Elon Musk is attacking the question of energy storage and consumption at home, first with electric cars, then with home batteries and now the final piece of the puzzle: solar panels people will actually want to show off.
Developed in collaboration with 3M, their semi-translucent Solar Roof tiles cost less than ordinary roofs, insulate better and best of all they generate energy to charge your electric batteries (Powerwall) and automobiles (Model X). This is effectively the final piece of the ‘smart house’ puzzle, completing the circuit to facilitate the future of sustainable-energy homes.
The three-layered design features a normal solar panel at the bottom with a film on top that renders it invisible from below but operational under the sun’s rays coming from above. At the top is a tempered glass that is shatter-resistant, making it more durable than conventional clay (with a lifespan well beyond the typical 20-year roof).
Aside from these benefits, perhaps the single biggest selling point is the array of material styles: Textured Glass, Slate Glass, Tuscan Glass and Smooth Glass. It may sound superficial but looks matter — neighbors complain and residents shy away from too-overt solar tech attached to their house.
And people trust Tesla to do more than make better technology: they expect a high level of visual design as part of the package. Also, since they are all coming from the same collection of companies, one can expect superior installation and integration options tying Tesla cars, Powerwalls and Solar Tiles together. Between the tech and its brand backing, this development promises to boost solar adoption to new heights.