Elon Musk Powerall 2 Solar roofs

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Elon Musk of Tesla is not just content with selling hybrid cars, now he wants to be in charge of the homes you are building for yourself and your family. For now he is concentrating on the roof of the house and how it can be utilized to provide free, renewable energy for your household.

Elon Musk Powerall 2 Solar roofs
A Powerwall 2 prototype house

The solution for him is to make the entire roofing sheets of houses solar panels to collect the energy from the sun which would be converted down the line into electric energy for use by the house.

Mounting solar panels on the roof of houses is not revolutionary by a long shot. Matter of fact, anybody with a bit of pair cash can afford the rig even in third world countries. So what is Elon Musk selling that is different from what we already know?

For one, the solar panels would not be different from the roof of the house. The roof is the solar panel. And secondly, if you buy into the system, it would come packaged with batteries that were developed from years of research by Tesla’s team.

You’d expect the batteries to be among the best of course. The batteries would come from he same technology that are powering Tesla’s cars.

The batteries, solar roof and other accessories are collectively known as Powerwall 2.

Elon Musk Powerall 2 Splar roofs
Design of Powerwall 2 roofing sheets

Elon Musk presented the idea of Powerwall 2 in an elaborate press conference in Los Angeles over the weekend. The system is not for new homes alone. Those with the money and a house, can also replace the whole of the roof of their homes with the system.

The net effect of these is that you can now cut yourself off from the public grid and be your own power supplier. And according to Musk, the batteries are so good you don’t have to replace them for ten years.

For those versed in economics, you can do the calculations for this. Ten years of uninterrupted and unlimited power supply vs monthly energy bills.

And how much would it cost to install this in a home? A whooping $5,500. Now, I am sitting down here and doing some fast conversion to the local currency. That amount is almost half the cost of building a 4 bedroom apartment. So it still boils down to if one can afford almost 50‰ of the cost of building a house to get the system.

If you can afford it and you live in a place where there is sunshine everyday all year round, it might be a 10 year investment that is worth it.

Elon Musk Powerall 2 Splar roofs
A Powerwall 2 house in an LA film studio

Elon Musk wasn’t playing around when he announced Powerwall 2. For those who attended the press conference, they were shown a prototype of the houses complete with the solar roofs live.

The the houses were built in a Hollywood studio. As a matter of fact, the set used to built the homes used to be the set where the popular series, Desperate Housewives was produced.

The presentation showcased four different kinds of roofing sheets. These roofs made of textured come in textured tile, slate tile, Tuscan tile, smooth tile. Though made of glass, these roofing sheets are as tough or in some cases stronger and more durable than normal roofing sheets.

You’d expect them to say that as a sales pitch I guess.

From the ground, the roof look like any other fancy roofs you would see in your neighborhood, but the rays of the sun pass through them with any hindrance at all ensuring that all available solar energy are captured during the day.

Elon Musk Powerall 2 Solar roofs
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and the face of Powerwall 2

Elon Musk is undertaking this project with SolarCity, the company he intends to buy soon if everything goes according to plan.

Down the line, if the world adopt this new roofing sheets, the price of the roofing sheets and battery packs would definitely go down as increased demand would make the profit margin to  accommodate lower prices.

Besides, technology being technology, cheaper and better ways of making the materials would surely bring down the prices.

Elon Musk could just be saving middle income earners in third world countries from the tyranny of public power companies.


image credit: theodysseyonline;com; tesla.com