Friday, July 28, 2017

Solar Roof Tile Demonstration Project


 Now that Tesla's new Solar Tile System is actually working on a couple of real roofs, anybody considering a new roof, especially on new construction, should get on the list now!  If you need the new roof sooner cheap asphault with conventional solar at the same time should be considered.  If you don't need a new roof get solar anyway before the incentives run out in 2019.  The money you save is huge.  

 A hidden savings of a solar house in sunny, hot climates--that is most of the West--is that the 40% will be on the south and or west side and use most of the sun's energy for power and the rest of the roof radiates or vents heat. The savings on AC costs are huge. With solar on only half of my south and west facing roof our house stays cool on the hottest 100+ degree days (Mediterranean climate, cool nights.) The convection wind in my attic as the heat blows out of the East (hot) vent is actually strong at the roof peak. 


 Tesla (Solar City) has a perfect demonstration project for their cooperation with utilities right in their back yard.  There is a fallow suburban solar farm in West San Jose, Santa Clara, and Cupertino that is waiting to be developed.  

  The area was developed as single family large homes in the 1950s and most of the homes are oriented east-west with large south facing pitched roofs many of which are in need of new roofing.  All are grid connected and there are several PG&E substations that can site industrial Powerpack load management systems to deal with the solar hockey stick in the evening.

 Tesla should combine with PG&E to offer free south roof replacement using the just announced attractive solar tiles.  Each roof would generate a large excess of peak power on 263 (average per year) sunny days even if the homeowner is given free power in exchange for the roof easement.  Tesla and PG&E might also consider offering a Powerwall  to each homeowner to provide distributed management of the hockey stick peak reducing the distribution losses.  Off peak power and weather backup would still be provided by PG&E from current wind and conventional generation.  


 The whole project could be phased in as tiles become available on a worst roof first basis, with early load managed installations heavily advertised by both Tesla and PG&E to build local and remote demand. Regular solar panels could also be installed as an interim solution.  


 A suburban solar farm has none of the environmental, visual, and distribution issues of a remote solar installation, and the maintenance infrastructure is already in place.  


 Disclaimer: I am a minor stockholder in Tesla and am not a candidate for the program as I already have solar power.  


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