New Integrated Solar Roof and Energy Storage System


It’s a product combo whose time has come: a new, aesthetically pleasing solar panel design teamed with a highly efficient electric storage system. The integrated Tesla/SolarCity solar roof does away with traditional solar panels. Instead, property owners get an attractive roof that’s both functional and efficient in collecting sunlight. This is supplemented by an energy storage system that also combines performance and aesthetics. The new combo system meets the needs of property owners looking to break free from costly unsustainable utility supplied electricity.

Need a New Roof? Replace it with Solar Shingles

The solar roof was designed to address the needs of homeowners who may be reluctant to add solar panels because they need a new roof first.  Or perhaps their roof needs repair, and adding solar panels would first require expensive repairs. These are understandable cost restraints that have kept and continue to keep property owners from going solar.

The solution? Offer a roof with photovoltaic cells embedded directly into traditional roofing tiles. And supplement that with a cleanly designed wall-mounted storage system. This takes the sting out of adding solar. Homes and buildings equipped with Tesla/SolarCity solar roofs will have both curb appeal and high efficiency solar collecting power. The new roofs are constructed of strong tempered glass tiles that can withstand nearly three times the force of standard roofing tiles. Buyers get a choice of Tuscan semi-barrel, smooth, textured or slate designs. The specially designed glass sandwich tiles produce more electricity even at higher temperatures. The bottom line is that these new glass-solar roofs last longer have better insulating qualities, and actually cost less than an ordinary shingle roof.

Efficient Storage in the Garage

 On cloudy days, during rain or snow, or at night, solar systems capture little if any of the sun’s energy. To make up of this deficit, the Tesla/SolarCity’s system draws on Tesla’s Powerwall 2 for residential applications and Powerpack for commercial installations. Both are designed to work with the solar roof system.

Powerwall 2 provides 13.5 kWh of usable capacity. It can be wall mounted or floor mounted, and as many as nine units can be stacked up to power increasingly larger homes. These units come with a water-resistant and dustproof enclosure for installation inside or outdoors. Powerwalls allow for the easy monitoring of solar energy in real-time and they even provide alerts when preparing for cloudy or severe weather. An internal inverter converts DC to the AC electricity. A liquid thermal control system regulates the unit’s internal temperature to ensure the battery’s performance in any climate.

Every Powerpack contains 16 individual battery pods. Each pod is fully supported by a separate DC-DC converter. The design architecture of these pods and the built-in power electronics ensure the performance across the array and allow for quick swap outs to keep things running smoothly. Powerpack makes it possible to shift energy consumption from one time to another to save money on electricity prices.

 A Marriage Made in Heaven

Tesla and SolarCity make an ideal partnership arrangement. Both share the goal of the huge potential inherent in solar-based sustainable energy. Powerwall’s various options and SolarCity’s breakthrough solar shingles are about as symbiotic as you can get. It’s surprising that they haven’t teamed up earlier to more fully leverage their respective and mutually beneficial technologies. The new Tesla/SolarCity combo system also comes with a Tesla car charger, giving eco-conscious homeowners sustainability options that go beyond the home.

So the next new home you buy may already be solar powered and you may not even see it. Solar power will eventually become part of our architecture, functionally efficient, yet invisible to the eye.

Posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016