Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Driving on Sunshine

Do you have solar to power your car?

  • Yes

    Votes: 249 63.4%
  • No

    Votes: 50 12.7%
  • No, but hope to soon

    Votes: 94 23.9%

  • Total voters
    393
We took another nice step on our drive to Net 0. 5 more solar panels were added bringing our total to 33 panels and 8.3 KW. For us that should cover better than 90% of the energy use for our home and the Roadster and Volt.
Driving_Net_0_sm.JPG
Solar_2 (3).JPG


When we first installed our system we only had the Roadster but it is really hard to go back to gas once you have driven electric.
 
I dream of going solar some day and live in Texas so we get the UV for sure. The problem is 0 incentives locally and no net metering service so any surplus would be just wasted really unless I also invested in batteries. Last time I checked at my last house is was > 20 years ROI which is no good. I am moving into a new home next week and hoping it will work.
 
How did you add capacity? Micro inverters?

No we are over driving one inverter. I had one 3000W inverter connected to one string of 12 panels for 3000 watts input. In theory they were matched but I rarely saw over 2200 watts and most of the time a lot less. So we connected these 5 (minimum needed for voltage) and thus are over driving about 35%. The situation is helped by a 45 degree offset so as one string is ramping down the other is ramping up. Will need some time to see how it works.

PS we too have no state incentives but we do have net metering which helps a lot.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,183
13,942
United States
No we are over driving one inverter. I had one 3000W inverter connected to one string of 12 panels for 3000 watts input. In theory they were matched but I rarely saw over 2200 watts and most of the time a lot less. So we connected these 5 (minimum needed for voltage) and thus are over driving about 35%. The situation is helped by a 45 degree offset so as one string is ramping down the other is ramping up. Will need some time to see how it works.

PS we too have no state incentives but we do have net metering which helps a lot.

Cool; I'm contemplating a similar recommendation for a friend. We're going to add 4 panels (1 to each string) since his DC voltage drops so low when it's hot that he's below the MPPT range of his 10KW inverter. Kinda sucks 'cause he's got a nice 9x5 arrangement now that fits perfectly on his shed. The odd 45th panel was really just a filler and we intended on sticking it on a micro but that never panned out... So the new plan is to extend the middle 3 rows to 6 panels for a total of 48 295w panels.

The new thought is to add a 5th string on the West Wall... so a completely vertical set of 12 panels... they'll be shaded for a good bit of the day... wondering if that'll work...

I wouldn't worry about 'overdriving' the inverter... the excess energy is just dissipated off the panels and the inverters are rated to handle 2x their operating current... which that would only be under a fault condition anyway. So long as dc voltage stays below ~600v you should be fine.

IMG_0035.jpg
 
I don't know if this has been mentioned or is coming sometime, but I might say that a solar panel on the roof of the car itself would also be a neat addition to a Tesla... that's what I initially thought of when I saw the name of this thread. There is a Fisker dealer that still hasn't closed shop in my town and I've been there to check a Karma. It has a solar panel on the car's roof and it does look interesting. I'm not sure how efficient a single panel on top of the car would be to make it worth given the already heavy weight of a Model S, but it might still be a neat addition if anything...
 
I don't know if this has been mentioned or is coming sometime, but I might say that a solar panel on the roof of the car itself would also be a neat addition to a Tesla... that's what I initially thought of when I saw the name of this thread. There is a Fisker dealer that still hasn't closed shop in my town and I've been there to check a Karma. It has a solar panel on the car's roof and it does look interesting. I'm not sure how efficient a single panel on top of the car would be to make it worth given the already heavy weight of a Model S, but it might still be a neat addition if anything...
A solar panel gives me about 4 miles/day. That is from the roof of the house that is in the right orientation. So it is rarely worth adding them to a car.
 
I have a tiny PV system compared to a lot of the guys out there; just a 3kWh that I had installed mid May. This time of year it does provide more power than the house is using, (don't have the Tesla yet which will likely push consumption MUCH higher).

I would highly recommend going for solar for many reasons; it's also fun to track, here is my public page if anyone wants to poke around feel free.

https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/public_systems/pp7a634318?preview=1

The power company, (Enmax), installed free of charge, (excuse the pun), the bi-directional meter which shows how much energy is delivered by the grid, (del) vs how much goes back, (rec). Enmax pays me the going rate for whatever I send back into the grid - unfortunately Calgary doesn't have TOU or anything else fancy that I'm aware of anyway.

Apologies for the ICEs in the picture - they aren't mine !!!

IMG_0635.JPG
IMG_0636.JPG
IMG_0637.JPG
 
Love the pictures and great to see even a 3KW system can make a noticeable difference that far north.

Alberta is actually one of the sunniest places in the world with some of the highest solar exposure - year round; another plus is we have so much daylight in the summer; sun is up before 6 and the sky is still blue by 11 PM !! although .. I guess the short winter days kinda negate that ....

also check this out - this is the install they did before they came to my place ...

http://www.skyfireenergy.com/solar-...tric-systems/2-mw-solar-farm-bassano-alberta/
 
I maxed out the roof and went with a 9.3 KW system installed by Solar Universe. Very happy with their work. It produces more than I needed for my car and household needs, but I anticipate a Model III in the future for my wife and it's more expensive to add later than do it all at once. Even if another car isn't added, I wanted to make sure I completely offset my electricity needs, not just the cost, with clean energy so I can truly say "I'm driving on sunshine, whoa-oh!"
 

Electricfan

Active Member
Aug 24, 2013
1,253
378
Houston
I dream of going solar some day and live in Texas so we get the UV for sure. The problem is 0 incentives locally and no net metering service so any surplus would be just wasted really unless I also invested in batteries. Last time I checked at my last house is was > 20 years ROI which is no good. I am moving into a new home next week and hoping it will work.

I live in Houston and have net metering - TXU Free Nights is my plan - and signed a producer's agreement - they pay me 7.5 cents / kwh for surplus power exported. Not sure why you can't do something similar in College Station, but that's a shame. I LOVE watching my system export power to the grid even while my AC is running full blast.
 
Alberta is actually one of the sunniest places in the world with some of the highest solar exposure - year round; another plus is we have so much daylight in the summer; sun is up before 6 and the sky is still blue by 11 PM !! although .. I guess the short winter days kinda negate that ....

also check this out - this is the install they did before they came to my place ...

http://www.skyfireenergy.com/solar-...tric-systems/2-mw-solar-farm-bassano-alberta/

Very impressive. And still room to grow turtles beneath.
 
Wow we now have 250 who have taken the poll and we have been holding steady at just under 60% of Tesla owners are solar powered. It looks like we as a group are truly leading the way to a cleaner future.
I told you. I am going to call you on this every time you post it. You said you would not do that again, but here it is. Statistically you can say "60% of all respondents to this survey blah blah blah." You CANNOT say "60% of Tesla owners blah, blah, blah." The 250 respondents are NOT a random sample.
 
Chipper I did say 250 who have TAKEN the poll. I never said it was statistically significant and I never said 60% of Tesla owners. That said I have been surprised that from 30 to 256 responses we have held between 54 and 60%. But you are correct I should have said

"Wow we now have 250 who have taken the poll and we have been holding steady at just under 60% of Tesla owners who have taken this poll are solar powered. It looks like we as a group are truly leading the way to a cleaner future."

Thank you for helping to keep this thread active :).
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top