Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to the stage at Universal Studios in LA a couple weeks back, highlighting the global warming crisis along with the earth’s alarming spike in CO2 levels, and promising to make solar as sexy as his electric luxury cars. He unveiled Tesla’s latest solar roof, a new range of textured glass tiles with integrated solar cells that are unlike any conventional tiling out there. He also uncovered a sleek update to the company’s energy-storing Powerwall.
“The goal is … to make solar roofs that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation and an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity,” Musk said.
A couple hundred invited guests, mostly Tesla owners, were in awe as Musk revealed solar roofs in replace of old roofing material on houses on Wisteria Lane – the old set of Desperate Housewives. Perhaps the most surprising part was that from textured slate shingle to terra cotta tile, it was virtually impossible to tell that the roofs were styles of solar tile.
“Similar to electric cars, solar panels haven’t been particularly appealing,” Musk said. He claims he has made a French Slate solar roof that looks better than a conventional French slate roof. But it was the Tuscan Glass Tile that stole the show. The secret to the tiles’ appearance is a special coating that becomes more or less see-through depending on your viewing angle.
The biggest advantages of using glass solar panels to a conventional roof include strength and durability. Musk demonstrated this by dropping a weight on both types of tiles. “
“If you’re re-doing your roof, glass solar panels are clearly the way to go. But if you have a new roof, then you’ll need to put solar panels on that roof.”
Millions of roofs are replaced each year, so over time as people replace their roofs with solar, Musk predicts that the aesthetics in your neighborhood will get better – a process that will also benefit the planet and reduce CO2 levels. “The sun provides more than enough energy in just one hour to supply our planet’s energy needs for an entire year.” The solar roof looks better, lasts longer, costs less, and is better for the environment than a conventional roof. “Why would you buy anything else?”
The solar roof looks better, lasts longer, costs less, and is better for the environment than a conventional roof. “Why would you buy anything else?”
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