Tesla’s Solar Roof will be made available to the public later this year, according to the company’s 4th quarter investor letter. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., unveiled the Solar Roof and it is exactly how solar panels should be - invisible. Nobody will notice you have installed the Solar Roof so you will just have a traditional-looking roofing. Musk is trying to eliminate ‘ugly’ solar panels. Not only does the Solar Roof look aesthetically appealing, but it is also three times more durable in comparison to regular roofing materials.
The first Solar Roof will be installed in July 2017, but Elon Musk is bombarded with deadlines which make the release date tentative. Tesla has been accepting pre-orders for their Solar Roof since its release.
According to Musk, their solar roofs will be much cheaper than the regular roofing. This is even without taking into account the energy production from the solar panels embedded to the Solar Roof. However, what Musk said in the launch event is different from the news that was circulating recently. There has been no concrete figure for the installation of the Solar Roof yet, but we can expect it in just a few months.
Roof prices may vary since myriads of factors influence installation costs. It is safe to say that Tesla’s Solar Roof will be in the high-end range since it is more durable and it can last for decades with only minimal maintenance. Homeowners across the globe are anticipating the release of the Solar Roof for its technology and aesthetic benefits. They will also be protecting the environment which is the area where Tesla products excel at.
The Efficiency of the Solar Roof
Compared to the regular solar cell, the most recent prototypes of the Solar Roof have about a 2% loss. The loss is marginal when it is put in direct comparison to having an entire roofing made of solar cells. Musk is hoping that a microscopic louver will boost the efficiency of the standard photovoltaic cell.
The Solar Roof will come in Tuscan Glass Tiles, Textured Glass Tiles, Smooth Glass Tiles, and Slate Glass Tiles. All of the solar tiles that are integrated into the roofing will be invisible when viewed from afar. Of course, they will be exposed to the heat of the sun. A lot of people are doubting the durability of the Solar Roof but the glass material will be ‘as tough as steel’ according to Musk. The only concern would probably be the scratches that may surface when a hard object hits the roofing. The material may also get foggy as time passes. So far, Elon Musk did not clarify the issue of scratches, but everyone is wishing to have a scratch resistant Solar Roof.
The Powerwall, offered by Tesla, is intended to store the energy that is being generated by a Solar Roof. The second generation of Powerwall was announced last September and it comes at a much lower price.