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Competitor for Tesla Solar Roof

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by brucet999, May 26, 2017.

  1. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

    Mar 12, 2015
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I just ran across several articles about Forward Labs solar roof. Startup company in the Palo Alto, CA.

    Forward Solar Roofing | Solar Energy as Elegant as It Is Essential

    If you like standing seam roofs, this thing could be a big winner:

    Weighs about the same as asphalt shingle roof, so any roof could support it.
    Costs much less than Tesla Solar Roof
    Generates more power per sq foot than Tesla - 19W/sq ft vs 11W/sq ft. (I wonder how they got Tesla power spec?)
    Passive portions cost 30% less per sq ft than Tesla non-solar tiles
    Cheaper to install and fewer connections that could potentially go bad
    Multiple colors.
    Installations include air circulation beneath panels to dissipate heat.

    Same $1,000 reservation deposit.
    Equally unproven
    Also unavailable until 2018

    That 19W/ sq ft power output ranks right up there with the highest efficiency Panasonic panels; impressive, if true.
  2. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

    Jan 19, 2016
    Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
    #2 Ulmo, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    Hopefully when Tesla's Solar Roofs get going, they will continue to spur this concept of roofing in the minds of builders, real estate professionals, and home & business owners that roofs are solar collectors, and eventually, any type of solar collecting roof will seem like a beautiful type of roof. Tradition will shift to solar collection tradition, rather than passive dealing with the elements tradition.

    There is a mind shift here: rather than a cave under a rock, we will be building something more akin to a cave under a forest. The roof above our heads will be teaming with (electrical) branches, (photovoltaic) leaves, and under it all, (conduit) trunks underneath. The forest analogy ends there, since we are much more than a tree: we invert, store, and then use that energy for a distinct separate being, us human beings; we're intentionally planting these collectors on our roofs; we are not parasites on a tree, but masters of our own domains and buildings. Nevertheless, the mind shift from dealing with moisture, water, temperature, sun, wind, rain, snow, dust, noise, bugs, and all sorts of other things roofs have saved us from, to additionally on top of all of that, also gaining a huge proportion of our energy needs, will be one that is simultaneously beautiful, life-giving, meaningfully fulfilling, nerve wracking, slightly more complex, more interesting than a non-energy producing roof, and more useful.

    That mind shift will have its own dynamics; it will itself spawn some intrepid experimenters to get into this new way of doing things; it will fulfill objectives; it will have costs; it will cause resistance to change; it will cause catalysts of change that start up once change has started. But once thoroughly taken hold, this mind shift will accept solar roofs as the normal way, and expect nothing else. Everything other than an energy producing roof will be seen as strange, odd, antiquated, or in the very least intriguing.

    Elon is right that making energy producing roofs beautiful is important. At this stage of the future, when non-energy producing roofs are slightly intriguing because they are so uncommon, people would need to be compelled to stay with energy producing roofs for some reason, and energy production is a very good reason, but in the soup of reasons of give and take, having them also be more beautiful or at least as beautiful as necessary will be important to help them stay standard.

    My position is that what we consider as beauty will emerge as something both beautiful and related to the (future new) norm, energy producing roofs.

    In this view, following in Tesla's coattails, products such as this Forward Solar Roofing with their so-so looks will do OK, and even well. I think at first, they require Tesla's coattails to find this position. Further on, products that improve upon products such as current Forward Solar Roof's slightly in terms of beauty enough that they have entered the realm of actually beautiful, will also do well, and it is in this product realm that I think we will start to see us settling into a comfort and expectation of energy producing roofs not only being normal and expected, but of a minimum level of beauty that not only we find quite acceptable, but that we find they are not some sort of compromise of soul of artwork that many other wretched things "seem" to be to us. (In actuality, I find that most things that are good for us tend to be beautiful in their best forms.)

    So, not only am I for this in concept, but I have a prediction that in time, products such as these will evolve to becoming a good stable of roofing energy products. I'm not going to claim that the timing of this particular product is precise (it might be off by a few years) or that this particular company will survive; those are much taller orders. But in general, I think and predict that concepts close to this company's are very close to the mark of one step in successful roofing and energy production business.
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