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jetmatt777
Topic Author
Posts: 4610
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:09 pm

Anyone on the board have used Tesla solar panels at your house?

I have to give credit to Elon, the simplicity of their website makes it very tempting to pull the trigger on getting solar. Seems very turn-key and low pressure, unlike these other companies that won't give you any kind of number without sending someone out to give an estimate or hassle you with calls.

I had to block another company last year because I input some info on their website. They called me every single day for close to a month, even after I told the salesman I wasn't interested in anything right away. Just doing hypothetical planning.

I live in Colorado and we get insane amounts of sun, and my house faces south. Pretty good solar potential.

I generally don't use a ton of electricity as I am not home very much. I work evenings so I am usually gone during the hottest part of the day. I am getting central AC installed in a few weeks, so my bill will likely go up significantly. I am torn between their smallest, cheapest option 4.08kW which comes in around $40-60/mo, and can generate up to 14-17 kwH per day. My average use is 11kwH/day in the winter, and 16kwH in the summer. The next option produces double, at about double the price.

If I do this, I like the idea of a smaller system that can be paid off sooner, even if it only covers my electric use for most of the year. Seems I would be a net producer for most of the year, except for the two hottest months of the summer.

The more expensive option would likely cover 100% of my needs and then some, but at a higher price and using up more and more roof.

Thoughts and opinions please!
Happy Sunday!
 
CaptainHaresh
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:49 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:59 pm

Tesla Solar is not cheap. 10.000 bucks for 4kW and you will still get utilities bills because you need to tap into the grid at night.

If you DIY it, you can go totally off-grid for half the money and never have to pay utilities bills ever again.
Look around for hybrid inverters in your area, the guys who sell those also sell loose solar panels.
A 5KW hybrid inverter should set you back about 700 bucks, 16 350Wp solar panels about 2000 bucks and deep cycling batteries about 400 bucks per 2.4kWh battery.
About 500 bucks for fixtures and circuit breakers.
5000 bucks and you re off grid.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 22209
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:00 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
Anyone on the board have used Tesla solar panels at your house?


I have SunRun only because they were able to undercut Solar City by $800. They were installed in 2014 and basically, most of the time I forget they're there. They also marginally cool the upper level of my house by shading the roof.

I'm not sure how the plans have changed since the Trump Administration but ours is basically a 20 year lease paid up front as a lump sum. SunRun owns the panels and the power that they make, but we get a huge rebate on our power bill. After 20 years, the panels become ours, although SunRun would remove them free of charge if we so desired. In addition, for that 20 year term, any maintenance that needs to be done on the panels is on SunRun's dime. We already had one issue and I got a phone call from SunRun (I didn't realize anything was wrong). They came out one day, fixed it, and were gone and didn't even need to enter the house. We, in turn, saw a big dip in our electric bill and also it means that less coal needs to be burned to power our house.

Most of the major companies now have storage batteries that can be added to the system. We do not have them because they weren't available at the time, but if you're in a place where the power goes out with some regularity, it might be a good additional investment.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
JJJ
Posts: 4071
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:56 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
Anyone on the board have used Tesla solar panels at your house?

I have to give credit to Elon, the simplicity of their website makes it very tempting to pull the trigger on getting solar. Seems very turn-key and low pressure, unlike these other companies that won't give you any kind of number without sending someone out to give an estimate or hassle you with calls.


There are quite a few horror stories of Tesla solar and especially their customer service (or lack thereof).

https://www.solarreviews.com/installers ... ty-reviews
 
jetwet1
Posts: 3334
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:38 pm

We have Tesla, we actually got it back in the Solar City days.

Like Doc we leased ours for 20 years, they deal with any issues. Our power bill went from over $300 a month to $14 (connection fee etc) to the local power company and $80 a month to Tesla.

So far zero issues, for us it was a no brainer, do the math, if it works out, do it.
 
GDB
Posts: 14266
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:03 pm

Not Tesla but my Mother's old residential community had solar fitted, this is in England which I know in the imaginations of many, it's always raining, always cloudy, which is partly true.
Not only did it meet the demands of the residents who are of an age where they use the heating more than younger people, plus communal as well as personal appliances like washing machines etc, they also had a surplus that went on to the national grid.

This was going back at least 5 years, (Mum moved to a newer one last year, no solar however), so maybe in this respect Tesla is not alL it's cracked up to be?
 
Okie
Posts: 4251
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:59 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
I generally don't use a ton of electricity as I am not home very much. I work evenings so I am usually gone during the hottest part of the day. I am getting central AC installed in a few weeks, so my bill will likely go up significantly. I am torn between their smallest, cheapest option 4.08kW which comes in around $40-60/mo, and can generate up to 14-17 kwH per day. My average use is 11kwH/day in the winter, and 16kwH in the summer. The next option produces double, at about double the price.

If I do this, I like the idea of a smaller system that can be paid off sooner, even if it only covers my electric use for most of the year. Seems I would be a net producer for most of the year, except for the two hottest months of the summer.


I won't answer on one supplier or the other however, I will give you a heads up that insurance companies are starting to not cover solar panels if the output exceeds a certain percentage of your homes needs.
Check your insurance to be sure. Most are still covering up to 125% of your homes needs. I suspect more companies will get on board as solar panels become more popular. Once one insurance company sees too much exposure covering something, then others are soon to follow as well.
The insurance companies stance is that if you are in the business of producing electricity for a profit then you need business insurance.

Okie
 
jetmatt777
Topic Author
Posts: 4610
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:40 pm

Okie wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
I generally don't use a ton of electricity as I am not home very much. I work evenings so I am usually gone during the hottest part of the day. I am getting central AC installed in a few weeks, so my bill will likely go up significantly. I am torn between their smallest, cheapest option 4.08kW which comes in around $40-60/mo, and can generate up to 14-17 kwH per day. My average use is 11kwH/day in the winter, and 16kwH in the summer. The next option produces double, at about double the price.

If I do this, I like the idea of a smaller system that can be paid off sooner, even if it only covers my electric use for most of the year. Seems I would be a net producer for most of the year, except for the two hottest months of the summer.


I won't answer on one supplier or the other however, I will give you a heads up that insurance companies are starting to not cover solar panels if the output exceeds a certain percentage of your homes needs.
Check your insurance to be sure. Most are still covering up to 125% of your homes needs. I suspect more companies will get on board as solar panels become more popular. Once one insurance company sees too much exposure covering something, then others are soon to follow as well.
The insurance companies stance is that if you are in the business of producing electricity for a profit then you need business insurance.

Okie


Thanks for that info. Sounds like I may need something slightly larger that Tesla's smallest option to account for summer demand.

The wheels are turning in my mind. I don't want this for "off the grid" purposes as mentioned by a poster above. I live in the middle of a city. I also want a professional installation and not try and Saturday afternoon build myself into an electrical fire that won't be covered by insurance.

Thanks for the input so far
 
CaptainHaresh
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:49 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:42 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
We have Tesla, we actually got it back in the Solar City days.

Like Doc we leased ours for 20 years, they deal with any issues. Our power bill went from over $300 a month to $14 (connection fee etc) to the local power company and $80 a month to Tesla.

So far zero issues, for us it was a no brainer, do the math, if it works out, do it.



If this is the 7.6kW plan that normally costs $100 a month and generates an average of 24kWh per day or 720kWh per month, this means that back when you paid $300 a month, you were paying $0.42/kWh which is more than 3 times the average price of residential electricity in the US. This is more expensive than running your home on a genset.

Your story doesnt add up, care to share more info?

As it stands, Tesla's subscription plans at about $0.14/kWh seem to be more expensive than the average price of residential electricity in the US of $0.13/kWh.
If you go the DIY way, you can still save money.
 
jetwet1
Posts: 3334
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Tesla Solar

Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:27 am

I'm in the Dominican Republic right now so I couldn't even begin to guess the size of the system, all I can tell you is that in Nevada back in 2012 we were allowed to have a system that covered 90% of our average useage. After the system was installed a took out a couple of trees that shaded the roof and put a new AC unit on the roof.

Edit
Just looked on the Tesla app, my system produced 17.7 kwh today, 349 kwh for the month so far. June and July it produced close to 1300 kwh
 
Zeppi
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:35 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:37 am

GDB wrote:
Not Tesla but my Mother's old residential community had solar fitted, this is in England which I know in the imaginations of many, it's always raining, always cloudy, which is partly true.
Not only did it meet the demands of the residents who are of an age where they use the heating more than younger people, plus communal as well as personal appliances like washing machines etc, they also had a surplus that went on to the national grid.


Indeed, the latest PV modules are so good, that even in very bad conditions they still produce a good amount of power. I currently have a 38.5kWp system in southern Germany, and even on a snowy January day like today I reach a peak of 8kW around noon and a total of 20-30kWh over the day (provided I go out and brush the snow off the modules in the morning of course). Enough to cover the entire energy need of the house with even a little surplus. Annual production is well over 40.000kWh.

So, wherever you are: If you have a naked roof, fill it with PV! Not just to meet your demand, but also to supply to the grid. If everyone did that we'd soon require no more coal, oil or gas powerplants.
 
Sokes
Posts: 2773
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:40 pm

Funny how the Americans speak about the money and the German about the environment.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
Zeppi
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:35 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:23 pm

... and I'm not finished either. There's two more pallets of modules sitting in the garage, waiting to go on its roof come suitable weather for tool time. Total power will then be 59.5kWp with an annual yield of around 65.000kWh
 
CaptainHaresh
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:49 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:34 am

Zeppi wrote:
... and I'm not finished either. There's two more pallets of modules sitting in the garage, waiting to go on its roof come suitable weather for tool time. Total power will then be 59.5kWp with an annual yield of around 65.000kWh


Your roof must be huge.

Do you have a meter that reverses or do you store the electricity as heat or in batteries?
Do you power an EV?
Where did you order your pallets if I may ask, I'm trying to decide where to buy them from.
 
Zeppi
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:35 pm

Re: Tesla Solar

Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:29 am

Yes, house and garage combined are ~420m2 of roof area.

It's a two way meter, we call it a mME. Basically it records all power coming in and going out, since last year I have a provider that handles both incoming and outgoing power, per incoming kWh I pay 24c/kWh and per outgoing kWh I get 9c/kWh. It's very straightforward, at the end of the year I just submit both numbers online, they do all the maths/tax and I get paid the difference.
I also have 12kWh of LiFePO4 battery storage for the nights though, and if there's a grid failure it provides seamless power.

Yes, currently we also power a Hyundai Ioniq with it. Very nice extremely efficient car for commuting, shopping etc. BTW, can be driven on just below 10kWh/100km ;)

I bought all my components on the SecondSol marketplace: https://www.secondsol.com/de/index.htm
There are many big wholesalers across the EU which often offer some very sweet deals if you buy entire pallets of modules. I bought 400W modules for below 100EUR per piece and 375W for the smaller areas/edges below 80EUR there, including shipping!

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