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Non roof solar panel installs

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
490
712
Sacramento
The wife just opened up the possibility of installing panels in the back yard as opposed to a typical roof install. Personally, not a fan of a roof install for several reasons and part of why I have been delaying getting solar panels...not the point of the thread. Has anyone ever worked with Tesla to have panels installed on something other than a roof? Something like this...

EE4076FE-0AF2-498D-AE5F-5702AAC24656.jpeg

1CF1303F-54E3-44A8-A9E5-7F0CA4251AE6.jpeg


If so, how did it go? My inclination is that they would be hesitant since it’s not a simple/standard install.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,075
5,659
Los Altos, CA
My understanding is that Tesla will only install on the roof of a fully permitted structure. I suspect that the reason is that getting permits for this kind of ad-hoc structure requires structural engineering signoff and they just don't want to do that amount of work. They prefer boilerplate streamlined conventional roof structures.

You will have to use an independent installer if you want this kind of solar installation.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,685
8,462
Riverside Co. CA
Tesla wont do it from what I know (same as Miimura). Period, end of sentence. Needs to be a full structure, not a patio cover, etc. So, you will be working with a non tesla installer to do something like that.
 

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
139
77
Bay Area
I looked into it, (I wanted to shade a very sunny deck) and you need a professional structural engineer to sign off on the structure and its ability to handle loads (wind, earthquake, snow). $$$$ compared to cookie cutter roof mounts because of the one off nature of the designs. In my case, it looked like it would add 50-75% to the cost.

A potentially feasible alternative is to find a ground mount, or car port design that you can live (and dress up later with styling, if you want) that comes with PE certified drawings, and you are good to go.

Definitely "YMMV".

All the best,

BG
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
490
712
Sacramento
That’s what I was thinking; Tesla wouldn’t want to touch it. Thanks for the replies. Probably look into getting another company for panels then.
 

PawelM

Member
Nov 21, 2019
12
2
Austria
The wife just opened up the possibility of installing panels in the back yard as opposed to a typical roof install. Personally, not a fan of a roof install for several reasons and part of why I have been delaying getting solar panels...not the point of the thread. Has anyone ever worked with Tesla to have panels installed on something other than a roof? Something like this...

View attachment 646739
View attachment 646740

If so, how did it go? My inclination is that they would be hesitant since it’s not a simple/standard install.
I like this carport. I am looking for one for two cars. Where can I find this in the United States?
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,675
432
Sonoma, California
Probably look into getting another company for panels then.
The requirement for engineering is most likely a building department issue. For example I built a sun shade over my patio which did not require a permit. Later I mounted solar panels to it that required a permit and engineering. I had engineering from the rack company but the building department insisted on engineering for the patio cover. It was not worth the cost of engineering so I relocated the panels.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,806
2,961
Northern California
If aesthetics are the reason for not going with panels on the roof have you considered a SolarRoof? My wife was not keen on the look of panels on the roof. But loves our SolarRoof.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,564
251
auburn, ca
If aesthetics are the reason for not going with panels on the roof have you considered a SolarRoof? My wife was not keen on the look of panels on the roof. But loves our SolarRoof.
Just depends on where you put them. One of many reasons I love panels is I have the flexibility to add or change them easily for higher producing technology. And if I wanted to get rid of, would be easy to do and only a few holes to fill.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,806
2,961
Northern California
Just depends on where you put them. One of many reasons I love panels is I have the flexibility to add or change them easily for higher producing technology. And if I wanted to get rid of, would be easy to do and only a few holes to fill.
No argument about that. But a number of people (and HOAs) do not like the look of solar panels which is why the Tesla SolarRoof exists. Elon's dream for them is to have solar with no one knowing you have solar. I suspect if Tesla comes out with a SolarRoof that looks closer to the designs they showed in the initial launch we would replace our current roof with a more traditional-looking tile.

 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,564
251
auburn, ca
No argument about that. But a number of people (and HOAs) do not like the look of solar panels which is why the Tesla SolarRoof exists. Elon's dream for them is to have solar with no one knowing you have solar. I suspect if Tesla comes out with a SolarRoof that looks closer to the designs they showed in the initial launch we would replace our current roof with a more traditional-looking tile.

I understand. It is in the eyes of the person. We love our mini splits and the heads hanging on the walls. Others may think they are ugly and would never buy our house. Can a HOA legally stop panels? I had no issues with my HOA. Just needed to be approved.

For me, not being able to walk on my roof under any conditions is a show stopper. The reason I did not go with a metal roof. And again, the ability to upgrade my panels in the future was a huge plus. Now, they do look nice, I just do not like the lack of flexibility they have. BUT, I would never stack tons of panels on a roof that impacted my street view appeal.

But, I never say never. :)
 

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
139
77
Bay Area
I like this carport. I am looking for one for two cars. Where can I find this in the United States?
Have a look at this one. Installation seems pretty straightforward and it comes with engingeering drawings for the low height version, though the main website alludes to taller ones with concrete walls.

All the best,

BG
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,371
2,425
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
For me, not being able to walk on my roof under any conditions is a show stopper. The reason I did not go with a metal roof.
I walk on my metal roof, and I weigh 220 lb. It's no problem if you can figure out where you can step. I also have racks that tip my solar panels toward the sun, also mounted on my metal roof, that I can walk around. Metal roofs are only a problem when you are dealing with people who aren't willing to figure out where to step. It's not hard. I prefer metal shingles, which from a distance look very like wood shakes but will last a whale of a lot longer.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,564
251
auburn, ca
I walk on my metal roof, and I weigh 220 lb. It's no problem if you can figure out where you can step. I also have racks that tip my solar panels toward the sun, also mounted on my metal roof, that I can walk around. Metal roofs are only a problem when you are dealing with people who aren't willing to figure out where to step. It's not hard. I prefer metal shingles, which from a distance look very like wood shakes but will last a whale of a lot longer.
when wet?
 

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
490
712
Sacramento
If aesthetics are the reason for not going with panels on the roof have you considered a SolarRoof? My wife was not keen on the look of panels on the roof. But loves our SolarRoof.
Aesthetics is one reason, but it’s not the panels I don’t like; it’s the conduit running down the side. My sister-in-law’s house was build with solar and the conduit is built into the structure. That I like.
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,675
432
Sonoma, California
I had solar installed on a towhome and the HOA insisted in no exterior conduit. I did not disagree and found a path through a closet wall that avoided external conduit.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,806
2,961
Northern California
Aesthetics is one reason, but it’s not the panels I don’t like; it’s the conduit running down the side. My sister-in-law’s house was build with solar and the conduit is built into the structure. That I like.
Yep. We have a small run of conduit and it is ugly. We are glad it is on the "ugly" side of the house where the garbage cans and other things already live.

The new home tracts being built now require some level of solar on the house so the wiring is already run to the attic.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,075
5,659
Los Altos, CA
I like this carport. I am looking for one for two cars. Where can I find this in the United States?
I have no affiliation with this company, I just saw it advertised by RenVu in their e-mails. Since it's pre-engineered, they should provide everything needed for permitting.

 

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