Tesla’s new solar technology enabled the company to develop not one, but four different solar roof products that look like conventional and modern roof types: Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile, and Smooth Glass Tile.
The company is using a high-efficiency solar cell, which will be manufactured by Panasonic, covered with a “color louver film”, which allows cells to blend into the roof while exposing them to the sun above, and finally a tempered glass on top for durability.
Tesla says that the system can achieve 98% of the efficiency of a standard solar cell despite being a more complex system for being integrated with the roof. According to the company, the difference is a small price to pay since the price of the system will be competitive with a regular roof when accounting for energy savings.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that the company’s solar roof could last 2-3 times longer than traditional roofs.
The focus was on aesthetic while making as little compromise as possible of efficiency. The result is quite stunning. Here’s a look at a street angle (left) versus a birdseye view (right) of the same solar roof tiles:
That’s because of the “color louver film” which makes the glass look opaque at a lower angle and transparent for the sunlight above.
Tesla’s event was quite brilliant since the company held it in a “fake” street use as a movie/TV set at Universal Studios. Tesla and SolarCity were able to retrofit 4 houses on the street with its new products. For the sake of full disclosure, Musk admitted that the systems on the houses were not working, but that’s just because they were not connected together.
They are the real solar roof solutions with the real solar cells, but they were just not harvesting sunlight. the excuse was that they only had two weeks to set everything up at the location.
Here’s a quick look at each of the solar roof solution on each house:
Smooth glass tile roof
Tuscan glass tile roof
Slate glass tile roof
Textured glass tile roof
Those roofs are capable of generating enough energy to significantly reduce your monthly utility bills or even completely end them. Especially if it’s combined with a home battery pack like Tesla’s new Powerwall 2. We took a look at the Powerwall 2 here: Tesla Powerwall 2 is a game changer in home energy storage: 14 kWh w/ inverter for $5,500
The company is taking orders right now for the solar roof, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that installations will start during summer 2017. Musk refused to give details about pricing, but said that it will be competitive with traditional roof and solar systems.
Tesla’s new residential solar and energy storage solutions are quite innovative. You can visit Tesla’s website to see if they could work for your house or business, but solar and energy storage prices are highly dependent on your market (electricity cost, gov incentives, etc.) and your property. We suggest to get quotes from more than one installer to make sure you get the best energy solution for your place. UnderstandSolar is a great free service to link you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates for free.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe the podcast.