This is What Tesla Solar Panels Are Made Of


This is What Tesla Solar Panels Are Made Of

Since 2016, Tesla has been rolling out their solar products. Their solar products include solar panels and solar roofs. Long known as an automotive manufacturer, Tesla has been a part of the alternative energy conversation for years. But what exactly are their solar panels made from?

Tesla Solar Panels are made from three materials. The cell material is made from 5-inch photovoltaic cells. The glass of the solar panel is made from AR coated tempered glass, and the frame material is made from black anodized aluminum.

Tesla solar panels are becoming popular. So, it is only natural to wonder what they are made of and how they operate. Read on to discover more about how Tesla solar panels are made, how they work, and how to keep them working.

What Are Tesla Solar Panels Made Of?

Recently, Tesla partnered with Panasonic to make their solar products. Tesla’s solar products are made in Buffalo, New York, and are used exclusively for them. Therefore, their products are uniquely theirs.

Over the last few years, Tesla has begun using a 330-watt version of their solar panels. These panels, however, have had many delays at the factory because of several esthetic redesigns by Tesla.

Nevertheless, the materials Tesla uses for their solar panels are quality materials. They include the following:

  • 5-inch photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells are also known as solar cells. They convert sunlight into usable energy you can use for your home. Tesla’s cells are 5-inches. These are the cells that most people will think of when they think of solar panels.
  • AR coated tempered glass. Anti-reflective coated tempered glass is a very strong material. It protects the solar cells while also making them run more efficiently through their anti-reflective coating.
  • Black anodized aluminum. Black anodized aluminum is a strong material that keeps the solar panels in place on your roof. It is a durable material that will keep the solar panels in place.

Tesla’s solar panels are made with aesthetics in mind. The solar panels from Tesla are black on black, which means that they blend in better with the roof of your house. While these solar panels are different from solar tiles in that they sit above the roof, they remain fairly flush.

The Difference Between Solar Panels and Roofs

One of the biggest innovations Tesla has completed in recent years is the rollout of their solar roofs. These roofs are different from solar panels.

Solar panels are mounted onto the roof itself. This is where the black anodized aluminum frame is utilized. This frame is bolted to the existing roof and rests on top of it. The solar panels are then fitted onto these frames. When most people think of solar panels, this is what they are picturing.

Solar roofs, on the other hand, are not built onto the roof. Rather, they are the roof. When you get a solar roof you are replacing the entire roof. The solar roof is made of solar tiles, which are made from quartz.

The main difference between solar panels and solar roofs is the aesthetic. To the untrained eye, a solar roof will look like a regular roof whereas a roof with a solar panel will be obvious.

How Tesla Solar Panels Work

Tesla solar panels have four main components to them that make them work for powering the electricity in your home. Solar panels can be used to power part or all of your home, so understanding how they work is important.

The main components of the Tesla solar panels are as follows:

  • The solar panels. The solar panels are placed on the roof. They are mounted to the anodized aluminum frame. Sunlight hits the photovoltaic cells through the tempered glass covering.
  • The solar inverter. The solar panels are connected to a solar inverter. A solar inverter converts the energy of the sun into usable energy for your house. The energy travels from the solar panels down into the inverter. The inverter converts the energy and sends it into your home and also to the Tesla Solar Gateway.
  • The Tesla Solar Gateway. The Tesla Solar Gateway is a device that connects statistics and diagnostic information to the Tesla app. It is connected via an internet connection
  • The Tesla app. The Tels app is the final component of your solar panel system. It is the monitoring system where you can see how your solar panels are performing over time.

Solar panels work best on sunny days. However, even on cloudy days, they can generate a good amount of energy for your home. Moreover, on a sunny day, your solar panels can provide the electricity for your entire house and then some.

Solar panels are very efficient. They provide energy from the sun to your home, and they lower your overall electricity bill.

Tesla Solar Panel Maintenance

The materials that Tesla solar panels are made from are extremely durable. Tempered glass, for example, is very tough and a great material to use outside due to its durability. This means that your solar panels are protected from the elements year-round.

However, this does not mean that the solar panels do not require maintenance. To have a high-functioning solar panel system, you need to properly maintain them. Maintaining your solar panels can be done in the following ways.

  • Use water to wash the solar panels. Using water is all you will need to clean the solar panels on your roof. You should only use water on the glass top of the solar panel. Do not clean underneath. Water can rinse away dust buildup, pollen, and leaves.
  • Do not walk on the solar panels. When you are cleaning the solar panels, it is important to not step on them. Ideally, you will not get on the roof at all. Most cleaning can be done from ground level or a ladder.
  • Clean twice a year. Generally speaking, the Tesla solar panels only need to be cleaned about twice a year. A good way to remember is to clean them when the clock changes in the spring and when it changes in the fall.
  • Clean the solar panels during low heat times. It is best to clean the Tesla solar panels when it is cloudy or overcast. Do not clean during high times of the day when the sun is bright because the solar panels can get very hot.
  • Professional solar panel cleaners. For more involved cleaning procedures, such as for bird droppings, it may be advantageous to call a professional cleaning company. You will need to call a solar panel cleaner.

Solar panels all come with a warranty. Proper maintenance should avoid any issues that may arise with solar panels. The materials that Tesla panels are made of are high quality and durable, so you should never have to worry about having to use the warranty.

Warranties on Tesla solar panels last for twenty-five years. This long warranty is because of the materials used to make the solar panels. They will not break or become damaged because of the elements and will continue to operate at great functionality through those twenty-five years.

Monitoring Tesla Solar Panels

All Tesla solar products can be monitored. The solar panels are connected to an inverter inside the home. The solar panels can be monitored on the Tesla app.

When you use the Tesla app, you can see the productivity of the solar panels. For example, you will be able to see how much energy the solar panels are producing and at what times during the day.

Monitoring the Tesla solar panels is a crucial part of maintaining the system. Beneath the solar panels are many wires that send information to your app. If something were to go wrong, you would see the statistics on the app. It is important to check frequently to make sure you catch something when it occurs.

The Benefits of Tesla Solar Panels

Tesla solar panels are made from high-quality materials. They are designed with efficiency in mind. Many people are transitioning to this alternative method of powering their homes, and for good reason.

You know what the Tesla solar panels are made of. This makes the solar panels heavy-duty and able to last a long time. But what other benefits come with transitioning to solar panels for your energy?

Some of the benefits include:

  • Lowering your electric bill
  • Raising the value of your home
  • Providing a clean energy source
  • Efficiency
  • Long-term warranties
  • The ability to power part or all of your home.

When transitioning to solar panels, it is advantageous to know what the benefits are. Knowing the benefits of solar panels will help you make the right decision.

Moreover, Tesla solar panels can fit a variety of different roofs. As long as your roof can get ample sunshine throughout the year, then you will see the benefits of the solar panels.

Lower Your Electric Bill

One of the main reasons people use solar panels is to lower their electric bills. While the initial installation cost for solar panels is quite high, in the long run, it will save you money.

Consider the pay-off time of the solar panels compared with the warranty of the solar panel. The warranty lasts twenty-five years. This means that your solar panels are guaranteed to last that amount of time.

The pay-off time is roughly six to nine years. Therefore, once you have paid off the solar panels, the energy created thereafter is not costing you. You are using the energy of the sun to power your home. This reduces your energy bill.

Some homeowners find that they can eliminate their electric bills. Even if you still need to use the grid now and again, the electric bill would reflect that. Furthermore, electrical bills are very high and getting higher all the time. Solar panels offer a solution to combating these prices.

If the area you live in has higher electrical costs, then you will save more money with solar panels. The amount of money that you save via the solar panels correlates with the area you live in.

Raise the Value of Your Home

Solar panels can raise the value of your home. This is because solar panels are considered a premium on a house. Think of solar panels as a type of upgrade to your home.

If you were to put your home on the market, you could raise the value of your home by 4.1 percent, which is the national average. That is a significant rise in value. It depends on what you live. In some locations, the value could rise by almost 6 percent.

You can also transfer the pay-off price to the new homeowners. You would need to research the financing options available to you to make this happen.

Regardless, even if you do not plan on selling your home, solar panels are a great investment if you decide you do. The high-quality materials that Tesla solar panels are made of making this raise in property value possible.

Solar Panels Are a Clean Energy Source

Solar panels are a clean energy source. Many people use them in an attempt to “go green.” There are no harmful emissions that come from using solar panels

Now, there are some pollution issues when it comes to the manufacturing of solar panels. The factory that produced the photovoltaic cells, the tempered glass, and the anodized aluminum frames do emit chemicals during this process. However, compared with other factories and types of energy, this is minor.

Nevertheless, once they are installed on your roof and in use, they do not pose a threat to the environment. Because of the aesthetics of the materials Tesla uses, which uses an all-black exterior, the solar panels blend in with your roof.

Efficiency

Solar panels are a very effective way to power your home. They convert the sun’s energy into electricity for your home.

Nothing is wasted. If your solar panels generate more energy than your home needs, then that surplus energy is put back into the grid. This efficiency is key because it factors into the cost savings it provides.

Additionally, solar panels also generate energy even on cloudy days. While the energy level may not be as high as on sunny days, your solar panels will still be creating energy for your home.

The only time that the solar panels will not be generating power would be at night and during very stormy, dark days.

Long-Term Warranties

Tesla solar panels come with long-term warranties. These warranties last twenty-five years. This is the lifespan of the solar panels.

The warranties act as a guarantee of the efficiency and longevity of the solar panels. It guarantees that the materials that the Tesla solar panels are made of will last you decades.

Additionally, warranties help you cover many issues that may arise. It is always important to reference the warranty if you think something is wrong with your solar panel system.

Power All or Part of Your Home

You can choose how you want to use your solar energy. For most, you will be able to power your entire home through the solar panels on your roof. This is especially true if you live in very warm, sunny areas.

However, some people may opt for only using solar panels for part of their home. This can happen when you have fewer solar panels on your roof. Either way, the solar panels will lessen how much you pay per month on your electric bill.

Common Issues With Solar Panels

Tesla Solar panels are relatively low maintenance. The materials they are made from making it so you do not have to worry too much about them. However, some issues can arise during the lifespan of your solar panels that are important to take note of.

Some of the common issues with solar panels include:

  • Poor installation.
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical Issues
  • Hot Spots
  • Micro-cracks
  • Inverter Issues
  • Snail Trails

These issues are common, but that does not mean that they will happen. Monitoring your system will help prevent a lot of these issues and will help them from worsening when you catch them early.

Poor Installation

Poor installation can be the cause of many issues. Tesla solar panels are attached to your roof via the aluminum frame. This frame is mounted to your roof and then is sealed to protect your roof from leaking.

However, not all roofs are made for solar panels. Unlike solar roofs, which replace the entire roof, the roof is not replaced with solar panels. The solar panels are applied to an existing roof without replacing it.

Some roofs can handle this installation while others cannot. If a roof is old and needs to be replaced, it probably will not handle solar panels well. However, even a well-suited roof can have issues if the solar panels were installed poorly.

Poorly installed solar panels can result in a leaking roof, which can lead to water damage. Furthermore, a poorly installed solar panel can also lead to corrosion, electrical issues, and several other issues that normally would not happen.

If the solar panels were improperly installed, this would be covered by the warranty. The warranty is good for the duration of the lifespan of the roof.

Corrosion

The design of the Tesla solar panels helps keep moisture out of the solar components. This is why the photovoltaic cells are encased in tempered glass. The durable nature of the tempered glass, with a proper seal, will keep out any moisture from rain, snow, or hail.

However, when moisture does find its way into the internal compartments of the solar panels, you will have some issues. One of these issues is corrosion. Corrosion will wear away at the internal mechanism and can cause your solar panels to cease working properly.

Corrosion, when taking the proper steps, can be avoided. By checking occasionally that air and water are being kept out of the internal mechanisms you will ensure that corrosion does not happen.

Electrical Issues

Solar panels have a wiring system that connects them to your house. Remember, solar panels are generating the energy necessary to power your home. For many, solar panels represent a way to replace working off the grid.

However, when there is a wiring configuration, electrical issues can happen. Electrical issues can include:

  • Loose connections
  • Faulty wirings
  • Corrosion
  • Oxidation

You may find that your solar panels are not generating the power it once was. Moreover, you may discover that it is not working at all. An electrical issue could be to blame.

It is important, however, not to try and fix electric issues yourself. An electrician is needed for these issues. Nevertheless, when there is an electrical issue, the energy is not going to be transferred to your home properly. You will see a dip in productivity.

Hot Spots

A very common issue with solar panels is hot spots. Hot spots are areas of the solar panels that get too hot. When a solar panel gets too hot it can overload, which will lead to poor functionality. It can also cause the solar polar to stop working entirely.

Hot spots can occur when the solar panels are dirty. This is why proper maintenance is crucial for keeping solar panels functional. Over time, without proper cleaning, dirt and pollen can accumulate on the panels.

If this is not taken care of, hot spots will occur. Hot spots can also occur because of bad soldering during the installation process. A poor soldering job can lead to a weakened system that is more susceptible to overheating.

The performance and the lifespan of solar panels are two of the biggest reasons people go solar. When these two elements are degraded, it significantly reduces the quality of the energy being produced.

Micro-cracks

Micro-cracks can go unnoticed. Many micro-cracks cannot be seen from a distance. These micro-cracks are tiny cracks that occur for different reasons including improper installation and weather changes over time.

While micro-cracks will not always happen, they are something that should be looked for. The materials of the Tesla solar roof make micro-cracks rare, but they can still happen.

For example, the tempered glass that the solar panels are made from can withstand hail. It is a very durable material. Hail, in some solar panels, can cause damage. However, this does not mean it cannot damage the tempered glass, though it is unlikely.

If the solar panel does have a micro-crack, it can significantly alter the performance of the solar panel. At first, you may not notice any change. However, over time, the micro-cracks can grow in size and degrade the performance of the solar panels. If left unattended, they can cause major issues down the road.

Inverter Issues

Every solar application, whether they are panels or roofs, is connected to a device known as an inverter. The inverter is usually located either on the side of the house or in the garage. It is a box that the energy from the solar panels is directed into. Once inside the inverter, the energy is converted into usable energy that can power the house.

However, inverters do not have the same lifespan as solar panels. While the solar panels can last upward of twenty-five years, an inverter usually lasts around twelve to fifteen years. Therefore, the inverter’s functionality may be lowered well before the solar panels themselves.

Additionally, inverters can have issues, too. If you are monitoring your system and you notice a dip in productivity, it may be an inverter issue. Luckily, there are troubleshooting tips you can do to reset the inverter.

Oftentimes, the inverter just needs to be reset to fix the problem. Moreover, if there is a major problem with the solar panels, the inverter will automatically shut off. There are built-in safety measures that can alert you to other issues. When resetting the inverter does not fix the problem, it could be something else.

Snail Trails

There is an issue particular to solar panels and solar roofs are known as “snail trails.” It is called a snail trail because of the brown streaks that appear on the solar panels. Snail trails are a form of contamination that can befall a solar panel.

Snail trails do not develop right away. Usually, it will take a few years for this type of contamination to appear on the solar panels. Snail trails can be caused by:

  • Defective materials in the solar panels. For example, if the solar panels use a silver paste in their construction, this can be defective. When it is defective, it can break down the materials of the panel and cause moisture to get in, which can cause oxidation.
  • Micro-cracks. Micro-cracks can also cause snail trails. Micro-cracks can also let moisture into the solar panels. You only need a little bit of moisture to cause a lot of damage to the solar panels.

Over time, the snail trails, if left unattended, can become worse and more prevalent. They will degrade the quality of the solar panels. Eventually, the solar panels will prematurely fail.  

Conclusion

Tesla solar panels are made from three main components: photovoltaic cells, AR coated tempered glass and anodized aluminum for the frame. These materials are high quality and made specifically for the Tesla solar panels.

The quality of these materials lends to the benefits of solar panels. Without quality materials to make the solar panels, they would not work as well. While there may be some common issues associated with the solar panel’s performance, the warranties cover the solar panels for their lifespan.

Whether you are thinking about getting solar panels or you already have them, understanding what they are made of and how they work is important in getting the most out of your solar panel system.

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Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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