Tesla Solar Roof – Changing the Face of Solar

There can be no doubt that Tesla has greatly influenced the way people use solar power today. Their innovations in terms of energy storage via their lithium battery designs alone have done wonders for the solar power community. But evolution is part of human nature, meaning they’ve taken things a step further. What you think was great before, has become even better. Introducing the Tesla Solar Roof – the new face of solar power?

tesla solar roof

The Significant Difference

Before getting into more details about the Tesla Solar Roof, along with the pros and cons, let’s take a look at how it’s changing the overall solar power appearance. Firstly, just about everybody who knows about solar power associate it with evident panels installed on the roof. Naturally, the designs have improved over the years, making them much less obtrusive and more efficient. But nobody really anticipated that Elon Musk’s next big surprise for a renewable energy future would entail removing the roof of a house, literally.

The design for the Tesla Solar Roof looks exactly like typical roof shingles. In fact, when installed you won’t even be able to tell the difference (as you can see from the above picture). They were specifically designed to blend with the natural appearance of your house, except with more benefits. Currently, there are three different shingles to choose from, and another one will be joining the catalogue in 2018. The shingle designs are textured, smooth and slate, with the Tuscan following next year.

Taking into account the completely natural way the Tesla Solar Roof presents itself, it makes you wonder what solar power is going to look like in the near future?

The Pros and Cons of the Tesla Solar Roof

Let’s start with what’s great about it, namely the fact that it will provide you with renewable energy for the next 30 years. According to Tesla, the shingles will stay intact and collect sun rays until the house comes down, making it one of the best investments for homeowners. They even offer what they call the infinity guarantee based on their confidence in durability. The shingles are also three times stronger than typical shingles, which makes sense given their life-expectancy.

Another great thing is the integrated lithium Powerwall battery, which stores the energy collected throughout the day, and makes it available for use whenever you need it. How independent the roof will make you from the grid depends on how much energy you require. But it’s clear that you can reduce your grid-powered energy use with a substantial amount just by getting the roof installed.

On the realistic side, installing the Tesla Power Roof is going to cost a pretty penny, making it a very big initial investment. Even though financing is provided, it’s not going to be a readily available option for everyone just yet. However, it’s the type of investment that can bring in some big returns.

Solar Roof Vs Solar Panel Comparison

Here’s a quick comparison between the Tesla Solar Roof and conventional solar panels.

Lifespan for Tesla: Infinity or until the house comes down.
Lifespan for Panel: Between 10 to 20 years depending on developer, although they can last longer.

Aesthetics for Tesla: Completely natural and unobtrusive.
Aesthetics for Panels: Older designs don’t present very well, while modern designs are less obtrusive.

Durability for Tesla: Uses tempered glass that is three times stronger than a typical roof tile.
Durability for Panel: Even though panels are very durable, they can’t take the same punch as a solar roof.

In terms of efficiency, they seem to be using a top cell design from Panasonic, which is about 19.5% efficient. This is one of the highest efficiency ratings for cells in the field, while cells created in the lab can reach up to 23% efficiency. Assuming the special layers of the roof to make it look natural take only a fraction away, it will still easily compete with conventional panels.

low pressure geysers

Are Low Pressure Geysers the Right Choice for You?

South Africans have a choice regarding the way they use solar. You can choose to go with a complete, off the grid system. Or you can start small with something like low pressure geysers. Whatever your reason for going solar might be, you can be sure it’s a good one. Not only are you curbing your carbon footprint, you’ll be getting free electricity for years to come.

Low pressure geysers are basic and safe.

There are several reasons why a low pressure geyser is going to be the perfect choice, and this is what this article is going look at. We’ll be focusing on the basic way the geyser functions, and why it might be the solution for you.

The Basic Setup of Low Pressure Geysers

It doesn’t really get more basic than this, because there are no pumps involved, no electricity, and virtually no maintenance. However, you need to be satisfied with a combined unit. In other words, the solar collector and geyser are closely connected.

low pressure geysers

In the picture above you’re seeing the evacuated tube collector, which is a popular choice for a low pressure geyser. But if you prefer panels, those are available too. With a combined setup like this it means the position of the geyser has to move. This is because the circulation process relies on a natural cycle. Thanks to gravity, cold water goes down to the collector while the hot water moves up.

People Who Will Appreciate A Low Pressure Geyser

The first benefit that jumps to mind is the affordability. Given that this particular geyser is so cost effective, it’s a logical economic choice if you have a tight budget. For the second benefit we’ll refer back to the basic design. No pumps or other moving parts are necessary, which means you have less to worry about. In fact, you’re looking at a cut in costs for installation as well, seeing as the complications are minimal.

Last but not least, this is a very light unit that won’t put too much pressure on the roof. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space. In terms of presentation, it’s not the most attractive solar geyser on the market, but that’s the great thing about solar power. You get to choose other systems.

People Who Won’t Like It

The only real disadvantage you might have with a low pressure geyser is the combined unit situation. If you want the geyser to be separated from the collector and be less intrusive visually, you’ll need to look into other systems that involve pumps.

To Sum Up

Low pressure geysers are lightweight, affordable and basic way of reducing the electric bill. Even though it doesn’t look very fancy or sophisticated, it beats the hell out of paying Eskom such outrageous prices. But the great thing is that you have a variety of choices. If the low pressure system isn’t for you, then look into the high pressure and pump options. But if your budget is stricter than you want it to be, then you can’t go wrong with this solar geyser.