The Future of Solar Roof Tiles

American technology company Tesla has launched sales of its new solar roof. The roof is made of glass tiles with solar cells that can generate electricity directly from sunlight. The tiles were designed to give the roof the appearance of a traditional roof. The solar tiles look very much alike classic roof tiles and the solar cells are invisible.

Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk says his goal was to create a solar roof that looks better, costs less and lasts longer than non-solar roofs. Let’s take a closer look at new Tesla’s roof and try to find out if it could really be the definition of the nextgeneration solar.

New solar roof shingle introduced by Elon Musk, are made of tempered glass so that they are stronger and more durable than clay or slate. Musk does not say how much it costs, but notes that it will have a “lower cost than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings.” The estimated cost of installing new Tesla’s solar 3,000-square-foot roof where 35 percent of the tiles are solar will be $65,550. That price does not reflect any tax credits, also it is possible that a roof might need to be up to 70 percent solar tiles. Additionally, you will need to pay $7,000 for the battery, called a Powerwall, to store the solar energy, which can be used to power your home at night. Installations of Solar Roof will begin in the U.S. this summer and are expected to begin overseas in 2018.

Tesla says a solar roof will actually cost less over time because it can reduce electricity payments or even completely end them. The roof itself is guaranteed to outlast your home, while the power production of the solar cells is covered under a 30-year warranty, according to Tesla’s website.

People interested in buying solar roof can visit Tesla official website and estimate the cost entering information about their home. A $1,000 deposit is required to get in line for the new Tesla’s solar roof. Two designs are currently available (smooth glass tile and textured glass tile) and two more are expected to be added next year.

Tesla is not the only technology company which offers solar roofs. A young company Forward Labs says its solar roofing product cost on average 33% less than Tesla’s while producing the same level of electricity. The Forward standing-seam-style solar roof comes in eight colors, thanks to a novel optical technique incorporated in the system, and looks like a normal metal roof.

Currently, the solar panels on the market are not good-looking. For some people, the solar panels installed on the roofs may look like the flaws of the building. We want to make our products better to have a good-looking appearance as well as make good use of the sun’s rays.” says Zach Taylor, the product architect of Forward Labs.

It can be predicted that the cost of roof solar systems would receive reduction over time, but it has years to go before they are fully ready for a wide-scale deployment. For now, it will be limited to a tiny fraction of roofs on houses of very rich people. Hopefully, in the nearest future, we would be able to see beautiful rooftops which produce electricity in each house.

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