Power Your House With a Solar Roof That will Last for Infinity

It looks like a conventional tile roof, but it does so much more.

Sep 30, 2019

Powering your home with solar energy is not new. Many people have installed solar panels on their roofs but now there is a better way. Your roof can actually be made up of solar tiles that are guaranteed to last as long as you own your home or until infinity.

The roof is just part of Tesla founder Elon Musk's clean energy portfolio that includes electric cars, solar power, and home batteries which, “are really the three legs of the stool for a sustainable energy future,” he told Bloomberg.

“Solar power going to a stationary battery pack so you have power at night, and then charging an electric vehicle…you can scale that to all the world’s demand,” Musk said.

Tesla's third generation glass solar roof tiles look just like a conventional roof and come in slate, terracotta, and a variety of styles. The company has produced a calculator that gives the cost and expected savings of converting to this new-fangled solar roof.

According to National Public Radio, using the calculator, 2,467 square foot (229 square meters) two-story house in Raleigh, North Carolina will cost $46,400 to convert to the solar roof with the cost of the Powerwall home battery to store the power. There are federal tax credits that reduce the cost.

The infinity warranty, Tesla said, covers the glass in the tiles and there is a 30-year warranty on the rest of the system including the power output of the tiles and leakage.

In 2017, Musk said that the roofs would start being mass produced and installed in 2018 according to Electrek. But the roll out has been considerably slower and very few homes had the solar tiles installed. The company delayed the mass rollout until 2019.

At the 2019 Tesla shareholders meeting, Musk said, “We are about to complete version 3 of the solar roof. This is actually quite a hard technology problem to have an integrated solar cell with a roof tile, have it look good, and last for 30 years.”

He also said that the price of installation was expected to go down. “I am very excited about version 3 of solar roof. We have a shot at being equal to a comp shingle roof plus someone’s utility cost or being lower than that. That’s one of the cheapest roofs available. So you can have a great roof with better economics than a normal fairly cheap roof and your utility bill.”

The installations are being done by Tesla's subsidy SolarCity Corporation and is limited to the US. Homeowners can place reservations for the solar roof now on the website.

When production really does ramp up and the cost goes down, the solar tiled roof could become a widely used clean green way to power homes. And its guaranteed to work until infinity.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.