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Roofing large takes on Tesla to make sun roof shingles extra inexpensive

When Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Sun Roof in 2016, it used to be the primary that many of us had heard of sun shingles. However the concept of a roofing product that may each generate power and mix in with common asphalt shingles has been round for many years.

Corporations from Dow Chemical Corporate to the now defunct BP Sun have given the sun shingle a shot, however many of those merchandise are not available on the market. Sun shingles had been pricey to fabricate and set up, and don’t seem to be but as environment friendly as common sun panels. That is stored them from breaking into the mainstream.

Now GAF Power, the sister corporate to one of the vital biggest roofing corporations on the planet and a department of privately held Same old Industries, is launching a brand new sun shingle effort. It simply launched a product known as Timberline Sun, which the corporate says can be inexpensive and extra dependable than Tesla’s Sun Roof. It simply received the Easiest of Innovation Award for Sensible Towns at CES.

What units GAF Power aside

“We are a part of the sector’s biggest roofing producer. We’ve get right of entry to to fabrics that standard sun corporations do not have get right of entry to to,” stated Martin DeBono, President of GAF Power. “No person has ever particularly attempted to make a sun product {that a} roof repairer can set up. And we have now carried out it, and our product is going on with only a nail gun. It is going on two times as rapid as standard sun.”

Timberline Sun may also be nailed to the roof similar to a standard shingle, which GAF Power says will cut back the complexity and price of set up. At 17 inches tall and 64 inches lengthy, the shingles also are higher than Tesla’s, which means there are fewer portions to fabricate and less particular person wiring connections, which the corporate expects can even lower prices whilst expanding reliability.

Alternatively the bigger and bulkier design additionally signifies that GAF Power’s shingle does not mix in in addition to Tesla’s product, which is just about indistinguishable from standard roofing subject material.

Gabriela Bunea, Senior Vice President of Sun R&D at GAF Power, holds the corporate’s new sun shingle.

GAF Power

GAF Power says its deep ties to the roofing sector can even lend a hand it save on gross sales and advertising and marketing bills, for the reason that corporate can draw in sun shoppers from the massive pool of other folks already coming to GAF for a brand new roof.

“The herbal second to in reality put sun on a roof is that second if you end up already about to interchange your roof. It makes actually no sense to place emblem new PV on an previous roof that is neatly into its guaranty,” stated David Iciness, Co-CEO of Same old Industries.

Iciness says that one out of each and every 3 asphalt shingle roofs within the U.S. is a GAF roof. “So we are the other folks which can be sitting on the proverbial kitchen desk with the house owner at that second that they want to exchange their roof, the place we will be able to introduce the speculation of sun.”

Learn extra about blank power from CNBC Professional

In step with Wooden Mackenzie, buyer acquisition prices normally make up 23% of the overall value of a residential sun machine, so saving right here might be key.

GAF Power additionally touts the truth that it assembles and partly manufactures its shingles at its facility in San Jose, California. Whilst the corporate imports its PV cells from Thailand, it believes that having some home production is high-quality.

“What that permits us to do is take enhancements in our product from the lab and get them to instantiate within the product very, in no time,” DeBono says. Alternately, groups must fly out of the country to execute adjustments. “And what you spot is adjustments on your product take quarters and years, actually, while right here it takes hours and days.”

Questions stay

Handiest genuine global efficiency over the product’s 25-year guaranty will display if GAF Power has actually cracked the code to an inexpensive and dependable sun shingle product.

GAF Power didn’t supply CNBC with explicit pricing knowledge, despite the fact that DeBono estimated that on common, Timberline Sun may just value about two times up to changing a roof with standard asphalt shingles.

“Let’s consider in lots of portions of the rustic, you will have a 15 thousand buck value for the roof. Getting a sun machine, including that might be every other fifteen thousand,” DeBono stated.

GAF Power’s Timberline Sun shingles absolutely put in on a house in Montclair, New Jersey.

GAF Power

Getting a $30,000 sun roof can be a long way inexpensive than anything else available on the market nowadays, and may just value lower than getting a brand new roof plus common sun panels.

For comparability, Tesla’s projected value for an average-sized 1,700 sq. foot Sun Roof within the Bay House is ready $40,700 sooner than sun subsidies. However Tesla’s product has been recognized to price a lot more than preliminary estimates. The corporate used to be hit with a class-action lawsuit remaining 12 months after it dramatically hiked Sun Roof costs for patrons who had already signed contracts. (Tesla later advised some shoppers it could opposite the fee will increase, in step with felony filings.)

The performance of GAF’s shingles in a real-world setting could also be an open ended query, since earlier sun shingle merchandise have not been related to common panels.

“They basically function at a decrease performance,” stated Barry Cinnamon, founding father of Silicon Valley-based sun installer Cinnamon Power Programs. “And the reason being that they are flush with the roof and the roof is sizzling. And so sizzling sun cells do not paintings as successfully as cooler sun cells in typical modules.”

GAF Power says that it is the usage of high-efficiency mono-PERC cells, which carry out higher than conventional monocrystalline PV cells at excessive temperatures. But given the Timberline Sun shingle’s dimensions and its mentioned 45 watt capability, in splendid stipulations it could nonetheless generate much less power consistent with sq. foot than Tesla’s newest 71.7 watt shingle or an average-sized 300 watt sun panel.

On the time of CNBC’s interview with Cinnamon, GAF Power’s shingle had no longer been launched. However talking about sun shingles typically, he used to be unsure that they might ever attraction to the loads.

“I actually do not see anything else that is going to modify with any of those components which can be going to make it a standard mainstream product. I feel it is all the time going to be a distinct segment product like a posh sports activities automotive.”

But Gabriela Bunea, Senior Vice President of Sun R&D at GAF Power, maintains that Timberline Sun will have the ability to compete with regards to value, performance and reliability.

“It’s my hope that possibly in 5, ten years when you’re excited about converting your roof, you’re going to select the sun roof, as it makes financial sense, as a result of it is horny and since you’re going to have the similar guaranty as the remainder of the roof.”

Watch the video to look CNBC’s early glance inside of GAF Power’s R&D and production facility in San Jose, California, the place it is assembling Timberline Sun shingles.

–Lora Kolodny contributed to this record.