Power up: New solar tech on the way from Tesla's SolarCity

Tesla Powerwall

Tesla's deal to acquire solar panel company SolarCity hasn't even closed yet, but CEO Elon Musk is already preparing to reveal his vision for the two companies.

Musk took to Twitter today to tease a SolarCity solar panel roof, new Powerwall battery and a new Tesla car charger, which he hopes to have unveil on October 28.

The news isn't too surprising as Tesla revealed plans for its second-generation Powerwall several months ago. For the unfamiliar, Tesla's Powerwall batteries store energy generated from solar panels to power homes and Tesla vehicles.

The updated Powerwall will expand compatibility requirements, according to Greentech Media, making it easier and cheaper for users to install in their homes.

Off the grid

The new Powerwall will work with inverters, devices that convert direct current to alternating current, made by SMA, the world's largest inverter manufacturer.

Previously, Tesla Powerwall only worked with inverters from SolarEdge, meaning customers who wanted the battery had to either already own one or purchase a SolarEdge inverter.

With support for SMA inverters, Tesla will no longer require the purchase of an expensive SolarEdge inverter, opening up the market to more people. For reference, an SMA inverter currently costs $1,240/€1,090, while one from SolarEdge costs $2,944 (about €2,640).

Although we won't know what the new SolarCity roof will look like, rumors point to it being much more subtle than traditional solar panels placed on top of homes. According to Electrek, Musk told investors last month, "It's a solar roof, as opposed to modules on a roof."

It's important to note the October 28 date Musk teased for the announcement may change. He says Tesla is aiming for the date, but it wouldn't be the first time the firm missed a deadline.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.