TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Making solar panels add to the look of your home

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Skotty, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Straight from the Tesla blog post about Tesla offering to acquire SolarCity was this fun little nugget:

    "We would be able to maximize and build on the core competencies of each company. Tesla’s experience in design, engineering, and manufacturing should help continue to advance solar panel technology, including by making solar panels add to the look of your home."​

    I'm curious to see what people think of this. Might be a fun little topic for discussion. While cost and efficiency are paramount, It almost sounds like they also want to improve the look of solar panel installations. It might seem silly at first to give weight to aesthetics, but people do care how things look and looking good does offer a competitive advantage. What opportunities might there be to improve the look of solar panel installations?

    Personally, I'd like to see some triangular panel offerings to better fit available roof space. In addition to maximizing how much you can fit on the roof, I think it would look better as well. There have been a couple of triangular panel offerings that we have touched on in other threads, but the offerings to date have been very limited (and perhaps discontinued as well?).
     
  2. PaulRocket

    PaulRocket Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Germany
    Yes, I'm also quite curios as to what these solar modules would look like. I think its pretty clear that they will black but in which other way the aesthetics can be improved, I don't know. Maybe as you said by offering triangular shapes.
    I also think we will know before the end of the year. The Buffalo SolarCity factory should be online by then.
     
  3. rypalmer

    rypalmer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    Canada
    It should be pretty obvious for those who are paying attention.


    Plaid panels.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Funny x 1
  4. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,299
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    The fastest panels this side of the galaxy.

    Solar City or Elon did mention triangular panels months or years ago (around the time Solar City bought Silevo I think) in regards to aesthetics and maximizing roof space.
     
  5. Alketi

    Alketi Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    Boston, North Shore
    Elon mentioned this in the conference call this morning as well. Having panels that add $5K of aesthetics to the roof, rather than subtracting $5K.

    For this, I think they'd have to go in a number of directions:

    1. I would presume that the panels have to be all black, with no white lines. SunPower is currently one of the leaders in this regard.

    2. They need to fit the roof with the right proportions and spaces.

    3. They need to have an "invisa-mount" system and preferably even hide the panel-to-panel seams.

    I did a quick search, and the best example I found was this A-Frame house. Looks pretty good with panels, to my eyes. If they were able to hide the panel seams, you'd have pretty close to an all-black roof with a nice wood outline.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Raindog1

    Raindog1 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Tesla Energy did a nice job with the Powerwall and caught people off guard with its design/price and utility.... Who knows what will be coming. It will be interesting.
     
  7. JPP

    JPP Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,845
    Location:
    SF Bay area, CA
    FWIW, I had SolarCity do a 16kW install (64 panels) about 2 years ago. They used Canadian Solar panels. All black. Low profile hidden mounting brackets. Black skirts all around to hide the gaps. Looks pretty good on my black composition shingle roof. Also, the SolarCity planners & installers bent over backwards to site the 4 strings of panels in areas of the roof that were not very visible from the street.
     
  8. MitchMitch

    MitchMitch Lurker In Chief

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Colorado
    Sunflower Power.jpg These, at an I-70 rest area East of Grand Junction, make me smile.

    Someday when enough people have tried to hide their panels, Sylvester McMonkey McBean will come to town and peddle terrific ways to make them stand out! :)
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,402
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    #9 ecarfan, Jun 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
    I sure do. In August I am having 9.6kW of all black SunPower panels put on my roof. They cost a bit more, but I don't like seeing the multitude of silver lines in typical,panels.
     
  10. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Messages:
    734
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Lots of retro-fit PV here in the UK - "stuck on" to the roof. Doesn't bother me, as I like to see the country making the move to renewable energy, but not everyone shares that view!

    We have a new-built extension, and we mounted the PV panels "flush" using Panasonic panels which are black (and cost more than the ones with non-black edging surround). Because it was a new roof we just put wriggy-tin sheets under them, and then slates flush-ish to them for the remainder of the roof. We also have solar-thermal panels, and sky-lights, so overall the effect is not entirely "flush-fitting", but we did what we could to make them look unobtrusive.

    IMG_2342_PV.jpg

    IMG_4641_PV.jpg
     
  11. electracity

    electracity Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,797
    Location:
    60606
    Octagonal panels from Tesla Energy.

    These Sunpowers are the best looking, IMO.
     
  12. Vitold

    Vitold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    990
    Location:
    NM
    I read it as positive sign that Model 3 design is complete and the team is looking for something to do.
     
  13. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Probably you mean hexagon. And I agree that could look pretty neat.
     
  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,503
    Location:
    Maine
    There are some panels designed to look like shingles so that people who believe esthetics come before trivial matters like sustainability, health, economic stability and security will deign to install them on their roofs.

    I think the statement and others were really code for "SolarCity's marketing sucks ass, we'll cut costs and do better."
     
    • Like x 1
  15. electracity

    electracity Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,797
    Location:
    60606
    You are right, eight sides would leave voids.

    If the panels are not hexagons, I have no other guess. A new panel design would be either shape or color. It can't be color.
     
  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,503
    Location:
    Maine
    Only if the octagons were all the same shape and not designed to tessellate.
     
  17. electracity

    electracity Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,797
    Location:
    60606
    Hexagonal panels would produce visible branding for Tesla. It would be an interesting, but eccentric, choice.

    Hexagons would look fine on large rectangular roof areas, and also better fit the frequent rhombus shapes of roofs.
     
  18. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    We found our realtor advised strongly against putting panels on a street side roof, owing to a supposed negative effect on resale value. There are panels available that are integral with the shingle so they replace older roofing. However, the coverage is not quite as efficient, though perhaps they can be more flexibly installed to maximize the covered fraction of the roof. It'll be interesting to see what Tesla brings to Solar City if this goes forward...
     
  19. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    That's debatable though, with solar becoming more popular and with Tesla talking about making panels improve the look of your house. More important however is that usually you don't have a choice of being that picky if you want solar. You are already lucky if you have any roof space at all that would support rooftop solar. Many houses either don't have enough useful roof space or are excessively shaded. In my particular neighborhood, probably only 1 in 4 houses are viable for rooftop solar.
     
    • Like x 2
  20. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Messages:
    1,981
    Location:
    Northern California
    Not to throw Solar City under the bus but I doubt this claim. I went out of my way to go with DOW for this very reason. And this is my garage!

    garage_solar.jpg
     
    • Like x 1

Share This Page