Groundbreaking Solar Roof Panels

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Photo courtesy Tesla
Tesla's solar roof tiles are expected to last two to three times longer than asphalt roof tiles.

Instead of mounting large, expensive solar panels on your roof, what if your entire roof itself could generate solar energy for your home? That possibility will soon be a reality for homeowners thanks to the new cutting-edge solar roof panels designed by Tesla and SolarCity.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk first introduced the roof panels during an outdoor presentation, surrounded on all sides by solar-roofed homes, in October 2016. In his announcement, he made clear that he wanted the solar roofing to outperform traditional roofing across the board, including in durability, performance, sustainability, aesthetics, and cost.

The solar roofing tiles have better insulating qualities than typical roofs and, because they’re made of tough quartz glass, are expected to last at least two to three times longer than asphalt roof tiles. The tiles are transparent to the sun, but look opaque to the eye.

While Musk hasn’t quoted an exact cost for the solar tiles, he said that roofing your home in solar roof panels, combined with the roof’s energy cost savings, will cost a homeowner less than roofing it with standard asphalt shingles. Plus, unlike most roofs today, these sun-soaking panels will continue to pay back financially for years to come.

The tiles work in combination with Tesla’s battery pack, called the “Powerwall 2,” which stores the solar energy produced when the sun is shining to make it available the rest of the time.

These solar roof panels look beautiful on homes — even nicer than traditional shingles, many might argue. The roof panels are expected to be available by summer 2017, and Tesla says the company plans to expand colors and options over time. To learn more, stay up to date, and watch the video of Musk announcing this technology, go to