Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Availability in Australia.

What can we expect from the Tesla Powerwall in 2018? Elon Musk’s company have released their Q4 report from last year, and it also has a lot of interesting information about the direction they’re planning on taking things in 2018. It looks like the days of the severely limited supply of the Powerwall may be coming to an end. 

Tesla Energy Display - Tesla Powerwall in 2018
Tesla Energy Display – Tesla Powerwall in 2018 (source: Tesla.com)

Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Residential Energy Storage

The Tesla Powerwall 2 has been out in Australia for almost a year now – the problem is that they have been hard to come by and Tesla have had a very difficult time meeting demand for their energy storage products (we’re not even going to delve into the Model 3 fiasco…)

“2018 will see major growth in Tesla energy storage deployments, as the production ramp of our storage products is just as steep as with Model 3,” Tesla said. “This year, we aim to deploy at least three times the storage capacity we deployed in 2017.”

They went on to elaborate on the reason Powerwalls were so difficult to source last year:

“We also deployed 87 MW of energy generation systems in Q4,
which is 20% less than Q3 2017. Solar MW deployed declined as
volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain
sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better
margins. In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short
supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus
Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be
impacted by these factors over the near-term, we expect growth to
resume later this year. “

This begs the question – with so many issues scaling up their energy storage how will this impact the Powerwall 3 release date announcement?

Tesla Powerpack in 2018 – Commercial Energy Storage

After the unparalleled success of the Tesla battery in South Australia, it’s unsurprising to see that they’re going to have a strong focus on commercial solar storage. 

 “Due to the success of this project, we’re seeing an increase in demand for Powerpack, our commercial energy storage product. With more electric utilities and governments around the world recognizing the reliability, environmental, and economic benefits of this product, it’s clear that there is a huge opportunity for us in large scale energy storage” their Q4 statement read. 
It’ll be interesting to see exactly what applications we’ll see the Powerpack being used in, both in Australia and worldwide. 

Tesla Solar Roof 2018 Update

According to the report, initial production at the Gigafactory 2 started in Q4 and Tesla are “deliberately ramping production at a gradual pace”. When “fully scaled”, the Buffalo, NY based Gigafactory 2 will be able to produce enough solar cells to add more than 150,000 new residential solar installations every year. 

If you want to learn more about the Tesla, Inc. Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Results Q&A conference call click here to visit their site or you can find the PDF of the update letter here – Tesla Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2017 Update

Monier SolarTile – Solar Tiles Australia

There’s plenty going on in the world of solar roof tiles this year – today we’re going to take a look at the Monier SolarTile, which is a competing against the Tesla Solar Roof and the sonnen/Bristile Roofing Solartile.

Monier SOLARtile

Monier SolarTILE
Monier SolarTILE (source: monier.com.au)

The Monier SOLARTile is an integrated modular photovoltaic flat tile system. They integrate with a flat profiled roof so they won’t ruin the view of your house – and can be installed on all types of roofs (including traditional and period style homes). If you’d prefer, you can retrofit them for a re-roof, extension, or home renovation. Their modular design means that you can install them in any configuration – including smaller sections of your roof (generally north facing) to reach optimal energy production. Since they have an integrated design (as opposed to conventional ‘bolt-on’ solar panels, the SOLARtiles will blend into a roofline smoothly. 

Monier were a finalist in the Clean Energy Council’s ‘Solar Designs & Installations Awards’ in 2013 for this product – they were also a finalist in BPN’s Sustainability Awards in 2013. The company is backed by CSR, one of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest building product companies. 

They’re currently available and are being installed on homes in Australia – and in lieu of any case studies, let’s see how it stacks up against the Tesla solar tiles:

Monier SolarTile vs Tesla Solar Roof

Monier SolarTile:

  • Available? – Available in Australia right now! 
  • Grid? – Must be grid connected.
  • Upgradeable? – Yes – provided your inverter has the capacity.
  • Warranty? 25 Year Performance Guarantee – guaranteed to be working at 82.5% of original capacity in year 25.  
  • STCs? Monier can handle this for you or you’re welcome to sell them yourself. 
  • Installation? Licenced roofers and CEC accredited electricians. 

Tesla Solar Roof:

  • Available? No – the Tesla Solar Roof release date in Australia should be sometime in 2018.
  • Grid?  No official word as yet, but these should integrate with Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries to offer an off-grid solution.
  • Upgradeable? Yes, can replace Tesla ‘non solar’ tiles (a Tesla roof will generally have around 40% solar generating tiles) with solar tiles.
  • Warranty? “Infinite”, according to Elon Musk, but this only applies to the glass the tiles are made from, not their ability to produce electricity or actually function as a roof. 30 year warranty for those.
  • STCs? Unconfirmed, question has been Tweeted to Elon Musk by @awbow22

We’ve reached out to Monier for some more information about the Solartile and will update this article as soon as we have more. In the meantime, if you want solar tiles on your roof and don’t want to wait, it remains a great product backed by an Australian giant! If you have any experience with the Monier SOLARtile we’d love to hear about it – please leave your thoughts in the comments! 

Volkswagen Electric Car / Battery – $84b Investment

Volkswagen electric car news – they have announced an $84b investment to create a range of electric vehicles – with plans to have electric versions of all 300 models by 2030. Of this $84b, $50b will be invested in battery production to support these vehicles – not directly linked to solar energy but definitely something that will have myriad benefits for the energy storage industry as a whole. 

The Volkswagen Electric Car / Battery Investment

Volkswagen Electric Car Golf 2017
Volkswagen Electric Car – 2017 e-Golf (source: Volkswagen.com)

Earlier this year VW announced that they were investing $10b in EVs but appear to have changed their strategy considerably over the past 6 months – planning to overtake Tesla and become the biggest electric vehicle company in the world. They’ll make EVs for Volkswagen as well as their other brands such as Audi and Porsche. 

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said  “A company like Volkswagen must lead, not follow” – and that “…this is not some vague declaration of intent. It is a strong self-commitment which, from today, becomes the yardstick by which we measure our performance.”

With the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf’s range called ‘sub-par’ by some reviewers, (the 35.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack is up 50% on its predecessor, but it’s still heavy and can only reach 125 miles) it’s imperative that VW work on their battery technology if they’re to be a real contender in the EV space. According to Auto News new EVs will arrive in 2020 with 300 miles of range for a price similar to the Golf. 

Solar Power charging Electric Vehicles

With the Tesla Powerwall 2, the Tesla Solar Roof and the Tesla EVs looking to integrate more tightly over the coming 12 months, there are a couple of questions with regards to renewable energy and EVs. Firstly, will we see an influx of electric cars with solar panels? Secondly – how tightly will rooftop PV solar and EV recharging integrate over the coming years? 

To answer the first question, it’s definitely something being worked on – last month Audi announced they’re partnering with a Chinese solar panel manufacturer to add a solar roof on Audi’s electric cars. In fact, this dates as far back as the Mazda 929 in 1991 – the technology just hasn’t been good enough. Solar panel tech has been advancing rapidly over the past few years and we expect to see more solar panels on cars over the coming years – they’re cheaper, more flexible, and able to absorb much more energy than previous panels.

Secondly, that’s definitely something people are also trying to solve – energy storage technology plays a massive part in this as the ideal charging times (i.e. when people aren’t at home and therefore not using electricity) aren’t usually times when the car is in its garage! So using smart technology like the Redback Smart Hybrid System and teaching it about electricity usage patterns and joining that up with other information such as weather forecasts will play a key part in marrying solar power and electric vehicles. One thing’s for sure – this technology is going to move a lot faster over the next few years and it won’t be long before EVs are the norm. 


Tractile solar roof tiles global rollout!

Australian company Trac Group have released their Tractile solar roof tiles locally and are now preparing for a global rollout of their Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) product.

About Tractile Solar Roof Tiles

The Tractile solar tiles use the Roof Integrated Photovoltaic and Thermal (RIPV-T) system, which, according to the Tractile site, is an “exciting new technology which merges photovoltaic (PV) and thermal systems, simultaneously providing both electric and thermal energy”. This means the system is able to greatly increase performance in hot conditions due to the thermal energy generation cooling the PV cells – leading to more energy generated per square metre when compared with conventional PV panels and solar thermal collectors.

The solar roof tiles come in 4 different types:

  • Eclipse Roof Tile – a ‘normal’ superstrong roof tile you use in parts of the roof that aren’t north facing/receiving strong daily sunlight.
  • Eclipse Solar Roof Tile – electricity and solar boosted hot water generating tiles. Cost effective, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing and increased PV output (compared to conventional PV systems)
  • Eclipse Thermo Roof Tile – interlock with Eclipse roof tiles and Eclipse Solar roof tiles to maximise solar heated hot water output.
  • Horizon Roof Tile – electricity and solar boosted hot water generating tiles to merge into new or existing concrete tiled roof.

The tiles integrate four key elements into one product:

  • Roof system
  • Photovoltaic (PV) cells
  • Solar thermal collector
  • Insulation

Tractile vs. Tesla Solar Roof

Trac Group managing director Jason Perkins has been quoted on the impending release of the Tesla Solar Roof saying it will increase Tractile sales, saying: “It’s fair to say that when you compare the Tractile Solar Roof tiles with the Tesla products, the Tesla products are simply left in the shade”. “Regardless of whether it’s the price of the roof, the weight of the roof, the amount of electricity and hot water it produces per square metre or the options for the roof lines, our products compare very favourably.”

The Tractile site has this comparison image which shows the Tractile very competitively priced for what you get:

Tractile Solar Roof vs. Tesla Solar Roof
Tractile Solar Roof vs. Tesla Solar Roof (source: tractile.com.au)

Tesla Solar Roof Alternatives

While we wait for the Australian release date for the Tesla Solar Roof, there are some alternatives.

German company Sonnen have partnered with Bristile Roofing to offer the Solartile, which is looking quite interesting.

Obviously we also have the Tractile Solar Roof Tile, which is available from their website by clicking here, or call their Australian support line on 1300 00TRAC. If you want to learn more about the Tractile they have a ‘downloads’ section on their website which as a Tractile Eclipse product specification, benefits, roof config options, introduction brochure, and much more.

View this video below to see how strong the Tactile roof tiles are in comparison to conventional roofs!

Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Guide

Finally, after a litany of false starts and delays, Australians are beginning to enjoy installations of the Tesla Powerwall 2. Michael V, a user on the Australian based Whirlpool forum, documented the process of his install in a thread yesterday and it looks like the process went fairly smoothly, despite the fact that according to Michael it was the installers’ (Flashpoint Electrical and Solar at Punchbowl) first ‘actual’ install (i.e. they had practised on a prototype before but this was the first customer install). According to Tesla’s Facebook page, on April 28 they said that “Powerwall 2 installations have begun in Australia” but this is the first documented information we have on the process so please have a read and let us know if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation in the comments. We’d love to hear about it.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation and Ordering Process

The installations management team will help you with the Powerwall install process, which is, as far as we can tell, as follows  (please note this is after you’ve already pre-ordered a Tesla Powerwall 2 – there’s a ~2 month backlog in Australia right now so if you’re on the fence (wall?) about it then click here to visit Tesla’s site and order.

The Powerwall Install Process is as follows:

  1. A Tesla Certified Installer (from Downer Group, in Michael’s circumstance) visits your property to carry out a ‘site assessment’ – which will check:
    1. The suitability of your preferred location for Powerwall 2
    2. Site specific information for Tesla to provide a cost proposal for installation.
  2. A ‘proposal and sales agreement’ is prepared and sent within 7 days. Full payment is required 2 days prior to install.
  3. A Tesla Certified Installer visits your premises to install your brand new Powerwall 2!
  4. Powerwall 2 is connected via 3G (preferred) or Wifi so you can update the firmware and use the Tesla Powerwall App on your phone/tablet.

If you’d like to learn more about the actual install process, click here to view the full album of photos from Michael V on Whirlpool.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Australia
Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Australia (source Whirlpool via Michael V)

How to order Tesla Powerwall 2

You can either:

  1. Buy Tesla Powerwall 2 online from the official site ($650 AUD deposit will be charged to your credit card), or
  2. Request a callback from the Tesla Powerwall team (they generally respond within one business day).

Read more about the Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Launch on our main Powerwall page! Find installers, Tesla Powerwall 2 alternatives, and much more.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in the Tesla Solar Roof in Australia click to read our article and information repository about this exciting new technology. Never hurts to be aware that there are also Tesla Solar Roof alternatives out there as well. Do your research before you commit to anything!

Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installations
Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installations (source: tesla.com)

Sonnen / Bristile Roofing to offer Solartile in Australia.

Some big news on the solar roof front this week – German battery storage company Sonnen have partnered with Australian roofing company Bristile Roofing to offer their Tesla Solar Roof competitor, the Solartile, to Australian markets this September.

Sonnen and Bristile Roofing Launch Solartile in Australia

Sonnen and Bristile Roofing’s concept of an integrated solar tile is in direct competition to Tesla’s Solar Roof, which has just begun taking orders for a 2018 launch. Bristle, part of the building materials group Brickworks, is mainly going to target the 102,000 new homes to be constructed in Australia in 17/18; it seems that they’ll be targeting developers and builders who are looking to offer integrated solar systems as part of their product range.

In an industry (solar + storage) which grew over 1000% in 2016, there’s plenty of room for competition and we’re excited to see what Sonnen’s reliable and proven solar battery solutions can bring to this partnership.

“We are delighted to partner with Bristile because of their prominent involvement in supplying quality products to the building industry,” said Sonnen Australia managing director, Chris Parratt, last Thursday.

You can read more about the SonnenBatterie Eco 8.2 battery system (this, or a variation of, will be offered as part of the solar roof system) on our solar battery comparison page.

Solartile Release Date, Preorder and Cost

No word yet on the cost of the Solartile – it’s set to be released this September and we assume that preorder will become available over the coming months. Please watch this space as we’ll update it as soon as we have any information about the Solartile preorder available!

SonnenBatterie Australia Solartile Battery
SonnenBatterie Australia Bristile

Solartile VS Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla, which has previously claimed the tiles would be no more expensive that a regular roof, released statistics showing that a ‘typical homeowner’ can expect to shell out approximately $US21.85 per square foot for the Tesla Solar Roof (assuming 35% ‘active’ tiles).

Prices and specifics are yet to be revealed for the Bristile Solartile but we will update as soon as they become available.

If you want to calculate how much your home would cost to fit out with the Tesla Solar Roof based on current figures, please use the widget below.

Solartile / Tesla Solar Roof Price Estimate

Enter your roof size below in square metres and get a price estimate for the Tesla Solar Roof. We’ll update this for the Solartile as soon as figures are available.

Estimated Cost:

Tesla Solar Roof Australia Release Date and Cost

Exciting news from Tesla and Elon Musk last week as he announced that the Tesla Solar Roof Australia preorder is now available: they’ll be available in ‘almost any country’ and deployment will be this year in the US and 2018 for overseas countries.

Tesla Solar Roof Australia

Tesla Solar Roof Australia Release Date

The tiles were announced last October and we reported on a tweet from Musk last month saying preorders were coming soon – and last week Tesla finally announced they have started production on two of their four initial designs. A smooth glass tile and a textured glass tile are available for preorder right now and will be released in Australia in 2018. The website states that the third and fourth designs, ‘tuscan’ and ‘slate’ will be available ‘early 2018’. This probably refers to the commencement of production, so it might be Q3 or Q4 2018 when these are shipped.

Australians can place a fully refundable $1,310 (AUD) deposit via the Tesla website and, although we’ll have to wait until next year for the tiles to ship, excitement is growing and many local retailers are clamouring for install rights to the panels.

Tesla Solar Roof Warranty

The roof is also extremely durable – take a look at a video post from Elon Musk’s Instagram account where Tesla were doing some hail tests on the solar roof vs conventional roofing tiles. The tiles, whilst being half the weight of their competitors, were measured as being three times stronger:

Smashing roof tiles with a hail cannon

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

As such, they have a novel idea towards warranty for the tiles – the lifetime of your home or ‘infinity’ – whichever comes first. They also have 30 year power and weatherization (Weatherization means that there will be no water leaks or other weather intrusions during the warranty period that result from installation) warranties in the US. As warranties are generally region specific we will have to wait to see how this changes for the Australian market.

Tesla ‘Active’ and ‘Non Active’ Solar Panels

The panels come in two flavours – ‘active’ – which means they work as solar panels, and ‘non’ active – just ‘normal’ roof tiles. As there are a number of factors such as cost, sunlight and energy requirements, you’ll be able to choose how many of each you want, keeping in mind that this is a full roof solution, not just adding solar panels to the top of an existing roof. According to Tesla, for a normal home, around 35% of the tiles will be solar.

Tesla Solar Roof Australia Price

As reported, you can place a $1,310 AUD refundable deposit on the website today. 

With regards to the price: “The typical homeowner can expect to pay $US21.85 (~$A29.50 as per today’s exchange rate) per square foot for Solar Roof, and benefit from a beautiful new roof that also increases the value of their home,” a blog post on Tesla’s Solar Roof Website stated. This is assuming 35% coverage of active (solar) panels.

Based on the pricing Tesla have released, if you have a 120 square metre roof (1291.67 square feet) – you can expect to pay around $38,340 AUD for a ‘normal’ Tesla roof install.

These solar roofs are built to complement and integrate with the Tesla Powerwall 2 and we’ll be very interested to see what some of the cost savings are after they’ve been installed and the numbers crunched. Watch this space as we’ll update as soon as any more information is available! You can also sign up for updates from Tesla by clicking here.

Tesla Solar Roof Price Estimate

Enter your roof size below in square metres and get a price estimate.

Estimated Cost:

Tesla Solar Roof Shingles in Australia

15.05.2017 UPDATE: More news on the Tesla Solar Roof as Elon Musk tweeted the Tesla Solar Roof Australia release date. (click to read more).

Tesla Solar Roof Panel Release Date

CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, who recently told Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull he thinks renewable energy and storage are ‘arguably (the) biggest disruption since DC to AC‘ unveiled plans for the new Tesla Solar Roof (correction: they’re thinking about a solar home) back in October last year. As yet, there hadn’t been a release date for the Tesla solar panels but Musk tweeted @HolsMichael last week that they will ‘Start taking orders in April’.

The panels, being touted as ‘the new solar shingles‘, will look just like ordinary tiles but are actually made of textured glass – allowing light to pass through them onto a solar cell situated beneath. According to Bloomberg the cells will be manufactured by Panasonic and the rest done by Tesla. They are in a unique position following a decisive vote (85%) by shareholders to a $2b deal to acquire SolarCity back in November. The purchase of SolarCity, America’s biggest rooftop installer, opens up some amazing opportunities for the company who certainly can’t be castigated for their ‘big picture’ approach and the great vision of Musk. Will Tesla work as a vertically integrated energy firm? Their balance sheet is now laden with debt and they have a lot on their plate including the imminent launch of the Tesla Model 3 – 2017 shapes up as a milestone year for the company.

In the meantime, you can always register for updates on Tesla Solar by clicking here.

Tesla Solar Roof Australia

Tesla Solar Roof OptionsHave a look at the video of the launch of Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and solar roof below:

Tesla Solar Panel Roof Singles in Australia Release Date

As yet, no word on when these will be available in Australia but we’ll be keeping a keen eye out and be sure to update the site as soon as there’s progress on that front! Given that it took Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity (which has no presence outside of the US) to get these going in America we’re not holding our breaths just yet but Musk and Tesla have a habit of moving fast.

With the battery price of lithium ion falling quite quickly and projected to almost halve in the next 8 years, we expect strong progress to ensue.

Battery Price Forecast Australia
Lithium Ion Battery Price Forecast – Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance