Elon Musk, the head honcho of Tesla Inc. that pioneered the large-scale use of plug-in electric cars and also specializing in energy storage solutions and solar panels, declared at a conclave that solar energy could power the entire US. At the National Governors Association Summer Conference held in July, he elaborated on how all the homes throughout US can be powered up solely with solar roof tiles. He elucidated that it would require a reasonably small area in Utah, Texas or California for installing 100 sq. miles of solar panels in order to accomplish the task.
Last year in October, Tesla released its up-to-the-minute products-an advanced Powerpack 2 and Powerwall 2, energy storage solutions and a versatile solar roof. In that year, Musk bought out SolarCity, a frontline photovoltaic cell manufacturing firm shelling out US$2.6 billion, synergizing its operations with those of Tesla. The merger enabled the innovative entrepreneur to promote the entire product line of Tesla, including solar roofs capable of fully replacing fossil fuels for meeting a home’s overall energy needs.
The energy that Tesla’s solar roofing taps from the rays of the sun is preserved in the Powerwall 2 which is technically speaking a battery for use in residences with a 14kWh rating. At daytime, the rows of solar shingles or tiles produce electricity as well as charge up the battery packs which thereafter lights up homes at night and also runs sundry appliances. Subsequently, the homeowner is relieved from the necessity of subscribing to a conventional utility service for fulfilling his electricity requirements.
Does it imply that solar roofs of Tesla will give utility and energy companies, a run for their money and eventually compel them to go out of business? As of now, that is still just a remote possibility and hence the idea may seem a little farfetched presently. Coming back to basics, each and every unit of Powerwall is sufficiently capable of supplying electrical power for a whole day.
To be precise, a typical Powerwall battery can be restructured and adapted to deliver the combined power of 9 such packs from a single unit. Alternatively, Powerpack2 which has been exclusively designed for heavy-duty commercial use is scalable to an unlimited extent. The solar roof is made up of photovoltaic cell units that are layered with glass tiles and colored optical louver films.
Tesla right now is offering four different types of solar tiles that have been designed with painstaking care which makes them appear like traditional terracotta, slate, wooden, asbestos, and metallic roofing shingles. Elon has taken advantage of a hydrographic printing technique for making his solar panels look nearly identical to conventional rooftop materials. Musk’s company started taking orders shortly after the conclave in which he outlined the benefits of the solar tiles.
And Tesla began processing the orders and rolling out the roofs from August. Melon is confident that the homeowner will be able to recoup his or her solar roof investment over a 30-year period and accordingly offering a warranty for a similar time period.
Image credit: Tesla