In late October 2017, Tesla, an American company that specializes in electric cars, energy storage, and residential photovoltaic solar panels, introduced their latest technology: glass solar roof tiles.
The new roof tiles convert sunlight into electricity using a Powerwall battery that collects energy during the day, stores it, and makes it available at any time, essentially turning a residence into a homeowner’s personal utility that yields uninterrupted electricity during power grid outages. The tiles come in four styles: textured, smooth, Tuscan, and slate. Each are 8.65” in width x 14” in length.
Tesla offers customers the ability to tailor the production of their solar energy by using two types of glass tile: solar tile, and non-solar tile, which they say appear identical from street-level.
The tiles are constructed of tempered glass and are three-times stronger than standard roofing tiles, according to Tesla. The company conducted a hail test and the tile’s tempered glass withstood the force of two-inch hailstones traveling at 100 mph, giving it a Class 4 hail rating. The tile also earned a Class F wind rating, and a Class A fire rating. All ratings were the highest in their respective categories.
The company guarantees the tiles for the lifetime of a home. Power and weatherization warranties last for 30 years.
Another company that specializes in photovoltaic roof shingles is OK Solar. The shingles provide conventional weather protection while generating clean solar electricity to residential and commercial buildings. The surface of the shingles is textured to blend with conventional asphalt shingles. Each shingle can be nailed into place on roof decking over top 30lb. felt sheeting. Electrical lead wires extend beneath each shingle, passing through the roof deck to interior roof connections.
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