Solar Panel Sizing and Design

Tesla Solar Sizes

Tesla offers four standard solar sizes. By streamlining designs, permitting and logistics, Tesla delivers high quality solar systems at industry leading prices.

SOLAR SIZE NUMBER OF PANELS POWER RATING ROOF AREA COVERED
Small 12 4.08 kW 240 sqft
Medium 24 8.16 kW 480 sqft
Large 36 12.24 kW 720 sqft
X-Large 48 16.32 kW 960 sqft

How many solar panels do I need?

Choosing the right solar system size for you depends on a few things – where your house is located, how much electricity your home uses per year and the local price of electricity from your utility. Before you order, we will show you the system size that saves you the most money. You may decide to choose a different size if you expect your electricity usage to change.

Why does the biggest system not have the largest savings?

There will be days throughout the year where you consume more energy than your solar system produces, and days where you consume less. Most electric utilities add up all the excess energy that you generate during the year, and subtract it from your total energy consumption during that year. You only have to pay the difference. This is called net metering.

Most utilities won’t give you full credit for generating electricity beyond what you consumed that year. Therefore, to maximize your savings, you want to match your system size to your expected electricity usage, without generating a lot of net excess over the year that you can’t use.

Our recommended system size on your order is based on offsetting your current energy usage, determined by the average electric bill that you enter. If you plan to add an electric vehicle or other electric appliances in the future, you should consider getting a larger system size.

Roof Eligibility

Knowing your roof type will help our team know which of our solar products – solar panels or Solar Roof – makes sense for your home. If you prefer Tesla solar panels, your roof type will also help us determine which of our low-profile mounting systems to use. If your roof material falls under one of the qualified types below, we will have the appropriate mounting system to proceed with your solar panels project. Our revolutionary Solar Roof tiles are compatible with any pitched or angled roof surface.

ROOF TYPE: ASPHALT OR COMPOSITION SHINGLE

DESCRIPTION: Composition Shingle is one of the most common roof type and varies in shape and color.


SOLAR PANELS
SOLAR ROOF
ROOF TYPE: CONCRETE TILE

DESCRIPTION: Concrete tile can be flat or curved in shape, such as Clay Tile. While similar in appearance, Concrete Tile is different from Clay Tile.

SOLAR PANELS
SOLAR ROOF
ROOF TYPE: METAL STANDING SEAM

Metal Standing Seam can be flat or corrugated. To ensure the safety of our Crews, we require a minimum 24-gauge thickness to accommodate safety anchors.

SOLAR PANELS
SOLAR ROOF
ROOF TYPE: ROLLED ASPHALT OR TORCHDOWN*

DESCRIPTION: Rolled Asphalt or Torchdown roofing resembles Composition Shingle and is installed in long rolls. As this is often installed on flat or nearly flat roofs, solar panels are typically a more ideal solution.

SOLAR PANELS
SOLAR ROOF*
ROOF TYPE: FOAM*

DESCRIPTION: Foam is often white or light in color. As this is often installed on flat roofs, solar panels are typically a more ideal solution.


SOLAR PANELS
SOLAR ROOF*
OTHER ROOF TYPES

There are a variety of additional roof types that do not accommodate our solar panel mounting systems. These roof types are ideal for upgrading to Solar Roof.

Corrugated Metal

Slate

Wood Shake

Clay Tile

Metal Shingle

SOLAR ROOF

*Regional restrictions may apply

Roof Eligibility

Knowing your roof type will help our team know which of our solar products – solar panels or Solar Roof – makes sense for your home. If you prefer Tesla solar panels, your roof type will also help us determine which of our low-profile mounting systems to use. If your roof material falls under one of the qualified types below, we will have the appropriate mounting system to proceed with your solar panels project. Our revolutionary Solar Roof tiles are compatible with any pitched or angled roof surface.

ROOF TYPE DESCRIPTION SOLAR PANELS SOLAR ROOF
ASPHALT OR COMPOSITION SHINGLE

Composition Shingle is one of the most common roof types and varies in shape and color.


CONCRETE TILE

Concrete tile can be flat or curved in shape, such as Clay Tile. While similar in appearance, Concrete Tile is different from Clay Tile.


METAL STANDING SEAM

Metal Standing Seam can be flat or corrugated. To ensure the safety of our Crews, we require a minimum 24-gauge thickness to accommodate safety anchors.

ROLLED ASPHALT OR TORCHDOWN*

Rolled Asphalt or Torchdown roofing resembles Composition Shingle and is installed in long rolls. As this is often installed on flat or nearly flat roofs, solar panels are typically a more ideal solution.

*
FOAM*

Foam is often white or light in color. As this is often installed on flat roofs, solar panels are typically a more ideal solution.


*
OTHER ROOF TYPES

There are a variety of additional roof types that do not accommodate our solar panel mounting systems. These roof types are ideal for upgrading to Solar Roof.

Corrugated Metal

Slate

Wood Shake

Clay Tile

Metal Shingle

 

*Regional restrictions may apply

Layout For Efficiency and Looks

 

 

Tesla uses a combination of high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery to design your solar system. Our designers will place the solar panels for highest production and arrange them for best aesthetics. If you have a preference on your solar layout, you can provide input to our designers in our mobile Virtual Home Assessment after placing an order.

Optimizing Solar Production

Roof Orientation, Obstructions and Shading

Your solar system is designed for maximum production. As such, we avoid placing panels near obstructions such as trees or other structures that may block the path of the sun. Each solar panel should be exposed to sunlight to produce the most electricity.

In the northern hemisphere, it’s best to have your panels on a south mounting plane. If a south mounting plane is not available, east and west are also good. Roof planes must be able to accommodate a minimum of two panels to be considered in your final design.

Roof Pitch

The slope of your roof can affect your solar energy output. The ideal roof slope is 15-45 degrees. Anything beyond 45 degrees makes installation difficult and limits your solar energy. Solar panels on flat roofs will be put on a rail system which allows us to create a pitch.

Adding More Solar Over Time

An additional solar system can be added if you would like to add more panels in the future. Rather than adding panels to your current system, it’s best to keep them independent. This ensures that each system will operate efficiently and maintain its respective warranties.