Although not a major issue, the aesthetics of solar panels over a rooftop can be a matter of concern for many homeowners. Homeowners often hesitate buying a solar panel because they think solar panels diminish the home aesthetics. The looks are often a matter of pride among the owners.

Especially in the case of historic buildings and home associations, there has been a lot of objection for setting up solar panels on visible roof areas.

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Do solar panels actually make your house look ugly?

This is a subjective matter. Clearly, there is varied opinion about the aesthetic beauty of solar panels. But it is worthwhile to say that most people think solar panels over their rooftops creates a sophisticated look and it adds value to their homes.

In order to minimize the ‘ugliness’ of solar panels, care should be done in engineering the layout design of the solar panels in such a way that it is less conspicuous to the observer thereby minimizing any distractions. For example, solar panels could be positioned in such a way that it faces away from the visible portion of the house although care must be taken to face it in a direction suitable for receiving sufficient solar radiation.

What are the options to make solar attractive?

For those homeowners who are very particular about how solar panels look, one solution is Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) systems. They combine PV cells with roofing materials hence becoming a part of the roof. Some attractive options in BIPVs are:

  • Solar shingles
  • Photovoltaic slates

Solar shingles and PV slates are aesthetically better versions of asphalt shingle and slate roofs respectively, and are designed to emulate them.

In some countries, there is increased interest in black panels due to their enhanced attractive features. Black solar panels with black mounting systems and frames are can be an appealing alternative to blue panels.

The concern for aesthetics, especially in Homeowner Associations (HOA) in the US, has led to colored solar panels of various designs being manufactured in order to integrate them with different roofs.

In some cases, thin-film cells are also considered to offer better aesthetic properties compared to crystalline panels.

Conclusion

In a world that is going increasingly energy efficient, rooftop solar PV is of prime importance.  So, it is better to be open to the idea of going solar. Moreover, it is important to understand that regardless of what your view is on the beauty of solar panels, there are a lot of options available today to customize solar panels to fulfill your needs. It is possible to design solar panels to make the architecture of the home or building beautiful.

To know more about putting up a rooftop solar system, read Solar Mango’s India Rooftop Solar Advisor

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