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New solar roofs - far better than I expected!

New solar roofs - far better than I expected!

Nice that they offer different styles and cool how they look nothing like traditional big solar panels. They are going to sell well if the price is close to competitive. They have slate, orange spanish tile, and an more traditional black style tile. Unlike prior attempts by others, these fill the entire roof - edge to edge.

Also cool that the Powerwall has doubled to 14 kW for $5500 and looks smaller than the prior version.

KP in NPT | 28/10/2016

Wow. Totally better than I expected! They look like a regular roof! Totally different than anything else I've seen so far - even in the "solar roof" category.

Captain_Zap | 28/10/2016

All I could think about during the presentation was, "What about maintenance?"
It might work in some climates.

TeslaTap.com | 28/10/2016

I was wondering how they connect up. I expect some kind of long strip that the tiles hang on, but it gets tricky to combine the DC voltages when the number of tiles differs. More yet to learn! Not sure the maintenance will be any different than traditional panels. They generally seem very reliable.

KP in NPT | 28/10/2016

No one twisted your arm to watch, Fake McLary.

lilbean | 28/10/2016

Lol

ckcland2 | 28/10/2016

yawn my ass, this is a game changer....

Ethan_M | 28/10/2016

Most definitely a game changer tonight friends.

It was glimpse of the (not too distant) future!

KD7UFS | 28/10/2016

I cannot seem to find useful information on new powerwall. If you have 2 does that increase your peak current, or just your endurance? What voltage and current for charging. Need specifications on new solar panels. In short, where is some real sales information.

McLary | 28/10/2016
SO | 28/10/2016

Is it possible to get a user banned?

Bubba2000 | 28/10/2016

I think that this combo does not make economic sense for most houses in the US with electricity at 11 cents/KWhr. However, there is the 5% who will buy fancy houses and will spend this kind of money just because. Just like people buy $100,000 plus cars. It is a nice product, just expensive.

Frank.B.Smith | 28/10/2016

Many unanswered questions.

1) how is the wiring done? Is every shingle have wires that penetrate into the attic and are spliced together or are the connections mechanical connections that connect when you overlap them?

2) where is the inverter? Solar panels either use micro inverters where the dc output of each panel is converted to AC or a central inverter where the dc output of multiple panels are combined to 400 volts And fed to the central inverter.

3) how does this pass building codes? In my state solar panels cannot completely cover the roof to allow firefighters access to cut through the roof to attack attic fires. In addition the 400 volts DC wires must be run in metal conduit on the outside of the house.

I would love to see the installation instructions.

Frank

Bighorn | 28/10/2016

Total sausagefest with a Tesla Top Twenty soundtrack.

RedShift | 28/10/2016

"No one twisted your arm to watch, Fake McLary."

Wait a minute. Fake?

brando | 28/10/2016

It is a "tile roof" and may well not be best for all climates.
(After more global warming, it'll probably work most everywhere ;-})

Seems to make sense that to make the best economic sense is in new construction and when replacing an existing roof.

reminder to search and watch youtube talk by Tony Seba (August one is best, I think)
Clean Disruption: Why Current Energy and Transportation Systems Will Be Obsolete by 2030
https://youtu
be/s0F4SobqxyU

Electric transmission is becoming more expensive than solar PV in more and more locations.
(yes, even if electricity production is free for utilities, you might still save money on solar PV)
The world is changing.

Bighorn | 28/10/2016

Elon tweeted that it was for all climates and could be outfit with resistive melting.

rahlquist | 29/10/2016

Ok so it can have melting elements, but how well are these going to stand up to a massive hailstorm like we get in the south where whole car dealerships get their inventories totaled? Hail of this type can total even terracotta roof tile/shingles. Can these withstand it? Say a golfball size hail stone? I imagine its not going to be covered under the warranty, how about will Tesla offer insurance for this? I would imagine homeowners policies may balk at replacing a roof cover that costs 2x as much as cheap shingles.

Bighorn | 29/10/2016

Elon also addressed hail on Twitter. Did you not see the kettlebell demo?

b.tesla | 29/10/2016

Sounds promising, but like others have mentioned, I'm left with many questions.

How does it handle peaks and valleys in roof design?

How does it handle shadows being cast over parts of the roof? Do shadows reduce the generation of everything on that string (how many strings can there be?), or does each tile have its own micro inverter, etc.

How is the wiring handled, and how does it all tie together to a central inverter (if not using micro inverters) and the grid? How much attic access is needed for installation? If it is needed everywhere, that could be extremely tricky to impossible for some of my vaulted ceilings.

What is the efficiency per area? Presently, I have 26 traditional panels on the southwest facing section of my roof with theoretical peak of 6.5 kW, and I have room to expand if I wanted to. If I did my entire roof with these, would I be generating more or less?

Efontana | 29/10/2016

The inverter is near the battery, so the wiring between tiles is DC.
The tiles are small, so all the strings can be balanced with a grain of sand at peak sun.
Dead/shorted tiles must be available for shaded areas.
Area performance is lower, I would say less.
The system appears to be designed to deliver energy used by the home and the car that goes with it.

TeslaTap.com | 29/10/2016

@Bubba - You're lucky if you get electricity at 0.11 kWh. Around here (California) our midday rate is $0.37 kWh. In Hawaii, it's about $0.38 kWh all the time (it's mostly diesel generated). Yep, there are places it will not make sense, but lots of places where the payback can easily be under 5 years for conventional solar panels today. No idea if this system is cost competitive, but it does look great, and if it replaces the need for a roof, the cost may be very competitive.

@b.testla - Great questions that I also want to know - I hope they are answered soon! I suspect for valleys they make a non-solar tile that can be cut similar to how it's done on tile roofs today. Similar I expect they will have a ridge part without solar.

I also wonder how they are attached. I didn't see any holes or connectors in the sample Elon showed (but we didn't get a good view of the tile).

Artjamie | 29/10/2016

I googled glass roof shingle and could not find anyone with solar cells in them hits other than from Elon last night. What the history of solar cell glass roof shingles on the internet? Someone must have tried to sell them. The glass ones I saw did not have solar cells in them.

lar_lef | 29/10/2016

Once again congrats to Tesla, moving on all fronts.

Nic727 | 29/10/2016

What's the expected price?

It was said it will compete with traditional roof... but is it traditional roof + solar panel or only traditional roof?

If it's the second one, that's a good way to save money.

Bighorn | 29/10/2016

They said traditional roof plus expected electricity savings which could be a huge number depending on the timeframe.

KP in NPT | 29/10/2016

I believe it's traditional roof + solar panels + electricity savings. So yes, it will be more expensive up front but like current solar, will eventually pay for itself. If it lasts as long as they are saying, it will be positive net in the long run.

I am also curious if there is a large price difference between the different style of tiles. The slate would work with our style home but they look like they'd be more expensive. Also, is the price factored for a roof of the same non-solar material? Because slate roofs are quite expensive.

carlgo2 | 29/10/2016

How they might be connected and attached: The lower underneath side would have two male "prongs" and the top upper surface would have female cups with a hole in the middle. Wiring would connect these contacts. Screws through the cup holes would attach the panel to the roof and each course of tiles would plug into the course below.

The Tuscan type tile Musk showed did have two holes, but the other ones did not. They may have been displays and not final, functional products. He made a point of not showing the back side.

Sure are nice.

carlgo2 | 29/10/2016

How they might be connected and attached: The lower underneath side would have two male "prongs" and the top upper surface would have female cups with a hole in the middle. Wiring would connect these contacts. Screws through the cup holes would attach the panel to the roof and each course of tiles would plug into the course below.

The Tuscan type tile Musk showed did have two holes, but the other ones did not. They may have been displays and not final, functional products. He made a point of not showing the back side.

Sure are nice.

EaglesPDX | 29/10/2016

Just did the new roof and solar panels. Metal roof which is great because they require no penetration, the solar panels clamp on. So the solar panels (25 panels, 8.5 kWh system with Tesla partner Solar Edge inverter) and roof cost total was $45K. Roof size was 900 square feet.

No mention in the presentation on how to compare cost and PV output.

I ordered an original 7.5 kWh Powerwall for $3,500 but production was canceled and product size and cost jumped to $5,500 so a bit burned on Tesla's early announcements of products and costs vs. actual. Would have been a bit more transparent had Tesla provided the pricing and per square foot PV output using a base house.

Love the concept and would have gotten a Solar City installed price had it been out. Tesla did not mention when it would be available for purchase.

Another issue for a lot of people is that during the winter months, the solar panels don't generate enough to power the house much less power the house and charge a 10 kWh battery. adding in an EV at 12 kWh for daily commute, 24 kWh for two care family how much a roof can generate is important.

Many current roofs are suboptimal for solar. Mine for example face East/West even though my home has no shade it takes a hit for that.

So it would have been good of Tesla to be more transparent, show an expected price and kWh per square foot of roof and to put up a solar power estimator where people could plug angle to sun, shade estimate, geographic location, electric use and add for EV's.

I think this was just to give folks a justification for the Solar City purchase and why this integration made sense, making a case for solar/EV/storage business model.

Bubba2000 | 29/10/2016

@TeslaTap.com:
Besides Ca, there are markets where Solar Roof and or Powerwall would be viable: Parts of Africa, Asia where there no reliable electricity, like Angola, Nigeria, Mozambique, India, etc. I think the battery would a better sell, but need a robust voltage stabilizer.

The battery biz is the best. Cash and carry! Needs to be plug and play. Robust against voltage spikes, brownouts. May be sell it on Amazon worldwide.

Nic727 | 29/10/2016

Regarding the price (again), I read a couple of website and it was saying solar roof will cost less than Traditional Roof + Electricity, but no information about electricity for what... One month, one year, 50 years?

So it's not talking about Roof + Solar panel, but Roof + Electricity.

jordanrichard | 29/10/2016

bubba, $.11 kwh!!? I wish. I am in CT and I pay $.20.

I too believe this is a game changer. Solar panels as they are now, sort of have an industrial look to them. These tiles make the solar panels disappear.

TeslaTap.com | 29/10/2016

@Artjamie "I googled glass roof shingle and could not find anyone with solar cells in them..." I have some houses nearby that used glass type shingle solar cells. They were much larger than those Elon showed, and didn't look nearly as nice as the Tesla/Solar City cells. Very noticable from any angle and didn't go across the entire roof. I have no idea if they are still made. Here's sort of what they look like:

TeslaTap.com | 29/10/2016

Here's another product by PowerLight - which was acquired by SunPower in 2006. I have no idea if it's still being made.

Ross1 | 29/10/2016

Congratulations Tesla!.

Just dont buy version 1.0, there will be improvements.
Dont say you were not told.

McLary | 30/10/2016

"I think this was just to give folks a justification for the Solar City purchase and why this integration made sense, making a case for solar/EV/storage business model."

BINGO!

grega | 30/10/2016

Certainly a purpose was to make it clear what they're aiming for. It would be wrong to not supply their reasons and vision, and in this case a product.

Is there a reason that would be bad?

SUN 2 DRV | 30/10/2016

A Vision, a Stretch Goal and a Product are all different and on different timelines.

It would be good to know how Tesla currently sees the Solar Roof tiles....

Personally I still don't see any synergy between Solar City and Tesla so I just voted my shares AGAINST the merger.

daryl | 09/11/2016

Don't get too excited. I'm a solar installer. There is a reason that every other company that has offered solar roof tiles has either gone out of business or has had to cancel the product. These are their inherent problems:

1.) Wiring many roof tiles in series is required. When one of the roof tiles is shaded, soiled or damaged, the entire string loses power.

2.) No module level monitoring. Good luck finding the bad tile.

3.) When you realize that there is a bad solar tile, finding it is extremely labor intensive and it may require the installer to disassemble a large portion of the installation just to find it.

That said, it is technically possible to mitigate all of these issues, using integrated monitoring and module DC optimizing circuitry via either fixed string voltages or impedance matching technologies. So far, there has been no mention of any of these technologies being employed with the solar roof tiles.

Even when replacing your roof, it's still going to be way cheaper to re-tile it and install some standard PV modules. That said, the Powerwall 2,0 product is looking pretty awesome!