Tesla Solar with Flat Roof

Tesla Solar with Flat Roof

I started a quote for Tesla solar and seem to be running into a challenge because I have a "flat" roof where I only have 1/4 inch per 12 inches slope.

Has anyone else encountered this? They're going to get back to me, but it sounds like they may not be doing installs on "flat" roofs on the east coast. I'm not sure yet.

Thanks. | June 20, 2020

Sorry to say, I don't think there is any chance they would install the solar tiles on a flat roof. An angle is preferred to get more sun, but the three reasons that are more problematic:

1. The tiles need airflow under the titles, and a reasonable slope makes this work.
2. The tiles are not sealed together. A slope makes the rainwater flow down to the next tile. A flat roof means the water just flows through the tiles to the roof below.
3. Snow and ice loads could be significant if you're an area with snow/ice conditions. The tiles are strong, as you can walk on them. I'd worry more about ice forming and causing damage when they are flat.

Traditional solar panels might work, but they would likely make some kind of fixture to tilt the panels up. I'm not sure many solar companies would do this kind of installation. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

GoneSailing | June 22, 2020

Lots of companies install on flat roofs. Talking to a couple Tesla certified installers now. It isn’t hard to tilt the panels. Just surprised Tesla won’t do it. My guess is they’re trying to get as cookie cutter as possible to minimize costs. | June 23, 2020

@GoneSailing - I was focused more on the solar tiles - which is unique to Tesla. Solar panels from Tesla or other should work if tilted, but perhaps Tesla doesn't offer this option currently.

GoneSailing | June 25, 2020

I’m not interested in solar tiles, those won’t work on a flat roof. I’m interested I. Tesla Solar panels, and spent $100 to be told no. I was curious if anyone else encountered this.

jjs | June 25, 2020

Are they going to return the $100?

GoneSailing | June 26, 2020

I haven’t pushed on them yet about a refund. Talking to a Tesla certified installer today. If I can figure out when / if they’ll unlock grid charging, it might make sense to install the small array and Powerwalls. I haven’t given up yet, but want it to at least feel ok.

gregbrew | June 27, 2020

Most electrical utilities in the U.S. do *not* allow Powerwalls to be charged from the grid, except during StormWatch events. Check with your utility *before* committing to a contract, if grid-charging is important to you. Get the answer in writing.

dmanincali | June 30, 2020

They'll return your $100. It's just a deposit and you're not committed to anything until you're in contract.
I have a solar roof but certainly wouldn't want it on a flat roof. I've seen a number of solar roof owners (via a group I'm part of) who have a mix of sloped and flat roof sections and they generally cover the flat roof sections in another material.