Tesla is one of the biggest names in the game when it comes to electric cars, but the company does much more than that. They are upping the ante when it comes to accessible and reliable sustainability initiatives for homes and businesses, including a sleek and energy-efficient solar-powered roof that will pay for itself over time.
The power output of the Tesla Solar Roof will vary based on the time of day and the weather, but you can take steps to maximize your Tesla Solar Roof’s performance throughout the year. It is not as difficult to make sense of the Tesla roof power output once you understand your solar system.
Tesla’s designs are based on your home and your personal needs, so no two Solar Roofs are the same. After that, Tesla puts the control in your hands. You can customize your roof’s settings in the Tesla app, which will help you manage how much energy you are using and see if there are ways you can optimize. The Tesla solar system is game-changing. Read on to further understand the Tesla Solar Roof power output.
How Does the Tesla Solar Roof Work?
In 2016, Tesla announced they were releasing a Solar Roof. But this was not like all the other products out there. Not only could it help power your home using the sun, but it also looked good while it was doing it. This was revolutionary at the time, given many of the complaints around solar power are that they are functional but not aesthetically pleasing.
The Tesla Solar Roof looks like traditional roof tiles and shingles, but there are two different types. There are active shingles, which contain the solar cells, and inactive shingles, which are just regular shingles. Even though they are made of different elements, they provide a uniform look that mimics a slate roof.
Currently, you can choose between:
- textured glass tile
- smooth glass tile
- slate glass tile
- Tuscan glass tile
You will be able to choose a style that works for you, and it will not be distracting like traditional solar panels.
Each tile comes with a 25-year warranty, and they have been tested to withstand extreme weather conditions, including 1.75-inch hail and 166 MPH wind speeds. It also has the highest fire rating in the case of an emergency. The Tesla Solar Roof is currently in its third iteration, and it continues to get better with each release.
Solar Power Output
Like traditional solar panels, the Tesla Solar Roof works in similar ways. However, their technology is integrated into shingles, so you get the look of a regular roof with all the benefits of solar power. This makes it more appealing to the general public. Your neighbors may not even be able to tell you are using Solar Roof tiles and power!
There are three components to the Tesla Solar Roof, and these are similar to the traditional Tesla solar panel. They function similarly, and the main difference is the appearance. The panels are not able to blend in as easily as the tiles.
- Solar panel shingles are what capture the sunlight as it hits your roof. Then, they convert the light into electricity that will be used to power your home’s operations.
- Solar inverters are connected directly to your solar panels. They will convert the electricity generated by the panels into clean energy, which will be used as a power source for all of your home’s needs. You need the inverter to convert the energy to be usable.
- The solar gateway is what helps track your Solar Roof’s information, including its status, energy production, and more. This is what helps capture critical data that will be available to you in your Tesla app and help you monitor energy production and consumption.
These elements create a Tesla ecosystem in your home that you can use for all your power needs, but there are times where you will generate more electricity than you can use or not enough. You can then use the Powerwall battery for an additional power burst or tap into the traditional energy grid. Either will still yield cost savings.
Solar Panel Shingles
The Tesla solar panels look like shingles, so you will get all the looks of a traditional roof with all the benefits of traditional solar panels. They are all black and high efficiency, converting sunlight to power with ease. Each shingle will be alternated with normal shingles, but they will all look uniform on your roof. This is attractive to potential clients.
The Tesla solar panels are estimated to last about 25 years, which is on par with traditional roofs. Traditional shingles can last between 20 and 30 years depending on the material, and while some can help to keep your house warmer or cooler, they do not offset your energy bill by harvesting natural resources as Solar Roofs will.
The Solar Roof has been rigorously tested, and they keep their high energy production levels despite temperature and weather conditions. They are durable and more than three times stronger than traditional tiles. You can also get traditional solar panels if you prefer, and Tesla’s sit low to the roof and are less obtrusive than other similar solutions.
The Tesla solar inverter is what converts the power. The sunlight generates DC power, and the inverter will help to convert it to AC power. That AC power is then used throughout your house for all your power needs. These inverters are compatible with both the Solar Roof and the traditional solar panels, depending on which you prefer.
The solar inverter can be installed indoors or outdoors. It is made to withstand extreme cold and heat. It meets all safety standards and includes rapid shutdown, arc fault, and ground fault protection. You can get updates over Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and cellular data, which is important as you look to integrate it with your Tesla Powerwall and Tesla app.
There are two different models available. You can choose between 3.8 kW and 7.5 kW based on your home’s needs. The inverter is essential to your roof’s operation, and the technology will update over time, so you will always have the most up-to-date software driving your home’s solar power.
The solar gateway will help capture all of the information from the panels or roof and the solar inverter. This will connect seamlessly with the Tesla app, and you will be able to monitor your energy production, roof or panel performance, and more using this critical information.
Too, you will be able to adjust your consumption and habits to be more green. The gateway may not be essential to operations, but it will provide critical information that will help save you money in the long term.
Powerwall Backup Battery
This is optional, but it will be lifesaving in the event of a power outage. It will help you to store energy when you have a surplus, so you can use it when you need it. This could be during the night or a power outage. You can choose when to use the backup battery through the Tesla App.
The Powerwall backup battery will provide an additional power source that you can use before you pull on the traditional power grid. You will be eligible for a tax credit when you purchase the backup battery and the Solar Roof.
Check Power Output with the Tesla App
The Tesla app integrates with the inverter and the gateway to provide valuable data about your usability. However, you can do much more than just look at the information. You can take meaningful action that can impact how you use energy at your home over time, and this will provide cost savings over time and essentially pay for your roof.
- You can set peak energy rate times. This will aid in helping you determine when you want to pull energy and from where.
- You can decide when you want to pull energy from the grid or from the Powerwall battery when you have already used the energy you produced in a single day.
- The app will help you to keep an eye on peak-rate hours, which will help you to reduce your energy cost and save you money.
If you have other smart applications, you can sync with the app so you can control them and monitor energy consumption. You will be able to see how much appliances take up, and it may cause changes in your behavior to help drive cost savings. Not all smart appliances can be controlled, but you will be able to see spikes in consumption.
Will Solar Energy Production Change over Time?
It is normal for the solar energy production output to change over time, no matter what type of solar system you have.
- Tesla estimates that your system will degrade about 0.05 percent every year when it comes to converting sunlight to solar energy. This may vary based on your environmental conditions and is standard with any solar panels.
- Tesla accounts for this when designing your system, ensuring you have a proper number of active shingles that are constructed of only the highest quality materials.
- Your system’s efficiency will determine how much energy you can generate in a day, and over time, this degradation can make a significant impact.
You will need to replace your Solar Roof over time for maximum output, but it is estimated to have a lifespan of about 25 years. This is no different than needing to replace a regular roof. All shingles will receive damage after being exposed to the elements over time, no matter how sturdily designed they are.
Can I Use Solar Power for All My Energy Needs?
You may be able to use solar power to meet all your energy needs, but it depends on your system and how you use it. There are many activities in the home that may impact your energy consumption, and it may cause you to exceed your solar production. There is a backup Powerwall battery that can help.
- Your energy consumption varies per household and by season, so it is hard to tell if you can use it for everything.
- For example, in the summer months, you may use more energy when you run your air conditioner, but in the spring, you can keep your windows open to cool down your house.
- Because of these variances, you may consume traditional energy in the summer but use only solar energy in the spring.
You can use the Tesla app to monitor your energy consumption and make meaningful changes to your behaviors to lower your consumption. Ultimately, even if you cannot offset 100 percent of your energy consumption with solar power, it can still positively impact the environment and lower your energy bill.
What Happens If I Generate Too Much Power?
In certain places and on particularly clear days, you may generate more power than you can consume. If you have a Powerwall or another battery-like source, you can store any excess energy you produce, charging it until you are ready to use it! This could be at night when there is no light source or if you have exceeded your current solar output.
If you do not have a backup system that will store overages, it will simply go back into the power grid. Other homes and businesses will use it, but what is cool is that you are eligible for a credit for anything you add to the system. This is not only energy-efficient but also saves you money!
What Happens If I Do Not Generate Enough Power?
Because solar power relies on the sun, there may be days that your panels are not able to capture as much power as you need to get through the day. This is normal, and your house will still be connected to the traditional energy grid. You will not notice a disruption when you switch between solar power and traditional energy.
You will be charged for any power that you use, and there will be a meter reading to know just how much your bill will be. However, it will be much lower than prior energy bills because a majority of your power is still solar. It is merely being used as a backup in case you do not produce enough in a given day.
Can I Use My Solar Power During a Blackout?
Unfortunately, during a power outage, you are not able to use your Tesla solar panels to power your house. This is due to federal and local regulations and not due to the Tesla solar panels. For example, if there is a fire, they want to make sure that all power is cut off for safety concerns.
However, if you have a backup power storage system like the Powerwall, these rules will not apply.
- Powerwall batteries store energy.
- You can access this stored energy and use it during a blackout.
It functions almost like a generator, so your solar panels will run safely without power and any additional safety concerns.
How Much Will the Tesla Solar Roof Cost?
The cost of your Solar Roof will depend on the size and the complexity of the job, though it will likely be more than $30,000. This includes:
- The new roof
- Any incentives you can claim to help offset the cost
Tesla’s solar power is priced lower per watt, so you will be paying less for your energy over time, and they have a price match so you can rest assured knowing you are getting the best value. You can also get credits if you add more energy to the power grid than you use. These numbers are subject to change and may vary based on your location.
The only true way to know how much it will cost to get a Tesla Solar Roof is to get an estimate on the Tesla website. This will help you to estimate based on your location and average energy consumption. You can pay in full or finance it over time. Keep in mind that if you choose to finance, you will need to pay a subscription fee.
Can I Get a Tax Credit?
You can get a federal tax credit, which will cover a portion of your Solar Roof’s installation process and the backup Powerwall battery. You will need to install it before December 31 to claim it on your taxes for the previous year.
These rates vary over time, and they are set at 26 percent through 2022 and 22 percent in 2023. When you get your estimate, it should include an estimate of what this credit may be. It will not be final until you file your taxes.
The Tesla Solar Roof is an attractive alternative to traditional solar panels. Tesla may be a new name in the Solar Roof game, but they are building on a strong legacy with its electric car. The Solar Roof will open solar energy up to mainstream popularity as many had previously resisted adapting because of the panels.
It will be expensive. Not only are you paying for relatively newer technology, but you are also paying for the Tesla name. Still, it is worth it if you are looking to go green with your energy consumption. The Solar Roof will pay for itself over time, making it a great long-term investment.