14 what tesla wont tell us unless with ask about solar tiles

What Tesla Solar Won’t Tell You Unless You Ask

Today on the hookup, I’m going to tell you all the things that I wish I knew before I got my 10.2 kilowatts of solar panels installed. Because Tesla solar basically scam me with what are at best lazy and in some cases borderline fraudulent behaviors. And if you don’t know what to ask and how to advocate for yourself, they’ll do it to you too. So let’s start at the beginning. After a good bit of research, I ended up choosing Tesla solar for three main reasons. https://fixture28405.blogrelation.com/19499726/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

First, Tesla is a huge company, so buying solar from them seemed like the safest bet in an industry where misleading YouTube ads, robo calls and door to door salesmen are still very much a thing. Second, the lifespan of a solar panel is 25 years or more. And the warranty period on solar equipment usually lasts for most of that lifespan. Some local companies in my area even offer a full 25 years of warranty maintenance and support. And all that seems great. https://e12bulb31739.blogadvize.com/19622067/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

But if Jim solar from down the street goes out of business in five years, the warranty goes with it. So I chose Tesla solar under the assumption that they’re likely to stay in business for the foreseeable future, or at least through my warranty period. The third and most surprising reason that I went with Tesla solar was that out of the three quotes that I got from my house, Tesla solar was actually the cheapest and offered the most solar capacity, which I guess should have been my first red flag. https://andresupjey.blog-a-story.com/19577815/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

So let’s take a quick look at the quote experience for Tesla solar, on tesla.com. You click order now you put in your home address and your average electric bill and almost instantly, you get a recommended solar generation capacity powerwall suggestion and installation quote. However, keep in mind that at this point, Tesla has absolutely no idea what your property actually looks like. And if you live in a two storey house, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll have enough roof space to actually be able to fit the number of panels that they’re suggesting. https://kamerontmfyr.loginblogin.com/19658886/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

When I ordered my system back in May of 2021. My initial solar agreement was for 16.3 kilowatts and panels and for power walls for a total cost of $64,510. A month later, after Tesla gathered some satellite imagery of my house and asked me to take some pictures, they had to revise my installation quote for the number of panels that would actually fit on my roof, which was now just 10.2 kilowatts and three power walls. And that revised Pope came in at $44,000, even a little over 30% less than the initial quote. https://100wattled95062.vblogetin.com/19159195/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

Little did I know that that number plastered all over my estimate 10.2 kilowatts was basically meaningless. And instead, the only actionable performance number in the entire contract was this one, the estimated gross annual electricity production, which Tesla estimated at 12,551 kilowatt hours for my property. Interestingly, if I go to a solar energy estimation site, and I put in my proposed solar details, it estimates that 10.2 kilowatts of panels in my location should generate 15,796 kilowatt hours a year. https://metal-halide28495.blogproducer.com/19624730/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

So why was Tesla’s estimate 20% less than that? Well, that’s because despite it being written all over my contract that Tesla had no intention of actually installing a system capable of generating 10.2 kilowatts. It’s true on my roof, I do have 10.2 kilowatts of solar panels producing DC power. But the inverter which is the piece of equipment that converts DC power of the solar panels to the AC power of my home is only capable of 7.6 kilowatts of peak production. https://finnzqgxm.topbloghub.com/19679736/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

The frustrating part is that this practice of installing a smaller inverter than your panel capacity is actually a pretty common one called inverter overdriving. And it’s basically designed to save some money since adding a few more panels is usually significantly cheaper than adding a second inverter. However, my issue is purely with the fact that Tesla never said anything about this reduced capacity, not even in the fine print. https://jaidennjdxs.blogthisbiz.com/19351067/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

In fact, even though there is an itemized cost breakdown that does include the inverter, it specifically doesn’t say how many inverters or their capacity and the only other place the inverter is mentioned is in the Powerwall section, where it says the inverter is capable of 15 kilowatts of continuous power and 21 kilowatts maximum. But I now understand that those numbers only apply to the Powerwall system and not to the solar panels, which again, they continually refer to as 10.2 kilowatts when it is more accurately a 7.6 kilowatt system from my location. https://metal-halide39495.dailyhitblog.com/19320915/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

The result of this smaller inverter is reduced production between 11am and 2pm every day, where my solar generation graph has a completely flat top called inverter clipping. In a properly sized system, you really shouldn’t see a flat top and if you do, it means that your system would have been capable of generating more electricity if you had a larger invert by estimating the rest of the curve on my solar generation graph. https://fernandolhbvp.win-blog.com/19725733/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

I’ve calculated that I’m losing an average of about 7% production per day between the months of March and September, which comes out to 4% production loss per year or around 600 kilowatt hours. This issue definitely isn’t unique to my system, and based on the number of posts about it online. It is a very common practice for Tesla, solar. Tesla will not tell you about this if you don’t ask. So if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to pay a little bit extra for more solar production, then you need to advocate for yourself and ask your project manager What’s your plan DC to AC ratio is prior to installation, which for cost savings could be as high as 1.5 in regions that are further away from the equator, but for my setup in Florida even a ratio of 1.3 results in clipping speaking of that solar generation graph You might also notice the large dips in solar production that I get throughout the day. https://becketticxrl.blogacep.com/18962494/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

The easy explanation for those dips is cloud cover. But that’s not the whole story. Tesla solar, like most other companies uses string inverters which basically means that instead of each panel being hooked directly to an inverter, the panels are tied together in series to form a larger group. If you have a 7.6 kilowatt Tesla inverter, then your panels can be divided up into four individual groups utilizing its for maximum power point trackers or MPP Ts. And if you have the 3.8 kilowatt Tesla inverter, it has two MPP Ts and can therefore support two groups of panels competing for solar panels actually matters a lot, because logically, you might think that if you had 10 solar panels and a group with eight in full sun into being shaded that your total output would be 80% of your total potential. https://collintoicw.atualblog.com/19443088/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

However, in a string inverter situation, the actual efficiency is significantly lower because the inverter has to modulate the voltage of the entire string to bypass the shaded panels, which means that you not only lose the production of the shaded panels, but the rest of the panels will also have their output significantly reduced. It’s not super necessary that you understand the mechanisms behind the process. https://retrofit94950.thenerdsblog.com/19145864/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

But you should be aware that in general, the more individual groups of panels you have, the less affected you’ll be by cloud cover and shading. So for my system, it makes sense that since I have four groups of panels that represent north, east, south and west faces and my roof, that Tesla would wire each of the faces into the four different MPPT on my inverter, right? Well, no, for whatever reason, my panels are divided up into just three groups instead of utilizing the for maximum PowerPoint trackers in the inverter. And my installers chose to just bridge two of the MPPT IDs. Now, I don’t have any insight or knowledge about the minimum number of panels per MPPT for maximum efficiency. https://elliottvqksp.mdkblog.com/19274763/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

But judging strictly by the inverter datasheet, it seems like two six panels strings would have been significantly more beneficial than a combined 12 panels string, especially since the north facing panels are the least efficient. So combining them with my East facing panels actually reduces their efficiency as well. Even without considering shading effects. Like I said, this could be an engineering decision that’s above my paygrade. But given some of the other issues that I’ve had, it seems like this could be just another example of lazy cost saving behavior, since it allowed them to squeeze all the output wires into a single piece of conduit instead of leaving to run to and if I knew then what I know now, I would have asked why they chose to combine my strings and possibly ended up with a significantly more efficient system at little to no extra cost. https://rafaelsmicw.csublogs.com/19396876/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

And at this point, I
hope you can see that the theme of this video is education in self advocacy, because even though Tesla’s solar equipment is mostly fine, their communication throughout the process is absolutely terrible. So last I want to talk about the three distinct communication periods that you’re going to experience if you go through a Tesla solar install, and some of the headaches that I had to deal with to finally get my install finished from the day that you sign your initial agreement to your installation date represents the first communication period. https://daltonzzulc.mybuzzblog.com/19228680/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

For me, this was four months between May of 2021 and September of 2021, where I would describe Tesla’s communication as competent and responsive. I spoke with my project manager a few times as well as a few other specialists at Tesla, and they even set up an online notary meeting for me to sign all the documents needed for permitting. Overall, my experience with Tesla solar during this period was good and I had no complaints, but I did not utilize it like I should have. It is during this period that you should be heavily advocating for yourself and asking as many questions as you can ask about the specific equipment that’s going to be installed at your house asked about your DC to AC ratio, asked about NPP Ts, asked about your power wall install location, and ask about any issues that other customers in your area have had getting permission to operate. https://simonfzrjb.livebloggs.com/19634331/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

Because I’ve come to find out the paperwork issues that delayed the completion of my project for nine months were actually really common for my area and my power company. Make sure you ask your questions during this period, because right after installation, Tesla is going to want payment in full and after that they are going to actively avoid talking to you. My system was installed on August 31 2021. And my city inspection happened two days later on September 2. After that Tesla said that my installation was basically finished and told me I could operate in self consumption mode where no energy gets exported to the grid. https://led-lighting05172.blue-blogs.com/19444430/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

And all the solar energy is either used immediately on demand or stored in my three power walls. As I said this was also the point where Tesla sent a notice that it was time for me to pay in full, which I did on September 3. Unfortunately, like I said, during the time period between final payment and PTO, you are basically dead to Tesla. In self consumption mode. My system broke four different times in those nine months. Twice, my inverter malfunctioned. And once one of my power walls went haywire and actually destroyed a bunch of my network equipment by flickering on and off, I get these automated notifications, texts and emails that said your system requires maintenance, please go to the Tesla app and click the schedule service button. But if you don’t have PTO, you don’t have that button. https://charlienidyt.blogsidea.com/19653608/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

So the only way to get service is to call Tesla technical support on the phone. When you do that there will always be a significant hold time and sometimes the person who picks up will tell you that since you don’t have PTO, your system actually shouldn’t be powered on. And what you should do is shut it down and wait for PTO before scheduling any service. And in those cases, you get to hang up, call back and wait on hold again to hopefully get somebody more knowledgeable and helpful. Assuming you do get someone to come out and fix your problem, they’re going to identify any issues or replacement parts and put a flag in the Tesla system to schedule a follow up appointment. https://e12-bulb17394.develop-blog.com/19594097/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

Unfortunately, the Tesla system won’t process work orders for people who don’t have PTO. So after every initial appointment, you get to wait a week, and then call Tesla technical support again, to schedule a follow up appointment. And again, sometimes the person on the phone is helpful. And sometimes they tell you, they can’t help you. Since you don’t have PTO. https://lightsocketadapter73837.blogoscience.com/19502059/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

In March of 2022, my system just stopped working entirely. But this time without any of the notifications or emails, I spent hours on the phone and had three unsuccessful service appointments. And finally, Tesla decided that my system had enough issues that they stopped sending out their normal local crews, and instead sent out a quality coordinator from a regional office showed up had we up and running in less than an hour and filed some additional paperwork that led to me finally getting PTO in June of 2022. So with all that said, it’s time to answer the big questions. Am I happy that I got solar installed? Absolutely. I would 100% Do it again. https://jasperqkfyt.is-blog.com/19742057/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

But if I were to do it all over again, would I choose Tesla solar? Maybe all the reasons that I chose Tesla solar in the first place are still valid and I haven’t had enough experience to know if there are any more honest and reliable installers out there. I do think that if I had known what questions to ask, my experience could have been a lot smoother. But the Tesla solar automated scheduling system still has a lot of room for improvement. https://paxtonpgwlc.yomoblog.com/19648126/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

And overall, I just wished that the solar industry didn’t feel so shady. As with anything, the more research you do beforehand, the more likely you are to be happy with the finished product. So in addition to checking out the big names like Tesla Sunrun in SunPower, it might also be worthwhile to look at something like the energy sage solar marketplace, where local solar companies from your area are given the opportunity to bid on your solar job. https://juliusidxsm.blogrenanda.com/19566679/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

You can think of it sort of like Kayak or Travelocity, but for solar energy sage is a commission based program so they do take a finder’s fee for connecting you with a local vetted installer. But you may find that you still get a cheaper price by going through energy sage due to the competition that the marketplace encourages. If that’s something that you’re interested in, I’ve got links down in the description for my specific energy sage landing page. https://felixkfzun.worldblogged.com/19320437/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

And if you do decide to use their service, I do get a small commission which helps support this channel. Speaking of support, thank you so much to my awesome patrons over at patreon for your continued support on my channel. If you’re interested in supporting my channel, please check out the links down in the description. If you enjoyed this video, please hit the thumbs up button and consider subscribing. And as always, thanks for watching the hookup.


Our Previous & Other Posts in these series:

  1. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/9kw-diy-home-solar-panel-system-installation-start-to-finish/
  2. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/how-much-can-solar-panels-save-you-in-the-uk/
  3. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/what-if-all-houses-were-covered-with-solar-panels/
  4. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/best-solar-generator-for-2023-the-ultimate-guide/
  5. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/solar-panels-plus-farming-agrivoltaics-explained/
  6. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/what-tesla-solar-wont-tell-you-unless-you-ask/
  7. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/12/bifacial-solar-panels-the-best-solar-panel-real-world-results/
  8. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/12/how-green-is-solar-energy-really/
  9. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/11/insane-rooftop-wind-turbine-halves-solar-panel-costs/
  10. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/08/the-truth-about-solar-panels/






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