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Subject: Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Dumb Roof rss

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Steven Woodcock
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Remarkable if true:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-17/musk-says-...

Lot of details and murky bits in there of course.



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As soon as environmentalism becomes economically viable we'll all buy-in.

We thought flourescent light bulbs would do it, but it looks like LED arrays might actually do it.

I don't know if this is true, but it would be great if it was... Musk is big on grand claims.
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Currently getting solar panels installed. The actual install hasn't started yet so I can still back out. And with roofs that look as nice as the samples in the video compared to boxy solar panels, I may just hit the brakes on the process to see how it looks like this will develop. Thanks for this find.
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Not everyone in America or the world have mid-range to high six figure incomes, so this paragraph is a bit troubling to me:

The Musk God of Techno-freaks wrote:
Make no mistake: The new shingles will still be a premium product, at least when they first roll out. The terra cotta and slate roofs Tesla mimicked are among the most expensive roofing materials on the market—costing as much as 20 times more than cheap asphalt shingles.


My other concern is durability. We who live in the fly-over states know you elitists don't give a damn about us, but we get nasty hailstorms out here. Golf-ball sized hail can severely damage conventional roofs, which is why metal roofs are becoming more popular. And we get bigger hail infrequently, sometimes as big as softballs (about 3-4 inches/8-10cm) which can do incredible damage.

Interesting concept, but it needs to be affordable and durable for the masses. Not that rich people give a fuck about the masses (witness the economy).
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remorseless1 wrote:
Not everyone in America or the world have mid-range to high six figure incomes, so this paragraph is a bit troubling to me


Early adopters are always going to pay high costs. The key to this scheme is getting it to the mass market. I would guess that installation cost is going to be higher than with traditional roof tiles too. Plus you have to have to buy that Powerwall battery (it doesn't look to be designed to feed back to the grid) installed and fitted to your electric system too.

All of which means that it isn't going to get down to the less affluent without substantial grants even if the roof tiles come down to the same price as non solar ones.
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Terwox wrote:
As soon as environmentalism becomes economically viable we'll all buy-in.

We thought flourescent light bulbs would do it, but it looks like LED arrays might actually do it.

I don't know if this is true, but it would be great if it was... Musk is big on grand claims.


I really like my LEDs....I've nearly converted everything to CFLs by now, should be done this winter.



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andyl wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Not everyone in America or the world have mid-range to high six figure incomes, so this paragraph is a bit troubling to me


Early adopters are always going to pay high costs. The key to this scheme is getting it to the mass market. I would guess that installation cost is going to be higher than with traditional roof tiles too. Plus you have to have to buy that Powerwall battery (it doesn't look to be designed to feed back to the grid) installed and fitted to your electric system too.

All of which means that it isn't going to get down to the less affluent without substantial grants even if the roof tiles come down to the same price as non solar ones.


Well, guess we poor folks can just get used to huddling in the darkness in our own filth again.
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Ferretman wrote:
Terwox wrote:
As soon as environmentalism becomes economically viable we'll all buy-in.

We thought flourescent light bulbs would do it, but it looks like LED arrays might actually do it.

I don't know if this is true, but it would be great if it was... Musk is big on grand claims.


I really like my LEDs....I've nearly converted everything to CFLs by now, should be done this winter.

Ferret


I know it's probably in my head, but my CFLs always seem to have a much shorter lifespan than indicated on the boxes. It's not enough to make me use an incandescent, but it's irritating. I might swap to LEDs, but for now the increased up-front cost is a deterrant.
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Terwox wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
Terwox wrote:
As soon as environmentalism becomes economically viable we'll all buy-in.

We thought flourescent light bulbs would do it, but it looks like LED arrays might actually do it.

I don't know if this is true, but it would be great if it was... Musk is big on grand claims.


I really like my LEDs....I've nearly converted everything to CFLs by now, should be done this winter.


I know it's probably in my head, but my CFLs always seem to have a much shorter lifespan than indicated on the boxes. It's not enough to make me use an incandescent, but it's irritating. I might swap to LEDs, but for now the increased up-front cost is a deterrant.


My CFLs are lasting forever which is a pain because I would replace them with LEDs when I get through the boxes of the things I got for free.

I use LED R50s for my office lighting and they have been in since Feb 2014. The incandescent bulbs were only lasting a few months previously.
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Terwox wrote:


I know it's probably in my head, but my CFLs always seem to have a much shorter lifespan than indicated on the boxes. It's not enough to make me use an incandescent, but it's irritating. I might swap to LEDs, but for now the increased up-front cost is a deterrant.


I did have some CFLs that seemed to die quickly. Of course the more expensive pin-connector CFLs never died at all, and I eventually just had to replace them.

Since I've been buying and installing them over time (couple of years) it's interesting to see how they've evolved. I don't think Lowes or Home Depot even have the dimmer bulbs any more at all; I still see them at Wal Mart and sometimes had to order some odd ones if they weren't any around. One particular brand/configuration I really liked, which of course they discontinued basically as soon as I pulled into the driveway I think.



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Ferretman wrote:
I did have some CFLs that seemed to die quickly. Of course the more expensive pin-connector CFLs never died at all, and I eventually just had to replace them.

Since I've been buying and installing them over time (couple of years) it's interesting to see how they've evolved. I don't think Lowes or Home Depot even have the dimmer bulbs any more at all; I still see them at Wal Mart and sometimes had to order some odd ones if they weren't any around. One particular brand/configuration I really liked, which of course they discontinued basically as soon as I pulled into the driveway I think.
Yeah for sure, you get what you pay for in CFLs, the cheaper they are the worse they are as far as longevity. My wife is always concerned when I pull one of the cheapies out of a fixture and the base has turned brown and melty around the tubes.

I'm very slowly getting LEDs into the house as the CFLs die out. Our kitchen especially really brightened up when I changed our track lighting to LED. I couldn't find a CFL in that size with enough lumens.
 
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Terwox wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
Terwox wrote:
As soon as environmentalism becomes economically viable we'll all buy-in.

We thought flourescent light bulbs would do it, but it looks like LED arrays might actually do it.

I don't know if this is true, but it would be great if it was... Musk is big on grand claims.


I really like my LEDs....I've nearly converted everything to CFLs by now, should be done this winter.

Ferret


I know it's probably in my head, but my CFLs always seem to have a much shorter lifespan than indicated on the boxes. It's not enough to make me use an incandescent, but it's irritating. I might swap to LEDs, but for now the increased up-front cost is a deterrant.


Might be your fixtures. If they don't get consistent power, they die out quickly. Definitely happens if you have them on a dimmer switch.
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TheChin! wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
I did have some CFLs that seemed to die quickly. Of course the more expensive pin-connector CFLs never died at all, and I eventually just had to replace them.

Since I've been buying and installing them over time (couple of years) it's interesting to see how they've evolved. I don't think Lowes or Home Depot even have the dimmer bulbs any more at all; I still see them at Wal Mart and sometimes had to order some odd ones if they weren't any around. One particular brand/configuration I really liked, which of course they discontinued basically as soon as I pulled into the driveway I think.
Yeah for sure, you get what you pay for in CFLs, the cheaper they are the worse they are as far as longevity. My wife is always concerned when I pull one of the cheapies out of a fixture and the base has turned brown and melty around the tubes.

I'm very slowly getting LEDs into the house as the CFLs die out. Our kitchen especially really brightened up when I changed our track lighting to LED. I couldn't find a CFL in that size with enough lumens.


Yes! I'm very pleased to see LEDs that are brighter than the older ones too.

I had replaced three LED candelabra bulbs several years, and on a lark I saw that that seemed to be much brighter about a year ago. It was amazing how much better they were than the old ones.

Of course I suspect the old ones won't die until the sun leaves orbit now of course.



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Terwox wrote:
I know it's probably in my head, but my CFLs always seem to have a much shorter lifespan than indicated on the boxes.


Most definitely not anything near the advertised life.
 
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remorseless1 wrote:
Not everyone in America or the world have mid-range to high six figure incomes, so this paragraph is a bit troubling to me:

The Musk God of Techno-freaks wrote:
Make no mistake: The new shingles will still be a premium product, at least when they first roll out. The terra cotta and slate roofs Tesla mimicked are among the most expensive roofing materials on the market—costing as much as 20 times more than cheap asphalt shingles.


My other concern is durability. We who live in the fly-over states know you elitists don't give a damn about us, but we get nasty hailstorms out here. Golf-ball sized hail can severely damage conventional roofs, which is why metal roofs are becoming more popular. And we get bigger hail infrequently, sometimes as big as softballs (about 3-4 inches/8-10cm) which can do incredible damage.

Interesting concept, but it needs to be affordable and durable for the masses. Not that rich people give a fuck about the masses (witness the economy).

Chip on the shoulder much?

This is the same pattern Musk used with Tesla: first sell a luxury model to make up the development costs, then bring the price down.

The hail areas aren't the biggest market, and obviously the biggest most profitable markets get served first. Maybe you've heard of free enterprise? Eventually a hail-resistant model will be fielded if the tempered glass isn't strong enough, but a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best business choice.

Unfortunately, I expect these are made in a highly automated factory, so traditional factory employment continues to decline.
 
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The diodes in LED bulbs do not ever wear out. It's the driver that goes bad. There are some LED bulbs that have replaceable drivers which makes replacing them cheaper when they do eventually go bad.

CFLs can continue to provide light for a really long time but the quality of the light fades slowly. In this way the practical life span of the bulb is shorter than the actual life span. It pays to replace CFLs even if you don't think they need replacing. not only will you get a cheaper to operate bulb but the quality will improve.
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I can't imagine that Joe Roofer will have much success installing this product without some major retraining. Architects will not specify this product until it has a vast buy in from the roofing industry, which could take years or longer. I am also highly doubtful of Musk's claims that his system could be less expensive than a normal 'dumb' roof.
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49xjohn wrote:

I can't imagine that Joe Roofer will have much success installing this product without some major retraining. Architects will not specify this product until it has a vast buy in from the roofing industry, which could take years or longer. I am also highly doubtful of Musk's claims that his system could be less expensive than a normal 'dumb' roof.


I think if he using the "dumb roof" as the high end tile and slate jobs then it's probably cheaper.....depending on how one defines "cheap".

I think he'll have to push the cost curve a lot yet (as well as get more folks get trained) for the standard tar/shingle roofs to make sense for normal circumstances.

But I am always prepared to be amazed!


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Ferretman wrote:
I think if he using the "dumb roof" as the high end tile and slate jobs then it's probably cheaper.....depending on how one defines "cheap".


Yes, that is correct. Musk's roof will be cheaper than more expensive products.

It varies regionally, but around here, the most economical roof for homes is asphalt shingles. If Musk thinks he can get his roof installed cheaper, I believe he is being very 'optimistic'.
 
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remorseless1 wrote:
Well, guess we poor folks can just get used to huddling in the darkness in our own filth again.

Too true, but that is what you get for voting for Trump.
 
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49xjohn wrote:

I can't imagine that Joe Roofer will have much success installing this product without some major retraining. Architects will not specify this product until it has a vast buy in from the roofing industry, which could take years or longer. I am also highly doubtful of Musk's claims that his system could be less expensive than a normal 'dumb' roof.

We'll see what the prices are once they actually start selling them (if that even happens), but from what I understood the 'cheaper than dumb roof' claim is met by including the value of the electricity produced by the solar roof. He was also claiming that the roof would last much longer than a normal roof, in the range of 50 years.

I didn't think solar panels lasted more than about 20 years though. Maybe they are also engineering the panels to a higher spec that will last longer? In any case, we won't know for another year at least as Musk has to spin up the manufacturing process, assuming the Tesla-Solar City merger goes through.
 
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some web site (probably fake) wrote:

"Elon Musk made quite the announcement today. During the special shareholders meeting to approve the merger with SolarCity, which they approved by 85%, he said that he was coming back from a meeting with the SolarCity engineering team about the solar roof and that he now feels confident that they could deliver the product at a lower cost than a regular roof – even before energy production.

That’s different from what the company was claiming before the meeting today."
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sfox wrote:

We'll see what the prices are once they actually start selling them (if that even happens), but from what I understood the 'cheaper than dumb roof' claim is met by including the value of the electricity produced by the solar roof. He was also claiming that the roof would last much longer than a normal roof, in the range of 50 years.

I didn't think solar panels lasted more than about 20 years though. Maybe they are also engineering the panels to a higher spec that will last longer? In any case, we won't know for another year at least as Musk has to spin up the manufacturing process, assuming the Tesla-Solar City merger goes through.


There used to be a nominal 1% degradation in solar panels per year, though I can say that I've had them for 6 years so far and I haven't seen anything like that. One assumes processes are getting better all the time of course, so they're probably much less than that now.


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49xjohn wrote:
some web site (probably fake) wrote:

"Elon Musk made quite the announcement today. During the special shareholders meeting to approve the merger with SolarCity, which they approved by 85%, he said that he was coming back from a meeting with the SolarCity engineering team about the solar roof and that he now feels confident that they could deliver the product at a lower cost than a regular roof – even before energy production.

That’s different from what the company was claiming before the meeting today."


Yeah well, whatever Musk may be, he isn't a guy who altruistically spends his own money to better the lives of the plebes. From what I read he's already received (by 2015) about $5B in government subsidies and has delivered very little to improve the lives of his faithful except for PayPal. Solar City, like most "green" initiatives, is a dead loss and drain on all and continues to lose money by the truckload - I understand a couple billion. Plus Musk bought it from his cousins I think.

It's a rat's nest of bullshit and my guess is, like Tesla autos, that when the product hits the market after years of delay and a couple billion more in direct grants and tax credits that it will be restricted to the elite few and work at a reduced level below the claims. It's like the solar roadways, except those are being crowdfunded and direct funded by corporate investors and not falsely aggrandized as the savior of mankind.

Tesla's are nice looking though.
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49xjohn wrote:
some web site (probably fake) wrote:

"Elon Musk made quite the announcement today. During the special shareholders meeting to approve the merger with SolarCity, which they approved by 85%, he said that he was coming back from a meeting with the SolarCity engineering team about the solar roof and that he now feels confident that they could deliver the product at a lower cost than a regular roof – even before energy production.

That’s different from what the company was claiming before the meeting today."

The claim seems like nonsense to me. If it were true, why aren't people building roofs like this already but without the solar panels? He has to be including subsides or some other financial trick to make the claim. I have serious doubts about any claims that Tesla has invented a revolutionary way to build roofs so much cheaper than the current methods that he can also include solar panels and still come out cheaper than current methods.

His claim could perhaps be that he can build a fake slate roof with his solar panels cheaper than a real slate roof. I could believe that as a slate roof is incredibly expensive. Primarily due to lack of competition I suspect, as labor makes up most of the cost. If the installation and materials were standardized and the production was scaled up, I could see being able to create a fake slate roof cheaper than a real one, but still not anywhere near the cost of a normal asphalt roof.
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