Pros And Cons Of Tesla Solar Panels
Allows customers to receive an instant online quote Offers a solar panel price-match guarantee Provides 24/7 solar panel monitoring through their mobile app
Customer service can have lengthy long wait times for repairs Powerwall battery systems are not available for purchase separately
Could You Improve On It
Unfortunately, it would take quite a few solar panels even to bring the trailer up to wall outlet levels of charging speed. The Tesla Model 3s maximum charging rate is 7.7 kWassuming the same 75% efficiency, thats 103 solar panels. And thats just to get the Model 3 fully-recharged within an 8-hour workday.
But there are 2 things that further complicate the idea. Firstly, as The Fast Lane discovered, all EVs, including Tesla Model 3s, have built-in hardware and software that monitor charging. ItsYeBoi had some trouble getting his car to accept power from the solar panels likely due to that on-board equipment.
Secondly, all these calculations are based on the Tesla Model 3 staying stationary. Towing drastically lowers an EVs range, even if its not going up hills. Plus, adding enough solar panels to counteract that would just add more weight to the trailer. Then youd need more panels to make up the difference, which would add more weight, and so on.
Thats not to say its impossible to power an EV solely via solar panels. One Chevy Bolt owner managed to do so. However, it cost $20,000 and required covering every square inch with panels. Including several oversized ones mounted on the hood and roof.
Will A Tesla Powerwall Save Me Money
If you install solar panels with your Powerwall, it will save you money in the long run. The installation of a Powerwall and some solar panels is not cheap.
However, the Powerwall can take all the energy it needs directly from the sun, and this wont reflect on your energy bill. You can use the Powerwall as a backup or supplemental energy source and save in the long run.
You May Like: How Much Is A Solar Backup Battery
Use The Tesla Powerwall As An Energy Backup
Once youve connected the energy source to the grid, it will automatically start pulling energy until its full. The Tesla Powerwall is a big battery, and once its full of energy, it will shut down and wait to add energy back into the system.
The power meter monitors the levels of the Powerwall, the grid, and the house itself. If the city power shuts down, the meter automatically switches the Powerwall on and it converts the energy back into the house. Youll be able to control this manually.
The main reason to use the Tesla Powerwall without solar energy is to use it as an energy backup.
Although you wont save money on electricity or use more clean energy, you will have some electrical independence. Its vital to know that you and your family will be safe during a storm or other blackout conditions.
What Do I Get From Tesla Solar Panels
Tesla offers four sizes of solar panel installations measured in kilowatts: 4.8, 9.6, 14.4 and 19.2kW. Tesla allows you to package your solar panel purchase with a Powerwall, its well-regarded battery system that can store power for use during surge pricing, outages or after the sun sets.
As you might expect, Tesla boasts about its panels’ sleek, low-profile design. To my eye, Tesla’s installations are indeed less obtrusive than others. If that’s important to you, Tesla has an advantage here.
Unless you’re really particular about who manufactures your panels, what’s really important is how long they’ll last and how well they’ll work. Tesla’s warranty says your panels are guaranteed to work at 85% capacity after 25 years or it will replace them. That’s roughly in line with other major companies, though stronger than some.
Tesla’s solar panels have maximum efficiency ratings that range from 19.3% to 20.6%, which compare favorably with other panels .
Tesla’s first foray into solar power was not with panels, but with storage. Its Powerwall battery is still one of the top choices in the industry, to the point that other major solar companies offer the Powerwall with their installations.
Tesla’s warranty says your panels are guaranteed to work at 80% capacity for 25 years or it will replace them.
Powerwall’s warranty guarantees that the battery will hold at least 70% of its rated capacity after 10 years .
Also Check: Do Sole Proprietors Need A Dba
Hook Up The Electricity
The electricity bits are the more difficult part. Youll have to set them up where they can be accessed but are also out of the way of kids.
Electrical stuff is tricky, and its always better to have a professional electrician help with this part .
The three electrical parts that will connect are the inverter, the electricity meter, and a backup load center. The load center doesnt have to be a Tesla brand and works like a mini fuse box. It houses the essential breakers in the house so the Powerwall doesnt bust all the fuses the first time its turned on.
Hooking up the load center will be difficult unless youre lucky enough to already have a smaller fuse box dedicated to essential breakers. However, most people will have to pay to get this installed so the Tesla doesnt overwhelm the system.
The inverter and meter are external parts and once theyre hooked up, youll be able to turn on your Tesla Powerwall. I recommend waiting until everything is set up to do thisits extremely dangerous if the unit isnt hooked up to the energy source yet.
Sun As Socket: Startup Integrates Tesla Model 3 With Solar Panel For Energy
One of the biggest arguments made against electric vehicles by critics is that makes use of energy which is generated in many countries from non-renewable sources like coal. Even as the multi-directional benefits for the environment of driving an electric vehicle over a car with an internal combustion engine are well established, concerns over availability of charging infrastructure and sources of energy generation remain vital sticky points.
A startup is now looking at addressing these issues by making use of solar power.
While still a long way away from making the technology commercially viable or even production ready, Lightyear has been continuously working to make use of solar fuel cells to power cars of the future. Recently, the company installed a solar roof on a Tesla Model 3 and is now gearing up to bring out two research cars to study the feasibility of the technology. “With their integrated solar technology, the Lightyear Research Vehicles will help to demonstrate the added value of integrated solar panels on vehicles, as they drive around measuring solar yield,” Lightyear reportedly highlights, according to Electrek. “The vehicles will provide additional real-world data on vibration impact, shock absorption and waterproofness. This testing is deemed crucial to ensure a safe, reliable and durable solar system that will last the lifetime of Lightyears cars and of other vehicles that utilize the solar roofs.”
Don’t Miss: What Is A Solar Skylight
Tesla Cost And Payment Options
Tesla has a calculator on its website to help you determine how much its solar power system may cost you.
For example, a standard 12 kilowatt system for a home in Austin with roughly $200 in electric bills each month, and around 2,700 square feet of roof space costs an estimated $30,120. Adding one Powerwall to this system would cost an additional $11,000. Though this makes the system $41,120, Tesla estimates that tax incentives would reduce that price to $30,429.
Tesla offers two payment methods for its solar energy systems:
- Solar loan: Solar loans work like any other loan. Based on your credit score, you pay a monthly fee to own the solar panels and benefit from local and federal solar incentives. However, this is not as cost-effective as a full-on purchase because interest rates mean you pay more in the long run.
- Full purchase: You may also purchase a Tesla solar system at an up-front price. This is the most cost-effective option because your solar investment is completely paid off, and you can take full advantage of any tax incentives and rebates.
You can make your solar panel system even more affordable by taking advantage of the federal tax credit and other local tax incentives. We suggest using the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency to see what rebates and credits you might receive for a Tesla solar installation.
Does Tesla Manufacture Solar Tiles
As well as traditional solar panels, Tesla also supplies solar tiles, which blend into your roof seamlessly.
Whilst the Tesla website insists that the company creates solar tiles in its factory in Buffalo, New York, there has been a lot of scepticism around this claim. In fact, in a bid to figure out how accurate this claim is, PV Magazine looked into the tiles origins and found that they were shipped from China.
A close up of Tesla’s solar panels. Photos courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
Also Check: Is There A Solar Storm Coming
Tesla Solar Roof Cost Varies By Roof Complexity
The cost of installing a Tesla roof varies significantly depending on your homes design. In April 2021, Tesla confused and frustrated many of their customers when they sent emails with increased prices to customers that had already signed contracts based on their initial quotes. While the company blamed these price hikes on underestimated roof complexity, Tesla has yet to provide a full explanation as to where their calculations faltered . The company did add a roof complexity disclaimer to their Solar Roof calculator, which Tesla notes will be determined after you place an order for a Solar Roof. On their website, Tesla divides the complexity into three categoriessimple, intermediate, and complexbased on the following criteria:
- Simple: single-level roof, uncrowded mounting planes, few obstructions , low pitch
- Intermediate: multi-level roof , more crowded mounting plane, more obstructions , higher pitch
- Complex: multi-level roof , heavily crowded mounting plane, many obstructions , steep pitch
You can start to estimate the cost of the Tesla Solar Roof for your property by using Teslas Solar Roof calculator.
Scenario : You Love The Solar Roof Aesthetics Want Solar And Have Money To Spend
There are certainly homeowners out there who simply love the aesthetics of the Tesla Solar Roof and want it installed, regardless of the price tag. For shoppers in this category who are considering solar or even a new roof, the Tesla Solar Roof could be a good fit! In fact, we believe that the majority of buyers for Teslas Solar Roof come from this fourth category. At EnergySage, we think that more solar on rooftops is always better than less, and are glad that this group has an option that best fits their needs.
There are other alternatives to the Solar Roof including the Timberline Solar Roofing System. This is a similar roofing system that can be paired with batteries including the Tesla Powerwall. In contrast to the Solar Roof, it can be nailed to a roof. There are also the Suntegra solar shingles. This system has the option of including tiles as well and offers efficiencies of 15.9% to 17.2%.
You May Like: What Is Kwh In Solar
Can You Use Multiple Portable Panels
Multiple solar panels can be connected to form what is known as a solar array, which works as one system to generate a higher output of energy.
Depending on what part of the world youre located in, you will be receiving differing amounts of sunlight. For arguments sake lets pretend we are in the USA, where on average there will be ~7 hours of sunlight per day.
To completely charge your Tesla battery from 0% to 100% using nothing but portable solar panels, you would need an array of 75 perfectly efficient PV modules in continuous midday sunlight for 7 hours. This is an obscene number of panels in impossible conditions.
How Green Is Tesla Really
Elon Musk, Chairman, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors.
On May 13, Elon Musk said Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin because of bitcoins heavy energy consumption. Yet the company ranks well behind General Motors and Ford in reporting carbon emissions and setting carbon-reduction targets. So how green is Tesla, really?
Those concerned with the fate of the planet have long lauded Tesla for its efforts To accelerate the worlds transition to sustainable energy. The company says that the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.
While founder and CEO Elon Musk caused alarm among environmentalists in early 2021 by endorsing bitcoin, whose annual carbon emissions are equivalent to that of a small country, he reversed this position with a on May 13. Responding in part to a tweet from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance calling bitcoins energy usage insane, Musk said that Tesla would no longer transact in bitcoin because of its heavy reliance on fossil fuels and its great cost to the environment.
There is no denying that Tesla has disrupted the auto industry by making exclusively electric vehiclesand maybe more importantly, by making them sexy. When the Model 3 was released in 2017, corporate elites and tree-huggers alike put their names on the wait list. Tesla succeeded in electric cars where its American competitors, General Motors and Ford, had failed.
Read Also: Is My Home Suitable For Solar Panels
How Are Teslas Solar Panels So Cheap
Teslas easy ordering process is one of the reasons they have such low prices.
Their brand name recognition also helps a lot. Tesla doesnt have to do a whole lot of work to get people to their website. People know Tesla – so they go right to it. This, plus the fact that their order process is entirely online and they only offer four standard system sizes eliminates a ton of overhead costs that many other solar companies face.
Not to mention, Tesla is a large company – they can afford to undercharge for their panels and take a slight loss at the front end of the deal.
Find out how much a solar system would cost for your specific home
Berkeley Lab Study Quantifies The Return On Energy Analytics In Buildings
But even with local companies, property owners would be wise to check references and extensively research them. Another takeaway from Tesla Energys solar troubles is to do thorough research about solar panel warranties. Solar panels typically have warranties that cover performance, equipment, and product. A performance warranty usually guarantees about 90 percent performance after 10 years and around 80 percent after 25 years, while equipment warranties guarantee 10 to 12 years without the installation failing. A product warranty covers the integrity of the solar installation and protects against problems like manufacturing defects and wear and tear. A more extended period for a product warranty is generally the best, as with most warranties, especially if you buy the system outright. Either way, getting a solid warranty can prevent serious headaches, even though solar panels require little maintenance and can perform trouble-free for a long time.
Teslas solar division may rebound soon, as Musk hopes it will. In the meantime, building owners would be wise to check out other companies that may offer more reliable customer service, better warranties, and dont come with all the baggage. Teslas market cap reached $1 trillion in October 2021, making it just the sixth company to do so in U.S. history. Its one of the most valuable companies in the world, but it doesnt necessarily mean its the right choice when investing in solar panels for your building.
Recommended Reading: How Much Tax Credit For Solar Panels In California
Is Tesla The Best Choice
As with any major purchase, you should get multiple quotes from multiple companies. Make sure they answer all your questions and provide the information you need. While Tesla doesn’t have a press office, its customer service representatives were easy to get in touch with and seemed knowledgeable. Still, it shouldn’t be your only call.
If you’re looking for the lowest prices and the backing of a national brand, Tesla is the way to go. Tesla’s price match means it will always be competitive in terms of cost. Likewise, the estimates it provides online come in well below the national average. If the look of your panels is really important, Tesla’s do sit closer to the roof and look sharp. Tesla also offers more information up front about its warranty than some of the other players. Still, make sure you can view it in detail before committing.
The Powerwall is widely considered an industry leader in batteries. It sets the Tesla’s equipment apart, but it’s also available from some other installers.
There is very little reliable customer service and satisfaction information for the solar industry. Tesla Solar doesn’t have a score on with the Better Business Bureau , but anecdotally Tesla’s customer service for solar is bad enough in cases to make some people regret their purchase. It’s customer service call center was responsive and it’s not hard to find customer service complaints for any of the major solar installers, but the complaints about Tesla seem louder and more numerous.
A Tesla In The Garage + Home Solar Power = Energy Freedom
Ive always been interested in the idea of using home solar to make my own electric fuel, and when someone posted on Twitter that he just sold his ICE vehicle and replaced it with a Tesla Model Y, thereby achieving an all-EV household, I found it intriguing.
Darrell MR Model 3 & PYD Youtuber
The poster is Darrell, who lives in the Bay Area of California. He has a YouTube channelwhere he shares many videos about his vehicles and solar power. When we replace ICE vehicles with all-electric ones, we arent just getting another new car. We are opening up possibilities that ICE cars dont have. One is installing a home solar power system that can be used to also charge an EV, or more than one.
How many Teslas do you have now and which one did you get most recently?
We now are an all-EV household. We have two Teslas now a 2018 MR Model 3 and a 2022 Performance Model Y. We just picked up the Model Y a few weeks ago.
Why did you get that particular model?
Since we have our little family now with a small infant, we needed the extra space. We also have 2 dogs we bring around with us, so cramming both the dogs and a baby in the Model 3 was way too tight. Having the hatch in the Model Y makes trips much easier for us now .
Image Credit: Darrell/nukem384
So far, what do you like the most about it and the least?
You May Like: Where To Buy Solar Paint