If you haven’t heard by now Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, has merged with Solar City and is developing an integrated solar glass shingle, the Tesla solar tile which will be the roof of the future. Musk recently announced the highly anticipated Tesla roofing product to be launched in October of this year.
Photovoltaics (PV) is the field of semiconductor technology involving the direct conversion of electromagnetic radiation as sunlight into electricity. BIPV, Building Integrated Photovoltaics is the future that will change Tesla Motors into Tesla Energy. Even before the Tesla merger, BIPV has been gathering attention as part of solar’s expansion into markets such as sustainable roofing design and green building. BIPV replaces materials used in the construction of the building envelope with photovoltaic materials. This is in contrast to the traditional use of rooftop solar panels. BIPV will integrate the installation of energy gathering devices as part of the construction process rather than a separate post-construction addition. With BIPV, solar becomes an efficient building material rather than a luxury add-on.
Tesla’s new roofing tiles will actually make your home look better rather than having the old style solar appendage bolted to your existing roof. The Tesla tiles are seamlessly integrated and are extremely durable, supposedly an unbreakable glass product. It is made of quartz and after being tested against three common roofing products, shingles, slate and tiles, it was the only roofing product that didn’t break.
The new roof will be offered in four model designs: Tuscan glass tile, slate glass tile, textured glass tile and smooth glass tile. To date no pricing information is available from Tesla, but most likely this product may only be an affordable option to the top 5% of prospective homeowner’s.
Just think, in the immediate future many homeowner’s will be able to seamlessly plug their Tesla or Volt into batteries that have been charged by the rays of the sun.