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Solar Roof Progression (UPDATE 5/19)

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  • edited May 2020
    I uploaded a few more documents to the drive including the powerwall and solarglass warranties. I actually couldnt find the solarglass warranty PDF anywhere and had to extract it from my purchase agreement.
  • edited May 2020
    i also finally got around to uploading some before pictures of my current roof conditions
  • edited May 2020
    Wow. You have no gutters or downspouts? Time to paint the fascias and soffits.
  • edited May 2020
    Ya, there is a 3 inch trench that surrounds my house from all the rain dripping off the roof. But Tesla said they are going to install gutters with the solarglass tiles that actually match the roof aesthetically. Ironically, they said that if i had gutters they would have to take them down and replace them anyway.
  • edited May 2020
    ...you should just let that continue and build a moat! Then add a drawbridge.
  • edited May 2020
    A couple more things to consider if you have a panel-based solar installation:

    1) If you live in an area susceptible to hurricanes, consider costs to remove, then re-install all panels. While my solar panels survived hurricane Sandy quite well in 2012, the roofing shingles did not. Had to get a new roof, which of course required removal and re-installation. Insurance may cover IF you've had them added to your policy.

    2) Install a squirrel guard. I had my panels for 10 years with zero problems...until this past winter, when a squirrel decided to chew much of the wiring. Solar company said they've never seen a squirrel do so much damage. Squirrels chew stuff to file down their teeth, which grow constantly. No clue how this didn't happen earlier. Anyway, 171 linear feet of squirrel guard + installation was $1,368. I doubt the solar company will tell you this, as it is just another cost that would hinder their sale, and impact your ROI. If they don't advise you on this risk, then tell them throw it in for free!
  • edited May 2020
    Spanky,

    i will not be getting a panel installation, but the info is good if anyone reads.
  • edited May 2020
    Standard practice here is to run all wiring for panels inside of conduit.
  • edited November -1
    Yes, and solar roof wiring is underneath the roof itself. Nothing to worry about.

    On that note i should add this for reference so people know. There is apparently a standard practice of running the power conduit from the roof down to the inverter exposed on the exterior of the building. I learned that there is the available option, but you can request that the conduit be hidden inside of a wall or something. Im not sure the extent at which they are able to do this, if it requires tearing out sheetrock or not, but i've read that its around $1500 extra. Personally i would prefer the conduit be hidden, but i dont want them to tear apart my bedroom walls.

    This is an on-site coordinated item and is not done over the phone.
  • edited May 2020
    For my roof, the solar roof wiring between glass tiles is all done under the tiles. All the tiles are about 1" off the roof to provide airflow. There are vents at the bottom and top of the roof to keep air circulating. The wiring for each group of tiles was brought into my attic and they used flex conduit in the attic. Part of the cables then went through my garage which is exposed, and they used rigid conduits for most of that portion. The Powerwalls, also in the garage used flex conduit. There are quite a bit of on-site choices and you can let them decide or ask if they can do routing or something different. A lot depends on where you elect to install your Powerwalls and inverters in relation to your incoming power.
  • edited November -1
    My incoming power is on the north side of the house per the customer layout PDF. The lines hit the house directly in the middle of the house and run down and punch through the wall directly into the panel that is in my garage. I have a raised ranch style home so my garage is under the second floor bedrooms. The powerwalls and/or inverter will be installed along the wall that the panel is installed on. I am not going to add powerwalls right now, because they are just ridiculously expensive in comparison to the roof. And if i dont get about 3 of them, i wont be able to backup my main panel, which would cause a sub-fed panel to be installed. I'll think about it at a later time.
  • edited May 2020
    @andy - Not to sell you on Powerwalls, but you can get a 26% off the cost via a tax credit - but only if ordered as part of the solar roof. If you add Powerwalls by themselves later, no tax credit. Now if you don't have enough taxable income for the credit, then there is no reason to buy now. Also, Tesla may provide a further discount when purchased together. Anyway, don't discard them out of hand. In CA there can be another $2500 to 7500 rebate from the electric company, although this seems to be hard to come by as the program is underfunded - so don't count on this.

    Of course, if you're on a tight budget, it may make sense to hold off or perhaps only get 1 or 2 Powerwalls now. It may not need an extra subpanel - Tesla is likely to already install a subpanel, and perhaps they can install a larger one. The Tesla subpanel they installed includes breakers for the Powerwalls and the solar inverters.
  • edited May 2020
    andy; problems can occur when you change the drainage layout in the soil which the house is used to.
    If you have reactive clay bearing foundations or piles, which dries out after you take away the water, your house will develop cracks as it settles into new levels.
    It is not funny and most owners and contractors do not seem to understand it.
    I had a house where the fireplace was continually dropping from the day the house was built.
    After several consults we went like this, I have to credit my wife.
    I crawled under the house, dug a ditch around the chimney, ran 600 litres of water into it per hour for 3 hours while I sat inside and watched the house come up 35 mm (1 1/2 inch), back to its original position.
  • edited May 2020
    @TT

    Im not particularly on a tight budget if you will, but you are correct that the tax credit applies to the batteries only when installed together. Tesla also does have a discount if you do solar roof + powerwalls, but it is not really that significant. Its a few thousand dollars. Problem have, is its $11,000 for 1 powerwall, and its $17,500 for two powerwalls. Ideally i want 3 because 10kW will not backup my house, but i could ask how i would be able to get away with two. I'd wonder if they'd be able to do some kind of enclosed circuit breaker upstream of the panel. I'd rather have to go and reset breakers than have to do extensive sub-panel installation and move breakers around to accommodate. But i will give them a call next week and see what we can come up with. Additionally, the tax credit rolls over to multiple tax years until you use up the full amount. I am already going to roll over for probably a year possibly 2 years, and adding the powerwall is just a thicker check in the second year and another one in year 3.

    @Ross1

    The ground in my area is silty, in some areas very sandy. Very much like Florida. The water quickly disappears into the ground after it rains. I am next to two drainage trenches where the properties next to me come together in a V shape that funnels down towards the road. If anything i am alleviating load on my sump pump. The downspouts will funnel towards the trench between properties.
  • edited May 2020
    TeslaTap.com | May 14, 2020 For my roof, the solar roof wiring between glass tiles is all done under the tiles. All the tiles are about 1" off the roof to provide airflow."

    What covers the roof 1" below the solar shingles? One kind of framework attaches to that roof to support the solar shingles?

    Most cost effective option is a new metal roof and then solar panels that clamp to it, no need for roof penetrations which would be around $25k total for a 10kW system which fits the low home equity loan saving a lot of money and providing a much more efficient system as heat cuts efficiency a lot of the much better ventilated solar panels do better in summer heat. Metal roofs are near indestructible and last decades. Any maintenance needed on panels is easy as they are clamped to roof.

    Some locals are waiting on solar roof and it is Tesla doing the install out of Fremont. I thought they'd partner with local company so that doesn't bode well for after sales service or warranty issues. Hope Tesla Solar has way better communication than Tesla Auto.
  • edited May 2020
    Personally I agree with your decision to skip Powerwall. It's neat but the technology just isn't quite "there" yet imo. It is very costly and I just don't see the utility. Frankly you can probably stay at a five star hotel every night your power is out for the rest of your life for the cost of installing Powerwall. Of course a lot of assumptions go into that statement but if you only lose power a few nights a year you can get a LOT of luxury stays for >10k dollars!

    I guess if there are states that don't have net metering it could make sense in that case as well? I don't know the ins and outs of every states and where it might make sense to add Powerwall but if it is strictly as a backup for power outages I just don't see the utility personally. It would take so long to break even vs staying at a hotel (or even running a portable generator) that I couldn't justify adding them to my PV system either and I consider myself pretty techie.
  • edited May 2020
    "What covers the roof 1" below the solar shingles? One kind of framework attaches to that roof to support the solar shingles?"

    The plywood below that the regular asphalt shingles would otherwise be nailed into.

    "Most cost effective option is a new metal roof and then solar panels that clamp to it"

    That is objectively not the most economical, because the solar panels have maintenance to them, and by themselves do not have the same lifespan as the solar roof. Metal roof + solar panels is significantly more than asphalt shingles roof + solar panels, which is more than the solar roof. If i am wrong, please show me a quote for a metal roof on 1890sqft of roof with 10kW worth of solar panels that is economically superior to the numbers that i have shared in my OP. Would very much like to see a metal roof + solar panels be $25k.

    "Metal roofs are near indestructible and last decades. Any maintenance needed on panels is easy as they are clamped to roof."

    The solar roof is near indestructible as well. Have you seen the hail and wind ratings for it? How many decades does the metal roof last? The solar roof is designed to last 60 years, but i dropped it to 50 as a more reasonable estimate given its twice as long as the warranty. You mentioned maintenance on the panels. There is no required regular maintenance at all for the solar roof other than occasionally hosing down the roof to be rid of any dirt or debris that would affect sunlight intensity. I am not sure how maintenance is more superior to no maintenance. I would like for you to explain these points.

    "Some locals are waiting on solar roof and it is Tesla doing the install out of Fremont. I thought they'd partner with local company so that doesn't bode well for after sales service or warranty issues. Hope Tesla Solar has way better communication than Tesla Auto."

    Im not really sure i understand this correctly so here goes nothing. Are you suggesting that the solar glass tiles are manufactured in Fremont? I'll let you try to explain that. They are made in New York's Buffalo gigafactory. Part of why my installation is delayed 3-5 months, everything is still technically shutdown. Including permitting offices.

    And this one i do mean seriously. Tesla solar communication is very good. There is a number at the bottom of your account page when you Manage your solar roof. Someone has picked up every single time so far with no more than a minute or two for hold time. Thing to keep in your back pocket is that if you are given a sales rep for communication, they will quickly drop you off a cliff so dont get too comfortable talking to one person.
  • edited November -1
    @andy.connor.e | May 14, 2020 The plywood below that the regular asphalt shingles would otherwise be nailed into."

    Without a water proof barrier like sheathing, that's terrible. And from what @Teslatap stated, with a 1" gap, not what is going on. Leaving bare wood exposed is never good. Surprised that gets a permit.

    "That is objectively not the most economical, because the solar panels have maintenance to them, and by themselves do not have the same lifespan as the solar roof."

    None of that true as even Tesla notes in selling its own solar panels which it did as the first iterations of solar shingles had issues. Might have to hose heron or goose poop off but that true on and PV shingle or panel.

    Hugely expensive, odd construction technique, no local service and no more power than solar panels. Kind of like the car, looks good but a lot of issues.

    With the one inch gap between the actual roof and the shingles, there has to be an extensive frame the shingles sit on. Any issues with one shingle are going to be a nightmare to fix, kind of like having a Tesla on the roof.

    Likely why Tesla has been pushing its solar panels over the shingles.
  • edited May 2020
    would be good if you could post some examples so i can see the economics of metal roof+solar
  • edited May 2020
    Get some quotes. Doesn't look like Tesla is delivering any time soon. Good chance you can get metal roof and solar panels that would work under your home equity loan. saving $10K on the front end and $10K on back end with lower interest rates.
  • edited May 2020
    Already googled roof prices. You'll have to share your resource at some point so i can get my metal roof + solar panels for $25k. Let me know!
  • edited May 2020
    andy.connor.e | May 15, 2020 Already googled roof prices"

    Yes...your entire "project" sounds as in depth as a Google search.
  • edited May 2020
    hey that much is true. everything in my OP is google-able.
  • edited May 2020
    @FISHEV - TeslaTap has already explained that the roof plywood is covered with a fire resistant double underlayment. This is similar to roofing felt or tar paper making the roof waterproof. Tesla goes the extra mile to use fire resistant underlayment. What more could you ask for?
  • edited May 2020
    FISHEV cannot be bothered to research anything. A weatherproof layering is listed in the product info PDF in my google drive link. Call Tesla and ask about it if you want more information. The info is there yet he still says things like "Without a water proof barrier like sheathing, that's terrible." When there literally is one.
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