SolarCity (ahem, Tesla) Unveils New Rooftop Solar Panel System

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SolarCity will offer its pioneering SolarRoof system later this year. But it is not ignoring conventional rooftop solar panel system customers. Not everyone may want to completely remove a home’s existing roof to install a SolarRoof, but many are put off by the changes in appearance a conventional rooftop solar system causes. SolarCity (now part of Tesla) is keenly aware that appearance matters to homeowners, so it is introducing a newly redesigned rooftop solar system that goes over an existing roof without ruining how a home looks.

rooftop solarThe new product will use Panasonic solar panels produced at “Gigafactory 2” near Buffalo, New York. It features an integrated front skirt and a mounting system with hidden clamps and rail ends. It also has a redesigned plumbing vent system. Taken together, the changes make a rooftop solar system from SolarCity an attractive addition to a home or business instead of an eyesore. Production of the new Panasonic solar panels is expected to begin soon.

Appearance was also a key consideration for the new Tesla SolarRoof. It offers customers four different styles of glass shingles embedded with solar cells. One looks like normal asphalt shingles, another like slate, yet another as wood shakes, and a fourth as the clay roof tiles popular in parts of the world where strong exposure to the sun is customary, like Southern California and Arizona.

Elon Musk insists the SolarRoof will cost no more than a conventional roof, and that’s not even counting the savings that will come from generating electricity. Add a Tesla Powerwall residential storage battery and the savings mount even higher. The SolarRoof can charge the Powerwall during the day while the sun is shining and then use that stored power to meet the electrical needs of a home or business at night. In areas where customers are charged more for electricity when demand is highest, the lower cost of locally produced electricity can add up quickly.

The same is true of a conventional rooftop solar system. With the new SolarCity mounting system, the only difference is the more attractive appearance. The savings are the same as before.

Source and photo credit: Tesla

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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