Monday, May 18, 2015

Powerwall + Powerhouse = Solar Suburbia

Elon Musk made me extremely happy with his recent reveal of the Telsa's Powerwall. In short, it's a large rechargeable battery for households using solar power.  Part of the downside of solar was the question of "what happens when the sun sets?"  Without storage for the energy generated by the solar panels and unused by the household, the only option was to "sell" the excess energy back to the power company.

Dow's "Powerhouse" Solar Roofing Shingles look like regular asphalt roofing shingles. This allows regular households to incorporate solar energy setups into an average residence without hosting an array of huge baking trays that violate most HOAs.

Combine the Powerwall and the Powerhouse...and we're taking one huge step off fossil-fuel power grids. Now, we're not unplugging from the power grid, not yet. But we're getting closer.  Costs are coming down...admittedly not far enough for most of us. The Powerwall is $3,500 before installation. The Powerhouse shingles are twice as much as asphalt, plus the costs of the inverter and monitoring system.

Alas, Powerhouse isn't available in all U.S. States...yet. If consumers create enough demand, cost and availability should be within reach for middle-income families within five years.  So the next time you have to replace your roof, think about Powerhouse and Powerwall. Great for resale and great for long-term homeownership.

P.S. Imagine if municipalities required all new home construction to include Powerhouse and Powerwall? 

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