Energy

Tesla quietly reveals unassuming new solar panels

Tesla quietly reveals unassumi...
Tesla has unveiled new solar panels designed to blend into a roof
Tesla has unveiled new solar panels designed to blend into a roof
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Tesla's new solar panels are made for existing roofs and can integrate easily with the company's home battery, the Powerwall
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Tesla's new solar panels are made for existing roofs and can integrate easily with the company's home battery, the Powerwall
Tesla has unveiled new solar panels designed to blend into a roof
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Tesla has unveiled new solar panels designed to blend into a roof

Useful as they are, most rooftop solar panels aren't exactly subtle. A few months ago, Tesla unveiled a solar system that was built right into the roof tiles themselves, but if you're not looking to retile your entire roof, the company is now offering an after-market solar system. The announcement was quietly made this weekend when Tesla updated its website – a fitting reveal, since the new solar panels are designed to blend into an existing roof without causing a fuss.

While the energy-capturing tiles look like a great option for people building a new house, they don't really serve people who don't want to rip up their existing roof. Those customers could shop elsewhere, of course, but Tesla's new system is designed to integrate easily into the company's home battery, the Powerwall, and be particularly modest-looking in the process.

Tesla's new solar panels are made for existing roofs and can integrate easily with the company's home battery, the Powerwall
Tesla's new solar panels are made for existing roofs and can integrate easily with the company's home battery, the Powerwall

That modesty comes by tucking away the mounting hardware out of sight, and capping it off with an integrated front skirt – techniques that were apparently brought in when Tesla acquired SolarCity late last year. The energy gathered by the panels will be stored in the Powerwall, allowing it to be tapped into whenever needed, including when the main grid is experiencing outages.

Electrek reports that the new solar panels are being manufactured by Panasonic at Tesla's Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York, as part of an agreement that was reached between the two companies back in October.

While there's no official word on when the panels will be available, production is set to begin this summer (Northern Hemisphere), and Tesla is currently taking requests for quotes on its website.

Source: Tesla via Electrek

13 comments
Daishi
An interesting point I saw in the Electrk article is that the cells produced at the buffalo factory are going to be Panasonic (and not Silevo). SolarCity will eventually standardize on Panasonic for all installs. I missed the news about the switch and there was some confusion if Panasonic panels would be made along side Silevo panels at the same factory but it seems like after a $256 million investment into the project Panasonic will be the exclusive panel technology produced at the factory but it may borrow some tech from Silevo in the new panels.
myale
Will not restricting air flow under the panels with the skirt trap hot air under the panels - and the hotter the panels the lower the efficiency?
Wolf0579
I could give a rats rear about how they look. Higher power output is my concern.
ezeflyer
A billionaire that cares about restoring our deteriorating environment is a true rarity. Thank you Elon Musk
Grunchy
The irony is Tesla was the AC man and Edison was the DC man. And here everything with Tesla on it is all DC devices. Oh, well.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Grid storage can move forward economically and we see some. Battery isn't there yet. I was holding out for Dow Powerhouse shingles, as they also serve as a roof. They essentially create a black roof, which has about twice the thermal gradient of a white roof. The PV efficiency also goes down. Also, the bottom of the roof sheathing wasn't accessible.
Derek Howe
They look nicer then other panels...but that means nothing without the price tag. ezeflyer - A lot of Billionaires put money towards the Earth being...better. Because when you have billions, you can do nearly anything.
Jonathan Cole
This is a bad idea along with Tesla's other idea for solar tiles. Only people who have no understanding of solar would suggest such solutions. Solar cells must be cooled by having the heat that builds up underneath the panels be removed by convection. Blocking the removal of heat makes solar panels much less efficient and more prone to failure. Of course underneath solar tiles, there is no opportunity for cooling unless some other technology is employed that would add tremendous expense. Plus tiles would have many more interconnection points which are not only more likely to fail, but are also going to be difficult to track down when they do fail. I am kind of surprised that Tesla does not have better solar engineers working for him.
noteugene
Some of you guy's are just assuming there's a heat build up under these panels, making them less efficient - you don't know. One guy on here said he couldn't give a rat's ass about appearance. I've been saying for years that a major flaw in selling panels was because aesthestics were being overlooked...that the only thing the engineers were concentrating on was efficiency. Who knows, maybe someone read one of my post. Maybe most guys don't care about appearances - but women do. Most guys would play hell spending a few thousand if the wife was against it. Since this article says nothing about efficiency, can't say if I'd purchase them or not but at least they are on the right track. Personally - I'm more inclined to purchase something that adds to the curb appeal of my home creating more value. I could tolerate a slight loss in efficiency.
Don Duncan
Why a grid tie at all? Or is that required to get the subsidy? I will buy when the subsidy is no longer necessary because it is financially viable, competitive. I am a voluntarist/capitalist.