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Supercharger and Solar Panels

Supercharger and Solar Panels

During the earnings call Elon seemed to imply that the Solar Panels at supercharger stations would provide enough energy to get them close to self sufficient. He said that many people do "back-of-the-envelope" calculations but they don't consider that they are charging up a battery all week. I would really like this to be explained to me since it is very frustrating that he would insist on this when it seems misleading. Going by the picture on the website I see a 5x20 solar panel array. When I do a quick search it looks like the average solar panel has peak power of about 200 watts which could translate to 1.6 kWh/day in the summer. In an array of 100 panels that is 160 kWh/day or a little more than 1mWh/week. So, assuming on average people will pull 40 kWh in a charge that is 25 charges covered by the weekly output of the solar panels. I have a hard time believing superchargers will not be far more popular than this.

Can anyone tell me where I'm wrong?

uselesslogin | June 5, 2013

BTW I can't edit but I meant to say shareholder's meeting, not earnings call.

reitmanr | June 6, 2013

The arrays will be distributed and not just those covering the charge stations. Thats what I recall from earlier discussions.

stevenmaifert | June 6, 2013

@uselesslogin - You have a parallel thread going on here. I tend to agree with your analysis. Also, remember that the TM Website picture is their flagship array at the Hawthorne Supercharger. Maybe someone could comment on whether the arrays at other sites are that large. It's no biggie one way or the other, but until TM releases data, I will remain skeptical that the solar arrays are generating more juice than the growing number of ModS owners are using. I've Supercharged my ModS 85 three times, all weekday, and taken in excess of 60kWhs each session. If TM is erecting offsite solar arrays and the power companies are allowing that generation to offset Supercharger consumption, that would be a unique arrangement.

olanmills | June 6, 2013

"TM is erecting offsite solar arrays and the power companies are allowing that generation to offset Supercharger consumption, that would be a unique arrangement."

It's not really a unique arrangement if the power company simply gives Tesla a credit on their power bill at the offsite location. Then Tesla is simply has a negative power bill at the offsite solar station, and a positive power bill at the supercharger station.

stevenmaifert | June 6, 2013

It wouldn't be unique if the solar array was at another Tesla facility, and was generating more than that facility was using. But, if they are erecting solar arrays at sites of opportunity, as some have commented on this forum, and that power was offsetting Supercharger consumption, I think that would be unique.

Brian H | June 6, 2013

Elon specified "over the whole network, over the course of the year". A financial wash, plus some profit for Solar City.