Elon Musk's Big News and Our Takeaways - EmPower Solar

Elon Musk’s Big News and Our Takeaways


The solar roof announced by Elon Musk is an exciting product.  Despite the litany of past failed efforts in merging two systems – roofing and photovoltaic – into one, we are hopeful that Tesla, a long term partner of ours, will be successful.

Here are some key takeaways for our clients asking about availability of the solar roof today;

  • Product is targeted for new construction buildings only
  • Product has not yet begun manufacturing; estimated availability 2nd half 2017
  • Product specifications: unknown
  • Efficiency: unknown
  • Warranty: unknown
  • Cell manufacturer: unknown
  • Product cost: unknown
  • Ways to finance or lease the roof: unknown
  • Regional or channel availability: unknown
  • Efficiency of past solar roofing products has been at only a fraction of conventional panels; meaning, you need much more roof space to be able to produce the same amount of energy.
  • Solar cell efficiency goes down with increased heat because of increased electrical resistance.  Since there will be no airflow to cool down the cells, Telsa estimates a 2% efficiency loss just due to increased heat. That means the solar roof will have a 2% reduction on whatever the same solar cell efficiency would be if placed in a panel and mounted several inches above the roof.

What we know about SunPower Panels; the best technology available today

  • SunPower panels are currently the world’s most powerful available for consumers at over 21% efficiency.
  • SunPower 360 watt panels deliver an incredible 20.5 watts per square foot.  Non-SunPower panels often have ratings in the 200’s and need more roof space to produce the same amount of power.
  • More power per square foot enables us to deliver you more power and more savings now and over time.
  • SunPower solar cells have a fundamentally different architecture, with solid copper foundation and ultra pure silicon, resulting in high performance and durability
  • SunPower has a proven track record, with over 30 years in the business
  • SunPower panels have the industry’s leading warranty
  • The entire SunPower Equinox system panel-inverter-racking system is integrated and designed to work together for the long-term
  • SunPower already works great for existing roofs AND new construction

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