Installing Solar Panels and Solar Tiles – What’s the Difference?

Solar Tiles or Solar Panels

Since its inception, solar power has come a long way in terms of technology, effectiveness, and aesthetics. These days, you have a variety of choices when it comes to installing solar power for your San Diego home. If you’re exploring your options for San Diego solar power, you may have come across solar tiles. But what exactly are solar tiles, and how are they different from solar panels?

Solar Panels and Solar Tiles Explained


Many years ago, solar tiles were thought to have been much less efficient than their traditional counterparts. Specifically, they had a lower conversion efficiency, which means that the percentage of sunlight that gets converted into electricity was lower in tiles than in solar panels. However, recent technology has boosted the ability of solar tiles to convert sunlight into energy, bringing them to an almost 20% conversion rate, which is nearly on par with regular solar panels. Traditional solar panels still hold strong in terms of efficiency, but technological advancement have made solar tiles an attractive option as well.


The installation and implementation of solar tiles is probably where they differ the most from solar panels. While solar panels are typically mounted on the roof or elsewhere on the property, solar tiles are individually integrated into the roof like the rest of the shingles or tiles. When installed, solar tiles are certainly less obtrusive than solar panels, but the tiles on your roof have to be replaced. If you’re planning on building a new house, then installing solar tiles on your home might be a good option. However, some homeowners may find it to be less cost effective if their house is already built, or they don’t plan on replacing their roof anytime soon.

In addition, many solar panels have the added benefit of being positioned at the perfect angle to receive optimum sunlight needed for conversion. On the other hand, solar tiles work well only if your roof is already positioned to receive ideal levels of sunlight. Other

Solar Panels vs. Solar Tiles:

Solar Panels

  • More flexible when installing to receive optimal levels of sunshine
  • Can be replaced easily without having to replace your roof
  • Overall installation process is much easier and low-maintenance, with no need for structural modification

Solar Tiles

  • More visually appealing, since the solar tiles blend in seamlessly with your shingles.

Overall, traditional solar panels offer the most in terms of flexibility, efficiency, and cost, but solar tiles are still a viable option for homeowners who want an aesthetically pleasing method of solar energy.

When you’re ready to make the jump to solar on your San Diego home, be sure to consult with a licensed San Diego solar power company.