Tesla in Australia 2018/2019 – Facts & Figures

Tesla have announced their Q2 earnings which notes that they have a ‘crazy’ growth outlook despite cell shortage and a slow deployment of their solar roof. Tesla in Australia is still very far behind the USA, but what can we expect the future to bring?

Tesla in Australia – 2018/19

What can Australians expect from Tesla over the next financial year? We’ve had an agonisingly slow rollout down under and there are many people waiting to see how long it takes for the solar roof to make its way out here.

With the cell shortage that has crippled availability of the Tesla Powerwall 2 in Australia, is it worth waiting for the Powerwall 3 instead? There hasn’t been any announcement yet so it really depends on your personal situation. 

The Tesla Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York is in working on speeding up production of the Solar Roof. They hope to produce 1 GW of solar products at the site annually beginning in 2019, and Tesla has said that it could even reach 2 GW/year down the track. The Gigafactory produces standard solar panels, along with the Solar Roof.

So if you have a bit of patience and are happy to wait until 2019, it’s fine to wait. Solar batteries still have a bit of a ways to go before they are a no-brainer for people to install, let alone the solar roof. But in the meantime, there are certainly solar roof alternatives like the Tractile solar roof tile or the Sonnen/Bristile partnership which they’ve called ‘Solartile‘. Have you got any questions or any experience with any of these solar shingles? Please let us know in the comments. 

Where is the Tesla Solar Roof?

Tesla in Australia - Solar Roof via @Toblerhaus on Twitter
Tesla in Australia – Tesla Solar Roof 2018 Installation (California) (source: @Toblerhaus on Twitter)

We’ve written about the Tesla Solar Roof before – and we’ve also written about its place in the Australian ecosystem, given that they’re rare as hen’s teeth in America, let alone over here. According to PV Magazine USA, it’s probable that the Tesla Solar Roof will not help their bottom line (Energy Generation and Division Revenues) until halfway through 2019 at the earliest. The reasons for this are for safety and the time lag it’s taking to get all their ducks in a row.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk clarified:

“It takes a while to confirm that the Solar Roof is going to last for 30 years and all the details work out, and we’re working with first responders to make sure it’s safe in the event of a fire and that kind of thing. So it’s quite a long validation program for a roof which has got to last for 30, 40, 50 years, but we also expect to ramp that up next year at our Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo. That’s going to be super exciting.”

According to Musk ‘several hundred’ Solar Roofs have been deployed, are being installed or scheduled for install, and international expansion (i.e. Australia!) is slowly rolling out.

PV Magazine have also written about some of the first solar roof installations in the USA – please click here to read some more about them.

Read More Solar News:

Can you walk on solar panels? Solar panel durability.

Can you walk on solar panels? We could probably answer this article with one word – no. But let’s take a look at how walking on solar panels damages them – with cracks, damaged cells (which are impossible to see with the naked eye), and more. We’ll also investigate some of the most durable solar panels you can buy in 2018.

Can you walk on solar panels
Can you walk on solar panels? (source: SolarWorld USA via YouTube)

Can you walk on solar panels?

Still no. A running joke between colleagues in the solar industry is when a new ‘cowboy’ outfit comes to town with a bunch of flashy solar marketing – which involves pictures of installers blithely standing or crouching on top of a panel, potentially doing very serious damage to the efficacy of the system. And the fact that the damage compounds over time means it’s sometimes difficult to correlate the problem to find out what happened to make your solar system underperform…

When we talk about walking on solar panels, this doesn’t just mean the glass itself – you need to stay off the rails and frame as well. 

If you absolutely insist on a super-strength solar panel someone light could walk on, or you live somewhere with strong hail/wind/snow loads, SolarWorld have a Sunmodule which is extremely hard. View a video of its endurance here:

Tesla’s Solar Roof also has great durability and is an option for those needing a very strong solar panel. Note that we still recommend you don’t step on this, or any solar panel, unless you have to rescue an ailing baby bird or retrieve a pot of gold. They’re simply not made for it. 

NREL, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, have produced a video showing the invisible damage from walking on a solar panel.

According to the video, after a cell is cracked, its power output degenerates far more rapidly than usual (every solar panel’s output decreases with time). Temperature changes (like the difference between day and night, or different seasons) cause thermal expansions and contractions which pull apart the materials around the crack, exacerbating the problem. 

In short – please don’t walk on solar panels. 

Read More Solar News:

Hantile flexible solar tiles by Hanergy.

Chinese company Hanergy have released the latest generation of their flagship Hantile flexible solar roof tiles. They’re lighter, thinner, more flexible, and have increased performance from the previous generation. Let’s have a look at how they stack up against some of the other solar roof tiles on the market.

Hantile Flexible Solar Roof Tiles

Hanergy Hantile flexible solar tiles launch
Hanergy Hantile flexible solar tiles launch (source: hanergy.com)

The new Hantile uses a single instead of a double layer of glass. This has lowered the weight of each tile down to 5.2kg. The glass is ultra-white tempered so it is extremely durable and is able to deliver a transmittance level of 91.5%. According to the PR News wire, the single glass Hantile can generate power at temperatures ranging from -40 Celsius to -85 degrees. Their life cycle is 30 years and each tile uses copper indium gallium selenide solar cell (CIGS) with 17.52% efficiency. In terms of environmental friendliness, each 100 square metres of Hantile is equivalent to planting 340 trees. The tiles are backed by a lifetime warranty (30 years) and a lifetime charged maintenance guarantee.

“We’re delighted to introduce the next generation of our innovative Hantile building solution,” said Hanergy founder Mr. Li Hejun. “With its industry leading energy generation capabilities and suitability for any building, I am confident that Hantile will set a new benchmark for new energy applications in building construction.”

Hanergy

Hanergy is, according to their press release, the world’s largest clean energy company. They work with hydro-power, wind power, and solar power. Since 2009 they’ve been researching thin-film solar power and with their updated technology will be releasing solar roof tiles, foldable solar-paper power banks, solar backpacks for solar camping, BIPV, solar roads, and more. They have more than 16,000 staff members and have been in a bit of financial trouble recently with the SFC ordering them to pay outstanding debts to its subsidiaries, with the stock currently ceased trading on the Hong Kong market. Hopefully this new technology can help Hanergy get back on track. 

Hanergy Hantile vs Tesla Solar Roof

Hanergy Hantile Solar Tile
Hanergy Hantile Solar Tile (source: hanergy.com)

The Tesla Solar Roof has been talked about a lot over the past year, but there have been quite a few competitors sticking their hands up such as the Tractile solar roof tiles, which are a lot more price effective than Tesla’s offering. Hanergy’s new Hantile don’t currently have a price for Australian install, but it looks like the ‘c-type slot structure’ they used for manufacturing mean it will be quite easy to install them. The previous Hantiles, launched in 2017, had a conversion efficiency rate of 16.5% and it now boasts 17.52% conversion rate. 

The price of last year’s triple arch solar tile was 130 yuan ($~285 AUD)/ m2 so it’ll be interesting to see what the new tile costs. We’ve reached out to Hanergy for comment and will let you know as soon as we have more information. We’ll be looking for reviews, price, release dates, and more! 

Read More Solar News:

Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Availability in Australia.

What can we expect from the Tesla Powerwall in 2018? Elon Musk’s company have released their Q4 report from last year, and it also has a lot of interesting information about the direction they’re planning on taking things in 2018. It looks like the days of the severely limited supply of the Powerwall may be coming to an end. 

Tesla Energy Display - Tesla Powerwall in 2018
Tesla Energy Display – Tesla Powerwall in 2018 (source: Tesla.com)

Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Residential Energy Storage

The Tesla Powerwall 2 has been out in Australia for almost a year now – the problem is that they have been hard to come by and Tesla have had a very difficult time meeting demand for their energy storage products (we’re not even going to delve into the Model 3 fiasco…)

“2018 will see major growth in Tesla energy storage deployments, as the production ramp of our storage products is just as steep as with Model 3,” Tesla said. “This year, we aim to deploy at least three times the storage capacity we deployed in 2017.”

They went on to elaborate on the reason Powerwalls were so difficult to source last year:

“We also deployed 87 MW of energy generation systems in Q4,
which is 20% less than Q3 2017. Solar MW deployed declined as
volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain
sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better
margins. In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short
supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus
Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be
impacted by these factors over the near-term, we expect growth to
resume later this year. “

This begs the question – with so many issues scaling up their energy storage how will this impact the Powerwall 3 release date announcement?

Tesla Powerpack in 2018 – Commercial Energy Storage

After the unparalleled success of the Tesla battery in South Australia, it’s unsurprising to see that they’re going to have a strong focus on commercial solar storage. 

 “Due to the success of this project, we’re seeing an increase in demand for Powerpack, our commercial energy storage product. With more electric utilities and governments around the world recognizing the reliability, environmental, and economic benefits of this product, it’s clear that there is a huge opportunity for us in large scale energy storage” their Q4 statement read. 
 
It’ll be interesting to see exactly what applications we’ll see the Powerpack being used in, both in Australia and worldwide. 

Tesla Solar Roof 2018 Update

According to the report, initial production at the Gigafactory 2 started in Q4 and Tesla are “deliberately ramping production at a gradual pace”. When “fully scaled”, the Buffalo, NY based Gigafactory 2 will be able to produce enough solar cells to add more than 150,000 new residential solar installations every year. 

If you want to learn more about the Tesla, Inc. Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Results Q&A conference call click here to visit their site or you can find the PDF of the update letter here – Tesla Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2017 Update

Read More Solar News:

Monier SolarTile – Solar Tiles Australia

There’s plenty going on in the world of solar roof tiles this year – today we’re going to take a look at the Monier SolarTile, which is a competing against the Tesla Solar Roof and the sonnen/Bristile Roofing Solartile.

Monier SOLARtile

Monier SolarTILE
Monier SolarTILE (source: monier.com.au)

The Monier SOLARTile is an integrated modular photovoltaic flat tile system. They integrate with a flat profiled roof so they won’t ruin the view of your house – and can be installed on all types of roofs (including traditional and period style homes). If you’d prefer, you can retrofit them for a re-roof, extension, or home renovation. Their modular design means that you can install them in any configuration – including smaller sections of your roof (generally north facing) to reach optimal energy production. Since they have an integrated design (as opposed to conventional ‘bolt-on’ solar panels, the SOLARtiles will blend into a roofline smoothly. 

Monier were a finalist in the Clean Energy Council’s ‘Solar Designs & Installations Awards’ in 2013 for this product – they were also a finalist in BPN’s Sustainability Awards in 2013. The company is backed by CSR, one of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest building product companies. 

They’re currently available and are being installed on homes in Australia – and in lieu of any case studies, let’s see how it stacks up against the Tesla solar tiles:

Monier SolarTile vs Tesla Solar Roof

Monier SolarTile:

  • Available? – Available in Australia right now! 
  • Grid? – Must be grid connected.
  • Upgradeable? – Yes – provided your inverter has the capacity.
  • Warranty? 25 Year Performance Guarantee – guaranteed to be working at 82.5% of original capacity in year 25.  
  • STCs? Monier can handle this for you or you’re welcome to sell them yourself. 
  • Installation? Licenced roofers and CEC accredited electricians. 

Tesla Solar Roof:

  • Available? No – the Tesla Solar Roof release date in Australia should be sometime in 2018.
  • Grid?  No official word as yet, but these should integrate with Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries to offer an off-grid solution.
  • Upgradeable? Yes, can replace Tesla ‘non solar’ tiles (a Tesla roof will generally have around 40% solar generating tiles) with solar tiles.
  • Warranty? “Infinite”, according to Elon Musk, but this only applies to the glass the tiles are made from, not their ability to produce electricity or actually function as a roof. 30 year warranty for those.
  • STCs? Unconfirmed, question has been Tweeted to Elon Musk by @awbow22

We’ve reached out to Monier for some more information about the Solartile and will update this article as soon as we have more. In the meantime, if you want solar tiles on your roof and don’t want to wait, it remains a great product backed by an Australian giant! If you have any experience with the Monier SOLARtile we’d love to hear about it – please leave your thoughts in the comments! 

Read More Solar News:

Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Guide

Finally, after a litany of false starts and delays, Australians are beginning to enjoy installations of the Tesla Powerwall 2. Michael V, a user on the Australian based Whirlpool forum, documented the process of his install in a thread yesterday and it looks like the process went fairly smoothly, despite the fact that according to Michael it was the installers’ (Flashpoint Electrical and Solar at Punchbowl) first ‘actual’ install (i.e. they had practised on a prototype before but this was the first customer install). According to Tesla’s Facebook page, on April 28 they said that “Powerwall 2 installations have begun in Australia” but this is the first documented information we have on the process so please have a read and let us know if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation in the comments. We’d love to hear about it.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation and Ordering Process

The installations management team will help you with the Powerwall install process, which is, as far as we can tell, as follows  (please note this is after you’ve already pre-ordered a Tesla Powerwall 2 – there’s a ~2 month backlog in Australia right now so if you’re on the fence (wall?) about it then click here to visit Tesla’s site and order.

The Powerwall Install Process is as follows:

  1. A Tesla Certified Installer (from Downer Group, in Michael’s circumstance) visits your property to carry out a ‘site assessment’ – which will check:
    1. The suitability of your preferred location for Powerwall 2
    2. Site specific information for Tesla to provide a cost proposal for installation.
  2. A ‘proposal and sales agreement’ is prepared and sent within 7 days. Full payment is required 2 days prior to install.
  3. A Tesla Certified Installer visits your premises to install your brand new Powerwall 2!
  4. Powerwall 2 is connected via 3G (preferred) or Wifi so you can update the firmware and use the Tesla Powerwall App on your phone/tablet.

If you’d like to learn more about the actual install process, click here to view the full album of photos from Michael V on Whirlpool.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Australia
Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Australia (source Whirlpool via Michael V)

How to order Tesla Powerwall 2

You can either:

  1. Buy Tesla Powerwall 2 online from the official site ($650 AUD deposit will be charged to your credit card), or
  2. Request a callback from the Tesla Powerwall team (they generally respond within one business day).

Read more about the Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Launch on our main Powerwall page! Find installers, Tesla Powerwall 2 alternatives, and much more.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in the Tesla Solar Roof in Australia click to read our article and information repository about this exciting new technology. Never hurts to be aware that there are also Tesla Solar Roof alternatives out there as well. Do your research before you commit to anything!

Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installations
Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installations (source: tesla.com)

Read More Solar News:

Sonnen / Bristile Roofing to offer Solartile in Australia.

Some big news on the solar roof front this week – German battery storage company Sonnen have partnered with Australian roofing company Bristile Roofing to offer their Tesla Solar Roof competitor, the Solartile, to Australian markets this September.

Sonnen and Bristile Roofing Launch Solartile in Australia

Sonnen and Bristile Roofing’s concept of an integrated solar tile is in direct competition to Tesla’s Solar Roof, which has just begun taking orders for a 2018 launch. Bristle, part of the building materials group Brickworks, is mainly going to target the 102,000 new homes to be constructed in Australia in 17/18; it seems that they’ll be targeting developers and builders who are looking to offer integrated solar systems as part of their product range.

In an industry (solar + storage) which grew over 1000% in 2016, there’s plenty of room for competition and we’re excited to see what Sonnen’s reliable and proven solar battery solutions can bring to this partnership.

“We are delighted to partner with Bristile because of their prominent involvement in supplying quality products to the building industry,” said Sonnen Australia managing director, Chris Parratt, last Thursday.

You can read more about the SonnenBatterie Eco 8.2 battery system (this, or a variation of, will be offered as part of the solar roof system) on our solar battery comparison page.

Solartile Release Date, Preorder and Cost

No word yet on the cost of the Solartile – it’s set to be released this September and we assume that preorder will become available over the coming months. Please watch this space as we’ll update it as soon as we have any information about the Solartile preorder available!

SonnenBatterie Australia Solartile Battery
SonnenBatterie Australia Bristile

Solartile VS Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla, which has previously claimed the tiles would be no more expensive that a regular roof, released statistics showing that a ‘typical homeowner’ can expect to shell out approximately $US21.85 per square foot for the Tesla Solar Roof (assuming 35% ‘active’ tiles).

Prices and specifics are yet to be revealed for the Bristile Solartile but we will update as soon as they become available.

If you want to calculate how much your home would cost to fit out with the Tesla Solar Roof based on current figures, please use the widget below.

Solartile / Tesla Solar Roof Price Estimate

Enter your roof size below in square metres and get a price estimate for the Tesla Solar Roof. We’ll update this for the Solartile as soon as figures are available.


Estimated Cost:

Read More Solar News:

Tesla Solar Roof Australia Release Date and Cost

Exciting news from Tesla and Elon Musk last week as he announced that the Tesla Solar Roof Australia preorder is now available: they’ll be available in ‘almost any country’ and deployment will be this year in the US and 2018 for overseas countries.

Tesla Solar Roof Australia

Tesla Solar Roof Australia Release Date

The tiles were announced last October and we reported on a tweet from Musk last month saying preorders were coming soon – and last week Tesla finally announced they have started production on two of their four initial designs. A smooth glass tile and a textured glass tile are available for preorder right now and will be released in Australia in 2018. The website states that the third and fourth designs, ‘tuscan’ and ‘slate’ will be available ‘early 2018’. This probably refers to the commencement of production, so it might be Q3 or Q4 2018 when these are shipped.

Australians can place a fully refundable $1,310 (AUD) deposit via the Tesla website and, although we’ll have to wait until next year for the tiles to ship, excitement is growing and many local retailers are clamouring for install rights to the panels.

Tesla Solar Roof Warranty

The roof is also extremely durable – take a look at a video post from Elon Musk’s Instagram account where Tesla were doing some hail tests on the solar roof vs conventional roofing tiles. The tiles, whilst being half the weight of their competitors, were measured as being three times stronger:

Smashing roof tiles with a hail cannon

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

As such, they have a novel idea towards warranty for the tiles – the lifetime of your home or ‘infinity’ – whichever comes first. They also have 30 year power and weatherization (Weatherization means that there will be no water leaks or other weather intrusions during the warranty period that result from installation) warranties in the US. As warranties are generally region specific we will have to wait to see how this changes for the Australian market.

Tesla ‘Active’ and ‘Non Active’ Solar Panels

The panels come in two flavours – ‘active’ – which means they work as solar panels, and ‘non’ active – just ‘normal’ roof tiles. As there are a number of factors such as cost, sunlight and energy requirements, you’ll be able to choose how many of each you want, keeping in mind that this is a full roof solution, not just adding solar panels to the top of an existing roof. According to Tesla, for a normal home, around 35% of the tiles will be solar.

Tesla Solar Roof Australia Price

As reported, you can place a $1,310 AUD refundable deposit on the website today. 

With regards to the price: “The typical homeowner can expect to pay $US21.85 (~$A29.50 as per today’s exchange rate) per square foot for Solar Roof, and benefit from a beautiful new roof that also increases the value of their home,” a blog post on Tesla’s Solar Roof Website stated. This is assuming 35% coverage of active (solar) panels.

Based on the pricing Tesla have released, if you have a 120 square metre roof (1291.67 square feet) – you can expect to pay around $38,340 AUD for a ‘normal’ Tesla roof install.

These solar roofs are built to complement and integrate with the Tesla Powerwall 2 and we’ll be very interested to see what some of the cost savings are after they’ve been installed and the numbers crunched. Watch this space as we’ll update as soon as any more information is available! You can also sign up for updates from Tesla by clicking here.

Tesla Solar Roof Price Estimate

Enter your roof size below in square metres and get a price estimate.


Estimated Cost:

Read More Solar News: