The problem with using solar power for your home is the collection panels. They’re unsightly, and have to be placed in certain parts to get the most out of sun exposure. Tesla’s new Solar Roof harvests the sun’s power and does it all while looking like normal roofing tiles.
Just after Tesla’s Q3 earnings call, the Elon Musk company held another call to launch its Solar Roof product commercially. The system consists solar cells that have been embedded into tiles that look just like another roofing tiles. The tiles are all linked together and send the harvested power they gather to a Tesla Powerwall to power your home. The new roofing system is available through Tesla’s website and is meant for people looking for a new roof. Reportedly, the new roof will be competitive in cost with a traditional roof, plus the cost of conventional solar panels. Musk admitted that for people who have 10 or more years of life on their current roof would benefit more from a traditional solar panel setup. Tesla also noted that the tiles aren’t as effective as panels at converting sunlight into electricity, but because they cover a greater area, they end up being more efficient as a whole system.
Buffalo, New York, based Gigafactory 2 is building the system. The system comes with a 25-year warranty—which is similar to normal roofing systems—and will be installed by traditional roofing companies that have gone through the “Tesla certified installers” program. As for installation, Tesla states that their roof should take as long as a traditional roof to install—Tesla hopes that that means the roof can be installed in about eight hours. “You leave your home for work for the day,” says Musk, “and by the time you get back, you have solar power.”
The tiles are currently only available in a dark asphalt-like color, but plans are in place to expand that offering to include tiles like clay and French slate.