Elon Musk is well known for his work with electric vehicles, pioneering the first, truly practical and highly sought after electric car. Now he wants to take his sustainable efforts to new heights with the development of solar roof tiles. It may sound like a common idea, solar panels on a roof, but it goes far beyond conventional solar installations. Tesla recently acquired SolarCity and plans to revolutionize the way individuals and businesses look at personal solar power production and storage.
Musk wants to do for the solar panel what he has already done for the electric car, create a reliable, high performance and appealing product. Private solar panels, whether they’re on a factory roof or a home, stand out like a sore thumb. Instead SolarCity is taking a different approach, developing a shingle that would be nearly indiscernible from a regular roof shingle. A huge incentive for many businesses and individuals interested in personal solar power but were turned off by the idea of having large solar panels slapped on to the top of their roof.
Tesla is also manufacturing the Powerwall 2, their new industrial battery that is capable of powering an entire 4 bedroom home for an entire day. Pairing up the new Powerwall with the solar roof can have a monumental impact on energy spending for businesses and individuals. In the reveal of the solar roof, Musk explained that combining a solar roof with a Powerwall 2 has the potential to power a 4 bedroom home, indefinitely.
Costing around $5,500 per Powerwall 2, for a manufacturer looking to curb their energy spending, the ROI could be well worth the initial expense. For manufacturing operations that run their facility 24 hours a day, more Powerwalls will be needed to store enough energy to hold them over throughout the night shifts. Smaller operations that only operate during daylight hours have the potential to immediately start benefiting from only one or two Powerwall 2’s coupled with a solar roof.
Manufacturers looking for a way to help reduce their energy costs and create a more sustainable business, the solar roof could be an incredible breakthrough for their company. Having the ability to turn often unused space, the roof, into a power plant can pay off in a big way. Furthermore, the solar roof working in conjunction with a Powerwall has the potential to power a facility or home even when the sun sets. Incredibly advanced, the Powerwall can store an impressive amount of energy and output enough to work lights, socket and other electrical appliances at night.
The manufacturing industry is constantly looking for new ways to improve their sustainability and cut down on energy costs. Tesla’s solar roof and Powerwall have the potential to help them on this journey. Elon Musk is known as an innovator, but it continues to impress the world when a new, relatively simple idea can be become a reality so quickly. No word yet on when the solar roof will be available for sale but pre-orders are already being accepted. Only time will tell how successful the technology will actually be, but it’ll be exciting to watch it happen. Be sure to check back at Manufacturing Talk Radio soon for the latest developments throughout the manufacturing industry.