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REC vs Tesla solar panels. Tesla pv panels

REC vs Tesla solar panels. Tesla pv panels

    Thinking of getting a Tesla Solar Roof? Here’s everything you need to know

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    First launched in 2016, Elon Musk’s Solar Roof system has taken the photovoltaic (PV) world by storm. Tesla’s Solar Roof is not the only solar roof tiles on the market but is some of the most attractive and most expensive.

    Solar tiles offer a completely different approach to solar PV installations, the final product is, inarguably, far superior in aesthetic terms to traditional solar PV installations, and seeks to add a cool factor to generating your own power.

    While Tesla claims its Solar Roof is competitive in terms of providing a two-for-one solution (you do get a new roof after all), ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    So, is Tesla’s Solar Roof all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take an honest look.

    What is Tesla’s Solar Roof?

    Tesla’s Solar Roof, like other solar roof tiles, is an innovative system of specially engineered roofing tiles or shingles. Unlike conventional solar PV panels that are mounted onto an existing roof, a solar roof acts as a direct replacement for existing roof coverings.

    The system allows potential customers to benefit from generating their own power without unduly affecting the aesthetics of their homes. Win-win.

    Tesla’s Solar Roof consists of two main types of textured glass tile shingles. The first is purely decorative and is termed inactive. These look exactly the same as the second kind, called Active, to ensure a uniform look of the finished roof.

    The Active shingles are effectively small, shingle-sized solar panels that are integrated into the main roof surface in strategic places to maximize their efficiency. In most cases, most of the south or west-facing areas of a roof will consist of Active shingles, with the rest of the surface consisting of the visually similar Inactive shingles.

    Active shingles, like conventional solar panels, will also be fitted as close to the best angle of incidence to the Sun’s rays throughout the year. In the northern hemisphere, this is as close to a 60 degrees inclination as possible, which, on most domestic homes is around 30-45 degrees, depending on the pitch of your existing roof.

    Of course, if you choose to install a Solar Roof, your old roof will need to be stripped and replaced in totality.

    The system can also be used with a Tesla Solar Inverter to convert the direct current generated by the shingles to useable alternating current in your home. While non-Tesla inverters can also be used, the use of Tesla’s own proprietary equipment ensures the systems will run with fewer potential snags.

    This inverter also enables you to tag on a Tesla Powerwall battery to store excess energy, if desired.

    The system was developed in a collaboration between Tesla and its subsidiary SolarCity and was first announced in 2016. It wasn’t until 2018 that Tesla and SolarCity were in a position to begin the manufacture and delivery of their first Solar Roofs, however.

    Since then, Tesla has continued to make improvements to the technology, with its latest variant, Solar Roof V3, boasting the best efficiency and durability to date. The product comes with a generous 25-year weatherization warranty.

    Great, but what are some of the downsides? One is whether Tesla actually serves your geographical area.

    For the most part, Tesla should be able to provide an installation in most of the continental United States. However, in some states, they may use authorized installers to do so.

    The same is true for other parts of the world, with the rollout continuing around the world. If you are interested in finding out if they serve your area, the best thing to do is contact Tesla, or try to get a quote, and they will tell you.

    How much does a Tesla solar roof cost?

    According to data from actual Tesla quotes, their Solar Wall system costs approximately 1.80 per generated watt of electricity for their Active shingles. The cost of their Inactive shingles then varies depending on the complexity of the roof in question.

    For simple roofs, i.e., basic pitched roofs start at around 13.30 per square foot. For more tricky roofs like hipped roofs or multiple-level roofs, these shingles should cost about 15.30 per square foot. For more complex roofs (i.e. cross-gabled, steep or variable pitched, multiple heights, or lots of obstacles), costs could be as high as 18.54 per square foot.

    You will also be charged for the removal and disposal of your old roof at a rate of around 3.55 per square foot.

    Just like any solar energy installation, the actual cost will vary depending on the size of roof coverage, location, and construction of the building. Smaller pitched roofs on a single-story home will be considerably cheaper than a large complex roof on a multi-story building, for example.

    This is for a variety of reasons, but chief among them are additional costs for access equipment to higher roofs or increased time in labor to design and install the roof on larger and more complex roofs like cross-gabled roofs.

    Tesla may also require customers to upgrade their electrical systems in order to actually work with their Solar Roof system. Upgrading elements like electrical panels can cost anywhere in the region of 5,000 and up.

    However, to give you a rough estimate, using Tesla’s own calculator, a good-sized family home would cost around 70,000 dollars to install an 8.05 kW system before tax incentives. This quote is based on a home in Nashville, Texas, with a floor area of 2,500 feet 2 (232 m 2 ) and using an average monthly energy bill of 115 (this was the U.S. average in 2019, according to the EIA).

    This, according to Tesla’s estimates, should be able to produce for this hypothetical home, somewhere in the order of 12,800 kWh/year, or roughly 100% of the building’s electrical energy consumption. You also get the added bonus (for additional cost) of energy storage with this system, which is a considerable advantage over some conventional domestic solar panel arrays.

    If this estimate is accurate, that should provide a payback period (the time taken to recover your initial investment) of about 50 years, give or take. This will likely be closer to 40 years after tax incentives are factored in to reduce your initial capital outlay.

    Another estimate for a 1,700 ft 2 (158m 2 ) roof in California with an electrical bill of 150 per month came in at 39,000 before incentives for a 6.13-kilowatt system. It should be noted that this quote was generated in 2022 and for a different state, so costs likely vary for that reason.

    You should also remember that energy costs from the grid are likely to rise over time, so the true payback will likely be much shorter, ignoring any maintenance and cleaning costs of course.

    We’ve chosen this square footage as it is about the average size of a new family home in the United States.

    To put that into perspective, installing a similarly sized conventional solar panel array would cost around 26,000 before incentives. Using the same statistics as above would give you an equitable payback of between 15 and 22 years, depending on tax incentives.

    However, remember that the estimated lifespan of conventional solar panels is also roughly 25 to 30 years, so you would probably need to replace the array after a few decades.

    It should be noted, however, that such estimates should be taken with a pinch of salt. The final figures will likely vary widely depending on where your home is located if you were to actually order an installation.

    This is especially the case for conventional solar panel installations and you are always advised to source several quotes from recommended installers before authorizing any work.

    Any and all costs for such installations should also include any planning and design work required prior to the installation. This will not only ensure the costings are as accurate as possible but also discover if your existing roof is appropriate for such an installation.

    tesla, solar, panels

    The latter is less relevant for Tesla solar roofs, as these tend to be a direct replacement for your existing roof covering.

    You should also note that costs are likely to vary over time as labor, consumable, and material costs will fluctuate, given the current economic climate. There may be other costs, too, such as various local authority planning requirements, where relevant.

    Solar panels vs. Tesla solar roof: which one is better?

    Generally speaking, on a per watt average cost, Tesla’s Solar Roof is actually pretty reasonable, all things considered. According to some estimates, in the United States, Tesla’s come in at around 1.80 per watt. Traditional solar PV panels tend to cost around 3.00 per watt.

    However, any direct comparison between the two is complicated by a few factors. The first is that Tesla’s Solar Roof is not just some PV solar panels but actually a new roof and some PV panels in one package.

    Traditional solar PV panels are where your roof can handle it, simply mounted to an existing roof without needing to replace it. So, in order to provide a fair comparison, we’ll need to do a like-for-like summing up.

    REC vs Tesla solar panels

    REC Solar is a Norwegian solar energy company that was founded in 1996. In 2007, REC Solar opened its first solar panel manufacturing facility in Singapore, with a production capacity of 740 megawatts (MW) per year. The company continued to expand, opening additional manufacturing facilities in Norway, the United States, and Singapore, as well as research and development centers in Norway and Singapore. In 2010, REC Solar became the first solar company to offer a product warranty that covered the performance of its solar panels for 25 years.

    In 2015, the Chinese solar energy company, China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), acquired a controlling stake in REC Solar, which helped the company expand its global reach and increase its production capacity. ChemChina also helped to finance the development of a new solar panel manufacturing facility in Singapore, which opened in 2018 with a production capacity of 1.3 GW per year.

    What we know about the Tesla solar panel brand

    Tesla Energy is a division of Tesla Inc. that focuses on developing and producing sustainable energy solutions. The company offers a range of products, including solar panels, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle charging stations.

    Tesla Energy’s history dates back to 2015 when Tesla announced the launch of its home battery product, the Powerwall. The Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to store energy generated from solar panels or from the grid during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper. The stored energy can then be used during peak hours or during power outages.

    In 2016, Tesla acquired SolarCity, a solar panel installation company co-founded by Elon Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla. Since the acquisition, Tesla has expanded its solar offerings to include solar roofs, which are made up of tiles that resemble traditional roofing materials but are actually solar panels. These solar tiles can be integrated into a home’s design and generate electricity while still providing the same level of protection and durability as a traditional roof.

    REC solar panels vs Tesla solar panels: Pros and Cons

    Here’s a list of advantages and disadvantages of panels from these two brands. This will make it easier to compare REC vs Tesla solar panels.

    Pros:1. Panels are efficient with up to 22% conversion rate and that helps save space on your roof.2. Great qualities and warranties: some panels are eligible for triple 25-year warranty.3. REC Solar panels degrade slower than most panels. The most modern Alpha panels lose only 0.25% of output per year.4. High quality. REC panels go through third party testing, they are protected by solid warranties and their failure rate is 1 in 10,000.

    Pros:1. Inexpensive. Tesla solar panel systems cost between 2 and 3 per watt, not including installation costs or tax credits.2. Good monitoring system. With the mobile app from Tesla, you can keep an eye on your energy usage and production, providing you total control and understanding of your energy system. 3. Name brand. Using Tesla products is appealing in itself because the corporation positions itself as one of the pioneers of the green energy switch movement.

    Cons:1. REC panels can be more expensive than PV modules from other manufacturers.2. REC panels are primarily designed for home systems and not solar farms or industrial-scope projects.

    Cons:1. Poor customer service. Tesla customer service can be difficult to reach, and some installers may not be unprofessional. Sometimes installing the system may take months.2. Restricted accessibility. The products made by Tesla aren’t available in all places. over, the supply may not keep up with demand in the US.3. Zero retail. Tesla does not sell solar panels that you can purchase and install anyway you like. 4. Shallow line of products. In fact, Tesla only provides one solar panel model.

    Best solar panel REC vs Best solar panel Tesla: By A1SolarStore

    Let’s compare the panels that Tesla and REC put out on the market. A standard home panel from Tesla Energy goes up against the superhit from REC — Alpha panel.

    Tesla solar panels

    Depending on the variation, Tesla solar panels for home produce between 420 and 430 W of power. The highest efficiency is 19.8%. The panels look fashionable thanks to their all-black design. They come with a 25-year warranty for both product and performance — expect them to keep more than 85% of their output by the end of year 25.

    REC Alpha Pure black

    REC Alpha panels use half-cut cell technology, which means that the solar cells are cut in half and connected in a way that reduces energy loss and improves performance. They have a module efficiency of up to 21.9%, which is higher than most other solar panels on the market. This means that it can produce more power from the same amount of sunlight, making it a good option for homes and businesses with limited roof space or for those looking to maximize their solar energy output.

    In addition to its high efficiency, the REC Alpha panel is also known for its durability and reliability. It is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including extreme temperatures, high winds, and heavy snow loads. The panels are also backed by a 25-year product warranty, which covers any defects in materials or workmanship.

    SunPower PV System vs. Tesla Solar Roof

    We’ve received a lot of inquiries about solar shingles since Tesla unveiled its solar roof concept last week. While this technology is certainly appealing and innovative, customers should understand the appropriate use cases and associated costs.

    The new solar roof from Tesla is a roof replacement for your home. The installation requires that a customer replace their existing roof with both non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled ones. The product is sleek and elegant, but a savvy consumer should consider whether the solar roof makes financial sense for them.

    Example of SunPower PV vs. Tesla Roof

    Let’s consider Scenario 1. A Texas homeowner wants to reduce their energy consumption but doesn’t need a new roof.

    Based on a 3,000-square-foot house, a solar roof using 40% of the available space would generate 29,200 in energy savings over 30 years. That’s using Tesla’s own calculations.

    The cost of the solar roof is 84,200. In comparison, a SunPower system with half the footprint would generate about 65,000 in lifetime energy savings.

    The total cost of the fully installed SunPower system, which uses the most efficient solar panels available, is 50,000.

    Tesla’s solar roof is approximately 70% more expensive and produces half as much electricity as a SunPower system. In this scenario, the SunPower system is more productive and cost-effective, and the customer doesn’t require a roof replacement.

    Tesla’s Solar Roofs Cost in the Long Run

    If a homeowner needs to replace their roof, the Tesla solution may seem appealing. However, a closer analysis of the numbers in Scenario 2 (see the graph below) suggests that may not be the case.

    tesla, solar, panels

    Consumer Reports estimates that for our example 3,000-square-foot home, an asphalt roof replacement costs 20,000. That brings the cost of a SunPower system and roof replacement to 70,000.

    While the costs for the Tesla solar roof are only 20% lower than SunPower plus a roof replacement, the long-term production difference would hurt consumers’ ability to recoup their investment. In Scenario 2, the SunPower system with roof replacement is more cost-effective.

    Compared to Tesla, it’ll provide double the lifetime energy savings.

    Why Are Tesla Solar Roofs So Popular?

    Early adopters may want a Tesla solar roof no matter the price. However, these consumers should keep in mind that Tesla will install solar roofs exclusively in California starting in June. We don’t know when installations will begin in the rest of the country.

    If the Tesla solar roofs are anything like the Tesla Roadster, customers should prepare for initial hiccups. SunPower by Freedom Solar has a proven track record of excellence, and all our installations come with a comprehensive lifetime warranty on parts, labor and performance. We ensure you have peace of mind about your investment

    Whether you need a new roof or not, we’re ready to offer assistance. Let the experienced energy consultants at SunPower by Freedom Solar help you determine the best way to meet your energy needs.

    Please feel free to reach out to us! Give us a call at (800) 504-2337, or fill out our inquiry form. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Tesla Solar Reviews, Panels, and Installation

    Do Tesla’s solar panels live up to the hype? Read our in-depth review to get all your questions answered.

    • Fast Facts
    • Benefits Drawbacks
    • Tesla Solar Reviews
    • Tesla Overview
    • Cost Payment
    • Our Recommendation

    Affiliate Disclaimer: All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    Although Tesla started as an auto company, it made a name for itself in the solar industry when it unveiled its solar roof in 2016. The product has a modern, eye-catching roof design that uses small solar panels to mimic the appearance of regular roof shingles. This sleek look, combined with Tesla’s widely recognizable name, has made it a popular choice among homeowners. But how good are Tesla solar panels, really?

    We analyzed solar panel specifications, industry trends, customer service reviews, and more to determine the top solar energy companies available to put this to the test. This Tesla solar panels review covers the company’s products, payment options, reputation, services, and more.

    Important Note: Tesla makes solar panels and batteries, but it doesn’t install them. Choose from one of the Tesla certified installers below to install your Tesla solar products.

    Offers unique solar roofs for low-key aesthetic Offers 24/7 active monitoring Produces its own solar battery, the Powerwall

    Available in 50 states Has been in the industry since 1985 Provides its own monocrystalline solar panels

    Available in 23 states 25-year warranties for the product, labor, and inverter Power protection guarantee

    25-year workmanship and product warranty Perks for new construction homeowners Available in 20 states

    Fast Facts About Tesla

    BBB rating is accurate as of April 2023.

    Benefits and Drawbacks of Tesla

    UpsidesDownsides

    Tesla Solar Reviews

    We analyzed the 100 most recent additions to Google Reviews for Tesla ’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Overall, the reviews were mixed, with 47% being three stars or less. However, these reviews also covered Tesla’s cars, not just its solar products. Customers primarily complained that Tesla doesn’t have human customer service representatives. People also had difficulty scheduling repairs for products like its solar battery, the Powerwall. positive reviews praise the quality of Tesla’s products and the company’s efforts to make renewable energy accessible. Read what some customers had to say below.

    Absolutely love our … Solar Panels : We had a 5 kW system and upgraded to 10 kW, customer service was top notch, and the whole experience was delightful (both times). Powerwalls : A MUST if you’re getting solar … love the app, look at it three times/day. Always a fun challenge to get below net grid usage. Welcome to the future built by Tesla. … We are largely energy independent. Thank you, Tesla Team! ” —Aaron Nutten via Google Reviews

    The salespeople are very helpful, and they answer all questions you may have…. ” —Libby Chang via Google Reviews

    I’ve called customer service four separate times, and I still don’t have access to automatic billing in my Tesla Account. Terrible customer service. ” —Brandon T. via Google Reviews

    Tesla energy use[s] deceptive practices and conman sales tactics! First off, it took over two years from the date of the deposit to installation of the two Powerwalls ! And before installation they were going to finance the project at 2.5% and get me the SGIP rebates. I was told in emails and verbally that Tesla would file the SGIP rebate documents with the utility company…. Now after the project is completed I’m being told that they can no longer file the SGIP forms, and I will have to pay full price for the project. ” —Jay Garden via Google Reviews

    Tesla Overview

    Tesla has been making a name for itself in alternative energy with its electric vehicles (EVs) since 2003. In 2016, it acquired SolarCity and began providing renewable energy products for residential solar energy systems. It later introduced the Tesla Powerwall solar battery, which has become one of the most popular solar batteries on the market. Tesla is also known for its solar roofs. Rather than simply placing solar panels on your existing roof, the Tesla solar roof uses minimalistic solar panels to create a new roof with no visible grid. a concealed edge, and a low profile. This makes the Tesla panels look like typical roof shingles and offers a modern, less noticeable style. Tesla’s solar roofs also use monocrystalline solar panels. the most efficient currently available. Tesla’s solar products and services are available in all 50 states but vary according to zip code. We recommend checking with the company to see whether it services your home’s address. Get your Solar quote today.

    Tesla Solar Roof: the complete review

    In October 2019, Tesla Motors announced the launch of the Tesla Solar Roof V3, the company’s third version of its integrated solar glass shingle. Among several updates, version three included larger tiles, lower production costs, increased power density, and a more straightforward installation process.

    Additionally, the total number of parts in the product decreased. Tesla predicted that these changes would significantly reduce the cost of the product; however, the company has continued to struggle with expediting its solar roof installations.

    The Tesla Solar Roof: EnergySage’s take

    While Tesla is most famous for its electric vehicles (EVs), the company’s future lies in total clean energy integration – a one-step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla EV. For home owners who want the benefits of solar without the “look” of solar, the Tesla Solar Roof provides an enticing alternative: but is this luxury roof the right option for you?

    What’s in this article?

    There’s a lot in here, and we’ll try to speak to every aspect of the solar roof. Skip ahead to any of the sections below:

    • What are solar shingles?
    • Latest news on the solar roof
    • Solar Roof key events timeline
    • Solar roof specifications
    • Cost estimates
    • Should you wait for the Tesla Solar Roof?
    • Tesla’s competitors

    The Tesla Solar Roof: what you need to know

    Some solar industry stakeholders believe that solar needs to be rebranded as an aesthetic and technical improvement that can be a part of a home renovation rather than a hefty module affixed to your rooftop. That sentiment was emphasized in Elon Musk’s October 2016 launch of Tesla’s first roofing product. With the Solar Roof, the company aims to bring solar further into the mainstream by removing any sort of aesthetic concerns that homeowners may have.

    “I think there’s quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually make your house look better versus ones that do not, I think it’s going to be a night-and-day difference,” said Musk in a statement before the official launch of Tesla’s first solar roof. Two months later, he unveiled the solar roof using a crowded, suburban event in California to demonstrate that Tesla’s panel design was so seamlessly integrated that the entire audience of press needed to be altered to its presence on the house in front of them.

    Using a Tesla Powerwall home battery with the Tesla Solar Roof

    Tesla Solar Roofs come paired with energy storage in the form of a Tesla Powerwall battery. The Tesla Powerwall boasts a maximum power rating of 7 kW with no sun or 9.6 kW with full sun to go along with 13.5 kWh of usable capacity. It can also help provide solar power to your home during a power outage. It also comes with the Tesla app that allows users to monitor their energy production in real- time. Tesla Powerwalls are eligible for the federal tax credit.

    What’s the latest news on the Tesla Solar Roof tiles?

    Tesla has now installed Solar Roofs across the country, though the exact number of installations is unclear. This solar product has been gaining popularity among some consumers, leading to long installation wait times for customers who sign contracts. In April 2021, many of these customers were shocked when they received emails from Tesla quoting higher installation costs than their contract prices. The lack of explanation and transparency caused confusion and frustration among consumers, especially if they could no longer afford the hefty price tag.

    During Tesla’s quarterly earnings call in April 2021, CEO Elon Musk affirmed that demand “remains strong” for the Tesla Solar Roof, despite increases in Solar Roof pricing. He did concede that Tesla “basically made some significant mistakes in assessing the difficulty of certain roofs.” Tesla has added roof complexity information to its website and a roof complexity disclaimer to its Solar Roof calculator; however, Tesla notes that your roof complexity won’t be determined until after you place an order for a Solar Roof. Tesla divides the complexity into three categories–simple, intermediate, and complex–based on the following criteria:

    • Simple: single-level roof, uncrowded mounting planes, few obstructions (pipes, chimneys, skylights), low pitch
    • Intermediate: multi-level roof (roof sections built on multiple stories of your house), more crowded mounting plane, more obstructions (pipes, chimneys, skylights), higher pitch
    • Complex: multi-level roof (roof sections built on multiple stories of your house), heavily crowded mounting plane, many obstructions (pipes, chimneys, skylights), steep pitch

    Based on previous reports, the price of a Tesla Solar Roof varies substantially depending on your roof’s complexity.

    Timeline of key Tesla Solar Roof news and announcements

    Tesla seems to have a pattern of overpromising and underdelivering in regard to its solar roof. Here’s a breakdown of what the past several years have looked like for the company and its customers.

    • April 2016: Tesla purchases Solarcity and begins production on solar panels and the solar roof.
    • May 2017: Tesla began taking orders for its Tesla solar tiles
    • August 2017: Elon Musk revealed that he and another Tesla executive already had the roof installed on their respective properties.
    • January 2018: The company announced it was ramping up production of the roof product at its Buffalo Gigafactory. Tesla then started initial installations with customers at the top of its waitlist in the California area in mid-March, roughly eight months after its initial estimate.
    • May 2018: Tesla had about 11,000 orders for the solar roof and it was struggling to meet the demand.
    • August 2018: Only 12 solar roofs had been installed in California, the leading state in the country for solar.
    • September 2018: A report was released stating that solar roofs may not be widely installed for a long time. According to CNBC, Musk said they needed more time to work out all the details. “There’s only so much accelerated life testing that you can do on a roof. So before we can deploy it at a large number of houses we need to make sure that it’s that all elements of the roof are going to last for at least three decades,” said Musk in a summer 2018 meeting. The statement lacked both commitment and a clear timeline.
    • November 2018: According to a Bloomberg report, the company began ramping up production, implementing 24/7 operating hours with about 80 employees per shirt for solar roof shingle production alone. Tesla’s head of energy operations, Sanjay Shah, stated that Tesla was gearing up for the solar roof side of its business to see “tremendous growth in 2019.” Musk himself tweeted that the first solar roof deployments would begin around summer 2019.
    • June 2019: Despite continued delays and earnings losses, Musk tweeted that he hoped to manufacture about 1,000 solar roofs per week by the end of 2019.
    • October 2019: Tesla announced the Tesla Solar Roof V3, which featured updates to increase manufacturing and deployment, and reduce prices.
    • Late 2020: Tesla experienced some achievements for its solar roofs throughout the year, almost tripling its installations between quarter one and quarter two. In quarter four, Tesla announced that it had “made great progress growing [its] solar roof deployments,” but didn’t provide date to back up its claim.
    • April 2021: Tesla Solar Roof customers have continued to experience delays and a lack of transparency from Tesla.
    • May 2021: Some customers sued Tesla over unexpected hikes.
    • June 2021: electrek confirmed that Tesla’s head of energy operations had left the company after months of rumors.
    • October 2021: Tesla expanded solar roof installations to anywhere in the United States.
    • November 2021: electrek announced that Solar Roof tiles will be more efficient, have higher capacity, and might be able to be installed over existing roofs.

    Tesla Solar Roof specifications: what are you getting?

    If you’re interested in installing a Tesla Solar Roof, you’re probably wondering what you’re getting of each solar shingle. We’ll explain some of the specifications of the Solar Roof:

    Design

    Despite previous announcements about multiple design offerings–including tuscan glass tile, slate glass tile, textured glass tile, and smooth glass tile–the Tesla Solar Roof is only currently available in one shingle design. According to Tesla’s website, each shingle has a dimension of 15 inches by 45 inches, is 5 mm thick, and is made of glass, polymers, fiberglass, and silicon. The shingle is designed to resemble a traditional asphalt shingle.

    Warranty

    Tesla provides 25-year product, weatherization, and module warranties, comparable to leading solar panel brands. The warranty also guarantees that your Solar Roof will be at least 95 percent of its “Rated Peak Power” at five years following installation and that it will decline by no more than 0.5 percent per year for the following 20 years –essentially guaranteeing 85 percent output in year 25. Its inverter has a 12.5-year warranty, which aligns with warranties for other string inverter brands; however, this warranty is lower than warranties for many microinverters, which are often 20 to 25 years.

    How much does the Tesla Solar Roof cost?

    With the new complexity categories explained above, it’s 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. If you have a fairly small – and not too complex – roof that you already need to replace, the price of a Solar Roof will probably be 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, you can expect this number quickly skyrocket.

    Should you wait for the Tesla Solar Roof?

    Standard solar panel technologies are typically evaluated based on their performance, durability, and warranties. However, Tesla’s lack of transparency makes it difficult to compare to traditional solar panels. Four years after the initial launch of Tesla’s solar roof, the company still hasn’t revealed the shingles’ efficiency and customers are still experiencing long wait times and surprise price increases.

    If you’re in dire need of a roof upgrade or if you won’t need a roof upgrade for a while, the Tesla Solar Roof may not be worth your long wait. Solar panels are extremely dependable (and we think they look great, too!). However, if you need to upgrade your roof soon (but not immediately) and your roof isn’t too complex or large, you may be a good candidate for the Tesla Solar Roof. Additionally, if you’re set on the look and have the capital to cover the cost, the system may be the best choice for you, though it may be worth your while to compare the Tesla Solar Roof to other solar roof products.

    Tesla’s solar shingles are best suited for new construction

    Most existing solar shingle technologies are also known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) because they are integrated with your existing roof and are a similar size and shape to standard roof tiles. Tesla has created something different. In August 2016, Musk first explained the difference between solar shingles and Tesla’s solar roof: “It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof.”

    Unlike other solar shingles, Tesla’s roof tiles are designed to completely replace your existing roof (though electrek did recently report that you may soon be able to install them over existing roofs). As a result, the most cost-effective way to install them is when your home is being built, which means that they are best suited for homebuyers who have a say in the design and materials of their newly constructed home. While this doesn’t mean that they can’t be used on existing homes, retrofitting your roof with Tesla solar tiles means removing your existing roof (which Tesla will do for you). As a result, retrofitting your roof with Tesla solar tiles is only practical when your roof is already due to be replaced.

    Who are Tesla’s solar roof competitors?

    Though the buzz around Tesla’s illustrious roof product has made it appear like it’s a new concept, it is merely the continued repackaging brilliance that some call the “Musk effect.” Development of solar roof tiles and solar shingles has been evolving for many years, and a number of companies have taken a stab at designing a versatile, subtle rooftop solar medium that could be considered a genuine roofing material rather than a module add-on. Here are some of Tesla’s solar roof competitors that offer similar BIPV products:

    • Luma – these solar shingles can be integrated with all roofing material and install similarly to traditional metal roofing. Luma markets its product as the only upgradable solar shingle system and boasts an efficiency of 22.1 percent.
    • Suntegra – this Northeast solar manufacturer is at the forefront of the solar roof product line. The company hails from New York and began offering its two solar roof products just a few months before the announcement of Tesla’s shingles. Suntegra’s solar shingles are designed to be integrated with low-profile roof materials and are about 15.9 to 17.2 percent efficient. Its solar tiles are slightly less efficient at 13.9 to 15.1 percent and are designed to be integrated with standard flat concrete tile roofs.
    • CertainTeed – originally a roofing company, this contractor now offers two solar roof products, with similar integration strategies to Suntegra. Its Apollo II system includes solar shingles to match low-profile roofs, which are about 15.4 percent efficient. CertainTeed’s Apollo Tile II system integrates solar tiles with flat concrete tiles roofs and its tiles are about 16 percent efficient.

    It’s important to note that the solar shingles and tiles offered by these companies do still stand out against other roofing material. None can compete with Tesla in terms of aesthetics or subtlety, but they do offer low-profile BIPV solutions that may alleviate aesthetic concerns for some solar shoppers.

    Frequently asked questions about the Tesla Solar Roof

    While the cost of switching to solar is high, and the news and information surrounding Tesla Solar Roofs can be confusing or nearly obsolete, it’s important to research each product, company, and topic before making a decision. Learn more about the Tesla Solar Roof by reading these commonly asked questions:

    Depending on your location, Tesla will send its own installers or contractors to set up your system after purchasing a Solar Roof.

    Tesla claims that their shingles are three times stronger than the average roof tile and are built to endure all weather conditions. They have the highest fire rating (Class A) and are built to withstand 110 mph winds (Class F), so you can feel confident even in extreme weather conditions.

    Tesla offers a 25-year warranty on the system’s tiles, power, and weatherization. Plus, its inverter has a 12.5-year warranty, giving homeowners peace of mind regarding their investment.

    Learn how much solar can save you today before you make your decision

    Just as Tesla doesn’t make electric vehicles for the masses, Tesla’s solar roof isn’t feasible for every home. In many ways, the company’s solar roof product is similar to its first electric car. If you are an early adopter of newer technologies, don’t care about price, and are prepared to wait for a product with an uncertain manufacturing timeline, then waiting for Tesla’s solar roof could be the right decision for you.

    Additionally, waiting to go solar has its risks, even if you’re interested in the solar roof. The cost of going solar is falling every year, and there are premium solar panels already available today that come with high-efficiency ratings and a sleek black design. If you wait years for the Tesla Solar Roof, you will lose out on years of savings on your electricity bill. You also run the risk of missing out on financial incentives for solar: many state tax credits have already expired and as of now, the federal investment tax credit for solar will be lowered to 22 percent in 2023.

    Before you make the decision to wait for the Tesla Solar Roof, use our solar calculator to learn how much you can save today by going solar. If you’re ready to explore the solar options for your home, join the EnergySage Marketplace and get custom quotes from solar installers in your area. You might be surprised by just how much you can save now by installing traditional solar panels on your roof.

    Where to buy solar roof tiles

    reading on EnergySage

    Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… Solar shingles: what you need to know in 2023 Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared Tesla Solar Roof cost vs. solar panels Solar farms: what are they and how do they work?

    About Emily Walker

    With over five years of experience in environmental science and clean energy, Emily is an expert in solar, battery, and energy management technology and policy. She holds a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Biology from Colby College. Emily is always looking for ways to live her life more sustainably and is currently in the process of electrifying her home.

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