What’s New on the Roof
Here at JBK Roofing, we like to keep our eyes open for advancements in roofs and roofing systems. While we’re known for our work on commercial roofs (we were recently voted Best Roofing Company of the Year by our valued customers) and we do love our cool roof installations, every once in awhile we have to tip our hats to our friends on the residential side. We recently ran across reports of an incredible innovation in solar residential roofing and we just had to take a closer look.
Why? Because it really it doesn’t get a whole lot cooler than a solar roofing panel that can withstand a hail cannonball. Take a look at innovator Elon Musk’s latest creation, the Tesla Solar Roof:
An Affordable Tesla?
The beautiful new solar tile is sleek and durable. Not only that but by most accounts, it’s more affordable than expected!
Here’s what Tesla has to say in a blog post about the cost of their new product: “Solar Roof is more affordable than conventional roofs because in most cases, it ultimately pays for itself by reducing or eliminating a home’s electricity bill. Consumer Reports estimates that a Solar Roof for an average size U.S. home would need to cost less than $24.50 per square foot to be cost competitive with a regular roof. The cost of Solar Roof is less. The typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for Solar Roof, and benefit from a beautiful new roof that also increases the value of their home.”
The Verge breaks it down even further: “A Tesla solar roof for a two-story, 2,000-square-foot home in New York state would cost around $50,000 to install after federal tax cuts, and would generate $64,000 in energy savings over 30 years, according to the company’s solar roof calculator.”
Just last month, the company completed the first installations (on Musk’s own home and on that of his chief technology officer, J.B. Straubel) of the new roof. While the visionary inventor/entrepreneur may not have the most unbiased opinion, Musk gushes, “I think this roof is going to look really knock-out as we just keep iterating.”
On August 31, The Washington Post reported that “Tesla Inc. is starting production of the cells for its solar roof tiles at its factory in Buffalo, New York.The company has already begun installing its solar roofs, which look like regular roofs but are made of glass tiles. But until now, it has been making them on a small scale near its vehicle factory in Fremont, California…The company now has several hundred workers and machinery installed in its 1.2 million-square-foot factory in Buffalo.”
“By the end of this year we will have the ramp-up of solar roof modules started in a substantial way,” Straubel told The Associated Press Thursday. “This is an interim milestone that we’re pretty proud of.”
How the Tesla Tile Works
Get this: the ambitious company hopes to reach 2 gigawatts of cell production each year. How much is a gigawatt, you ask? Straubel equates it to the annual output of a large nuclear or coal-fired power plant. That’s a lot of power.
As with any solar panel, the Tesla Solar Roof transforms sunlight into electricity. What’s super-cool about the Tesla system, however, is that it integrates with the Tesla Powerall battery so that you’re running on solar, even when you’re experiencing grid outages.
The system is composed of a combination of solar and non-solar tiles. Most homes, the company reports, will have about 40% solar tiles. Depending on the roof and the exposure, however, some, homes may have up to 70 percent solar tiles. Naturally, the more solar tiles, the more costly the installation.
If you decide to go the Tesla route, you’ll enjoy the full solar experience from tear-off to design to installation and clean-up. Installation should take around 5-7 days, in other words, about the time it takes for a traditional installation.
The Tesla Roof Specs
How’s this for a warranty? “Infinity, or the lifetime of your house, whichever comes first.” Now available in textured or smooth tiles, the company will soon be producing handsome Tuscan and slate-style tiles as well. The power and weatherization warranty is an impressive 30 years and the hail, wind, and fire ratings are the best in the industry.