At an event at Universal Studios in LA on Friday night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to the stage to announce Powerwall 2 (and the Powerpack 2 for businesses) and the Solar Roof. Powerwall 2 is obviously the successor to the original Powerwall, introduced in the summer of 2015. Solar Roof is a new product which uses photovoltaic cell-embedded textured glass tiles which look like regular roof slates from street level.
Tesla Powerwall 2
The Powerwall 2 home battery pack is, again, somewhere to store all the energy you have harvested from your solar panels/roof. It is basically a large rechargeable li-ion battery that is intended to be installed in your garage – where you park your Tesla car overnight. However, with or without an electric car that needs charging, the Powerwall also feeds its stored solar energy to your home as required.
A total of 14kWh can be stored by the Powerwall 2, which Tesla says is enough to "power a two-bedroom home for a full day". Each Powerwall 2 costs $5500 with an estimated $1000 installation cost on top. If you add further Powerwalls you can reduce the install cost to $500 per extra unit as you ramp up your solar energy storage capacity.
Tesla Solar Roof
Do you think that solar panels are ugly or ungainly but would like to benefit from 'free' solar energy? Then Tesla's Solar Roof might well appeal as it looks just like roof tiles and slates (four styles available) but can harvest clean, renewable solar energy.
At the Universal Studios unveiling it was pointed out that several houses on the film set around the atendees (Desperate Housewives) already had Solar Roof tiles installed. The tiles look like regular ones from the street but from above the solar cells are exposed, explained Tesla. Nevertheless, the traditional-style finishes look pretty realistic to me.
The new tiles are constructed with a high efficiency solar cell behind a colour louver film (for angled viewability) and durable tempered glass. Importantly Tesla claims these are an 'affordable' solution. While no price per sq metre or similar metric was mentioned, Tesla claims that a Solar Roof will provide "Lower cost than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings."
Tile views from above and at an angle