New Tesla solar inverter could drop solar prices
Tesla has taken another step to expand its solar energy business. Their newest release, the Tesla Solar Inverter, allows them to install solar panel systems that run entirely on Tesla equipment.
Without having to rely on other companies for inverters, Tesla will now have more control over their system designs and may even be able to drop their already-low solar prices.
Let’s take a closer look at the Tesla Solar Inverter, how it stacks up against other top inverters, and what this means for Tesla solar installations in the future.
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What to know about the Tesla Solar Inverter
Solar panels generate what is called direct (DC) electricity. Most homes, however, run on alternating current (AC) electricity. That’s where inverters come in - they convert the energy your solar panels make from DC to AC so your home can utilize it.
Tesla’s new inverter is a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) string inverter with an efficiency rating of 97.5% and a 12.5-year warranty. You can get it in one of two sizes:
- 3.8 kilowatts (kW) for smaller systems
- 7.6 kW for larger systems
The inverter connects to WiFi, and while that isn’t a feature unique to the Tesla Inverter, it is helpful.
The ability to connect to WiFi allows the inverter to link with the Tesla app, so you can closely monitor how your solar panels are producing and manage the solar system accordingly. WiFi connectivity also allows Tesla to perform over-the-air software updates on your inverter.
How much does the Tesla Solar Inverter cost?
As of right now, Tesla has not released the price of the Tesla Solar Inverter, and the price of Tesla solar installations has not changed.
How does the Tesla Solar Inverter compare to other solar inverters?
Based on the specifications, the Tesla Solar Inverter is nothing special. Tesla was previously using SolarEdge and Delta inverters with their installs. When you compare Tesla’s new inverters to these, they’re just about the same.
|Specification||Tesla Solar Inverter||SolarEdge Single Phase Inverter||Delta M8 Inverter|
|Nominal power||7.6 kW||7.6 kW||7.68 kW|
|# of MPP trackers||4||2||3|
|Warranty||12.5 years||12 years||10 years|
The most impressive thing about the Tesla Solar Inverter is that the 7.6 kW model has 4 MPP trackers.
Having more MPP trackers gives Tesla a little more flexibility when it comes to system designs. This is particularly helpful when it comes to the solar roof, which is likely to have strings of solar panels on all different sides of the roof.
Tesla’s warranty is a tad longer than SolarEdge, and two years longer than Delta’s. Most inverters have warranties around 10 years, so it’s just above industry standard, but it’s not blowing us out of the water. It also doesn’t seem like Tesla has updated its warranty documentation yet, so we can’t say for sure what the warranty covers. We just know that the inverter is covered for 12.5 years.
What does Tesla‘s solar inverter mean for future Tesla solar installations?
The Tesla Solar Inverter isn’t anything revolutionary in terms of technical specifications, however, it does have the potential to cut down costs of Tesla solar installations.
Plus, because of the additional MPP trackers, it could be much easier to design solar roof projects. By simplifying the design and installation process, we could see the introduction of the Tesla Solar Inverter lead to a drop in price.
At just $2.01 per watt, Tesla already has some of the lowest prices for solar in the U.S. If Tesla drops their prices even lower, other solar installers may have to cut down their costs as well to compete.
While the Tesla Solar Inverter isn’t a technical marvel, it will most likely end up cutting Tesla solar prices and could cause other solar companies to drop their prices, as well. Combine low prices with the recent extension of the federal tax credit, and we could see solar become more affordable than it has ever been!
Author: Catherine Lane | SolarReviews Blog Author
Catherine is a researcher and content specialist at SolarReviews. She has strong interests in issues related to climate and sustainability which led her to pursue a degree in environmental science at Ramapo College of New Jersey.