Tesla Unveils Hydrographic Solar Tiles
21st Century Custom Designs
We love to see new ways that people are using Hydrographic Printing in their life, art, and business. This week, after announcing their merger with Solar City, Tesla announced a brand new way to introduce solar power into your home, allowing you to reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time. When paired with a Tesla Powerwall, these integrated solar panels collect the sun’s energy and use it to charge your home’s battery packs for future use. The genius of this design is that it makes bulky and unsightly solar panels unncessary, and replaces them with roof tiles so similar to traditional ones that no one will ever be able to tell the difference.
In the video clip above, Elon Musk explains how the French Slate style roofs are the hardest to re-create accurately. To do so, they used hydrographic printing to make every single roof tile look like slate while also looking completely organic and unique. The finish product is incredible, and it just might be the first mass produced product that will bring hydrographics to the masses.
Even cooler than this is an explanation that Elon gave in post announcement interviews about the efficiency of these tiles. To be 100% efficient in the storage of solar energy is very difficult, typically. But they are experimenting with graphic prints that are slightly reflective on the bottom. This would mean that light would pass through and hit the solar array, as usually, but instead of bouncing back out to the atmosphere, it would actually bounce back and forth between the array and the printed graphic many many times before dispersing. He thinks that this set up could make solar panels that are actually beyond 100% efficient! This was never thought to be possible, but with the new world of hydrographics the sky is the limit.