First close look at Tesla solar roof tiles
Tesla is slowly ramping up its solar roof tile installations, and we’ve seen some end products from customer installations in the past few months, but never a close look at the actual tiles and their interconnection system – until now.
Following the unveiling of the solar tiles, CEO Elon Musk said that the connectors’ ruggedness required “a shocking amount of technology”:
“This is a connector that has to last over 30 years. It has to be weatherproof, heavy rain, snow, mud, salt, water leakage – it’s like plug hell. “
Tesla CTO JB Straubel then added that the automaker managed to leverage its experience in making connectors for electric vehicles:
“The Tesla team learned a lot of the challenges here from validating automotive connectors and mass production processes. Tesla builds all of these tiles in-house – we don’t outsource them. We’ve been able to solve these more complex design problems and get the price points you see. “
We never really looked closely at these connections or the back of the tiles in general, but a Tesla Energy installer rarely looked closely at the tiles on Instagram (hat tip on Broke3):
It looks like Tesla’s “textured” solar tiles and, interestingly, we can see the difference between Tesla’s solar and non-solar tiles.
The first one doesn’t seem to have a solar cell or connector, which leads me to believe it’s one of Tesla’s non-solar tiles.
But we see the type of fastening system to connect the tiles together:
As for the other tile under the first, we see the connector that seems to connect the solar cells between the tiles:
As we previously reported, Tesla says that “the typical homeowner with a mix of regular brick and solar tile can expect to pay $ 21.85 per square foot for a solar roof.”
It’s a pretty expensive product, but it comes with a lifetime home warranty and a 30-year power generation guarantee. Tesla estimates that after producing electricity, its solar roof will be cheaper than a similar type of non-solar tile roof, or it will practically pay for itself through electricity savings.
Tesla claims they can guarantee the product based on a new glass they developed for the tiles that is supposedly much more durable than any previous roofing product.
From the little information and pictures we have so far, it looks like a pretty well built product, but I look forward to seeing owner reviews for the next several years.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
Tesla solar roof products are interesting for homeowners who want solar power and need a new roof relatively soon, but regular installation of solar panels is still a good solution for people who don’t need a new roof. Solar and energy storage prices depend heavily on your market (electricity costs, government incentives, etc.) and your property. We encourage you to seek quotes from more than one installer to ensure you are getting the best power solution for your location. UnderstandSolar is a great free service that connects you with top notch solar installers in your area for free personalized solar estimates.
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