What To Consider Between Tesla Solar Roof Vs Solar Panels
The introduction of solar roof tiles has brought on a new debate for solar energy consumerssolar roof tiles versus solar panels. Solar tiles were first introduced by Tesla in 2005. They have only recently become available to the public for home installation. Homeowners now have a new option to consider when switching to solar. Each solar option comes with its unique benefits and downsides. Weve compiled the top questions to consider when comparing traditional solar panels to Tesla Solar Roof Tiles.
What Are The Payment Options For Tesla Solar
Fortunately, Tesla covers all the bases when it comes to paying for your homes solar system. Tesla has options for the following payment methods:
Renting or leasing is currently only available in six states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and New Jersey. The monthly subscription cost will vary depending on the size of the solar panel system you are renting, and will also account for installation prices.
You can cancel your subscription and have your panels uninstalled at any time for a fee of $2,500.00. Typically, this is a better option for those who plan to move out of their home in less than a decade. Note that the only way to receive state tax incentives is to purchase the panels outright. While leasing, these incentives will be paid to Tesla.
So What Exactly Are Tesla Solar Panels
With Panasonic out of the picture, Tesla is working with a company called Hanwha to supply their solar panels. Specifically, they use the QPeak Duo Black solar panels.
Although, when you call Tesla and ask for a quote for solar panels for your home, theres a good chance you wont even see a brand of panel listed aside your estimate.
Even though Tesla does manufacture solar roof shingles, or solar tiles, for the Tesla solar roof, they do not have their own solar panel brand. Youre likely going to have to ask for the specific makes and models but for now, Hanwha is the most likely brand.
One of the biggest benefits of a Tesla solar panel system is the aesthetic appeal. Typical solar installations include skirting, in an effort to hide all solar panel mounting hardware from the ground view, ensuring seamless integration into the roofing material. Teslas panels will also be black in appearance, which ensures the panels are as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
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Solar Roof Durability Vs Solar Panel Durability
Tesla is extremely confident in the durability of its solar roof. Elon Musk has stated that the Tesla Solar Roof has an infinity warranty or for the lifetime of your home, whichever comes first. While the durability of the new solar tiles has not been successfully field testing, there are videos online of the Tesla Solar team launching hail and other heavy objects at the solar tiles to show their durability. Based on a video recorded in a Tesla owned factory, it seems the solar tiles are stronger than a tempered-glass solar panel.
Standard solar panels, however, are usually warrantied by the manufacturer for 25 years and the panels typically will last longer than the warranty. The expected lifetime of solar panels has also been field tested, unlike the solar roof.
The biggest question here is what is going to happen when solar tiles start degrading and losing their efficiency? When solar panels need to be replaced or corrected it is a pretty simple replacement. But what happens when there are solar tile problems? How much of the roof is going to have to be replaced? It seems that making any corrections to a Tesla Solar Roof is going to be very expensive and labor-intensive.
Who Should Buy A Solar Roof
The initial appeal of the Tesla Solar Roof will target the wealthy, tech-savvy homeowner with a passion for renewable energy. Due to the solar roof cost, the purchaser of a solar roof will have a deep passion for aesthetics.
There is certainly a risk-reward aspect of being one of the first owners of a Tesla Solar Roof. The reward is obviously being able to be one of the first owners of this beautiful technology. The risk is the same. Being the owner of the first version of anything comes with the risk of having to be patient while kinks are worked out.
If you want to be an owner of the Tesla Solar Roof you will need a large amount of expendable cash and an even larger amount of patience as it could take years for the solar roofs to get installed.
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Increase In Home Value And Homes Sell Faster
A new solar system is similar to a home renovation because a solar panel system can increase its overall market value. A solar energy system is the best home improvement renovation because it is the only one guaranteed to pay you back. If you saw two identical homes, one with solar and one without. Wouldnt you pay more for the home that costs less to maintain every month?
Based on past data, homes with solar power can be sold for 3% more than homes without. This increase in home value applies to both solar shingles and solar panels. Besides, when analyzing previous home sales, the data has shown that homes with solar energy systems sell faster than others. When getting solar roof tiles, not only can you benefit directly from the solar energy system, but it will improve your home valuation as well.
Solarskin Has Already Proven Its Success With Installations In 20 States Nationwide
Teslas technology is being deployed in specific target areas, such as California, Florida, and Texas, and with the first installation in Massachusetts within the past month, the number of installations is continuing to grow slowly. Homeowners in other areas may wonder about when this solar roof installation will be able to reach their neighborhood. Certainly this may occur down the line, but a more immediate option would be SolarSkin. SolarSkin is available nationwide and we are proud to have customers in 20 states and rapidly growing.
One of our clients was initially considering Tesla solar roof for their new home build in South Carolina, but they were unsure if the technology would be deployed in time for construction. Eventually, they decided to work with a different company offering solar shingles, accompanied with SolarSkin. As it turned out, this method brought them even better aesthetics with ample versatility in design. This 14.4 kW installation seamlessly integrates solar power and sustainability into their new home.
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What Makes Tesla Solar Panels Different
One striking difference between Teslas solar panels and other solar products is how they look on the roof. Images of Teslas solar panels portray a product with a sleek all-black finish, consistent with Teslas reputation for impressive design. However, Tesla isnt the only company that offers an all-black solar panel premium panel manufacturers LG and SunPower have been producing black panels for years, as has Teslas new manufacturing partner, Panasonic.
What is more distinct is the design of the system as a whole. The Tesla website states, Our solar panels blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware. SolarCity acquired Zep Solar, a company that manufactures low-profile solar panel mounts, back in 2013. The Tesla solar panel system likely includes or in the future will include a version of Zeps previous mounting design.The system also includes skirts that create a beveled edge wrapping around the solar panel installation, which makes the system appear visually more integrated into the roof. While neither the skirt nor the low-profile mounting panels are Tesla-exclusive innovations, its clear that Tesla has dedicated significant resources to creating an aesthetically pleasing panel installation.
Environmental Factors Affecting Solar Cell Efficiency
Shading from nearby buildings and trees are one of the biggest factors affecting solar panel efficiency. If you are dealing with shade from a nearby building, you may have the option of installing a solar canopy in order to reposition the panels to receive more direct sunlight.
Trees can oftentimes be trimmed or even removed in order to increase the irradiance of a solar array. While removing a tree may seem counterintuitive to the positive environmental impact of installing solar, just remember that the CO2 offset your solar system will achieve will far exceed the carbon absorbing capability of that one tree!
It is important when going Solar to ensure that whoever is designing your system is utilizing adequate software or other methods in order to accurately model and measure shading. Aurora, for example, is a premium modeling software that accurately takes into account all relevant environmental factors when designing a system.
Significant amounts of dirt and dust can also reduce efficiency. For the most part, solar panels are self-cleaning. A rain shower can reset your panel efficiency in just a few minutes. If you live in a particularly arid region and heavy dust-storms are a problem, you might want to clean the panels off yourself. Hereshow to know if your panels need cleaningand how to go about it.
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Seamless Solarskin Installation On Solar Shingles
Successful deployments of SolarSkin have been seen all over the country, and with easy installation, any installer can be well-equipped to implement these aesthetic overlays onto your solar panels. We work with installers to get you the product you desire in a timely manner. See below an installation from Canoga Park, CA, that beautifully matches the terracotta patterned solar panels to the roof of this residential home.
How Much Does The Tesla Solar Roof Cost
With the new complexity categories explained above, its a bit difficult to fully estimate the cost of a Tesla Solar Roof. The cost varies significantly depending on whether your roof is simple or complex and depending on the square footage of your roof. Teslas estimate calculator shows that if youre installing a system on a simple, small roof, the price is fairly comparable to that of a new asphalt roof installation plus solar panels. However, as you increase the size and/or complexity of your roof, this number quickly skyrockets.
For an 8.2 kilowatt system in northern California, Tesla estimates that the solar roof will cost $48,460 before incentives if you have an intermediately complex, 2,000 square foot roof. However, if you update your roof to be considered complex, the price increases to $54,940 and if your intermediately complex roof is 2,500 square feet instead of 2,000 square feet, the price jumps to $56,460. You can dig further into these calculations in our comparison of the cost of the solar roof vs. standard panels.
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Are Tesla Solar Panels Worth It
At first glance, a Tesla solar panel installation seems like a no-brainer. They have an easy ordering process and they offer good-quality solar panels at an insanely low price. All we can say is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
When it comes to solar, the communication between you and your solar company is key. Youll be dealing with them for 25 years, at least! Teslas track record shows that they might not be the ones you want to rely on if something goes wrong. Cutting costs wont be worth the potential headache you could incur after the solar installation.
We recommend getting quotes from a few local solar installers before you decide to go solar with Tesla. A local installers prices will most definitely be higher than Teslas, but the cost includes the value of a long-term customer relationship, and to us, thats priceless.
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Tesla Solar Roof Cost Varies By Roof Design
The cost of installing a Tesla roof varies significantly depending on your homes design. In April 2021, Tesla confused and frustrated many of its customers when it 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 its calculations faltered. The company did add a roof complexity estimate to its solar roof calculator, which adjusts the systems price based on the roof complexity. On its 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.
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How Efficient Are Tesla Solar Panels
Currently, the Hanwha solar panel that Tesla is quoting has a 19.6% solar panel efficiency.
SunPower solar panels have a 22% efficiency rating and most Chinese Tier 1 producers achieve 17%. This means that the amount of solar energy a Tesla solar panel absorbs from the sun is higher than lower-quality products.
It is also important to consider the real-world performance of the Tesla solar panels, with a temperature coefficient of .39%. This means the panels power output falls only 0.39% for every degree Celsius above 25 degrees. A .39% temperature coefficient is not the most efficient, but it will keep your solar panels producing enough energy even on the hottest days.
Panel Size Vs Efficiency
Panel efficiency is calculated by the power rating divided by the total panel area, so just having a larger size panel does not always equate to higher efficiency. However, larger panels using larger size cells increases the cell surface area which does boost overall efficiency.
Most common residential panels still use the standard 6 square 60-cell panels while commercial systems use the larger format 72 cell panels. However, as explained below, a new industry trend emerged in 2020 towards much larger panel sizes built around new larger size cells which increased panel efficiency and boosted power output up to an impressive 600W.
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Solarskin Is Affordable For Everyone Not Just The Affluent
Industry estimates indicate that the Tesla solar roof comes at a 33-50% premium to traditional solar panels, suggesting that its primary market is likely to be high income households. This would be in line with Teslas new product strategy, which typically sees early versions targeted at the affluent and the costs being driven down over time to make later versions geared towards the mass market. Consider the target audiences for the Tesla Roadster vs. the Model 3.
SolarSkin, though, was designed for the mass market from the outset. For less than the price of a pro laptop, a SolarSkin installation is a worthwhile investment for any homeowner. Adding SolarSkin to your array not only boosts your curb appeal and homes value, but it also protects your panels from UV rays and other harsh elements. The list of benefits for the price you are paying is an advantageous way to preserve both the panels themselves and your homes aesthetics.
Traditional Solar Panels With An Energy Storage System
As of 2021, you can expect to pay $3,000 per kilowatt of solar panel capacity, and this includes other system components and their installation. You will pay around $15,000 for a 5-kW system, and $30,000 for a 10-kW system. If you want to enhance the system with a 10-kWh home battery, you can expect to pay around $10,000. When combining this battery with the 10-kW solar array, the total price is around $40,000.
Thanks to the two-year extension of the 26% federal tax credit, you can deduct $7,800 from the solar system and $2,600 from the battery. However, keep in mind that the battery is only eligible if you charge it EXCLUSIVELY with the solar panels, and not with electricity from the grid. The potential tax credit that can be claimed is $10,400, reducing the net cost to $29,600.
In April 2021, Tesla decided to bundle its products into packages, and you can no longer buy them separately.
- This means you can buy a Tesla solar roof + Powerwall for your home, or their normal solar panels + Powerwall. Unfortunately, Powerwalls can no longer be purchased alone.
- If you already have solar panels installed, your only option is purchasing a battery from another brand.
- However, this is not a problem because there are excellent alternatives, such as the 9.3-kWh LG Chem RESU and the 10-kWh sonnenCore.
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Slow To Get Installed And Takes A Long Time To Install
Since solar roof tiles are a recent innovation, solar roof shingles do not have many installation contractors. To install solar roof shingles, you need to find a solar installation company with expertise in roofing and solar energy. With the limited number of experienced solar tile installers, it can be harder to find a professional solar tile installer, and the vetting process is typically longer. Also, it takes much more labor to install solar roof tiles than solar panels. On average, it takes 5-6 hours for a solar installation team to install solar panels on an average home. It would take the same solar installation team roughly 5-6 days to install the solar roof shingles.
Tesla Solar Roof Cost Vs Traditional Solar Panels
- Solar Panels /
- Tesla Solar Roof Cost Vs. Traditional Solar Panels
Tesla has been dabbling in industries that are far-flung and diverse. In 2016, the company made its entry into the world of solar panels and solar roofs.
The Tesla solar roof has a unique design that integrates photovoltaic solar panels with the regular shingles of a normal roof. That combines aesthetic value with functionality, as homeowners can now experience the benefits of solar energy without giving up on design.
However, you might want to consider several factors before you jump right into buying a Tesla solar roof. How does it compare with traditional solar panels? Which one is more cost-effective? And are they both equally practical?
This article will provide you with an overview of both these roof types to make an informed decision!
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