Another Tesla Solar Roof Tile customer (Blu_Beauties on Instagram and YouTube) has taken to the interwebs to show off his new system, and it gives us a view of what an installed retrofit system looks like. To date, installations of the sexy new Tesla Solar Roof Tiles have only trickled out, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the Model Y unveiling last week that, “this is definitely going to be the year of the Solar Roof and Powerwall.”
This particular customer was able to cram an 18.5kW Solar Roof Tile system onto his roof, which he will use to power his Tesla Model X P100D and his home. Excess daytime solar generation will be stored on site in his cluster of three Tesla Powerwall 2s, with a storage capacity of 13.5kWh each. The Powerwalls will then be able to provide backup power in the event of a grid outage as well as providing nighttime power to his home after the sun goes to sleep.
The new customer video highlights a retrofit install, where the existing roof is removed and a new Tesla Solar Roof Tile roof is installed in its place. The installation of a solar roof tile roof is more complex than a traditional roof, with the Solar Roof Tiles arriving on site in blocks of 8 or 12 tiles that are then physically installed on the roof and wired up in succession.
Being made from glass, the solar roof tiles definitely aren’t your average roof covering. They aim to make use of the existing expense and effort to install a traditional roof to lower the cost of going solar. Installing a solar roof tile roof also eliminates the need to create new holes in an existing roof to mount traditional solar panels to the roof, which can be the cause for roof leaks years after the installation of the solar system.
I have been working with Tesla for a few months now to see if we can squeeze our home rebuild into the Tesla Solar Roof Tile program. We are rebuilding our home from the ground up after losing it in the Thomas Fire in December of 2017 and Tesla has not officially opened up Solar Roof Tile installations to new construction, which has been the only sticking point, but I’m not giving up yet.
I was initially skeptical of the return on investment, but after getting a few real quotes for normal roof installations from contractors and adding traditional solar onto the price, Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles turned out to be fairly competitive. Either way, keep your eyes peeled for more scoops on Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles and what should be an exciting year for Solar at Tesla.