Solar Roof Is Much Better Than Classic Solar Panels

Solar panels are here for a while, but they are still too expensive and too humble when it comes to the energy conversion since they can convert just a small percent of solar energy captured into electricity. They can give you enough electricity for powering a home but are complex to produce and usually are installed over classic roof tiles, making roofs bulky, and not too attractive.

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Well, Tesla managed to make solar roof tiles, that can be installed as regular tiles, making your roof completely solar friendly. In cooperation with SolarCity, Tesla managed to transform bulky solar panels that produce very low amounts of electricity into a classy, attractive glass roof tiles that look amazing. They called the project simply Solar Roof, and they unveiled it a couple of days ago at a press event held at Universal Studios in LA. Aside from looking much better from classic solar panels (they look better even than classic roof panels), new glass solar roof tiles should also be pretty tough. Musk said they can last “quasi indefinitely,” no matter if you live in a sunny California or in harsh, snowy north Canada. Tiles can last for 50 years and have an efficiency that’s 98 percent as good as when using classic solar panels.

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Panels are available in four designs: textured, Tuscan, smooth glass and slate.

Instead of mounting solar panels on top of a traditional roof, Solar Roof is made out of glass roof tiles able to collect solar energy. They collect the energy and store in inside the Powerwall 2 battery system, unveiled at the same event. Powerwall 2 is the second generation of a residential home battery which, in combination with Solar Roof, can end your dependency to the power grid. Since the battery has a capacity of 14 kWh, Solar Roof tiles can collect enough energy that your home can be powered indefinitely by storing and using the power from Powerwall 2. Powerwall costs $5,500, a serious investment, and one that will not be very smart to make, at least in the coming years.

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You see, Solar Roof is still in its early stages. Mass production is not in plans yet, with the system showed in LA being just a sort of “proof of concept,” a prototype that shows how a glass roof tiles can make you independent from the classic power grid. Solar Roof pricing wasn’t revealed, but musk promised that it will cost no more than a traditional roof plus the electricity. If we look at prices of classic solar panels, it is clear that Solar Roof won’t become available for the mass market for the next couple of years, maybe even a decade.

This joint venture of Tesla and SolarCity comes after Musk announced he plans to merge SolarCity into Tesla back in June. The goal of the merge is to help society to cover our storage, generation, and usage needs, with Solar Roof being the first project of the joint venture. It will take some time before the price becomes relatively affordable; until then we’ll have to keep using classic tiles unable to give us electricity independence.

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