Solar Panels

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Panels layout needs facing south

4.7 kw panels system was installed and facing North-West based on Tesla design. After some monitoring experiences we found our solar energy output was very low: 8kwh per day on December . Compared to the same 4.7 kw of neighbor, our system generated about a half. Contact Tesla for our panel layout need to be redesign to face South-East but no response !! Anyone have the same problem ?


  • The time to question the layout was after you reviewed the layout diagrams, but *before* the contract was signed. You may be stuck with the less-than-ideal results.

    Also note that there are a *lot* of variables in each installation, and a direct comparison between two different ones is very difficult to accurately gauge.
  • Without knowing more, it's impossible to say why one direction was chosen over another. It could be trees or buildings shade the south side, or there are protrusions and skylights that would interfere. As Greg stated, it is very difficult to compare different installations as every site and house is often quite different.
  • Does your roof have enough surface area to support a south/east facing installation? It might have been the reason why the panels are installed as they are currently. Still, your project manager should have warned you about this issue prior to the installation.

    If you do have enough surface area in your roof that is facing south/east, a local solar company might be able to help your out wit re-positioning the panels. I don't think Tesla is going to do it for free for you since you did signed off on the original layout plan.
  • Four Tesla installs in our neighborhood - three are appropriately idealized for production. The fourth has an east-northeast orientation. It was done explicitly at the request of the homeowner (who felt the panels detracted from the value of his home if seen from the street). The collective experience with these 4 is that panels were positioned firstly to optimize production but secondarily to accommodate homeowner desires for aesthetics. The installs span 4 years.
  • Your orientation is biased toward the summer months and the late afternoon sun (peak TOU rates). I trust that their calculations took this into account. Hang tight and wait until you have 12 months data to see how it all averages out. With the contract you probably received a data sheet showing all of their calcs. That should show you how they calculated your total system output.
  • The summer production for North facing system is not that much worse than a South facing one, only in the winter the difference is large. So you should see bigger improvements from now.

    Look at the bright side also - now yous till have the south side available to install even more efficient and cheaper panels in the future.
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