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Can You Walk On A Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla Solar Roof Available In Central Oregon Bend Resident Says Extra Cost Is Worth It

The Problem With Teslas Solar Roof

BEND, Ore. â A new way to do solar roofing has arrived in Central Oregon, and itâs backed by Tesla, the high-profile electric car maker.

Jake Hermeling is the first Central Oregon homeowner to have a Tesla solar roof built on a house.

I think the beauty of the product is that you cant tell its solar, Hermeling said Monday.

The roof has solar tiles that are designed to look like shingles, instead of the typical solar panels.

Most people come by, they have no idea, Hermeling said.

The roof was installed by Greenlee Roofing, a Bend-based company that received clearance from Tesla last January.

The companyâs website said the solar roof tiles are âare more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles.â

A few other companies have clearance throughout the state, but Director of Sales Hobie Smith said Greenlee is the first and only in Central Oregon.

Smith said a roof like Hermelings would roughly cost $18,000 to $20,000 for typical shingles. The solar roof is close to $25,000 to $30,000 more.

But Hermeling said having a ânet positive house,â with the opportunity for a tax rebate, is worth the upfront cost.

As I was factoring it into my build cost, it was not a difficult decision for me, on the financial side, he said.

Smith said the solar roof could eliminate a homeownerâs typical monthly energy cost.

Everything that he would be spending per month, whether it be $150 to $200 per month, hes gaining back, Smith said.

How Often Do They Get Damaged

With an annual degradation rate of 0.5 percent, most of them can endure for 25 years or more before being replaced. This is because they do not degrade with time and are only seldom found to be defective or broken. During the 25+ year lifespan, any inverter and batteries will also need to be replaced after the warranty runs out.

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Other Solar Roof Companies To Watch

The solar roofing industry is taking its sweet time to really get going in the U.S. In the last few years, greater efficiencies in solar shingle technology, cheaper pricing, and a growing number of certified installers, have begun to make solar roofs a more attractive option for homeowners.

Elsewhere in the world, solar roofs are also picking up steam. In Sweden, the company Sunroof is making beautiful solar roofs with a low carbon footprint and high efficiency ratings. I have my eye on them for entry into the North American market.

In Germany, SolteQ won the German Sustainability Award in 2021 for its interlocking solar tiles. These are installed direct-to-deck and come with a 40-year performance warranty. Theyre also made in-house in a carbon neutral facility. SolteQ offers a wider range of solar roofing options than any other company on the list above. These include several options for asphalt roofs, Mediterranean tile roofs, historic buildings, bespoke facades, and more. The company is relatively new to the U.S. but does have representatives ready to answer questions if you like the look of its products.

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The Tesla Solar Roof: What You Should Know

If you’ve been in the market for a new roof or a solar array, chances are you’ve heard whisperings about the Tesla Solar Roof. It’s the perfect combination of upscale, aesthetically pleasing roofing tiles that just so happen to generate electricity. Thanks to our close strategic partnership with Sun Valley Solar Solutions, Azul Roofing is pleased to announce that Tesla’s revolutionary Solar Roof is now available!

Like all new technologies, questions about Solar Roof’s abilities abound. And while we can’t possibly answer everything in the context of this short blog, we wanted to take a few minutes and address some of the most common. Whether you’re in the market for a new roof, are interested in solar panels or both the Solar Roof might be a good option for you. Read on to learn more about this cutting-edge technology and see if it’s the right choice for you.

Tesla Solar Roofs Are Strong

Solar Roofs  Roof Repair Company

You might not assume Tesla Solar Roofing is very durable since it is made from glass. You would not walk across a window or step on your wine glass and expect it to survive. However, the glass used to make Tesla Solar Roofing is different. Its much stronger.

Tesla Solar Roofs are made from tempered glass. This glass has been put through a series of chemical treatments in order to make it sturdy and less prone to breakage. Tempered glass wont crack under the weight of a roofer.

In fact, this tempered glass roofing is even stronger than tile roofing. The shingles solar arrays to collect the suns energy hold up to hurricane winds and wont break down and start crumbling like shingles. Theyre a strong, durable option for anyone who wants an energy-efficient roof. Dont turn them down out of concern for your roofing contractors ability to make repairs.

Roofing contractors can and do walk on Tesla Solar Roofs when wearing the appropriate safety harnesses. They wont damage the roof in the process. However, you as a homeowner, should never walk on your roof.

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How Do You Repair A Tesla Solar Roof

You’ll still want to contact a trusted contractor if you need to have solar tiles replaced. Costs vary depending on whether the tile that needs to be replaced is photovoltaic or if it’s non-active tile. Remember, you won’t have to worry about a full roof replacement since you can replace individual tiles.

Who Should Buy A Solar Roof

The initial appeal of the Tesla Solar Roof will target the wealthy, tech-savvy homeowner with a passion for renewable energy. Due to the solar roof cost, the purchaser of a solar roof will have a deep passion for aesthetics.

There is certainly a risk-reward aspect of being one of the first owners of a Tesla Solar Roof. The reward is obviously being able to be one of the first owners of this beautiful technology. The risk is the same. Being the owner of the first version of anything comes with the risk of having to be patient while kinks are worked out.

If you want to be an owner of the Tesla Solar Roof you will need a large amount of expendable cash and an even larger amount of patience as it could take years for the solar roofs to get installed.

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How Much Will My Electric Bill Go Up With A Tesla Car

In the United States, the average price for 1 kW of power is 13.31 cents per kWh, so you can expect to pay around $15 for a full charge, or roughly $150 extra per month, depending on your use.

Also, there are numerous free or very low-cost charging stations around the country for Tesla cars, so you can charge your car there to save a bit on electricity bills.

Tesla Solar Roofs Get Slippery

How This Roofing Company Is Taking On Teslas Solar Roof

Tesla Solar Roofing is textured, but still becomes slippery when wet. The roof arrays need to have this somewhat slippery texture so dirt, debris, smoke, dust, pollen rinse off the roofing when it rains. This keeps the roof clean, which is really important for the collection of sunlight. Dirty solar arrays do not absorb as much sunlight or generate as much electricity.

The slippery nature of Tesla Solar Roofs is an unavoidable side effect of the way the solar shingles are made. This slipperiness is why you should never walk on a Tesla Solar Roof, even though theres little to no risk of damaging the roof itself. For the same reason, roofing contractors should always wear a harness when working on a Tesla Solar Roof.

Tesla Solar Roofs are strong, durable, and dependable. If youre looking for an authorized installer in South Florida, contact Kelly Roofing.

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Tesla Solar Shingle Specs

Teslas solar shingles are a sleek, slate grey at 15×45 and come with a 25 year tile, power, and weatherization warranty. The tiles have an ASTM D3161 Class F wind rating, and a ANSI FM 4473 Class 3 hail rating. Thats all fancy jargon to say the tiles are tested to hold up to 110mph winds and 1 ¾ inch hail.

What Is The Tesla Solar Roof

Teslas Solar Roof is made up of photovoltaic cells integrated into shingles. Tesla is not the first company to launch a solar shingle we installed some of Dows now discontinued solar shingles in 2014 but theyre definitely the sexiest attempt to date. Solar shingles function in the same way as traditional solar panels: photovoltaic cells convert photons from the suns rays into electricity.

A solar roof consists of both active and passive shingles. The active shingles do the actual work of producing energy for your home. The passive shingles are used on areas of your roof that arent suitable for the active cells either because of building regulations or lack of solar potential to maintain a uniform appearance.

Previously, there was talk of 4 solar shingle styles: Tuscan, Slate, Textured, and Smooth Glass. As of now, Tesla is only advertising a shingle that appears most like the Textured Glass option.

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Breaking The Busbars In

While a broken solar cell will reduce the performance of the PV system, if you damage the busbars of the solar cells in-between within a PV module, your system will be substantially affected. This will become a big issue in an off-grid solar system since you will spend several days without power until you fix this problem.

Busbars connecting solar cells ensure that electricity flows from one cell to the next and from one panel to the next. Most modules have several conductors to ensure the proper flow of electricity without overheating the module.

If you break one busbar interconnecting the solar cells, there is a possibility that the PV module might start to overheat because of this. You need to disconnect the panel or the whole string and replace the module to solve this. If you break several busbars, the entire PV string might disconnect due to the current flow interruption causing an open circuit on your PV system.

Tesla Solar Roof Cost Varies By Roof Complexity

Solar Roofs  Roofer Websites  Minimal

The cost of installing a Tesla roof varies significantly depending on your homes design. In April 2021, Tesla confused and frustrated many of their customers when they sent emails with increased prices to customers that had already signed contracts based on their initial quotes. While the company blamed these price hikes on underestimated roof complexity, Tesla has yet to provide a full explanation as to where their calculations faltered . In 2022, Tesla announced they would not be scheduling any more installations in new markets. The company did add a roof complexity disclaimer to their Solar Roof calculator, which Tesla notes will be determined after you place an order for a Solar Roof. On their website, Tesla divides the complexity into three categoriessimple, intermediate, and complexbased on the following criteria:

  • Simple: single-level roof, uncrowded mounting planes, few obstructions , low pitch
  • Intermediate: multi-level roof , more crowded mounting plane, more obstructions , higher pitch
  • Complex: multi-level roof , heavily crowded mounting plane, many obstructions , steep pitch

You can start to estimate the cost of the Tesla Solar Roof for your property by using Teslas Solar Roof calculator.

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Tesla Solar Roof Tiles Vs Tesla Solar Panels

But first, we should address the difference between âTesla solar roof tilesâ and âTesla solar panels.ââ Tesla has gained a lot of attention from its claim to be reinventing solar by incorporating the solar cell into the roofing material itself, calling this new product a âsolar roof.â However, while this sounds good in theory, the company has not yet had much success in rolling this out in real life.

The issues with the Tesla solar roof tiles continue to plague the companyâs efforts. The problems include:

  • Very small production number beyond their test houses
  • Higher than expected installation costs which makes the solar roof cost not very competitive with traditional solar panels
  • Long-term durability issues because water and electricity does not mix and protecting the electrical connections between tiles over time has proven to be problematic
  • So since the Tesla solar roof tiles have been realized to not be a legitimate solar solution for the foreseeable future, for the sake of this article, we will be discussing Tesla Solar panels, and not solar roof tiles.

    Solar Roof Versus Solar Panels

    The Solar Roof is great. It has kept us dry, produced power, and looks beautiful. We regularly get comments from neighbors, contractors, and local Tesla drivers who notice it. But those are the table stakes. The real competition are the traditional bolt on solar panel-based system that have decades of optimization behind them.

    The 17 panel solar system that lived on our previous home. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

    If we would have gone with a traditional solar panel system, we would have been able to generate more power each year. This is due to the increase in efficiency and more dense coverage a traditional system is able to produce. This is somewhat mitigated in version 3 of the Solar Roof, with its larger roof tiles, and speaks to the challenge of building a product that looks good, functions as a roof, and produces solar.

    Our Tesla Solar Roof system produces enough power for our fully electric home and two electric vehicles, so it was not a major constraint for us, but it could be for other homeowners. Home with larger energy consumption per square foot of available roof, or partially shaded roof surfaces may need to maximize the output of the available roof. In these cases, a traditional solar panel system might be a better option.

    Teslas solar calculator spits out actual quotes in seconds. Screen capture from

    The future is electric. Electrify everything. Make it efficient. Power it with solar. Boom.

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    Pricing: Solar Roof Vs Solar Panels

    You may have seen headlines that Tesla drastically increased their solar roof price. Weve also been playing around with their online solar quote tool and will walk through an example of Tesla solar roof pricing vs a traditional solar system below. Upfront disclaimer Based on the nature of Teslas solar quote tool, it is difficult to illustrate an apples-to-apples price/savings comparison, were in more of an apples-to-crabapples comparison here.

    So, lets start with what we do know. Our average home solar system size from 2021 is 8 kilowatts with a turn-key cost around $25,000 before incentives. That 8 kW system will generate approximately 11,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, saving its owner around $1,040 annually or $86 per month.

    These estimates are specific to North Carolina taking our local utility rates, state solar production potential, and estimated rise in utility cost into account. To learn more about these factors, check out our blog on what to watch out for on a solar proposal.

    $86 $176

    When we built a solar roof sized to 8kW in Teslas online solar roof design tool, Tesla listed the price as $56,755 before incentives, generating 12,087kWh per year, and saving its owner $2,112 annually or $176 per month. While we did have to game Teslas system to reach the same 8 kW solar size by tweaking the monthly electric bill cost, there are a few issues with how Tesla has calculated production and savings.

    Bipv Can Make Your Home Hotter

    Adding a solar roof to a Tesla Model 3…

    Because theyre raised, conventional solar panels will shade your roof and make your home cooler than it would otherwise be, reducing the need for air conditioning. Because BIPV doesnt have this effect, it can increase your homes energy consumption. If the non-solar parts of your roof are dark to blend in with dark PV tiles, the effect can be particularly strong.

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    Let The Install Begin

    In parallel to the site visit, Tesla started ordering materials for the installation and worked with us to schedule the installation date. We connected their project lead with our general contractor, who coordinated the specific timing of the different phases of the installation. As with most construction, the schedule is a bit fluid, so communication was key and they worked together to keep the timing as tight as possible.

    Image credit: Chuck Field

    As soon as the first Tesla materials arrived on site for the installation, they sent over an invoice for half of the remaining balance. We paid with a credit card because thats a lot of points. Most contractors require payment via check to avoid the fees, so it was a welcome surprise. Though, it is something I would expect will change as they tighten up the financials.

    For standard rip-and-replace roof installs, Tesla estimates their work to take 2 weeks for a version 2 roof install. That should be down to less than 1 week with the Tesla Solar Roof version 3 with no glass cutting required, larger panels, and streamlined wiring. The bulk of our installation happened up on the roof of the second story. That took nearly a full two weeks by itself, with only 2 or 3 additional days of work needed down below to install a few more sections of roofing and the Powerwalls as well as to button everything else together in the garage.

    Is It Safe To Walk On Solar Panels

    While some solar panel installers walk on top of modules when performing an installation, there is still a danger of glass breaking and the module getting damaged. Most installers walk skillfully and do not put pressure on the middle of the glass to avoid damaging it or the solar cells.

    If you walk on top of a PV module the wrong way, there is a chance of breaking the panel or even endangering yourself. Two things can make walking on top or around a solar panel installation dangerous:

  • Risk of electric shock and electrocution.
  • Damaging the PV module.
  • While just walking on top of a PV module will not get you electrocuted, bad wiring around a PV installation or at the back of the modules still represents a DC Danger Zone during daylight hours. This is the name given to the exposure of lethal amounts of DC current around PV installations.

    Moreover, walking on top of the solar panel can also damage the PV module. Technicians performing a solar panel installation or maintenance walk very skillfully to avoid damaging the modules, and yet, this does not mean that the PV modules are 100% danger-free.

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