What is a Solar Roof? Basically, these are Solar Shingles, also known as Photovoltaic Shingles, produced to look and function in place of conventional roofing materials such as slate, while also producing electricity. Solar shingles are one of the many types of solar energy solution known to many as Building-Integrated photovoltaics or BIPV. The term BIPV is used to refer to photovoltaics that are integrated into the building’s structure after construction.
One of the companies that carries solar roofs is Tesla. Tesla is an American automaker and a solar panel Manufacturer and among the first people to test out their solar roofs is its very own CEO Elon Musk. The solar roof product was initially announced to the public almost a year ago, in October of 2016.
With the function of a normal roof, the product is also designed to produce electricity thanks to hidden solar panels integrated among regular tiles. You can customize the amount of electricity your Solar roof produces depending on the energy that you need. This is made possible by using solar and non solar tiles, but with the guarantee that no one will be able to tell the difference between the solar tiles and the regular non solar tiles. This will ensure that your roof looks like the “real thing” even though in reality it does so much more than the usual roof.
The solar roof tiles are not made of regular slate, but with reinforced tempered glass, this makes it more than two times stronger than your regular roofing tiles. There are currently two solar roof designs to choose from and another two coming in next year, 2018. These designs have been made to look like normal roofing tiles so they would blend in seamlessly, but of course, they’re producing clean energy which is also saving the planet and saving your wallet.
These two are the ones set to be released in 2018:
The smooth and textured variations alone offer consumers a small but of course, meaningful choice as to how their home and their roof would look. Something that previous versions of solar paneling and solar roofs could not. Since it has a seamless integration into almost any architectural design, this offers home and building owners a fresh choice when it comes to investing in a new roof and clean energy.
Homeowners will now be able to reap the benefits of switching to solar power, minus the large and hideous solar panels that we normally see with other solar panel companies and manufacturers. Tesla solar roof is also designed to be compatible and connect to Tesla Powerwall. This is a large battery which stores the solar power that’s enough to power a whole house. Which is great since this will mean you can switch to using solar energy whenever you wish, thus eliminating the electricity interruptions whenever there is a grid outage in your area.
This is what the Tesla Powerwall looks like:
It is recommended that your solar roof be installed with the Tesla Powerall to ensure that you will be able to use more of the solar energy that your solar roof produces. This ensures that your home will be kept running should there be any unexpected grid outages. In some states that do not have Net Energy Metering (a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for energy added back to the grid) policies, it is recommended to have a number or Powerwalls to maximize the benefits of the energy which your solar roof produces.
These solar roofs are said to be very durable thus they also have a warranty for the lifetime of your home. They do not degrade overnight as easily as asphalt or concrete. Please note that all warranties and ratings are only applicable in the United States only. Tesla solar roofs are covered by 3 warranties — Tile, Weatherization and power. Tile warranties which applies to the glass in the tiles. The power warranty for 30 years means that it covers the output capability of your solar roof. Meanwhile weatherization warranty means that during the warranty period from the installation of your solar roof, there will be no water leaks and other weather intrusions, this is also for 30 years.
Sounds great, right? So how much exactly does a Tesla Solar roof cost?
The cost will be based on your home’s estimated roof square footage, which will be provided by Google Project Sunroof (subject to availability) and the portion of your roof that will be covered by solar tiles. The estimates already include Solar Roof Materials, installation as well as the removal of your old roof. What is not included is the tax, permit fees, and any other additional construction costs. (For more information on the cost calculations, please check this link: https://www.tesla.com/support/solar-roof-faqs )
Compared to the estimates by Consumer Reports, the previous price tag was $24.50 per square foot. Tesla then announced in May that the price of the solar tiles would be $21.85. That’s approximately 20% less than the actual price of the normal roof, and that’s minus the energy saving features.
The recommended solar tile coverage that will be installed in your house will depend on the estimated eligible roof area. Of course, the solar tiles will not cover your entire roof due to obstructions and building regulations. If you choose to have majority of your roof or increase the area covered by the solar roof tiles, this might affect the amount of energy generated and your home may produce more energy than it actually needs. Which in turn will not only be wasteful, but also not be cost efficient.
For those who are interested in purchasing the solar roof can get an estimated cost and place an order via their website: https://www.tesla.com/solarroof and placing a $1000 payment.
Installing a solar roof will take somewhere between five and seven days depending on when the order was placed as well as your order queue position when Solar Roof is available in your region, should you be outside of the United States. Tesla will also be managing the entire process and will see to it that everything will be installed properly. Installations outside of the United States will be expected to roll out in early 2018.