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Supercharger locations & Solar canopies

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Brad_NC, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Brad_NC

    Brad_NC Member

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    When will we start seeing more of the existing Supercharger locations get Solar canopies?

    Additionally, when will we start seeing new Supercharger locations built with Solar canopies on day 1?
     
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    When Tesla saves money by adding them.
    When Tesla saves money by building the solar canopy at original time of construction.

    Sounds facetious, but I think it all comes down to costs, so if we do start seeing them, I think we'll see storage at the same time.
     
  3. Tdriver

    Tdriver Member

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    To make a big dent in the energy demands of the superchargers, they would need a roof much larger the site.......then they would need a huge powerwall to take care of the night..... mucho expensive.
     
  4. Model 3

    Model 3 Active Member

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    They are planning on battery systems at the superchargers in addition to the solar-panels.
     
  5. MassModel3

    MassModel3 Member

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    Nope, nope, that can't be true. I'm pretty sure it's not about the money. :tongue:

    Okay, everything's about the money. And the technology. There's a LOT of power going to cars via the superchargers, and panels can't generate nearly enough. Yet. I have 39 Solar City panels and they almost generate enough for my home and my Model S 60. Almost. Even though Solar City recently announced more efficient panels, they have to be an order of magnitude better to handle even a few Tesla's fully charging. Tesla isn't going to put panels up knowing they need to replace them every year to keep up with technology -- unless, of course, the power gain of new panels outweighs the cost to replace them. Yeah, it's all about the money.
     
  6. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    You mean like the 400 kWh pallet battery that Tesla has installed at several Superchargers and has a bunch of running the Fremont factory?

    I don't think anyone is talking about severing the utility connection or covering the car's peak charging power with solar panels. I thought Tesla's stated goal was to cover the charging energy with solar instead - meaning that they only need enough panels to match the average daily usage combined with either a net metering agreement or a battery pack that can absorb the solar energy.

    That would also mean that the threshold for when Tesla should want to do it is when the solar installation makes more sense as an investment of capital than anything else they are doing - so I'm thinking that the major push will come when they finish doing the major investment in the Gigafactory and model 3 production line, or possibly when Solar City has more people and parts than projects.
    Walter
     
  7. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Batteries at Superchargers can make sense even without solar panels - by reducing peak load, they reduce demand charges. Although I don't know how much savings we're talking about.
     
  8. Kbra

    Kbra Member

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    I think the Gilroy, CA location has battery storage. Theres no solar in sight but Tesla tends to be on a TOU style rate plan so they can load up their batteries off peak and charge a few less cars at peak with it. Im sure that was a test site for proof of concept. Would take a lot of battery storage to make much of an impact in their charging costs.
     
  9. MassModel3

    MassModel3 Member

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    All the R&D has already gone into the batteries and that cost is being passed on to the customers of PowerWalls, PowerPacks, and Tesla vehicles. Tesla, however, will be able to acquire the batteries (from themselves) at cost, which is probably 20% or less of what you and I would pay. The same might be said of solar panels. Maybe. It could be very cost effective for Tesla to put solar generation and battery storage at superchargers versus paying high TOU rates to the utilities.
     
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Doesn't matter about the size of the dent, it's just about whether they make more money doing so, now or in the future. As MassModel3 wrote, with panels becoming cheaper and better, and storage being cheaper and better, even if it would be profitable to install _now_ it could be better to hold onto the money and then install in the future, because once they install, they won't want to to touch it for years.
     
  11. austinEV

    austinEV Active Member

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    The average supercharger site uses less power than people think. Fewer cars and smaller chargers than you assume. I know in TX the chargers are generally empty when I use them. A canopy and ~200kWh of batteries do quite a bit to offset demand. It is a drop in the bucket compared to a "busy" location, but there are a lot of lonely SC in the world.
     
  12. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    Short answer: When Solar City runs low of customers and needs to fill demand, and when there are more degraded batteries to use as storage. Nissan is just now starting to use some of the degraded Leaf batteries (and everyone knows how much faster Leaf batteries degrade than Tesla batteries).
     
  13. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Tejon Ranch, CA was originally built with solar canopy. The stationary battery power pack system was quietly added on later.

    Barstow, CA had its solar canopy and battery power pack system added on quietly as well at the beginning of 2015.

    My guess is the initial cost is cheaper and the construction is quicker without solar canopy and powerpack.
     
  14. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    The Mojave supercharger has a battery system with no solar.
     
  15. rypalmer

    rypalmer Member

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    All companies get judged on their ability to make productive use of their capital -- and get benchmarked against their peers in the same industry. I'm afraid sinking a bunch of money into solar panels will not give them a high enough ROI to bother diluting what could be a better ROI on other investments.

    The ideal situation would be to partner with Solar City so that Solar City installs and owns the solar infrastructure, and Tesla just leases the equipment from them. It would make for much cleaner accounting on Tesla's side.
     
  16. dandurston

    dandurston Member

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    Regarding the potential of solar, the latest Solar City panels are 21-22% efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. That's substantially better than the 17% most panels achieve but a lot worse than plants, which are about 40% efficient at capturing solar energy.

    Plants have been perfecting their technique for millions of years and they use extremely complex and fascinating micro technology that solar panels can only dream of. So the days of a 40% efficient solar panel are a long, long time off. I could see solar panels getting to 30% in the next decade or two and maybe trickling up from there, but technology is never going to get many multiples more efficient. So most of the big changes that lie ahead are the same as what we've seen in the past few years: dropping costs.
     
  17. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Better efficiency is a wonderful thing, but it isn't really necessary when it comes to solar panels. Aside from a few specific residential applications that are short on space, there's generally plenty of room for as much solar as people can afford. It just doesn't make financial sense to buy more efficient panels unless the cost stays similar.

    So I'm not quite sure why you brought the efficiencies into this discussion, but I do agree with your conclusion that the two things solar needs right now are lower prices and more production - both of which are happening and I expect to continue.
    Walter
     
  18. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    I'm not sure I buy this line of reasoning. If you double the efficiency, they you halve the material and installation costs. Also, land does cost a lot of money outside of the Mojave desert.
     
  19. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    The first half is certainly true - if the efficiency increase can be achieved at a price that's equal to the installation savings (historically the panels and inverter have been the driving costs in solar, though that may not stay true.)

    The second half would certainly be valid if people were buying new non-desert sites specifically to build solar on to. Aside from some utility scale projects, most solar installations are dual use or more on existing locations - and as I said, even most residences have more roof than they have financing (or usage, often) to take advantage of (but it can always vary for individual cases.)
     
  20. tga

    tga Active Member

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    The size of my installation was limited by roof space. I would have put up more kW if it would have fit...

    <rant>
    What does this have to do with the Model 3, anyway? We have a bunch of non-3 specific threads showing up in the Model 3 subforum, when they really should be elsewhere...
    </rant>
     

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