Author Options:

Solar Cells that look like Terracotta Tiles? Answered

So I had an idea that you could make solar cells that looked like Terracotta roofing tiles example. I figured if they were durable enough you could cover an entire roof in them. They're definitely no uglier than standard shingles. Also figured since they're curved you might get more performance out of them, but I could be completely wrong and they could be absolutely useless up there.
The only solar cell I've ever seen that didn't look like a giant rectangle was this little, thin sheet that was in the back of a Wired magazine. It could eliminate the eyesore issue that you might run into with the neighbors.
I guess the second problem that you'd run into would be how costly this would be. Since you would have to buy them, install them, then wire them through the attic.

And for the record, I know absolutely nothing about solar panels, I was just brainstorming ideas....

Ideas? Suggestions? Possible? Impossible?



7 years ago

Would be nice though...

Last month I was in Phoenix Arizona and I asked why no one has solar panels. "Homeowner organizations prohibit the panels because they look bad." What a stupid loss of potential energy!

I was thinking of this idea, but visited http://www.usheatingsystem.com and decided to go with their solar air heating panels. I don't know if you are interested in something like this.
Otherwise you can always use a standard roof with a carbon based paint

http://www.warmyourfloor.comsolar tilesare actually lighter than the clay tiles, saving cost and impact during shipping, and the cost-savings for the homeowner are also pretty dramatic

Curved solar cells will actually generate lower power (the light won't hit the whole cell plane optimally). Plus, red solar cells will mean they will reflect significant portion of the light spectrum (instead of converting it to electricity). Here are the details:


There are solar-cell roofing tiles (or shingles) that can be used in place of normal versions, but they are the same blue-black as any other solar cell. Solar cells are that colour because that is the colour of the semiconducting material that traps the light's energy. They will have to stay that colour until somebody comes up with a wholly-new type of solar-cell.

I was more or less just curious if they could make them shaped like those tiles and if they'd be more or less effective by doing so. I don't mind the blue/black of the panels at all. I didn't mean to come off sounding like I did. What I meant was that I figured they'd be as overlooked by people who didn't know what they were; that they'd be less obvious to neighbors than one of those giant panels sitting up there mounted to the standard shingles. Pretty sure you'd have to have a house with some Spanish architecture to pull it off anyhow. Thanks for the speedy reply though. Much appreciated.