new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

tesla solar roof shingles  RSS feed

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6028
Location: Left Coast Canada
750
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This came in my inbox this morning.

Tesla to start taking solar roof orders next month (april 2017)



Tesla CEO Elon Musk is continuing in his quest to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by announcing via Twitter on Friday that the electric carmaker and clean energy storage company will start taking orders for its solar roof shingles in April. The solar roof shingle product will be offered by Tesla’s SolarCity division. Tesla acquired the solar panel maker last November.


I've been watching this with keen interest as we may be building a new outbuilding this fall and I want it to be 100% off grid in preparation for the house going off grid.  I doubt these will get to Canada in time, especially since we have some hidden taxes or something on solar power products which can make them two to four times as expencive here as in the US. 

Here's an article saying these roofs may be cheeper than regular roofs

Direct link to Tesla's page about these solar roof tiles

 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3478
Location: Anjou ,France
163
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mmmm colour me skeptic on this one
I remember seeing roof tiles that doubled as solar panels in Disney world Florida in the 1980s so the idea is not new . Mr Elrons  products seem flash and pricy to me . I would stick with regular panels
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 168
Location: Worcestershire, England
14
bee bike forest garden fungi hugelkultur toxin-ectomy trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Elon Musk is obviously well intentioned and deserves praise for being a well off guy actually trying to change things for the better in various ways. However the video below raises a lot of very good points about potential issues with the idea in a seemingly fair and balanced way:
 
David Baillie
Posts: 38
Location: North central Ontario
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.greentechmedia.com/amp/article/the-economics-of-teslas-solar-roof

That's the fairest review I've read about them  based on the best case scenarios.  There is a near complete lack of hard numbers as yet including durability or true cost  so the article has to make a lot of guesses.  From someone who has spent 20 years building and now works in solar they look like a nightmare of overcomplexity, cost, and failure points.  Now imagine a roof penetration every tile assembly on a roof that gets covered in the snow and ice of a canadian winter. Currently a conventional panel is going for $1 a watt canadian.  Installed on a roof for $3 a watt.  Never been cheaper and at this point you are paying for the glass and the shipping...
Best regards  David
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6028
Location: Left Coast Canada
750
books chicken tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It seems like we lack the numbers.  There's a lot of conjecture out there on how these tiles will work, but none of them have the actual data from the tiles themselves.  Tesla seems to be keeping those cards very close to their chest.  I'm really curious what these will be like.

If they manage to price these as the same or less than a regular roof, then I can see this being a big thing in urban environment.  It has the opportunity to bring solar energy to people who wouldn't otherwise choose it.  That's a big thing in my book.  I'm excited to see these tiles in action and hear first-hand reports of how they work (or don't work). 
 
David Baillie
Posts: 38
Location: North central Ontario
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As to pricing: on most gear our pricing is right in line with the states once you factor in hst, exchange rate and extra shipping to a small market.  I know because I'm in Ontario and we quote the stuff out all the time.  If I was building a building in our climate today I would put on an industrial steel roof and use the standard racking system developed for it.  The panels and roof would wear at the same rate and last 40 years.  Available right now with a 30 year proven track record installed for less then $3 a watt.  The Tesla tiles are aimed at that southern California Spanish tIle roof mandated by many town councils.  Maybe more user friendly models will emerge but for now... No
Best regards, David
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6028
Location: Left Coast Canada
750
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm going to keep a wait and see attitude.

Tesla has some interesting ideas and they are smart about where they put their money.  I wonder if they have something up their sleeve.  Or maybe this will be a big flop.  Either way, I'm excited that a big company is taking steps to make solar more accessible and acceptable to the masses. 
 
Phil Gardener
Posts: 14
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Musk says that the installed cost takes into account the roof as well as the power generated over the life of the roof - a fair approach but a bigger up front outlay than some might be thinking.
 
David Baillie
Posts: 38
Location: North central Ontario
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fair enough. I hope it works out as well.  Solar is growing fast.  Many new ideas every week it seems.  Many will pan out .
Best regards, David
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3478
Location: Anjou ,France
163
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought about this some more . If you say 500 of these tiles thats 500+ connections to go wrong as opposed to less than a dozen on convention panels I guess . Plus in a high wind how heavy are they will they move about ?

David
 
David Baillie
Posts: 38
Location: North central Ontario
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you read that article it goes over the likely architecture.  From an installer point of view it would be a lot of extra labour.  Tesla is equating it to the cost and labour of intalling a traditional tile roof.  They have  a flat shingle version as well.  What worries me is repair and replacement.  Currently I can loosen 4 nuts and lift 250 watts worth of array diagnose and change an optimizer or micro inverter and reinstall in very little time.  They will have to create electrical runs under the assemblies or penetrate the roof  much more often.  The NEC is going to love that! I'm really not a naysayer I just have to approach from the point of view of someone who will have to work with it. As such I've had to invest more time then most thinking about it.
Best regards, David
 
frank li
Posts: 193
Location: Michigan
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tesla, with another unobtainium device. Electric shingles are just not a good idea. Uni- solar had them 20-25 years ago. That was a real product that was installed in the real world and is not done anymore for good reason. At 136 or so watts each, even the traditional peel and stick uni solar modules were kindof alot of wiring, especially before connectors came on them.

Still, its hard to beat the aesthetic and durability of stick on solar between standing seams of metal roofing if you must have solar equipment that looks like a roof...
unless you need max power density, possible relocation or want max lifespan and or simply prefer a rigid module. I fly mine pitched and ugly!
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6028
Location: Left Coast Canada
750
books chicken tiny house
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What I would love to see are metal roofs that are also solar panels.

Metal roofs are all the rage in my neighbourhood with about half the houses and barns now having metal roofs.  This number goes up as about 2 out of every 3 new roofs are metal.  That's their plan for this barn, put a metal roof on it because it's good for harvesting the water and summer dew, doesn't need much maintenance and lasts a long time.  It seems perfect for our weather.  Put a steep enough pitch and the snow slides right off it on those years when we do have snow (every 7th year or thereabouts). 

So we put the roof on it and then we put the solar panels on it. 

It would be so much nicer if the roof was the solar panels. 

Metal roofs come in big sections.  Would making these sections solar reduce a lot of the problems that come with Tesla's tiles?
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3478
Location: Anjou ,France
163
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In short Yes

David
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6028
Location: Left Coast Canada
750
books chicken tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David Livingston wrote:In short Yes

David


Do they exist yet?
 
frank li
Posts: 193
Location: Michigan
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is an interesting link. There is a cool metal roof detail with pv between standing seams and thermal hydronic tubes underneath!

http://www.metalroofing.systems/solar-pv-metal-roofing-guide/

There are metal roofing companies that apply amorphous pv modules to standing seam roofing panels, in effect rpv that is the roof.

Uni-Solar was great, you can still get them. I think lightway solar makes imports now.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6028
Location: Left Coast Canada
750
books chicken tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Apparently they are starting taking orders today

Here's the order page.  It has several different countries including Canada. 

I can't figure out the pricing.

I'm still very interested in this as we will need a new roof on our house in about 10 years and at that time we want to go semi to completely off grid. 10 years ought to be long enough to see if this system works or not.

I'm also still thinking about the barn and how we can make it as our practice off-grid structure (if the barn ever happens).  What we can learn from the barn, we can apply to the house when it's time to renovate it.
 
Phil Gardener
Posts: 14
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does it seem strange that Tesla's on-line estimator does not ask the orientation or pitch of the roof?
 
frank li
Posts: 193
Location: Michigan
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No suprise. They just want to cover your roof with product. Shingles are about tacky in my opinion anyway, now walls sided in that stone looking tuscan....

If you go through the motions with them and show them some money or credit, i would hope they will do some sizing and design. They did say 'based on roof area' .

I remain sceptical that this will be affordable for most. It is high end architectural....

The system system is probably riddled with all kinds code to make it unusable under certain circumstances and non repairable/installable by anyone other than their techs or computer server. Prety "smart"
 
Ogden Sawyer
Posts: 2
Location: Boston Area
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is what Tesla tries to do, though.  They produce a vanity project for a high price and proof-of-concept and then they leverage that experience to produce more economically feasible versions.  Once the Model 3 comes out we will have some idea if the concept can work.

As far as roof penetrations go, I assumed that each tile would lock into another creating the circuit in the tiles themselves, minimizing the need for roof penetrations, and that tiles would then be connected to sensors, or the circuit would have diagnostic software, that could tell where in that circuit had problems.  Is that not the way that they work?  I guess we don't know yet.
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1659
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
54
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here in the UK we have pretty strict conservation laws that prohibit putting standard solar panels on many roofs. The slate shingles might be a viable work around for it.  I don't think anyone claims they will be cheaper or easier than great big solar units mounted on the roof; they just have better aesthetics, for where that is the deciding factor.
 
K Putnam
pollinator
Posts: 245
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tesla announced this week that the shingles will have a warranty for...infinity...basically, as long as your house is upright.  That, of course, assumes Tesla will be a going concern, but that's true for anyone issuing a warranty.  I'm looking at building in 3-5 years.  By then, we should have a good sense of how well they are working.  I will seriously consider them.  I want to know how they handle serious, ongoing rain as a functional roof. 

 
Bob McDaniel
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
These solar roofs aren't cheaper than regular roofs, according to RoofingCalc.com these roofs can easily cost well over $50,000 here is the article explaining Tesla solar roof pricing from the horse's mouth: https://www.roofingcalc.com/tesla-releases-price-new-solar-roof/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!