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Discussion Starter #1
What do you think?

https://www.tesla.com/solarroof

Some background: I had solar panels in a previous house. They were great, until the squirrels started eating the cables.

So I am not interested in conventional solar panels in my current house. Somewhat to my surprise, when I enter my info into the Tesla site, it estimates that that the cost of installing a solarglass roof is about $40k after incentives - just a few thousand more than a conventional shingle roof (according to several estimates I've received - yes, it's a big roof). As I need to replace the roof anyway, this is an intriguing option. On the other hand, I'm very skeptical that the Tesla estimate will remain the same after they actually do a site survey.
 

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I'm sure there's engineering involved as to mechanical fasteners (lag bolts or screws?) and of course there should be considerations as to would (your) ordinary roof deck be strong enough to support the load. And I'd certainly like to have some reassurance that the penetrations would eventually compromise the roof membrane.
 

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What is their expected (guaranteed?) lifespan? I realize that conventional roofing guarantees are questionable at best, but at the end of the day, besides producing electricity, they have to be a long-term weatherproof roofing surface. Can you find a crew capable of installing them properly. All questions I would ask.
 

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If you don't mind being a guinea pig then I say go for it. lol

I am always both intrigued and wary of new technology. Awesome idea but very very untested. Tell them you will ALLOW them to use your house as a real-world test model and let them put it on for free. :biggrin2:
 

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I have not seen a detailed technical description of the Tesla panels yet, but it would seem that your home would end up with many hundreds of electrical connections outdoors, on one's roof. I would find this concerning.
 

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Have heard of a single one being done yet. There is also an argument to be made for the panel systems as they will cool convectively and stay cooler. Thus, making them more efficient.
Cool convectively, stay cooler, and get eaten alive by squirrels. That was my experience in my previous house. My present house is not too far away, and I can see that squirrels are quite active. Which is why I'm interested in a solar roof that doesn't have raised solar panels.

I'm sure there's engineering involved as to mechanical fasteners (lag bolts or screws?) and of course there should be considerations as to would (your) ordinary roof deck be strong enough to support the load. And I'd certainly like to have some reassurance that the penetrations would eventually compromise the roof membrane.
The panels in this case ARE the roof.

What is their expected (guaranteed?) lifespan? I realize that conventional roofing guarantees are questionable at best, but at the end of the day, besides producing electricity, they have to be a long-term weatherproof roofing surface. Can you find a crew capable of installing them properly. All questions I would ask.
25 years. Tesla sends a trained crew out to do the install.

If you don't mind being a guinea pig then I say go for it. lol

I am always both intrigued and wary of new technology. Awesome idea but very very untested. Tell them you will ALLOW them to use your house as a real-world test model and let them put it on for free. :biggrin2:
Not quite how Tesla operates :vs_laugh:. Instead, you put a deposit down and wait to be graced with their attention.

I have not seen a detailed technical description of the Tesla panels yet, but it would seem that your home would end up with many hundreds of electrical connections outdoors, on one's roof. I would find this concerning.
The electrical connections would be below the panels, and most likely would be sealed in some way. So that would be no different from conventional solar panels - in fact, better, because water is expected to get between conventional panels and the roof, whereas it's not expected to get to the underside of solarglass shingles (except if some part of the roof has been compromised).
 

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Cool convectively, stay cooler, and get eaten alive by squirrels. That was my experience in my previous house. My present house is not too far away, and I can see that squirrels are quite active. Which is why I'm interested in a solar roof that doesn't have raised solar panels.

Squirrels aren't eating the panel systems all over the place. If the feed lines are run in a proper conduit, I have never seen any issues with squirrels around the installs in our neck of the woods.

Here is what Elon Musk is...more than anything...a great promoter. I have seen ZERO data on the efficacy of this system or yield per square foot of coverage. Is is a great idea...sure. But what happens when a single cell goes down? Are they in series, on micro inverters, or something else. There is no data on these things and if you want to potentially set fire to 40K...you might just get your wish.
 

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Squirrels aren't eating the panel systems all over the place. If the feed lines are run in a proper conduit, I have never seen any issues with squirrels around the installs in our neck of the woods.
In my old house, the lines were run properly, but the microinverters below each panel have exposed cables. These are what the squirrels liked to chew on. Because the cables were part of the microinverters, the entire microinverter would have to be replaced in cases where a squirrel ate just one little cable. It's clearly a poor design. The way to fix it would be to clad the cables with a metal mesh that rodents can't chew through. Not sure if any microinverters have incorporated that.

The solar installer's solution was to install a small fence (for lack of a better word) between the roof and solar panels. Basically it clamps onto the solar panels. The squirrels managed to defeat this.

Here is what Elon Musk is...more than anything...a great promoter. I have seen ZERO data on the efficacy of this system or yield per square foot of coverage. Is is a great idea...sure. But what happens when a single cell goes down? Are they in series, on micro inverters, or something else. There is no data on these things and if you want to potentially set fire to 40K...you might just get your wish.
I agree it's ridiculous that basic data about efficiency isn't on the Tesla website. But that info is elsewhere on the web. The short answer is that solar shingles are about half as efficient as solar panels.

The installations I've seen people post about online have several strings of shingles hooked into a few inverters. There are no microinverters or power optimizers, but rather bypass diodes. As I understand it, if one row of shingles has even a single shaded shingle, that row's power output is drastically reduced.

With regard to setting fire to $40k - what intrigues me is that this is roughly the estimate I'm getting for a new asphalt shingle roof, which we will need soon anyway. (Well, the Tesla version is a few thousand more.) If Elon can give me a solar roof for such a small premium over standard... it becomes very tempting.

By the way, here's a nice website that provides a lot of info that the Tesla website doesn't. It almost makes me think Tesla relies on its fanboys for their marketing...

https://solarroof.cool/
 

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In my old house, the lines were run properly, but the microinverters below each panel have exposed cables. These are what the squirrels liked to chew on. Because the cables were part of the microinverters, the entire microinverter would have to be replaced in cases where a squirrel ate just one little cable. It's clearly a poor design. The way to fix it would be to clad the cables with a metal mesh that rodents can't chew through. Not sure if any microinverters have incorporated that.

The solar installer's solution was to install a small fence (for lack of a better word) between the roof and solar panels. Basically it clamps onto the solar panels. The squirrels managed to defeat this.

I agree it's ridiculous that basic data about efficiency isn't on the Tesla website. But that info is elsewhere on the web. The short answer is that solar shingles are about half as efficient as solar panels.

The installations I've seen people post about online have several strings of shingles hooked into a few inverters. There are no microinverters or power optimizers, but rather bypass diodes. As I understand it, if one row of shingles has even a single shaded shingle, that row's power output is drastically reduced.

With regard to setting fire to $40k - what intrigues me is that this is roughly the estimate I'm getting for a new asphalt shingle roof, which we will need soon anyway. (Well, the Tesla version is a few thousand more.) If Elon can give me a solar roof for such a small premium over standard... it becomes very tempting.

By the way, here's a nice website that provides a lot of info that the Tesla website doesn't. It almost makes me think Tesla relies on its fanboys for their marketing...

https://solarroof.cool/

Last few I have seen did have some shielding on the back of them (i.e. snap in 3 sided cover for the exposed wiring).



I agree with you 100%. If that truly was the case that the cost was close...you'd be insane NOT to go with the solar shingle. I just haven't seen any real data about the process, product, or warranty released from them.

How much square footage do you have for a 40K roof in asphalt?
 

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Last few I have seen did have some shielding on the back of them (i.e. snap in 3 sided cover for the exposed wiring).
Intriguing. I should probably contact the guys who did the panels in my other house and ask them if they've finally got a real solution to the squirrel problem. Then maybe after we have a new roof I'd consider having regular panels installed.

How much square footage do you have for a 40K roof in asphalt?
I don't know the roof square footage, but the house is 4400 sq ft. It's a two story house, but the second story is smaller in square footage than the first (there are two large first floor rooms with cathedral ceilings). So I'm guessing we have at least 3000 square feet of roof, and maybe closer to 4000.

(By the way, I just received an estimate for $25k, from what looks like a reputable contractor... if I can do it for that little, I think I'd prefer that over a solar roof for $40k.)
 
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