Table of Contents
When Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Solar Roof in 2016, it was the initial that a lot of people experienced heard of solar shingles. But the notion of a roofing solution that can both of those produce electricity and mix in with regular asphalt shingles has been all around for decades.
Providers from Dow Chemical Company to the now defunct BP Solar have presented the solar shingle a shot, but many of these items are no extended on the current market. Solar shingles have been highly-priced to manufacture and put in, and are not nonetheless as effective as frequent solar panels. That is held them from breaking into the mainstream.
Now GAF Electrical power, the sister company to 1 of the largest roofing firms in the world and a division of privately held Normal Industries, is launching a new solar shingle energy. It just introduced a solution identified as Timberline Photo voltaic, which the corporation claims will be much less expensive and extra dependable than Tesla’s Solar Roof. It just received the Finest of Innovation Award for Wise Cities at CES.
“We are section of the world’s greatest roofing producer. We have accessibility to components that typical solar providers will not have obtain to,” mentioned Martin DeBono, President of GAF Electrical power. “No one has at any time specifically experimented with to make a solar product that a roofer can put in. And we have carried out it, and our merchandise goes on with just a nail gun. It goes on two times as speedy as standard photo voltaic.”
Timberline Solar can be nailed to the roof just like a frequent shingle, which GAF Strength says will lower the complexity and expense of set up. At 17 inches tall and 64 inches prolonged, the shingles are also greater than Tesla’s, which means there are fewer areas to manufacture and much less individual wiring connections, which the corporation expects will also reduce prices even though increasing trustworthiness.
However the bigger and bulkier style also indicates that GAF Energy’s shingle won’t blend in as very well as Tesla’s solution, which is practically indistinguishable from ordinary roofing material.
Gabriela Bunea, Senior Vice President of Photo voltaic R&D at GAF Power, retains the firm’s new solar shingle.
GAF Energy says its deep ties to the roofing sector will also enable it preserve on sales and marketing costs, since the organization can appeal to photo voltaic consumers from the massive pool of men and women currently coming to GAF for a new roof.
“The natural minute to basically place solar on a roof is that minute when you might be now about to change your roof. It can make actually no sense to set brand new PV on an previous roof that’s properly into its guarantee,” explained David Wintertime, Co-CEO of Common Industries.
Winter suggests that one particular out of just about every a few asphalt shingle roofs in the U.S. is a GAF roof. “So we’re the people today that are sitting at the proverbial kitchen area desk with the home owner at that second that they require to exchange their roof, the place we can introduce the plan of photo voltaic.”
According to Wooden Mackenzie, customer acquisition expenditures typically make up 23% of the whole charge of a household photo voltaic program, so conserving below could be essential.
GAF Electrical power also touts the fact that it assembles and partially manufactures its shingles at its facility in San Jose, California. While the organization imports its PV cells from Thailand, it believes that possessing some domestic producing is useful.
“What that enables us to do is just take enhancements in our solution from the lab and get them to instantiate in the product very, pretty promptly,” DeBono suggests. Alternately, teams would have to fly overseas to execute improvements. “And what you see is improvements to your solution get quarters and several years, virtually, while below it takes hours and times.”
Questions continue being
Only genuine environment general performance over the product’s 25-year warranty will demonstrate if GAF Electricity has truly cracked the code to an economical and trusted solar shingle product or service.
GAF Strength did not provide CNBC with unique pricing information, while DeBono estimated that on typical, Timberline Photo voltaic could charge about twice as considerably as changing a roof with normal asphalt shingles.
“Let us say in several components of the region, you have a fifteen thousand dollar price for the roof. Finding a solar process, introducing that would be one more fifteen thousand,” DeBono claimed.
GAF Energy’s Timberline Photo voltaic shingles completely installed on a residence in Montclair, New Jersey.
GAF Electrical power
Finding a $30,000 solar roof would be far less expensive than something on the industry these days, and could expense a lot less than acquiring a new roof additionally standard photo voltaic panels.
For comparison, Tesla’s projected cost for an typical-sized 1,700 sq. foot Photo voltaic Roof in the Bay Region is about $40,700 prior to photo voltaic subsidies. But Tesla’s solution has been recognised to cost a great deal much more than initial estimates. The business was hit with a class-action lawsuit past calendar year following it radically hiked Solar Roof price ranges for clients who had by now signed contracts. (Tesla later on advised some consumers it would reverse the price increases, according to legal filings.)
The effectiveness of GAF’s shingles in a real-world setting is also an open ended concern, since prior photo voltaic shingle goods haven’t been equivalent to frequent panels.
“They basically function at a lessen efficiency,” explained Barry Cinnamon, founder of Silicon Valley-primarily based photo voltaic installer Cinnamon Energy Methods. “And the motive is that they are flush with the roof and the roof is sizzling. And so incredibly hot solar cells never perform as successfully as cooler solar cells in conventional modules.”
GAF Energy states that it can be applying high-effectiveness mono-PERC cells, which conduct superior than traditional monocrystalline PV cells at superior temperatures. However supplied the Timberline Photo voltaic shingle’s dimensions and its said 45 watt capability, in suitable circumstances it would nonetheless crank out a lot less electrical power for each square foot than Tesla’s most current 71.7 watt shingle or an ordinary-sized 300 watt photo voltaic panel.
At the time of CNBC’s interview with Cinnamon, GAF Energy’s shingle had not been launched. But talking about solar shingles normally, he was doubtful that they would ever enchantment to the masses.
“I genuinely do not see anything at all that’s going to adjust with any of these factors that are going to make it a widespread mainstream product. I feel it really is normally likely to be a market product or service like a extravagant sports activities car.”
But Gabriela Bunea, Senior Vice President of Solar R&D at GAF Strength, maintains that Timberline Solar will be capable to contend when it arrives to price tag, performance and reliability.
“It is my hope that possibly in 5, ten decades when you are considering about switching your roof, you will pick the solar roof, because it can make economic feeling, since it is attractive and simply because you will have the same guarantee as the relaxation of the roof.”
Observe the video to see CNBC’s early appear within GAF Energy’s R&D and manufacturing facility in San Jose, California, wherever it is assembling Timberline Solar shingles.
–Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.