Last year, Elon Musk said that the Tesla New York factory would be producing 1,000 solar glass roofs per week by the end of 2019. According to this tweet from the company — that mission has been accomplished, although a little late.
Giga New York built 4MW of Solar Roof last week, enough for up to 1000 homes!
— Tesla (@Tesla) March 15, 2020
pv magazine has been tracking Tesla’s solar roof tile installations around the San Francisco Bay Area, and we’ve seen enough to make some observations.
- Every box of shingles we examined came from Changzhou, China, not the factory in New York
- While a standard shingle roof remove-and-install typically takes eight hours over two days, the Tesla installs we’ve tracked are running ten days to two weeks and requiring a team of five to six people — with additional people brought in to install storage and electrics.
- The roofs are subjectively better looking than the composite shingles they are replacing. In some cases, they are better looking than the house they protect.
- Tesla has been targeting simple shed or gable roofs with a minimum of roof features
- No microinverters or optimizers are being used.
Here’s a link to an earlier Tesla roof tile photo gallery and pv magazine’s estimate of solar tile efficiency.
We’ve reached out to Alan Cooper, Director of Global Communications and Ignoring Press Inquiries at Tesla to verify the tweet and claimed volumes. We have not yet received a response.
Although Tesla has been advertising for roofers and solar tile installers, 1,000 rooftops built in a week would require 6,000 to 10,000 employees — given the current crew headcount and time to install.
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O.K. this statement: “No microinverters or optimizers are being used.” As these solar tiles seem to be in solar PV generation “blocks” where several tiles are stringed together to make a solar “tile string”, then they have connectors molded in to snap one tile string to the next tile string, how does one satisfy the newest NEC 2020 RSD requirement of shutdown at the “panel” level? A house has a fire during the day, the firemen get on the roof to ventilate the attic and gain entry for a water spray. The fireman hacks through the solar PV roof tiles and what?, expects the solar tiles to shutdown and remove the high voltage D.C. buss from the solar PV tiles, without an RSD per tile group? Doesn’t sound right, in other articles a picture of the specifications for the tiles has the voltage per tile as 30VDC, but making an array by snapping these tile sections together seems to make a series high voltage D.C. buss. So what is it?, 30VDC with a little over 333 Amps on a 10kWp tile solar array or 300 VDC and 33 Amps on a 10kWp solar array without a panel to panel RSD device?
My understanding is that the active PV shingles are made in USA. The inactive, filler, shingles are from China.
Each panels is only 11.99 volts and they are strung in 3 or 4 panels to a “shut down device” at under 50 Volts. Systems under 50 volts at the panels are exempt. They use MC4 connectors and the tiles are mounted on special snaps mounted on the roof for easy installation and replacement.
Cal Fire does a U-tube video of how to access a roof with axes on a “live Powered Roof” and they just chop through them because they do not have more than 50 volts going through them and the combiner shut down device, that has all the safety electronics, is not damaged. The system is also ungrounded DC so the DC power can not flow through the fireman to ground like in a Grounded AC micro inverter system converts the 36 volts or higher DC to 220 volts AC at the panel, on the roof, making the un-guarded, AC grounded wires subject to damage that the shut down requirement is supposed to cover.
. I have ordered my Tesla Glass Solar roof, but, if they are not made in USA and Tesla leaves California, then I won’t get the roof or the model Y. If it is MADE IN CHINA I won’t buy it. .
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