Tesla Solar Panel Review (Must-Know!)

Tesla has quickly become one of the most well-known and revered names in solar energy, despite only entering the market just over a decade ago. While Tesla is now mostly known for its searingly fast and efficient electric vehicles, the company also makes premium-quality solar panels and battery banks too.

With the comparatively large expense of these systems, are Tesla solar panels worth the money? Should you set up Tesla panels in your home?

Tesla solar panels are certainly expensive, due to the minimum system installation size of 10 panels and including Powerbank. However, in terms of dollar per watt, they are actually some of the cheapest panels in the United States, as well as some of the most efficient and highest quality.

In this article, we’ll be diving deep into everything about Tesla solar panels, including:

  • Tesla solar panels specifications
  • Installing Tesla solar panels
  • The cost of installing Tesla solar panels
  • The various available Tesla setups

If you’ve been considering installing Tesla solar panels in your home and want to know more about what the process entails, you’ve come to the right place! Read on below to find out more about Tesla solar power!

TESLA TESLA Building with logo
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TESLA THE COMPANY

Tesla solar panel specs

Like most solar panel companies, Tesla offers a range of solar panels depending on your specific needs. However, Tesla has recently launched a 425-watt panel with 19.8% efficiency— one of the most powerful and most efficient residential solar panels available on the market.

What really makes Tesla unique is that the company only offers four standard systems;

  • Beginning at 4.25 kW at the small end
  • The largest setup available is at 17.00 kW.
  • The smallest setup would require 10 of the above-mentioned panels,
  • The largest setup would need 40.

This is good to know, as you’ll need to be certain that you’ll have the required roof space for installation. All of Tesla’s solar panels are monocrystalline — the most efficient solar panel type.

Tesla solar panels warranty

When you install a Tesla solar panel system, the entire system is covered by a 10-year comprehensive warranty, including the Powerwall, inverter, roof mounting, and labor costs.

The Tesla solar panels are covered by a 25-year panel performance warranty, guaranteed to retain at least 80% of their power capacity for at least 25 years.

Tesla solar panels customer service

There are mixed reviews when it comes to customer service with Tesla solar. The company’s app allows you to request and schedule a service or repair, after which a customer service agent will contact you and make an appointment.

However, some customers report that this process takes far longer than it should. This is likely due to the volume at which Tesla works — a common symptom of larger corporations that leads many customers to prefer local solar services.

That being said, the majority of Tesla Solar users report fast, efficient customer service overall, and the customer service side of the company has vastly improved over the last couple of years.

Who makes the solar panels for Tesla?

Tesla does not make its own solar cells. Up very until recently, Panasonic created all of Tesla’s solar cells and historically used Hanwha Q CELLS’ Peak Duo Black solar panels for installations.

In 2021, Tesla announced that they were switching over to their own line of panels for installations, the Tesla T425S, which still largely features cells made by Panasonic.

As of writing, It’s unknown whether Tesla will begin making their own solar cells or switch to another manufacturer.

Tesla solar panels and Powerwall

One of the key drawing points to a Tesla solar setup is the infamous Powerwall. The Tesla Powerwall is bundled into every solar purchase, allowing you to run your home on stored solar energy permanently or simply when the mains power goes out.

A Powerwall needs at least ten 420-watt Tesla panels to charge it fully, and you can always add multiple Powerwalls if you require more power for your daily needs.

The Powerwall works just like any other battery storage option, although uses premium-quality lithium-ion batteries, and can handle very large power loads — the system contains a 13.5 kW battery with 5kW continuous and 7kW peak capability.

Also, the Powerwall has an integrated smartphone app, allowing you to track and customize your power usage.

Are Tesla solar panels any good?

With 425-watts of power — one of the most powerful residential solar panels on the market — and 19.8% efficiency (most residential solar panels on the market today average between 11 and 15 percent), and a 25-year guarantee,

Tesla certainly makes some of the best solar panels on the market.


ABOUT TESLA SOLAR PANELS


Tampa FL A Tesla Solar Panel at the Tesla dealership in Tampa FL. Tesla Inc. is an American automotive and energy company that specializes in electric car and solar panels.
Tampa FL A Tesla Solar Panel at the Tesla dealership in Tampa FL. Tesla Inc. is an American automotive and energy company that specializes in electric cars and solar panels.

How do Tesla solar panels work?

Tesla solar panels work the same as any other solar panel — harnessing the power of the sun to store and convert into usable electricity.

The only difference with Tesla solar is that you cannot simply buy a Tesla solar panel and use it on your existing system — the panels come in a bundle with a complete purchase that includes a Powerwall and inverter.

How strong are Tesla solar panels?

Tesla solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, so you can be sure that they are pretty durable and reliable.

See also  How Many Powerwalls Do I Need?

Tesla solar panels are more resistant to hail and wind than most other available solar panels, too;

  • While most panels are tested against their resistance to 1-inch hail
  • Tesla panels can easily withstand hail up to 1.75-inches.

How large are Tesla solar panels?

The smallest package available from Tesla, which is ten 425-watt panels, will cover 235 square feet of your roof.

The latest Tesla solar panels are 82.4 x 40.9 x 1.57-inches including the frame.

What makes Tesla’s panels different from most other manufacturers are their slightly longer size and higher power output, meaning you’ll need fewer panels overall for the same space on your roof, plus you’ll get more power output overall.

How many Tesla solar panels do I need?

This depends entirely on your power needs, but the minimum setup from Tesla is ten 425-watt panels, giving you a 4.25 kW setup. If your power needs are greater than this, you can opt for three other packages all with a higher output, the maximum being 17 kW.

How many solar panels to charge a Tesla car?

The answer to this question depends on the size of the battery in your Tesla, and how far you drive your car on an average day. A Tesla Model S, for example, has a 75 kWh battery, meaning you’d need a whopping 75 kW of solar panels to charge your drained Tesla battery fully, every day.

In general, you’d need around 3kW of power, or ten 300-watt solar panels to charge a Tesla car for daily use.

On average, a Tesla car can drive for a mile on 100-watts of charging, with the daily average for most commuters being 30-miles per day. Naturally, if you drive further on average per day, you’ll need more power and thus more panels.

Do Tesla solar panels have microinverters?

No, Tesla solar panels do not have microinverters. The panels work in the same way as most other solar panels on the market, using a Direct Current to an Alternating Current inverter.


QUALITY OF TESLA SOLAR PANEL


Tampa FLUSA A Tesla Battery Powerwall at the Tesla dealership in Tampa FL. Tesla Inc. is an American automotive and energy company that specializes in electric car and solar panels.
Tampa FL USA: A Tesla Battery Powerwall at the Tesla dealership in Tampa FL. Tesla Inc. is an American automotive and energy company that specializes in electric cars and solar panels.

Are Tesla solar panels monocrystalline?

Yes, all of Tesla’s solar panels are monocrystalline. Monocrystalline solar panels have black solar cells made of single crystals as opposed to polycrystalline panels that are blue and made from multiple silicon crystals.

While this makes Tesla solar panels more expensive, they are certainly far more efficient.

Are Tesla solar panels efficient?

Yes! Tesla makes some of the most efficient solar panels in the world. While most residential solar panels on the market today average between 11 and 15 percent efficiency, Tesla solar panels have a whopping 19.8% efficiency on average.

How are Tesla solar panels rated?

Since 2017, Tesla has released very little technical information about its solar panels. All we do know is their power rating, the fact that they’re monocrystalline, and have an efficiency of between 19 and 21-percent.

How do Tesla solar panels compare?

There are certainly several more powerful options than Tesla available on the market these days — although not by much — and certainly some more affordable options.

For example, LG now makes a 440-watt panel, and some panels out there have an impressive 22% average efficiency, with technology only getting better by the day.

Still, it’s the entire system, trusted name, 25-year warranty, and customer service that you’re paying for, and when viewed as a whole, there are few other brands that can compare with the quality of Tesla.


INSTALLING TESLA SOLAR PANELS


Solar panel installation

Can Tesla solar panels be installed on the ground?

Since Tesla panels cannot be bought separately, they cannot be installed separately or on your own either and must be installed by a licensed Tesla installation expert.

With this in mind, Tesla offers only rooftop installations, and the panel array cannot be installed on the ground.

Can Tesla solar panels be installed on a flat roof?

Unfortunately, Tesla solar panels cannot be installed on a flat roof. You’ll need a pitch of at least 14-degrees for the solar panels to be effective, and a conventional tilted racking system may be the best bet for a flat roof.

Does the Tesla solar price include installation?

In general, yes, the final price of your choice of Tesla solar installation does include the cost of installation.

However, if there is any alteration or additional construction needed on your roof, there will be extra costs involved.

How much does it cost to install Tesla solar panels?

In general, Tesla solar panels cost roughly $2.01 per watt, which is actually a lot cheaper than most other available options in the United States. Tesla offers four standardized solar systems:

  • 4.25 kW at around $8,500
  • 8.50 kW at around $17,00
  • 12.75 kW at around $25,000
  • 17.00 kW at around $34,000

How are Tesla solar panels installed?

Ordering Tesla panels is very simple; you simply go to their website and answer a few questions to find the best system for your needs.

Once you place the order, the Tesla crew will arrive at a mutually agreed-upon time and perform the installation for you.

Tesla’s solar panels are mounted on specialized racks that are water-resistant and made specifically to hold Tesla-designed solar panels.


COSTS OF TESLA SOLAR PANELS


Tesla vehicle charging station

How much will my electric bill go up with a Tesla car?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on how frequently you use, and thus charge, your Tesla. As mentioned earlier, a Tesla Model S has a 75 kWh battery.

You would need around 75 kW of power to charge your drained Tesla battery fully, every day, but around 3 kW per day is a good average to go by or roughly 90 kW per month.

In the United States, the average price for 1 kW of power is 13.31 cents per kWh, so you can expect to pay around $15 for a full charge, or roughly $150 extra per month, depending on your use.

Also, there are numerous free or very low-cost charging stations around the country for Tesla cars, so you can charge your car there to save a bit on electricity bills.

How much do you save with Tesla solar panels?

Again, this depends on your electricity usage. With the smallest available Tesla solar setup, you’re getting 425 kW of power per day in perfect conditions. If you’re using this much or less power on a daily basis, you’ll be getting 100% free electricity!

For most homes, you’ll have paid back the initial cost of the system within 5–10 years depending on the system you choose, where you live, and how much sun you’re getting per day.

How much is a Tesla solar system?

Installing a Tesla solar system will cost you anywhere from $8,000 to $35,000, possibly more, depending on the system you choose.

Can you just buy Tesla solar panels?

Unfortunately, no. Tesla does not sell their panels separately, but as a full package that includes a Powerwall and inverter. The smallest available system has ten, 425-watt panels included.

Can you finance Tesla solar panels?

Tesla is well aware that the initial upfront cost of a solar system can be too much for many people. This is why the company offers a solar loan, where you can get the installation done and pay for it with monthly installments.

  • You’ll need to pay roughly 10% as a down payment, after which the monthly cost will depend on your system size.
  • For the small, 4.25 kW system, you can expect a monthly payment of around $80, and around $300 a month for the biggest available system.
  • Tesla’s solar loan has a 10-year repayment term and 2.99% APR (annual percentage rate.)
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Can you lease Tesla solar panels?

Yes! There are two leasing options available: via the solar loan mentioned above, where you will be the owner of the solar setup, or with a third-party-owned installation.

In this setup, a solar company installs and owns the Tesla equipment, and you pay the company for the power produced by the panels. This allows you to install Tesla solar with no up-front cost!

While you will certainly save money on electricity bills with this leasing program, you’ll still not save as much money as you otherwise would when owning your own solar panels.

Can I buy out my Tesla solar lease?

This is not usually a standard part of the contractual agreement with Tesla solar leasing, however, some companies will allow it if your lease specifically states that a buyout is an option before installation.

If you decide to cancel your agreement, Tesla will charge $1,500 to come and remove the panels.


ORDERING TESLA SOLAR PANELS


Can you order Tesla solar without a Powerwall?

As of April 2021, Tesla no longer sells a Powerwall without solar panels or a solar roof, and does not sell solar panels or solar roofing without a Powerwall; the two are mutually exclusive.

Is Tesla solar a good deal?

In terms of price and quality, lease and solar loan options, plus ease of ordering and installation, Tesla solar seems like the obvious choice.

However, the lack of customer service is slightly worrying, considering you’ll be dealing with Tesla for up to 25 years, and the lack of customization is not ideal either.

For those looking for a smaller solar setup, or a setup more specifically tailored to their needs, contacting your local solar installer may be a better choice.

Still, Tesla offers a solar system that is incredibly high quality for a surprisingly low price and will install it for you too.

Can you get Tesla solar panels in Canada, the UK, and Australia?

Unfortunately, Tesla Solar is not currently available outside of the US, although many countries had the Powerwall available before it became exclusive to a Tesla solar setup.

Although Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, has stated he has plans to make the solar roof available in other parts of the world, it is still yet to happen.

How long is the wait for Tesla solar?

Depending on the area you live, in and the demand at the time, the wait for your solar installation could be as little as a month, but as long as 6-months to begin the installation. Unfortunately, Tesla has a reputation for long installation waiting times!

Can I pay for Tesla solar with a credit card?

Yes! Tesla currently accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and even PayPal for payments.


TESLA SOLAR PANEL MONEY FAQ


Can you make money with Tesla solar?

Technically, no, but you can most certainly save a lot of money by not using grid electricity, or making money as a certified Tesla solar installer.

How much do Tesla solar installers and roofers make?

In general, a typical Tesla solar installer makes $22 an hour, depending on their experience and exact position. Tesla solar installer salaries range from $10-$32 per hour.

How much does it cost to remove Tesla solar panels?

If you’re leasing Tesla solar and want or need to get out of the lease, there are no penalties or extra costs. However, Tesla charges $1,500 to come and remove all the panels and components.


Tesla Summary

There you have it! Everything you need to know about installing Tesla solar in your home.

When it comes to quality, price, and installation, it’s hard to beat the value of a Tesla solar installation, and even if you don’t have the money, Tesla offers both a solar loan and lease agreement to make things easier for the average consumer.

Hopefully, we’ve helped shed some light on Tesla solar installations and helped you decide whether Tesla is the right solar company for your solar needs.

Here’s a video of a solar panel installation after a year – great results.

Tesla Solar Panels and Powerwall After One Year

Solar Panels Brands FAQ

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