Solar roof panels are now made of a variety of materials that replace conventional roof materials. These modules are available as metal roofing, slate or concrete tiles, asphalt shingles, and flat roof panels. Because photovoltaic components are now integrated into these materials, unattractive large PV panels mounted on industrial or commercial roofs are no longer necessary.
The PV solar cells in the roofing materials are semiconductor devices that convert sunlight to direct current electricity. The electricity created by the solar roof materials in the array is converted to alternating current with an inverter and can be stored in a battery for use when needed.
In addition to offsetting the high cost of electrical power for building operation, as many as 3 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credit points can be gained, based on the amount of renewable energy produced and used for the building. Federal Business Tax credits are also available.