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installer recs - Tesla solar panels/red tile roof - Los Angeles, CA

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by flyingpenguins, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. flyingpenguins

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
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    Location:
    USA
    We're looking to replace our asphalt roof with a red tile roof and upgrade our 20-year-old solar panels at the same time. Does anyone have any recommendations for third-party Tesla solar panel installers who will be willing to work with a roofer to install the panels on red tile roofs in LA, CA? (and any roofer recommendations?)

    When we called Tesla, they said they wouldn't install on red tile roofs (but this was admittedly nine months ago or so). After reading three threads here on TMC, it sounds like there are installers in SoCal who will do it, but one of them that was recommended, Baker, is down in Escondido.

    (does anyone have any thoughts as to what to do with the old panels, too? recycle them with the installer? Move them to elsewhere on the roof for max roof coverage even though they're probably a lot less efficient? and what do we do with the inverter, which I think will be too small but is only a couple of years old--sell it on craigslist?)

    Thanks!
     
  2. NathanielHrnblwr

    Joined:
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    San Diego (Oceanside)
    My neighbor got Tesla panels installed on his red Spanish tile roof recently. The tile is the wavy type. I have the same roof and Baker did my install. I don't know if they service LA. Why bother with a red tile roof if you're going to put panels on it? A flat, concrete tile of a darker color will look better with panels.

    What kind of panels are the old ones and why would you not reuse them if you already own them? Do you need more solar generation? Adding panels to your existing install will likely move you to NEM 2.0 and replacing them definitely will, but after 20 years NEM 1.0 may be nearing expiration for you anyway.

    the installer will surely "recycle them" for you... on to a laborer's roof lol.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. BrettS

    BrettS Active Member

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    I’m not sure what you’re looking for here. There is no such thing as a Tesla solar panel. Tesla installs solar panels, but the panels they install are made by third parties. Right now they are installing panels made by Hanwha. At one point there was a ‘Tesla version’ of a Panasonic panel, but those panels haven’t been available for some time now. You can certainly find other installers with will install the same Hanwha panels that Tesla uses, but there’s nothing special about them and there are other brands that are as good or better.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. flyingpenguins

    Joined:
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    You're right--but we prefer the look of the red tiles...I suppose I'll give Baker a call.

    Yes, we need more solar generation for our Tesla vehicles. I had to read about NEM 1 and 2. The main difference is non-bypassable costs right? I'd be using TOU regardless I imagine. I actually don't know the type of old panel. I guess what I was wondering is--should we just add on new panels to increase generation, or is there some sort of no-no to mixing old and new panels with regards to efficiency or inverter compatibility or anything else?

    haha
     
  5. flyingpenguins

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    Hmm, I see. I get what you're saying about Hanwha as the manufacturer. I guess maybe I don't understand the difference, but we wanted solar panels sold to us by Tesla (and possibly also get a powerwall) so that we can use the Tesla app and stay within the Tesla ecosystem. (not to mention supporting a company I like...)

    Do you think I should strongly consider third party companies (totally non Tesla) for price/convenience/other reasons?
     
  6. BrettS

    BrettS Active Member

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    If you are looking at just solar only with no powerwalls, then the only way to get the solar production reported to your Tesla app would be if Tesla installs the system. Other companies can install solar panels, of course, and you’ll be able to see the production on your phone, but it will only be through the inverter manufacturer’s app. Now, that said, using another app really is not really such a terrible thing. The Tesla app really provides a minimal amount of data and you will get more data from the inverter manufacturer’s app (things like per panel production and such) that’s not available through the tesla app.

    If you are looking at powerwalls, then you will have your solar production available in your Tesla app no matter who installs your solar system or who installs your powerwall system. The gateway that is used in the powerwall system will measure your solar production and then report that data to Tesla, along with your house usage, grid usage, and powerwall usage. Again, it’s a minimum amount of data and you still won’t have per panel production numbers, but you will still be able to see solar production in the Tesla app.

    If you are set on a red tile roof and if Tesla refuses to install on a red tile roof, then it sounds like you have no choice but to consider third parties. Right now Tesla is offering one of the lowest prices for solar and powerwalls, but that comes at a cost of convenience. Tesla uses cookie cutter systems and if you have an installation requirement that doesn’t conform to their cookie cutter design then Tesla will simply refuse to install for you. It sounds like that’s what’s happening with your roof selection.

    Smaller local solar installers will be much more willing and able to work with you to get the system that you want on the roof that you want, but their price will be much more than Tesla. So at this point it sounds like you haven’t installed the new roof yet, so I think you need to decide which you want more... a red tile roof or a tesla installed solar system.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. NathanielHrnblwr

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Diego (Oceanside)
    I don't know all the differences between NEM 1.0 and 2.0. I do know 1.0 doesn't have non bypassable charges as you mentioned, but I believe 1.0 is permitted to be on tiered pricing for the length of the agreement where as NEM 2.0 will will be forced to the TOU that's not great for solar with peak 4p-9p effectively cutting the value of the generation from the panels in half price wise. I just missed 1.0 so far from an expert.

    as far as mixing, they'd likely just be two separate systems with two inverters that connect at a sub panel. People do it quite often. Your biggest thing to figure out is your NEM status. You may be nearing expiry and your costs could change dramatically even if you don't change anything.
     
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  8. flyingpenguins

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
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    Location:
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    I see. after debating back and forth, we're already on TOU (despite having solar panels and EVs) because we would use up enough electricity (not offset by solar) charging the cars that we get pushed into the high use tier even on good months. I looked and we have a couple more years until the 20th anniversary for the system (I think).

    I called Tesla again and they said they'd install on concrete but not clay. and then I realized concrete red tiles that look just like clay ones actually exist. so, we may go that route.
     

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