Tesla’s Solar Roof: From Solar Panels to Solar Shingles

Last week, EV superpower Tesla announced its latest product: roof tiles with built-in solar cells. By merging technological performance with aesthetics, Tesla hopes to offer consumers solutions to make their homes more energy self-sufficient.

Using PV roofing material instead of traditional rooftop solar panels helps the company consolidate costs. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, there are between four and five million new roofs constructed in the United States each year, which gives him a broad market.

Musk says that the roof tiles have the potential to integrate with Tesla’s Powerwall battery as well as the company’s electric cars, providing customers new, interconnected energy experiences. The CEO claims that roofs made from the new solar material would last up to three times as long as a typical 20-year-cycle roof and be more impact resistant.

However, critics of Tesla’s latest move highlight potential issues related to many different factors, including: location, energy storage capabilities, the practicality and cost of replacing a roof, and the difficulty in integrating PV technology into infrastructure. Tesla has not specified the technology behind their solar cells, but have claimed that they achieve 98 percent of the efficiency of traditional solar panels.


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