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Old 10 May 2017, 07:23 PM
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Default Tesla's Solar Roof Is Finally Ready For You to Buy

Not sure whether to post this here or in techno-babble. Story here.

Quote:
Tesla is opening up its online store for its solar roof tiles Wednesday, Elon Musk said in a message on Twitter. More detailsópresumably including pricingówill be disclosed shortly.
-- I'm also not sure how much difference it'll make. How many people who wouldn't buy separate roofing and solar panels will buy them rolled into one? And will the roofing and the solar production have the same lifespans, or will they both wind up becoming a waste product because one of them has failed? But it would seem that it would be cheaper to install the combination; and there may be people who really don't like the look of panels.
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Old 10 May 2017, 09:02 PM
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There is something strange about that pricing, although it could be the batteries. We didn't spend anything close to that cost for panels, even with the cost of a roof added, for a larger house. We have net metering with the power company, so we don't store power on site. Assuming the same cost as our panels and a roof, this looks like the batteries would be on the order of $40k to have enough power storage. I wonder if they have a plan for areas that have net metering and would not want to pay that kind of cost for the batteries - I know I could not have brought my wife around to that kind of money for them.
Of course, if they will replace any failing tiles for the life of your house, this could be a better deal than any roof.
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Old 10 May 2017, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
there may be people who really don't like the look of panels.
There are definitely people who don't like the look of the panels. Different circumstances mean they can be more visible on some houses than others. But if they're going to be highly visible, a lot of people don't like the look of something huge and plasticky that appears to have been tacked on to a completely different style of roof as an afterthought. And even if the homeowner doesn't mind, it doesn't mean it won't affect the resale value of their home or be rejected by an HOA.

I don't think many people are going to rush out and redo their roofs immediately, but having a product like this available means that people can start to design new homes with these in mind. They can design the exterior of their home to integrate these seamlessly into it, so they look like they belong. On a contemporary home they could potentially look nicer than boring composite.

Personally, my house is on the South side of the street, with a sharply pitched roof, so the part of the roof that gets good sun exposure is on the opposite side that you can't see from the street. So I don't really care what solar panels look like. I'd shop for panels based purely on function and value. But under different circumstances looks could be a consideration.

As of right now, electricity is just so cheap and I use natural gas appliances where I can, so it would take forever for any of this stuff to pay for itself. And I use electricity more at night so I'd need good battery capacity, which isn't cheap. I like the idea of going solar, but the technology needs to mature a bit before it's a home run looking solely at the economics. I'm pretty sure it will reach a point that I can justify doing the work within the coming decades.
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Old 10 May 2017, 09:55 PM
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Ah. They've updated the article, and it now includes pricing.

-- wow. I'd have to look up and multiply out a bit what it cost me when I had the roof done recently, as while the house is close to that size the roof wasn't all done at once; but I'll just say that the cost of 30-year roofing alone, at least in this part of NYState, is nowhere remotely near in the ballpark.

I haven't priced solar systems, though, let alone ones with batteries -- people getting solar setups in this area almost always feed the power into the regular power grid.

But, yeah, a "warranty for the lifetime of your home"? That's potentially a couple hundred years, maybe even longer; though not everything's built for that sort of lifetime. (Will Tesla even still be in business?) I suspect it's the more common "as long as the same people who bought the system are living in the house", which brings it down considerably, especially on average as many people move frequently.
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Old 10 May 2017, 10:19 PM
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I would say it is, as Errata said, aimed primarily at new home construction. Developers can include it, or add it as an option for high end and "luxury" homes. It also looks very nice. As mentioned, there are lots of people who can't or won't put conventional solar panels up due to the appearance.
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Old 10 May 2017, 10:36 PM
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If I was buying a new home, and that could be rolled up into the mortgage, I would absolutely go with those for the roof.
As for affecting the resale value, it seems that the solar panels increase the resale value by about 80% of the cost of the panels (at least, that's what it did for us and from what I can tell that is typical). I don't know what batteries would do to the resale value.
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  #7  
Old 11 May 2017, 01:30 AM
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Default Solar Roof

I have researched solar for a couple years, but the front of my house faces South, so panels would be visible. I had my roof replaced a few years ago and there was a company selling solar shingles then and they weren't too much more expensive. The extra costs comes from the power inverter, which cost more then my roof cost and it would only save me about $50 a month so the pay-off would be over 10-15 years. My new roof should be good for another 20+ years, so I guess I'll wait until then to see how it works out then.
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Old 11 May 2017, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
But, yeah, a "warranty for the lifetime of your home"? That's potentially a couple hundred years, maybe even longer; though not everything's built for that sort of lifetime. (Will Tesla even still be in business?)
That is the key question. Tesla is still a very young company and though it is worth a lot of money it actually has fairly little profit.
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Old 11 May 2017, 03:23 PM
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Thorny, you'll note that those prices are for, and compared to, prices in a specific location (New York state). The comparison shows that the roof prices they're comparing to are all high-value roofs.

I reroofed my house about 15 years ago (my goodness, really?) with aluminum shingles that have a 50 year warranty. The company that did it is still in business. Like Errata, my house faces north, but at the time I reroofed, home solar wasn't the easy thing it is now. Also, trees shade a lot of my roof.

Seaboe
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Old 11 May 2017, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Thorny, you'll note that those prices are for, and compared to, prices in a specific location (New York state).
Yes, I noted that. And I mentioned in my earlier post that my home is also in New York State.

However, "New York State" isn't really a specific location so far as prices are concerned. Prices in Westchester County and in Schuyler or Putnam or Yates may be wildly different for many things; I wouldn't be surprised if they're wildly different for roofs.

-- I'm not surprised when a company stays in business for fifteen years. For one to stay in business for a couple of hundred years, while not unheard of, is unusual. However, as I said, I wouldn't be surprised if the warranty isn't for "the lifetime of the home" but instead for 'as long as the same people own the same house'; at any rate, that's what a lot of "lifetime" warranties for other house appliances come down to.
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Old 11 May 2017, 04:28 PM
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The Tesla website has more details on the warranty.

The tile warranty covers the glass in the tile and is for "infinity or the lifetime of your house, whichever comes first".

The output capability of the tiles and weatherization warranties are for the more usual 30 years.

So the tiles are guaranteed to not break, but the roof has a standard 30 year warranty.
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Old 11 May 2017, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper of the Mad Bunnies View Post
The Tesla website has more details on the warranty.
The tile warranty covers the glass in the tile and is for "infinity or the lifetime of your house, whichever comes first".
The keyword in most such warranties is "your". They are banking on the average time a owner of a single-family home keeping the house being approximately 13 years. Once you sell it, it isn't "your" house. It is the "lifetime" of you owning it.
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Old 11 May 2017, 10:22 PM
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After some of the hail storms we had back in Dallas in the past couple of years, I'm skeptical of the tiles being able to actually survive that type of storm.
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Old 12 May 2017, 01:13 AM
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Now when will you be able to install the Tesla roof tiles on your Tesla car and charge it as you drive?

The above was meant half jokingly, but would that seriously work? Even if they didn't generate enough power to fully run the car would a car roof covered with something similar to these appreciably extend the range of an electric car?
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Old 12 May 2017, 01:50 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_vehicle
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Old 12 May 2017, 08:23 AM
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It probably would not make much difference. A house's roof is a lot bigger than a car roof, and the kind of cells you'd use for a home are probably not the top of the line efficiency of an experimental "solar car" prototype.

The Tesla Powerwalls they sell for home use are 10kWh, and you need a decent size solar array to fill them up over the day. The batteries in a Tesla Model S are 70 kWh. It takes the Model S 3-4 hours to discharge a full battery at highway speeds. So it must draw around 20 kW at highway speeds.

Consumer solar panels typically generate around 10-20 watts per square foot. If we generously estimate that the model S has 70 square feet of useful cross sectional area for panels, that'd be maybe 1kW in peak daylight. So maybe it would extend your range by around 5% or so on a sunny day, assuming it added zero weight or air resistance.

Now if you're not on a road trip, but are a more typical driver, you might go a short distance and then park it for a while, in which case it might make a bigger dent in your energy use, but probably still not fully covering unless you only drive small distances and always park outside.

But if you're one of those typical short distance drivers, rather than a road tripper, you don't care about this, because you just plug it in overnight and hardly ever require the full range. This would be useless for road trips and redundant for normal use.

In terms of saving money on daily energy, you'd definitely be better off getting solar and a battery for your home, so you can recharge it overnight using your own energy rather than paying for it from the grid. The panels on the car would be a comparatively very inefficient and costly solution for what you'd get out of it.

Last edited by Errata; 12 May 2017 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 12 May 2017, 02:08 PM
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There are (or were) solar car races in the USA and Australia, with the one in the USA running about 2,000 miles. The winner averaged about 41 miles per hour, so they didn't go very fast, but they did get powered totally by the sun. I think it was more of an attempt to see what was possible, as generally these cars are about as useful as a typical racecar for your daily commute (ie, not at all.)
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Old 12 May 2017, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
After some of the hail storms we had back in Dallas in the past couple of years, I'm skeptical of the tiles being able to actually survive that type of storm.
I wondered about that too; but they've apparently dealt with it.

Quote:
Among other tests, the company shot the tiles with a hail cannon. The video below compares Tesla’s solar tile (left) with traditional commercial slate and terracotta tiles. Each 2-inch hailstone is traveling at 110 miles per hour at the time of impact.
ETA: I didn't watch the video.
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Old 12 May 2017, 04:33 PM
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Hail can be bigger than 2". From https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news...nd-other-facts

The speed of falling hailstones depends on their size. Marble-size hail falls at around 20 mph; baseball-size hail can exceed 100 mph.
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Old 12 May 2017, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
Now when will you be able to install the Tesla roof tiles on your Tesla car and charge it as you drive?

The above was meant half jokingly, but would that seriously work? Even if they didn't generate enough power to fully run the car would a car roof covered with something similar to these appreciably extend the range of an electric car?
The Prius has been offered with solar panels twice. In 2010, you could get a Prius with solar panels on the roof, but they did not power the car at all. They powered a ventilation system.

For 2017, you can get solar panels on the roof of the Prius Prime. They will help charge the batteries. Reportedly, they can help extend the electric range by up to 10%, but it has a pretty low electric only range, so we're not talking very much.

Considering how cheap electricity is, I wonder if they would ever be able to pay for themselves, or if it would only have a hypermiler/eco-cred value.

https://electrek.co/2016/06/20/toyot...e-solar-panel/

Last edited by erwins; 12 May 2017 at 11:29 PM.
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