As if we needed any more convincing that solar power is the way forward, Tesla have taken one step further to ensure that we can all be on board. On October 28th, Tesla announced its newest product, in the form of aesthetically-pleasing solar roof tiles.
Watch the full launch Tesla Solar announcement below:
Speaking at the launch, CEO and Founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, explained the thinking behind the invention, simply stating that “the goal is to have solar roofs that look better than normal roofs, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation and have an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity – why would you buy anything else?”
The aesthetic of the roof tiles is what the product really centres around. There are four styles that will be available: Textured Glass, Tuscan Glass, Slate Glass and Smooth Glass. This offers people the option to fully integrate solar energy into their homes, whilst still offering some individuality and the potential to achieve the look you want your home to have. Style and practicality no longer have to be mutually exclusive.
Not only do the solar roof tiles look good, they are also more durable than regular roofing materials like terra-cotta, clay or slate. Tesla’s tiles are made from tempered glass that is as “tough as steel.” According to Musk, the glass is “never going to wear out… it is made of quartz. It has a quasi-infinite lifetime.” The photo below shows weights being dropped onto the different materials, and how they stand up against Tesla’s Glass Tile.
For the times in the day when the sun isn’t shining, the Powerwall 2 comes into play. The Powerwall 2 battery pack allows houses to transition from the roof generating power, to the Powerwall, producing power. Put simply, during the day the battery fills up and then at night, dusk and dawn, you use the battery to power your house until the sun comes back out. Musk claims that the Powerwall can power the “lights, sockets, and refrigerator of a four bedroom house for a full day,” and if you add the solar roof to that, you can “power your house indefinitely.”
Also known as electric car manufacturers, Tesla’s vision for the solar roof tiles fits in to the bigger picture for the sustainable living that they are striving for. Throughout the launch, Musk made many references to “integrated living,” displaying countless graphics that show how the power generated through the roofing can not only provide power within the home, but also has the capacity and ability to power electric cars.
Tesla haven’t provided any specific prices for this yet, as costs will vary based on the size of the house, the materials used, the location and the complexity of the installation, but over the next year, as the finer details are released, we will have a clearer picture of what the future of sustainable living could look like.
Featured image: Mock-up of a home with solar roof tiles, and the Powerwall 2 and electric car in the garage. Photo: Tesla