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Photovoltaic Glass Tiles – The Future of Solar is Here. Tesla photovoltaic tiles

Photovoltaic Glass Tiles – The Future of Solar is Here. Tesla photovoltaic tiles

    Tesla solar panels review 2023: Please hold the line

    Tesla has already changed the market of electric vehicles forever. Can they do the same with the solar industry? At the moment the only answer is “maybe”. Learn more about the photovoltaic ups and downs of Tesla Energy in our review.

    Tesla: from EVs to PVs

    Tesla, Inc. was founded in 2003 and is based in Palo Alto. Initially, it specialized in electric vehicles and its Model 3 became the world’s most popular electric car with over 1 million global sales.

    Besides EVs, Tesla offers energy storage and photovoltaics through its division Tesla Energy. In 2016 Tesla acquired SolarCity, a company that installs solar systems.

    photovoltaic, glass, tiles, future, solar, here

    While electric vehicles have been an absolute success, Tesla Energy seemingly struggles to bring its solar products and services to the same level. While there are enough positive reviews about Tesla, lots of customers found the service unsatisfactory. Tesla Roof is considered one of the company’s failures and we’ll come back to the reasons for it later.

    Tesla panels: Cheap systems, poor service

    Instead of Tesla roof, many customers choose standard solar panels for their homes. Tesla offers a single model with a few variations. Their efficiency varies from 19% to almost 20%: good but not great. Efficiency is not the most important metric to look for but it does come into play when you deal with limited space and your energy needs are high.

    The panels from Tesla usually aren’t sold at retail. Instead, Tesla calculates the cost of a full installation with an inverter and labor expenses. The cost ranges from 2 to 3 per watt with a median value being around 2.35 per watt. This is cheaper than the average price in the US but, of course, more expensive than buying panels at retail and installing them yourself.

    25-year product and output warranty

    Despite the fact that Tesla has an operational facility in Buffalo, CNBC reports that the majority of photovoltaics are made in China. The quality of the panels is fine but the installation services are hit or miss. Allegedly, some customers waited for a year before Tesla finally responded to their inquiries and started the process. The installers themselves aren’t always professional and make mistakes during installation.

    Tesla solar panels come with a 25-year warranty for materials and performance. The modules retain at least 85% of their initial power capacity for at least 25 years. A 10-year comprehensive warranty covers the entire Tesla solar system, including Powerwall batteries, solar inverter, roof mounting and leaks.

    Tesla: Pros

    What is good about Tesla Energy products? Here is what we like about them: Relatively low cost. Solar panel system from Tesla comes at 2 to 3 per watt after the installation but before incentives. That’s cheaper than what most installers in the US offer. Mobile monitoring. Tesla’s mobile app allows you to monitor your energy production and usage, giving you complete control and insight into your energy system. Lots of customers praise the design and usability of the app. Brand name. There is an appeal in using products made by Tesla as the company presents itself as one of the leaders of the green energy switch movement.

    Tesla: Cons

    What’s not so great about the Tesla Energy products? Here are the disadvantages that stand out immediately: Poor customer service. It can be hard to get a hold of Tesla customer service and installers can be unprofessional. Getting the system installed can take months in the worst-case scenario. Limited availability. In some countries and regions, Tesla’s products are unavailable. Besides, in the US the demand for them may outpace the supply. No retail. You can’t buy a single solar panel from Tesla and install it as you please. Shallow product line. There is only one solar panel that Tesla offers.

    Tesla Energy products overview: Everything for your home

    Let’s take a look at the products that Tesla Energy puts out on the market. We’ll be looking closely at Powerwall, Tesla Roof and the panels that the company offers.

    Tesla Roof — An ambitious undertaking

    The Tesla roof is the most ambitious project of Tesla Energy. The company offers to make a roof for your house made of solar shingles. The shingles would be able to power your entire home and this solution would be cheaper than getting a new roof and adding standard solar panels to it.

    The tiles that Tesla uses are 15″ × 45″ in dimensions. Each tile is rated for 72 W power output. The tiles come with a 25-year product and output warranty.

    photovoltaic, glass, tiles, future, solar, here

    Unfortunately, Tesla underestimated the complexity of its own product. While this innovation was first unveiled in 2016, Tesla was only able to start producing the Solar Roof in volume in March 2020. The installation costs rose significantly because of how difficult and long the process is: solar panels take 1-2 days to install, but a Tesla Roof requires over a week. Lots of customers that had solar shingle roof installed claim that it hasn’t worked out the way Tesla promised.

    Tesla Powerwall — Solid energy backup

    PowerWall is a lithium-ion AC battery by Tesla. It is designed to protect your home from power outages and allows you to save money during hours of peak utility rates. One PowerWall has a 14 kWh capacity. Often homeowners purchase two or three Powerwall to ensure backup for several days. The battery has 90% efficiency and comes with a 10-year warranty.

    Recently we’ve made a video on a question of Powerwall profitability. While it’s hard to make money off having a Powerwall, customers claim that the battery is high-quality and helps a lot during power outages

    Tesla solar panels — One for all

    Tesla solar panels for home provide from 420 to 430 W of power, depending on the variation. The maximum efficiency reaches 19.8%. The all-black design makes the panels look stylish on any roof. They come with a 25-year warranty for product and performance and you can expect them to retain over 85% of their output by the end of year 25.

    A1SolarStore verdict: Tesla has a long way to go

    We’ve talked about the history of Tesla Energy, looked at the products that it offers and their specifications and discussed their pros and cons. It’s time to round up our Tesla solar review and summarize the most important points about it in a list: Tesla specializes in electric vehicles but its division Tesla Energy also offers batteries, photovoltaics and installation services. Solar panels from Tesla show an efficiency from 19% to 20%, which is close to the average value on the market or slightly lower. They come at 2 to 3 per watt after installation services which is cheaper than the average in the US. The panels have 25-year warranties for product and performance. Tesla customers praise the monitoring system that the company offers. It allows you to watch the product levels of your system and manage it remotely. It can be hard to get a hold of Tesla customer service and installers can be unprofessional. Tesla Energy offers a single panel which you can’t find at retail. The products from Tesla are designed for homeowners.

    Tesla has already changed the market of electric vehicles forever. It seems like it will have more trouble with photovoltaics: there are issues that are yet to be solved. Still, they have a big name and that’s half of the success. If they fix problems with customer service and product supply, they can get on top. With that, we end our Tesla solar panels reviews 2023 and we’ll see you next time.

    Compare Tesla to other popular brands:

    Andrey had been a news editor and freelance writer for a number of medias before joining A1SolarStore team. Climate change and its impact on people’s lives has always been among his interests and it partially explains his degree in Philosophy and Ethics.

    Photovoltaic Glass Tiles – The Future of Solar is Here

    If “The Green New Deal” ever sees the light of day, solar roofs may become as popular as conventional asphalt roofing. Solar panels have long been a fixture on homes occupied by owners who are environmentally conscious of reducing fossil fuel consumption and looking to save on the high costs of electricity. Yet, solar “shingles” are relatively new. The most innovative roofing in the category of photovoltaic glass tiles is produced by Tesla. Tesla’s “Solar Roof” has a dark-colored, tempered glass finish. In October 2019, Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s revolutionary new solar roof shingles were finally ready for the mass market, but to-date market penetration has been slow as Tesla works to qualify roofing contractors and hire many of their own installers, too.

    Pricing on Tesla’s new roofing system is dependent on the contractor’s labor and materials cost, but few roofing pros have the training to install a Tesla solar roof and the product is only available in local markets in the western U.S.

    Solar Roof Shingles. Pros Cons

    • Solar shingles are the most eco-friendly roofing solution because it cuts down on hydroelectric or fossil fuel consumption to heat and cool a home and run its appliances
    • Though expensive to buy and install, over the long term producing solar energy on the roof will result in lower home energy costs for homeowners
    • Tesla photovoltaic roof tiles are sleek and attractive
    • Photovoltaic glass is actually very resilient and can withstand severe weather conditions fairly well
    • Solar shingles’ technology is new and has not been time tested. Much is yet to be learned about roof durability and performance under extreme weather conditions
    • The system is expensive. Homeowners can expect to pay at least 22 per sq. ft. or 2,200 per SQ
    • Tesla’s Solar Roof currently come in only one color – dark grey
    • Solar roofing shingles perform best in climates having clear sunny skies most of the year
    • Maintenance of a solar shingle roof is minimal but damage and replacement costs can be extremely high

    The Power of Solar in a Shingle

    From the ground, Tesla solar roof shingle look like normal opaque shingles, but from above the material appears more transparent. The transparency of Tesla’s product allows sunlight to hit the material’s integrated solar cells. Photovoltaic is the term describing the energy capturing technology in each tile. Solar energy absorbed by the high-tech roofing tiles is managed in a Tesla Powerwall – a battery backup for the home that ties into grid power for automatic power fail-over and for use when electricity cost is high.

    No other major manufacturer has a product like Telsa’s, however, GAF has a solar offering that sits flush on the roof. GAF has installed hundreds of such systems.

    It’s not surprising that Tesla’s initial installations are in drier, sunnier climes like California and the Southwest U.S.

    Present solar tiles to your clients virtually with iRoofing!

    Discerning property owners who favor finer roofing materials expect a first-rate presentation and a bit of an education about product choices. Traditional sample boards, dog-eared manufacturers’ brochures, or loose samples retrieved from the back of your roofing truck won’t cut it with customers who are prepared to pay top-dollar for a new roof.

    To help you close the sale, you can use iRoofing’s Roof Visualizer to perfectly simulate how photovoltaic tiles will look on their specific property. Even compare products or colors side-by-side with the Visualizer. Your entire sales presentation, including your company merits, team photos, process explanation, roof sketches, estimate, and closing documents can all be shared in your own highly professional, custom-branded, digital pitch book!

    Make no mistake, this is the way to sell luxury roofing! 21st Century homeowners expect thorough, immediate, and digital presentations like that which iRoofing delivers.

    Pitched Solar Roof Options — The World Beyond Tesla

    On-roof mounting systems still have the largest share in the residential solar photovoltaic market. However, for new or refurbished pitched roofs, this is not cost-effective. First of all, we need to understand that solar roof tiles are completely unnecessary with PV panels above them. Additionally, on-roof PV systems are quite often a visual torture. The reality is that some photovoltaic sellers squeeze in as much kW as they can and installers assemble those Tetris-like systems. The panels are arranged vertically and horizontally, clearly standing out from the roofing, visually resembling the block effect from a well-known computer game. We can do better than that.

    Integrated or sticked, aka in-roof vs on-roof

    On the photovoltaic market, there is now a clear increase in sales of mounting systems with an emphasis on aesthetics and integration with the roof. In addition to new solutions such as Sunroof, there is also some clear engagement of big players in the roofing industry. Both Braas and Creaton have already invested in the PV integrated systems. Recently, they were also joined by Wienerberger, who announced a financial commitment to Exasun. There are already over a dozen different PV solutions for pitched roofs on the market.

    Until recently, integrated systems were perceived as a more expensive option in the premium category. Most of them were also priced this way. There is more variety on the market today, though. Below is my overview of the mounting systems available on the European market, grouped depending on the type of PV modules they use.

    Regardless of the manufacturer, all integrated systems have one thing in common — they are mounted instead of the roofing material. The PV system installed in this way does not visually override the roof cover but replaces it where installed. And that generates some serious savings on material and transport. For example, a GSE In-Roof mounting system for installations with a capacity of 10kWp requires only 27 mounting trays weighing 2.5 kg each. Consider the labor savings for a roofer who, in the case of a traditional on-roof installation, first would have to transport and install 486 tiles with a total weight of 2062 kg (30× more!) and then install aluminum PV mounting rails above them. No question, on-roof systems have their advantages in the case of existing roofs, but they are no longer as economically viable on newly constructed or renovated roofs.


    Each segment has outstanding leaders. The most numerous groups are brands that offer dedicated PV module roof integration systems and solar roof tiles. Most of them are very similar and their solutions are quite expensive. Certainly, the most known and interesting category is the category of PV tiles. This is probably mostly the effect of Tesla’s brand name, but all solar tiles have a very attractive appearance. In this category, one of the most valuable alternatives in my opinion are the Match Tile and Slate modules.

    Solutions such as the one proposed by Dyaqua provide sensational aesthetics, because they are completely indistinguishable from similar traditional tiles. However, it is doubtful that they will be popularized with actual power of 6Wp and the price of 7€ per Wp. Buildings with a traditional appearance or monuments can probably be found where they are preferred, but rationality tells me that the use of other forms of PV will be much more profitable for our environment and the investor.

    During my career at FAKRO, a direct competitor of Velux roof Windows, I was privileged to work with the company in the process of preparing the integration of the roof window with the Stafier system. The solar tile of this brand replaces at least 6 traditional tiles — it is a significant convenience for roofers. What is worth mentioning here is the number of electrical connections on the roof. The first variants of solar tiles required that each of them was individually connected to the electrical installation. This generated a lot of work, additional costs, and a completely unnecessary risk of error. The probability of an inaccurately made MC4 connection in the case of a roof with 486 joints (tiles) instead of possibly 27 with in-roof systems is obviously higher and the service that might be needed is very difficult.

    This is probably why the trend set by Stafier and Braas seems to have also gained the recognition of Tesla, which recently published specifications for new solar tiles — this time wider, replacing a few smaller ones.

    PV Module ENCOR EC370M-6-120FB 370 Wp [1755×1038]

    Glass roofs offered by Emergo, Solrif, or Sunroof look very similar and differ from each other only in terms of assembly details. The final aesthetics is the main advantage of these systems. The possibility of using the so-called dummies for photovoltaically inactive fillings and roof flashings result in the uniform aesthetic character of the roof. These systems require the purchase of dedicated PV modules, manufactured in specific dimensions, appropriate preparation and additional protection of the roof, and specialized assembly. All of these aspects ultimately result in a high price.

    In contrast to specialized roofs based on dedicated modules, integrated systems such as GSE In-Roof offer practical and economic advantages in addition to aesthetics. Compared to a traditional PV system mounted above the roof, GSE saves 18× in the roofing material, which significantly reduces cost, labor, and the carbon footprint. Thanks to similar in-roof solutions, traditional PV modules can be installed, regardless of the manufacturer. Therefore, dedicated production lines and special deliveries are not required. A possible future maintenance or repair of the panels, like after hail damage, can be carried out without any problems or risk of non-availability of a particular module, as in the case of systems with dedicated panels.

    When it comes to the ability to generate electricity, integrated systems differ quite significantly. Some manufacturers have decided to produce dedicated modules. The colors that differ more from the typical color of silicon cells may look more appealing, but they produce less energy.

    To obtain 1 kWp installations, you need a roof with an area of:

    PV Module ENCOR EC370M-6-120FB 370 Wp [1755×1038]

    The simplest system is the one we all know. Every roofer in Europe knows how to install roof Windows. Therefore, the easiest of these are solar tile systems, Viridian and GSE in-roof. They enable relatively easy and aesthetic integration with the above-mentioned roof Windows and an assembly system which is intuitive for the roofers.

    All systems will benefit from advances in photovoltaic technology. However, only the above in-roof systems benefit from commonly used modules in the residential and solar farm markets. And this means their greater availability, economies of scale, and competition, which has an obvious impact on the favorable price of the system.

    Check out the list of pitched solar roof solutions below, mentioned in my integrated PV landscape:

    Standard PV Modules

    Systems that enable the installation of typical PV modules.

    • GSE IN-ROOF — GSE Integration
    • SOLARSTONE — Solarstone
    • BRAAS PV INDAX — Monier
    • nD-Indachsystem — Blue-energy-systems
    • IRTFS — Irfts
    • TRIROOF — Tritec
    • IntegPV — Sunintegration

    Dedicated PV Modules

    Mounting systems with modules dedicated to a given system.

    • SOLRIF — Solrif
    • EMERGO — Emergo
    • VIRIDIAN — Viridiansolar
    • EXASUN X-roof — Exasun
    • ETERNIT — Eternit
    • SUNROOF — Sunroof
    • ROBISOL — Bitile ‌
    • AERSPIRE — aerspire
    • MEGASLATE — 3s-solarplus
    • NICER — megasol

    PV Roof Tiles

    Mounting systems such as PV tile, PV slate.

    photovoltaic, glass, tiles, future, solar, here
    • STAFIER /BRAAS PREMIUM — Stafiersolar
    • SOLARSTONE — Solarstone
    • SOLINSO — Solinso
    • TESLA — Tesla Solar Roof
    • CIGS ePower tile — epowertile
    • EXASUN X-TILE — Exasun x-tile
    • MATCH Tile — Megasol match
    • SMARTROOF — Smartroof
    • SUNSTYLE —
    • Enviro UK — Enviro
    • Dyaqua — Dyaqua

    Solar Metal Roofs

    Mounting systems dedicated to integration with metal coverings.

    • LINDAB SOLAR — Lindab-solarroof
    • ROOFIT SOLAR — RoofitSolar
    • KALZIP — Kalzip
    • FLISOM — Flisom
    • HELIATEK — Heliatek

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    Why Tesla’s new solar roof tiles and home battery are such a big deal

    On October 28, Tesla unveiled its new solar roof tiles. Few of us in attendance, if any, realized the solar roofing tiles were actual functional solar panels until Elon Musk said so. Sure, it’s a neat trick, but what’s the big deal?

    Why does it matter that Tesla is making a fashion statement when the point is green power and a future where we aren’t so dependent on fossil fuels?

    I’ve heard from some people suggesting that this is nothing new, because of other similar previous projects, including Dow Chemical’s canned solar shingle project, for example. Others are wary of Tesla’s ability to sway consumers with a solar solution that sounds like it’ll still be quite expensive in terms of up-front (or, with payment plans, deferred but net) installation costs. Still others aren’t clear on Tesla’s goals with this product, or how it fits into the company’s overall strategy relative to its electric vehicles.

    Looks matter

    It’s easy to dismiss the aesthetic import of how Tesla’s tiles look, but it’s actually important, and a real consideration for homeowners looking to build new homes or revamp their existing ones. The appearance of the tiles, which come in four distinct flavors (Textured Glass, Slate Glass, Tuscan Glass and Smooth Glass) is going to be a core consideration for prospective buyers, especially those at the top end of the addressable market with the disposable income available to do everything they can to ensure their home looks as good as it possibly can.

    As with other kinds of technologies that are looking to make the leap from outlier oddity to mainstream mainstay, solar has a hurdle to leap in terms of customer perception. Existing solar designs, and even so-called attempts to make them more consistent with traditional offerings like the above-mentioned Dow Chemical project, leave a lot to be desired in terms of creating something that can be broadly described as good-looking.

    It’s like the VR headset — Oculus and Google can make claims about their use of fabric making their headsets more approachable, but both are still just options somewhere along the curve of things with niche appeal. Neither is very likely to strike a truly broad audience of users as acceptable, and neither are solar panels that don’t succeed in completely disguising themselves as such.

    Halo effects

    Tesla has been referred to as the Apple of the automotive world by more than a few analysts and members of the media, and if there’s one thing Apple does well, it’s capitalize on the so-called “halo effect.” This is the phenomenon whereby customers of one of its lines of business are likely to become customers of some of the others; iPhone buyers tend to often go on to own a Mac, for instance.

    For Tesla, this represents an opportunity to jump-start its home solar business (which it’ll take on in earnest provided its planned acquisition of SolarCity goes through) through the knock-on effects of its brisk Tesla EV sales, including the tremendous pre-order interest for the Model 3. It’s strange to think of halo effects with big-ticket items, including vehicles and home energy systems, but Tesla’s fan base shares a lot of characteristics with Apple’s, and because they’re already purchasing at the level of an entire automobile, the frame of reference for what constitutes a valid halo purchase is actually appropriate.

    Tesla, like Apple, scores well with customer satisfaction and brand commitment, and that’s something that no one trying to sell a solar home energy system at scale can match. As strange as it sounds, “buying a roof because you like your car” might be the new “buying a computer because you like your phone.”

    Benefits beyond basic solar

    Tesla’s solar tiles claim to be able to power a standard home, and provide spare power via the new Powerwall 2 battery in case of inclement weather or other outages. Musk says that the overall cost will still be less than installing a regular old roof and paying the electric company for power from conventional sources. But Musk’s claims about the new benefits of the new solutions don’t end there.

    Tesla’s tiles will actually be more resilient than traditional roofing materials, including terra-cotta, clay and slate tiles. That’s because of the toughness of the glass used in their construction, according to Musk, who demonstrated the results of heavy impact from above, using a kettlebell as you can see in the video below.

    This should make them theoretically more resistant to potential damage from elements like hail, or even debris like fallen tree branches. In fact, Musk also said at the event that the roofs should far outlast the standard 20-year life cycle common for roofing materials used today — by as much as two or even three times. Fewer roof tile replacements means more value, provided that’s not already factored into his estimates of the up-front cost.

    There’s also the possibility that the new tiles could become more efficient than existing solar panel options. Though in their current form, Musk says they achieve 98 percent of the efficiency of regular panels. He said that the company is working with 3M on coatings that could help light enter the panel and then refract within, letting it capture even more of the potential energy it carries to translate that into consumable power.

    A new kind of ecosystem

    The announcement of Tesla’s solar tiles does not guarantee a sweeping solar power revolution; far from it, since Tesla says it won’t start installing the product in any consumer homes until next year, and a lot can happen between now and then. But Musk also said with full confidence that he ultimately expects the Powerwall to outsell Tesla cars, and easily so.

    Solar roofing, Powerwall and Tesla cars taken together represent a new kind of ecosystem in consumer tech, one that carries a promise of self-sufficiency in addition to ecological benefits. Tesla has already tipped its hand with respect to how it intends to make vehicle ownership a revenue generator for its drivers, rather than a cost center. You can see how it might eventually do the same for solar power using solar tile roofs combined with Powerwalls installed in series, giving homeowners surplus power generation and storage with a few different potential options for monetizing the excess (including, say, acting as a supercharger station for other Teslas, or selling back to the grid).

    It’s tempting to look at Tesla’s unveiling last week and think that it’s more of an incremental development in the home solar industry. But it’s more likely a step toward a future where individuals have more direct control over power generation, leading to a big difference in how we think about renewable energy.

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