There are many property owners who hesitate in installing solar because of how the panels will look on their roof, or because they worry about possibly damaging their roof during installation. With this in mind, Lumeta Solar sought to create a product that sticks flat against your roof, while not requiring roof penetrations for installation: adhesive solar panels.
What are Lumeta’s adhesive solar panels, and how do they work?
Unlike traditional solar panels, Lumeta’s solar panels are adhesive, which means you won’t need racking or holes in your roof to secure the panels to your home or business. The panels come with an industrial-strength butyl tape that’s covered with a backing paper. Once installers peel this paper away, place the panel on the roof and apply pressure, they are glued on tight. Lumeta’s new line, the Lynx series, is not widely available on the market today, but the company originally indicated plans to take pre-orders in 2018.
These solar panels aren’t categorized as building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) like Tesla’s solar tiles or the POWERHOUSE solar shingles. This is because they don’t replace your roofing material, but instead go on top of existing roofing like traditional solar panels.
Lumeta’s newer modules can be removed from your roof, but it’s ideal to pair the installation with a new roof so that you don’t have to pay the added labor costs for uninstalling and reinstalling the technology. To remove the panels, installers place a heated blanket on top of them, then pull the panel off. Additional adhesive pads may be necessary to re-apply the equipment.
How Lumeta Solar’s peel-and-stick panels compare to traditional panels
Lumeta’s offering is certainly appealing, but how do you know if it’s right for you? Here are some factors to consider when comparing Lumeta’s adhesive option to traditional solar panels:
Lumeta’s solar panels are low profile, making for a more seamless appearance than traditional panels. They have a maximum depth of 22 millimeters (mm) when taking into account the frame, and the solar cells themselves are only 4 mm deep. In comparison, solar panels are typically at least 30 mm deep. Lumeta’s panels also come with an all-black appearance, similar to Hanwha Q Cell’s Q.PEAK BLK-G4.1 300 and Panasonic’s VBHN315KA01.
Available pricing information on the cost of the equipment is limited. Given that this is a new technology with limited production, the price of a Lumeta solar panel is likely to be higher than traditional modules produced by large manufacturers. That being said, one of the biggest selling points of installing Lumeta’s stick-on panels is not the cost of the equipment itself, but rather the low costs associated with the installation time and labor.
Why might installation costs be so low? For one, these panels weigh less than traditional solar panels. Their newest model, the Lynx 60 Comp, weighs approximately 26.5 pounds. Solar panels are heavier, typically weighing closer to 40 pounds. Lumetas’s lightweight panels allow for an easier installation process because installers aren’t carrying as much weight up to your roof.
Because racking isn’t needed with these panels, installer’s don’t need to drill holes in the roof which also means a less laborious installation. The easier the labor, the quicker the install times, and the lower the cost of the installation itself.
Efficiency and performance
There are two Lumeta Lynx options: the 60-cell and the 72-cell. Both options have similar energy output in testing conditions when compared against top solar panel manufacturers.
The Lynx 60 is a 300 watt (W) panel geared towards residential installations, with an efficiency of 18.1%. The Lumeta 72 is a 360 W solar panel with 18.7% efficiency, meant to be installed predominantly on commercial properties.
How does this match up to traditional panels? Most panels have a power rating ranging from 250 W to 365 W, but there are options available closer to 400 W. As far as efficiencies go, the Lynx modules are higher than the industry standards. Most solar panels range from 15-17% efficiency, while more premium modules have efficiencies ranging from 18-23%.
Lumeta’s products feature both a product warranty and a linear performance warranty, similar to what most panel manufacturers offer. Their product warranty, geared towards protecting buyers against defective products, lasts for 10 years, which is also the industry standard for many panels. More premium panel options, such as SunPower and LG, offer an industry leading 25-year warranties for their products.
Lumeta’s performance warranties protect against unreasonable degradation of their technology. Both the duration and the power output guarantee in the warranties is in line with the industry standard that many competing panel manufacturers offer. It stipulates that the output of their panels will not decrease by more than 3 percent in year 1, and no more than 80 percent by year 20.
Types of installations
Lumeta’s panels aren’t perfect for all installation types. For one, you need to install on a rooftop to use this technology. If you’re looking for a ground-mounted system, these adhesive panels won’t be your best bet.
Lumeta’s panels can also only be installed on specific roof materials, namely tile and asphalt. With a tile installation, additional inserts are required so that the panel remains level. In comparison, traditional solar panels paired with roof mounts and racking can be installed on almost any type of roof, including metal, tile, asphalt, and more. With appropriate mounting equipment, you can even install on slate or shake roofs, though it’s typically more expensive and harder to find an installer to do so.
Adhesive panels can also be installed on flat roofs, but they may produce less energy than a traditional panel installation on a flat roof. With these types of installs, solar companies typically place the panels at a tilt so that they can capture the optimal amount of sunlight, maximizing your electricity production and energy savings. This isn’t feasible with Lumeta panels, as they’re designed to stick flush to your rooftop.
Start the solar shopping process today with solar panel quotes on EnergySage
Whether you’re considering Lumeta’s solar panels, BIPV, or traditional panel options, comparing multiple offers can help you ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. By joining the EnergySage Marketplace, you can obtain multiple quotes for traditional rooftop PV systems to compare with other solar technologies you may be interested in. If you want a low-profile system or black-on-black panels, simply note it in your account so installers can quote according to your preferences.