Tesla Starts Taking Solar Roof Tile Orders
In May, Tesla officially started taking orders for its new Solar Roof tiles and finally released some details about the much-anticipated products.
The news came a bit later than originally planned, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted in March that the company would start taking orders in April. The billionaire entrepreneur first unveiled the Solar Roof building-integrated photovoltaic products last October and garnered a lot of media attention. However, details about the solar tiles, such as their price and potential delivery schedule, had been scarce – until now.
In typical fashion, Musk teased his latest announcement on Twitter at about 1 a.m. PT before Tesla unveiled more information “about 10 hours” later and released an official announcement on its website.
Key takeaways of the announcement include the following:
• The Solar Roof is expected to ultimately – i.e., after factoring in power savings – be less than what Consumer Reports estimated would be necessary to make it cost-competitive with a typical roof, with the solar solution costing the average homeowner about $21.85 per square foot;
• Only two of the four tile designs (smooth and textured) will be available this year, with the other two models (Tuscan and slate) available in early 2018;
• The tile will have a 30-year power warranty, while its tempered glass will have an “infinity” warranty; and
• Installations are expected to kick off in the U.S., starting in California, this summer and abroad next year.
Consumers and solar industry insiders, alike, have been impatiently waiting to learn more about Musk’s mysterious solar plans. Although Tesla still hasn’t explained all of the roll-out and technical information about the new tiles, some more details are available at tesla.com/solarroof.
LG Chem Brings Residential Batteries To North America
LG Chem Ltd., a provider of lithium-ion batteries for automotive, stationary and consumer applications, has formally launched its range of residential battery systems in the North American market.
The launch follows successful completion of UL certification and represents LG Chem’s initial foray into the North American residential market, though the company already provides residential systems throughout Europe and Asia.
LG Chem’s North American residential battery range offers AC- and DC-coupled solutions with capacities up to 9.8 kWh. Two voltage options are available, pre-matched with compatible inverters and suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation: low-voltage 48 V, with capacities of 3.3 kWh, 6.5 kWh and 9.8 kWh, and high-voltage 400 V, with capacities of 7 kWh and 9.8 kWh.
The company says the 400 V RESU10H (9.8 kWh) product is compatible with SolarEdge’s StorEdge, which is a DC-coupled storage solution based on a single inverter for both PV and storage. Additional inverter compatibility options will become available later this year to provide homeowners with a range of pre-tested solutions from the industry’s leading suppliers, according to LG Chem.
The company adds that its residential batteries will be available via a number of solar/storage providers in North America. For example, following last year’s announcement of a partnership with LG Chem, U.S.-based solar provider Sunrun will be supplying the residential battery systems and has already installed initial systems in both Hawaii and California. LG Chem says additional distribution channels are in advanced negotiations and will provide coverage to all U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
“LG Chem’s entry into the North American residential battery market is based on much planning, product development and system testing. We’re confident that our experience gained in Europe and Asia, coupled with strong inverter and distribution partners, will deliver exceptional performance and reliability for our residential customers in the U.S. and Canada,” says Peter Gibson, head of energy storage system sales for LG Chem in North America. “Customers can now enhance the benefits of their residential solar systems by using our batteries to maximize consumption of solar energy and to use the batteries as a dependable source of energy during grid interruptions.”
DPW Solar Launches POWER DISK Mounting System
DPW Solar, a brand of Preformed Line Products, has announced its new POWER DISK rail-less rooftop solar mounting system.
According to the manufacturer, maneuvering mounting rails can be a demanding part of installing rooftop PV modules, but now installers can avoid that with the POWER DISK system. DPW Solar says the new roof attachment can go anywhere on residential rooftops and does not need to be secured to rafters.
“Layout takes a fraction of the time and requires fewer components and tools than traditional rail-less systems,” says John Markiewicz, general manager of DPW Solar. “The layout process is simple. You can place solar modules at precisely your preferred locations.”
The company says the pre-assembled solution allows workers to install solar modules in four steps: snap chalk lines, mount POWER DISK bases anywhere on the roof deck, set the modules in place, and spin the disks to vertically adjust the height to roof undulations. DPW Solar adds that POWER DISK fits most framed 60- and 72-cell modules and is UL 2703 code compliant and available in black.
Panasonic Offers 25-Year Warranty For HIT Module
Panasonic Eco Solutions North America has announced a new 25-year product workmanship warranty on its HIT photovoltaic module.
The company says this represents a big step forward in guaranteeing the long-term viability of its HIT product and is one of the longest such warranties for modules in the residential solar market.
Panasonic says that in addition to offering a guarantee that is more than twice as long as some panel manufacturers’ 10-year product warranties, the company also now guarantees 91% of rated power over the 25-year warranty. According to the company, the HIT panel also features a temperature coefficient of -0.258%/C, which reflects recent test results from a third-party safety organization.
“At Panasonic, we are proud to not only offer top-of-the-line residential solar panels that will provide huge savings for our customers, but to also stand behind those products and ensure their longevity,” says Dan Silver, president of Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “This 25-year warranty and industry-leading temperature characteristics give our installers yet another asset when advocating for Panasonic HIT panels to customers.”