Solar Roof

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Anyone successfully got a solar roof tile permit from OCFA in 92705 zip code?

Anyone in the 92705 (North Tustin) zip code got a permit from OCFA (Orange County Fire Authority)? I was told that they cannot submit my plans until issue is resolved with OCFA; apparently it has been over a year long process and still haven't gotten through. Anyone in the same situtation? I'm curious as to what the issue is and is it actively being pursued? Any help is appreciated!!

Comments

  • I’m in Orange County and also have been waiting on approval since early September. My project advisor has not been able to tell me anything beyond them waiting on OCFA approval- which is very frustrating. They gave me an estimated approval date of 11/25 a few weeks back ( which is a step forward beyond ‘just waiting’ I guess) I’ll see if that date gets pushed out when we get there.
  • > @WC90630 said:
    > I’m in Orange County and also have been waiting on approval since early September. My project advisor has not been able to tell me anything beyond them waiting on OCFA approval- which is very frustrating. They gave me an estimated approval date of 11/25 a few weeks back ( which is a step forward beyond ‘just waiting’ I guess) I’ll see if that date gets pushed out when we get there.

    That's next week! Please keep me posted and let me know how you get through. Good luck!!
  • I"ve been waiting for years. Call OCFA and ask. Then call TESLA to ask. They tell 2 different stories of both of them not communicating. I'm in OC (92656) and it's a total pain. I'd love to share more stories / strategies if anyone gets anywhere with this.
  • I contacted OCFA and exchanged a few emails with them. this is what I was told per OCFA Deputy Fire Marshall back in Dec 2020 (See below). I was told by Tesla that they are working on it but have not hear anything since. If we can share strategies and inquire together as a team; maybe we can get this moving.

    "As Robert indicated, the Tesla roofs do not meet the Fire Code or the “intent” of the Fire Code. Prior to Tesla developing their solar panel tiles, multiple Fire Departments throughout California met with many solar industry experts to discuss firefighter safety. This State Fire Marshal Task Force determined that solar installations would be allowed if they were well marked, open areas would remain at roof peaks for ventilation, and safe structural paths would be provided to access to these areas. These findings were initially developed into a guideline and have since been placed in the State Fire Code. While the “Tesla type” roofs do not meet these requirements we have been open to alternative solutions, but none have been proposed to date."
  • > @OC_92705 said:
    > > @WC90630 said:
    > > I’m in Orange County and also have been waiting on approval since early September. My project advisor has not been able to tell me anything beyond them waiting on OCFA approval- which is very frustrating. They gave me an estimated approval date of 11/25 a few weeks back ( which is a step forward beyond ‘just waiting’ I guess) I’ll see if that date gets pushed out when we get there.
    >
    > That's next week! Please keep me posted and let me know how you get through. Good luck!!

    Were you able to get OCFA approval? Let us know!
  • It’s now approaching March and still waiting. Tesla switch my project manager because she has not been responsive at all, and the new PM called in late January explaining that they are still working with OCFA. He explained that Tesla is trying to schedule a demo with OCFA and LAFA but COVID continues to delay the scheduling of such event. I asked him what Tesla has done so far and he just said Tesla has submitted permit several times apparently still not satisfying to OCFA.

    > @OC_92705 said:
    >
    > Were you able to get OCFA approval? Let us know!
  • > @WC90630 said:
    >
    > It’s now approaching March and still waiting. Tesla switch my project manager because she has not been responsive at all, and the new PM called in late January explaining that they are still working with OCFA. He explained that Tesla is trying to schedule a demo with OCFA and LAFA but COVID continues to delay the scheduling of such event. I asked him what Tesla has done so far and he just said Tesla has submitted permit several times apparently still not satisfying to OCFA.
    >
    > > @OC_92705 said:
    > >
    > > Were you able to get OCFA approval? Let us know!
    >
    >

    I will bug Tesla as well and see where we are at. Maybe we will get somewhere this year if all of us push this forward together. They switched our advisor as well, time to check in.
  • I am also in 92705. I spoke with someone from OCFA last week. He explained that they are concerned about the roof being too slippery for firefighters to stand on and that they are concerned about cutting through the roof to vent in the case of a fire. He said that Tesla was planning a demonstration for them in the next month, but he wasn’t very convinced it would change the current status and told me not to hold my breath. However, he was friendly and forthcoming and suggested I call back next month to get the latest. He said that if Tesla could figure out a venting panel to incorporate into the design it would work. Just wondering if this issue will take months or years at this point and if I should start researching alternatives.
  • > @EMW81 said:
    > I am also in 92705. I spoke with someone from OCFA last week. He explained that they are concerned about the roof being too slippery for firefighters to stand on and that they are concerned about cutting through the roof to vent in the case of a fire. He said that Tesla was planning a demonstration for them in the next month, but he wasn’t very convinced it would change the current status and told me not to hold my breath. However, he was friendly and forthcoming and suggested I call back next month to get the latest. He said that if Tesla could figure out a venting panel to incorporate into the design it would work. Just wondering if this issue will take months or years at this point and if I should start researching alternatives.

    Thank you. Let us know if you hear anything back more later next month. We just got the same demo update from our advisor, hope the demo will be helpful and we can all move forward. We've been waiting for over half a year already....
  • My guess is cutting open should be easy, but it is a bit different. It might even be easier than a tile roof, as you can just snap off the top row tiles (they are dummy tiles, not solar). I also wonder if they realize the installation normally has a ridge vent?

    As for the roof being slippery, I can see that concern. I've been on the roof myself and don't even consider using sneakers or other generic shoes. You really need deck shoes designed for slippery surfaces. I wrote up an article about shoes and cleaning here:
    https://teslatap.com/cleaning-a-solar-roof/
  • I should point out what I think doesn't matter :( It's your local fire department that has to be convinced. I glad Tesla is setting up a demo to help get this resolved for you.
  • In 2018, fireengineering.com did a piece for fire fighters about the Tesla Solar Roof. Go to minute 11 to see how they cut into the roof and use a laid down ladder to reduce potential slipping on the tiles (on a dry roof).
  • Search for “Emergency Response to the Tesla Solar Roof” article.
  • @grins - good find! Here's the direct link:
    https://www.fireengineering.com/leadership/emergency-response-to-the-tesla-solar-roof/

    This is the first I've seen of the electrical design explained. Also, the roof is the v2 solar roof, in which the tiles are slightly different. Not important for the operations, but V3 roofs do look a little different as each section is a single glass tile rather than three smaller tiles bonded together. I didn't know you could use a chain saw to cut through glass tiles! Can't be great for the blade, but does work.
  • > @"grins.va" said:
    > In 2018, fireengineering.com did a piece for fire fighters about the Tesla Solar Roof. Go to minute 11 to see how they cut into the roof and use a laid down ladder to reduce potential slipping on the tiles (on a dry roof).

    Thank you "grins.va"! I found the video as well and forwarded to OCFA. Unfortunately they still have doubts and not accepting it. :( Hopefully the demo will help to resolve their issues.
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