Elon Musk unveils integrated solar roof
Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk has unveiled an integrated photovoltaic roofing tile that he says would allow a house to generate its own power without solar arrays bolted on.
A joint venture between Tesla and SolarCity, in which the billionaire entrepreneur is the biggest shareholder, the Solar Roof tile consists of a tempered glass panel, a “high-efficiency” solar cell, and a coloured louver film.
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The tiles come in four styles, including ones that mimic Tuscan clay and slate, and are tough enough to withstand a dropped one-pound steel ball.
“This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof,” Musk said to an audience while unveiling Solar Roofs installed on film-set houses at Universal Studios in Los Angeles on 28 October.
“The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated,” he added. (Watch a video of the unveiling here.)
Powerwall is Tesla Motor’s wall-mounted home battery.
With Solar Roof, the Tesla/SolarCity venture is hoping to succeed where others have failed.
In July this year Dow Chemical stopped making its solar roof tile, called Powerhouse, four years after starting production at a factory in Midland, Michigan.
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