Tesla has announced a new line of solar roof tiles that mimic common roofing materials.

Tesla’s new solar roofing was revealed by founder, inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk at a recent high-profile launch event.

Musk, who is also famous for founding SpaceX and co-founding Paypal, said that the new solar roof tiles will be cheaper to install than a roof made of traditional materials.

He then went on to say that the electricity they produce, ‘is just a bonus’.

Secret solar panels

Musk announced the invention on the set of American TV show Desperate Housewives, surprising the audience by revealing that they were surrounded by solar houses – even though there wasn’t a solar panel in site.

The solar roofing is comprised of glass tiles covering solar cells, which are camouflaged to look like slate or Tuscan clay.

New builds could be covered in these solar roof tiles, while homeowners could renovate part of their roofing to provide solar power without changing the aspect or look of their houses.

Still undergoing development

Although Tesla’s current solar tile models are 2% less efficient than standard solar panels, the company is developing tiles that have no shortfall.

They’re also developing better coating materials that, rather than reflecting or absorbing light, trap it between the glass and the solar cells until the rays get absorbed.

Cheaper and more ecological

The solar roofing also has benefits for construction firms. Not only are they cheaper to install, they will also allow housebuilders to produce more energy-efficient buildings.

Environmental campaigners have welcomed the product, which will reduce the use of fossil fuels and lessen the roofing industry’s reliance on asphalt. The petroleum-based material is difficult to recycle due to the fact that it often contains hazardous materials.

More Musk updates

Musk also announced two new updates of existing Tesla products: the Powerwall 2 and the Powerpack 2.

The Powerwall 2 stores solar energy and discharges it for use in the home. It can store 14 kilowatt-hours of energy and has a power capacity of half that – that’s roughly enough for a four-bedroom home for a day.

Anyone who wants to install a solar tile roof will need a Powerwall to store the energy and then use it in the home.

Although it’s still in its early stages, Tesla’s solar roofing will fill an obvious gap in the market: providing home owners with a low cost, energy producing alternative to traditional materials without substantially changing their homes.

Space-based solar power: Powering the earth

Sources:

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-17/musk-says-tesla-s-solar-shingles-will-cost-less-than-a-dumb-roof

[2] http://earth911.com/business-policy/tesla-solar-roof/

[3] https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/28/these-are-teslas-stunning-new-solar-roof-tiles-for-homes/

[4] http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/31589/20161110/tesla-solar-roof-ready-distribution-much-will-cost.htm

[5] https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/what-really-matters-from-tesla-battery-powerwall-powerpack

[6] http://www.alphr.com/tesla/1003563/tesla-powerwall-2-release-date-uk-price-and-specs-elon-musk-unveils-new-home-battery

The views, opinions and positions expressed within the British Gas Business Blog are those of the author alone and do not represent those of British Gas. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this blog are not guaranteed. British Gas accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright in the content within the British Gas Business Blog belongs to the authors of such content and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. For more information about the mix of fuels used to generate our electricity simply visit britishgas.co.uk/business/fuel-mix. You can find information about how to make a complaint at www.britishgas.co.uk/business/complaints.