Tesla closes in on Tuscan, Slate Solar Roof tiles with camouflaged solar panel patent

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Tesla closes in on Tuscan, Slate Solar Roof tiles with camouflaged solar panel patent
By Maria Merano
March 2, 2021

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-solar-roof-tuscan-slate-tiles-patent/


Tesla was issued a patent for camouflaged solar panels recently. The patent hints that Tesla may be close to releasing other Solar Roof variants like the Tuscan and Slate tiles Elon Musk talked about several years ago.

The latest Tesla solar roof patent was issued on March 2, 2021. The patent describes how Tesla has improved the Solar Roof’s design and efficiency. Founders Legal explained that the patent describes a means for Tesla to obscure, color match, and camouflage its solar panels. Figure 3 in the patent depicts a solar tile up close and each of its layers.

Tesla-solar-roof-tile-patent-1024x704.jpg


Tesla describes the middle layer of Figure 3, labeled 306, as “having a plurality of louvers” to block the view of photovoltaic cells from the side. Louvers are generally designed to regulate airflow or light penetration on doors and windows. They are usually angled slats or parallel, horizontal blades, like window shutters.

According to the patent, the louvers in Tesla’s solar panels may have design colors varying from light to dark gray tones to earth tones and cedar color. They may also differ in print appearance. The photovoltaic cells will match the design colors of the louvers, resulting in a more uniform, seamless view of the roof tile from the side.

Tesla-solar-roof-tuscon-slate-tiles-1024x365.jpg

The louvers’ design, colors, and prints allow Tesla to explore more Solar Roof options. For instance, Figure 10 in the patent looks strikingly similar to the Tuscan roof tile Tesla revealed as a viable option for Solar Roof in late 2016. There are also illustrations which suggest that Tesla may be experimenting with print molds for Solar Roof Slate tiles. The patent’s references to cedar-colored tiles may explain recent images taken during a flyover of a test house in Fremont, which featured wood-like Solar Roof tiles.

Expanding Solar Roof options may help Tesla become a leader in the market. “I think a future where we’ve got beautiful roofs generating energy that are tough and resilient and better in every way than a regular roof and alive with energy, that’s the future we want. Solar Roof is a killer product. This will become obvious next year.,” said Elon Musk during a previous earnings call.
 
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Tesla skeptic ironically spots new Solar Roof tile variant, still claims ‘there is no solar roof’
My Simon Alvarez
March 2, 2021

The Tesla story would not be complete without the company’s slew of skeptics, many of whom have taken a definitive stance against the electric car maker over the years. Among these skeptics are Tesla short-sellers, some of whom are part of a group that calls themselves the “Shorty Air Force” due to their frequent flyovers of the electric car maker’s sites. A recent flyover from this group has turned in some interesting, if not ironic, results.

During a recent flyover of one of Tesla’s Fremont sites, @paul91701736, a TSLAQ member, was able to photograph some new roof tiles that were being installed on what appears to be a test home. The tiles observed by the TSLAQ member featured a brownish color, which is a different shade from the textured Solar Roof V3 tiles that Tesla has been installing across the United States.

tesla-solar-roof.jpg
Credit: @paul91701736/Twitter

True to form, the TSLAQ member claimed on Twitter that the tiles Tesla was setting up on the apparent test homes were non-solar and that “there is no Solar Roof.” This is entirely expected considering the longstanding belief of the TSLAQ member that the electric car maker is involved in fraudulent activity. However, behind this conspiracy theory lies the fact that Tesla seems to be in the process of testing out new Solar Roof variants.

Interestingly enough, the newly-spotted Solar Roof tiles in the Fremont test homes seemed identical in size and shape as the textured V3 glass tiles that Tesla introduced in late 2019. This was despite the newly-spotted tiles having a brownish shade, making them quite similar in color as the “Tuscan” PV tiles that Elon Musk announced during the Solar Roof’s initial unveiling in 2016.

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Tesla’s multiple Solar Roof variants. (Credit: Tesla)
The recent observations from the TSLAQ member’s flyover of the Fremont solar test homes suggest that the electric car maker may very well be looking to release more variants of the Solar Roof in the near future. Elon Musk, after all, noted last year that 2021 would be the year of the Solar Roof. Offering new variants of the solar-integrated roofing material would help Tesla accomplish this goal.

When Elon Musk unveiled the Solar Roof’s first iteration in 2016, he announced that Tesla Energy would be offering four variants of the integrated PV tiles. These include Tuscan, Slate, smooth, and textured tiles. Since then, Tesla has only ramped and released the Solar Roof’s textured tiles. With this in mind, the Solar Roof still has a lot of room to grow, and 2021 may very well be its breakout year.

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-new-solar-roof-variant-tslaq-pictures/
 

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That looks really cool.

I wonder what kind of cells and arrays they're using. Amorphous is more resilient to these sorts of reductions of light (like tree overhangs) but their peak power is so much lower than monocrystaline.

-Crissa
 
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I just wish Tesla was in my state when I had to replace my roof two years ago.
 
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