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

Tesla Solar Panel Options

boaterva

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,567
3,738
Northern Virginia, USA
We are so used to all the options being spelled out for the car, it seems it’s not the case for the Tesla Energy side of the house.

I’m working on a panel install contract with TE (14.8 kW, 47 315W panels (the black ones)) and I keep finding out about ‘interesting things’. I thought I’d list a couple here and see if there are others anyone has heard of. (BTW, the size of this system is because it’s an East/West roof system where the sun doesn’t hit all of it at the same time.). One SolarEdge inverter, because of the relatively low total output. More system design info, if anyone cares; I did wangle the whole design out of them, which is also not normal practice.

First, the skirts you see in the marketing photos are indeed supposed to be installed on three sides. I’ve seen posts where people got them only on the bottom edge (and in one YouTube post).

Second, when I asked about this (one edge? three? four?) and the answer came back days later (really, not an FAQ?), they said the skirt wasn’t to keep critters out from under the panels, which I’d heard was an issue. You don’t want birds, etc., nesting/getting stuck under there. They then said for $0.10 W they would add netting around the arrays to keep birds out (chicken wire? No idea.). So that’s $1,400. (I guess actual physical length is irrelevant.)

So, now I wonder, what else don’t I know about that I/we might want. Be nice to have an option list like with the cars!

Comments? Additions to the nice to have?
 

boaterva

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,567
3,738
Northern Virginia, USA
Looks like no one had anything to add here... and then I found out even the 'gap netting' wasn't really an option but something Tesla adds later if critters ("") cause a production loss. I'm not sure how they can cause a production loss from the underside. Chew on cables?

I wanted to keep birds and other things away from getting underneath (or stuck underneath), since the top edge is more open, while the sides/bottom have the skirt (for what that's worth).

Anyone have comments on how to best keep the systems clear of pests? Trees aren't a real issue here, since we are a young--ish development without tons of the classic towering trees to dump leaves everywhere.
 

3laine

Member
Apr 24, 2018
122
75
Florida
Looks like no one had anything to add here... and then I found out even the 'gap netting' wasn't really an option but something Tesla adds later if critters ("") cause a production loss. I'm not sure how they can cause a production loss from the underside. Chew on cables?

I wanted to keep birds and other things away from getting underneath (or stuck underneath), since the top edge is more open, while the sides/bottom have the skirt (for what that's worth).

Anyone have comments on how to best keep the systems clear of pests? Trees aren't a real issue here, since we are a young--ish development without tons of the classic towering trees to dump leaves everywhere.

The skirts only block about half the height of the space below the panels, I'd say. There's still 2"-3" of space between the skirt and the roof. Hopefully that means there won't be a lot of buildup. I guess we'll see.
 

boaterva

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,567
3,738
Northern Virginia, USA
The skirts only block about half the height of the space below the panels, I'd say. There's still 2"-3" of space between the skirt and the roof. Hopefully that means there won't be a lot of buildup. I guess we'll see.
Yeah always wondered how large they were. Should be interesting. It’s at least cosmetically better. :D
 

TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
6,998
25,988
Philadelphia, PA
So, now I wonder, what else don’t I know about that I/we might want. Be nice to have an option list like with the cars!
The whole residential solar market is like that, and it's all related to sales. Back in the day it was an expensive undertaking, so sales folks kept the product purposely murky. Even now that it's absurdly cheap they still like to shroud the whole thing in mystery. Partially out of habit and partially to protect the thousands of dollars in commissions they get for each sale. It's a hot mess.

IMO of you have an amazing story, you tell it right up front. I firmly believe this is the direction solar installs will go under the Tesla umbrella. A menu of products with clear base pricing.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: boaterva

3laine

Member
Apr 24, 2018
122
75
Florida
The whole residential solar market is like that, and it's all related to sales. Back in the day it was an expensive undertaking, so sales folks kept the product purposely murky. Even now that it's absurdly cheap they still like to shroud the whole thing in mystery. Partially out of habit and partially to protect the thousands of dollars in commissions they get for each sale. It's a hot mess.

IMO of you have an amazing story, you tell it right up front. I firmly believe this is the direction solar installs will go under the Tesla umbrella. A menu of products with clear base pricing.

I think they'll be well-served by going to a more transparent system. As it is, the only thing they're forthcoming about, equipment wise, is the panels. The inverter, optimizers (or lack thereof), design details, etc., are not provided as standard. On top of that, in my area, they tend to come in way high, which means you're forced to get other quotes and use the "Best Value Guarantee" to get the price down out of the stratosphere.

The lack of transparency and virtual requirement to use price matching make it difficult to recommend to people without walking them through several disclaimers. I'm not saying others are necessarily better, but I'm saying Tesla could set themselves apart by making the whole process more cut-and-dried and transparent, even at a premium. Sort of like CarMax vs. regular used car dealers.
 

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