing system. Using thin film solar, the Solé Power Tile integrates seamlessly with blue glaze or earthen tone tiles."

Solar Roofing Panel Installation

Solar Roofing Tile Installation
Solar Roofing Tile Installation | Source

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© 2011 Ken Kline


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    • CelebrateUSA profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Kline 

      5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois


      I completely agree. Solar in any roof but in a Spanish Style tile roof is very cool.

      2015 here in the United States may mark the last year for the tax savings from solar so this should become a hot topic (pun intended - sorry I could not resist).

    • CelebrateUSA profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Kline 

      5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois


      You make a very important point. We have seen school go green with geothermal but not often or at least I haven't taken notice, our tax paying properties have not embraced this eco-friendly solar alternatives.

    • roofspecialists profile image


      5 years ago from London


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think these are a great alternative. Going green and using the sun's energy is the way to go. Sadly our schools and municipal sites are not yet doing this. Hopefully the future will change this very rapidly.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Roofs can make such a statement about a house and the Spanish style roofs are so distinctive - imagine adding solar to the architecture - beauty plus function.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      BK Creative,

      I don't know how I missed your comment - I apologize for the late replay.

      I wish we could have solar integrated tiles on our home. I think they make allot sense. If the checkbook were healthier, we would seriously consider it. Living in the Midwest doesn't offer the high returns the other parts of the United States has to offer for return on investment.

      Dan Arguelles,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing. I appreciate additional knowledge that is relevant to our readers.

    • profile image

      Dan Arguelles 

      8 years ago

      Here's a nice solar integrated roof top:

    • BkCreative profile image


      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      What an awesome hub and I am so with you about the beauty of these roof tops - I would love to have one rather than this awful asphalt. There was a time that aesthetics was also important in home building as well as durability.

      The solar integration is done so well. When I watch so many foreign home shows, I do see these amazing roof tops. It's almost as if the photographer is more interested in showing us the roof tops and not the homes.

      Thanks so much for all the outstanding photos as well. You have covered it all and I do want solar. And that amazing roof. Wow!

      Rated up.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      I think these are a great alternative. Going green and using the sun's energy is the way to go. Sadly our schools and municipal sites are not yet doing this. Hopefully the future will change this very rapidly.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      8 years ago

      What a beautiful way to go green! I love this!


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