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Tesla unveils its solar roof and Powerwall 2

The company wants you to harness the power of the sun.


At Universal Studios in Los Angeles Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off the company’s solar roof-top panels, new $5,500 Powerwall 2 high-capacity residential battery pack and Powerpack 2 for businesses.

Musk and company have been teasing the photovoltaic cell-embedded rooftop panels for a few weeks. The event was probably timed as an grand explanation for why its important the automaker acquire Solar City. Musk said that if the merger doesn’t go through, the launch of the new tiles will be difficult.

During the event, Musk sort of talked about the price of the panels. He said that the “installed cost is less than a normal roof and the cost of electricity.” But there was no concrete pricing announced noting that it’s difficult to put a price on what it’ll cost for every house. Of course a price per square foot would have been helpful. The company will sell the tiles directly to customers instead of working with home builders.

They did install non-operational tiles on the Desperate Housewives’ homes before the event. While everyone waited for Musk to take the stage, no one took notice of the homes because they seemed so normal. That’s exactly what Tesla and Solar City want to achieve.

In fact, Musk also showed off a Tuscan-style house with glass tiles on the roof of the garage that to the naked eye, you would be hard-pressed to notice was actually sucking up the energy of the sun. The rest of the house had its original tiles and Tesla noted that this sort of installation gives home owners the opportunity to only place only the solar panels they need while keeping their abodes looking good. “People love their homes and we want them to be better,” Musk said.

Of course the entire equation requires batteries to keep the humming along when the sun goes down. With that in mind, Tesla also introduced a new version of its Powerwall. The company said the two 14 kWh lithium-ion battery packs inside each pack (over double the capacity of the previous version) will power a four bedroom house with lights, refrigerator and other appliances for an entire day.

The new Powerall also now includes a built-in power inverter. The previous version required a separate piece of hardware. That inverter works directly with the solar roof tiles to convert sunlight into electricity.

Musk said they will start installing the glass tiles in summer 2017 and insisted that the roofs will last a very, very long time. “We expect this to have two or three times the longevity of asphalt. It’s really never going to wear out. It’s got a quasi-infinite lifetime. It’s made of quartz,” he said.

Tesla has just come off an impressive quarter where it posted a profit for the first time in two years. It also announced earlier this month that all vehicles produced going forward would have the hardware capable of full autonomous driving.

Finding Green Solutions For Your Home

Renewable energy sources can now be utilized in the home, and not only will they help the environment, but they will also help to reduce energy bills. Solar power and biomass heating are two examples of renewable energy sources being used in the home, but there are also other ways of helping the environment, and reducing energy bills, too.

Solar Power

Solar power relies on solar cells, which are long-lasting. Because just a single solar cell can be installed on a roof this makes the energy source affordable to homeowners. By being placed on an existing roof of a home or business the installation of solar cells won’t require any additional space either. A non-polluting energy source, solar power is also silent.

Biomass Heating

Biomass heating is not only beneficial to the environment, but, by being energy efficient, it will help to bring down fuel bills. Biomass fuel also has a reputation for reliability, with biomass boilers notable for their efficiency in providing a home with heat and hot water.

The environmental benefits of using biomass heating is down to what is used to make it functional. This will typically be residue from forests and woodland, or from agriculture and industry, which means that, through being existing material, the carbon cycle is not affected. Consequently, biomass fuel doesn’t have the same impact on the environment as fossil fuels. Biomass is also an ancient form of renewable energy, as wood would have been used as the most common fuel for fires in the Stone Age.

Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

The installation of energy efficient light bulbs is the easiest way that energy can be reduced in a home or business. If every room has energy efficient bulbs the savings will stack up over the course of a year.

Unnecessary Heating

Having heating on higher than necessary during mild weather is one example of how homeowners and businesses can miss out on saving on energy costs. Though sometimes easy to forget, when the weather is milder heating should be adjusted accordingly. Energy can also be wasted by being on in bedrooms rarely used, for instance.

Drying Clothes

When radiators are on they can be used as a way of drying clothes. In the winter months this can help to reduce the use of a tumble dryer.

Saving Hot Water

Monitoring an immersion heater will help to eliminate the chances of hot water being wasted. When there’s hot waterFree Reprint Articles, but nobody is using it then that’s an obvious waste of energy.