All the news in the solar industry the past few days has been focused full steam on the Tesla solar roof, rightly so, it’s a big step, but as we mentioned earlier in our solar roof post Musk is hardly the first to come up with the idea, he’s only refined it and made it more accessible. The idea of a solar roof has come in many shapes and forms. Solar shingles were tried by a number of company at least ten years ago and didn’t go all that far, not for lack of trying but the costs were prohibitive and the scale needed to make production viable just wasn’t there.
The other, slightly more successful version of a solar “roof” was figuring out ways to artfully combine the solar panels into the general structure of the roof or building envelope, after all the primary component of a solar panel is glass and many, many a building is clad in glass. Rather than being a solar roof, this entire field is more well know as building integrated photovoltaics.