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Solar Layout Feedback - North TX

Got my layout today. The estimated production seems low. If I put this info into PVWatts, I get ~16,800 kWh/yr. Is Tesla typically conservatively low on their production estimates?

Also thinking of removing the NW skylight, and re-locating that vent, and moving all the panels from the E roof to the W. So it would be 26 facing W, 9 facing S. We also have a large tree in our backyard that shades the SE roof... so I think that's why they stopped short there. We will have the tree thinned out or possibly taken down.

Our average usage for the past ~15 months has been ~1600 kWh/mo, or 19,200 kWh/yr. Plus we are thinking of getting a 2nd EV in the near future. So this probably won't cover all our usage... but don't really want to increase system cost at this point. May just try to reserve the whole E roof for future expansion.

Here in TX, I'm seeing 3 main types of electric plans:

Fixed rate, no net metering, ~.09/kWh (lots of options)
Fixed rate, net metering, ~.15/kWh (only a few options)
TOU (free nights 8pm-6am), no net metering, ~.16/kWh during the day (only a few options)

With a 'free nights' plan, we wouldn't HAVE to cover all our consumption, only enough for daytime. We can easily shift EV charging to night time, but I don't want to turn into an energy nazi during the day. Especially if we will be working from home more in the future. I'm not aware of any plans that are combined TOU and net metered.

Our average daily usage has been ~55 kWh. However, average usage in the daytime hours (6am-8pm) for the TOU plan has been ~35 kWh/day, which this system should easily cover.

Any feedback/thoughts appreciated!


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Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
SF Bay Area
Understand that the solar panels will help cool the roof down a bit where they are placed above. Another option might be to look into an awning (retractable even) or seen some type of overhead pergola/trellis(?) near the windows to add some shade to window areas. There’s always solar shades on windows as well. But yeah, trees are nice to have for a number of reasons :). Just not always so close to the house (foundation, sewer, water and drainage lines in addition to solar panels).

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