Tesla announced its new solar roof tiles Sunday, without much fanfare. Unlike the solar roof tiles it unveiled in October, the new solar roof tiles will fit on your existing roof.
“Our solar panels blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware. The result is a clean, streamlined look,” the company said on its website.
The new solar roof tiles are based on a system developed by Zep Solar, a mounting equipment company acquired by SolarCity before the latter was acquired by Tesla. The system reportedly enables faster installation, lower cost and also makes solar panels look sleeker. Zep Solar’s co-founder Daniel Flanigan is now the senior director of solar systems product design at Tesla.
Tesla calls the Panasonic-made roof tiles’ design “sleek and low-profile.” The new design will also help the company expand the market for its solar roof panels — previously homeowners had to rip their existing roofs to fit the solar roof tiles, which was expensive and inconvenient, but now they will be able to fit the tiles on their existing roof with minimal adjustment, according to the company.
Tesla told Electrek on Sunday that the production of the new panels will start at the company’s Gigafactory 2 by summer and they will be used for all new residential projects undertaken by the company going forward.
While the company hasn’t revealed too many details about the internal parts of the new solar roof tiles on its website, Electrek reported that the new modules will be 325-watt panels.
Tesla claims on its website that the panels will “exceed industry standards for durability and lifespan.” This means that they will have a module efficiency of at least 21.76 percent and at least a 25-year output warranty, similar to Panasonic’s other solar panels.