Tesla Solar Roof with Powerwalls Reviewed by MKBHD [VIDEO]
In a recent video, renowned tech reviewer Marques Brownlee, or MKBHD, shared his one-year journey with Tesla’s Solar Roof and Powerwall battery storage. The system has allowed him to live a year without paying for electricity, despite his heavy usage of electrical appliances and daily charging of his Model S Plaid electric sedan.
Brownlee’s system, a 29.313 kilowatt solar roof tile array coupled with three Powerwall 3s, totaling 40.5 kilowatt-hours, was installed on his roof in November 2021 and activated in July 2022. The total cost of the system, including all materials, labor, installation, and the batteries, amounted to $120,948.04 USD. However, a substantial federal tax credit of nearly $30,000 brought the total cost down to around $93,000.
Interestingly enough, MKBHD’s choice of Tesla Solar Roof tiles came at a time when he didn’t even need a new roof. But he said his roof has lots of pitches and the total area with Tesla’s Roof Tiles resulted in a bigger solar system.
Over the course of a year, Brownlee used 54,390 Kwh of electricity, which would have cost him approximately $9,663, including the energy used to drive his Model S Plaid. The system’s efficiency means that it will pay for itself in about 9.6 years. He noted that regular Tesla solar panels would have resulted in a 19 kilowatt setup.
Despite using electricity during the winter months, Brownlee’s electricity bill remained at zero due to net metering credits that roll over month to month and reset once per year. However, he does pay a $5.75 monthly fee to maintain an account with his utility company.
The system has proven to be highly efficient, generating enough electricity to cover the house’s needs. Any excess electricity is stored in the Powerwall or sent back to the grid. Brownlee reported that he generated the most excess electricity during the fall and spring seasons.
Interestingly, Brownlee also pointed out some quirks of the system. For instance, the solar tiles stay just above freezing, causing snow to melt and slide off the roof. However, during heavy snowfall, the snow accumulates and then slides off in sheets of ice.
During power outages, Brownlee didn’t even notice any disruption, only receiving a notification from the Tesla app. The system also features a Stormwatch function that automatically fills the Powerwalls if a storm is predicted.
Despite the high initial cost, Brownlee expressed satisfaction with his investment. He highlighted the sustainability aspect and the peace of mind that comes with knowing he can be off the grid for days or weeks at a time. He referred to the Tesla Solar Roof tiles and Powerwalls as an “awesome piece of bleeding-edge tech,” likening it to the innovation seen in electric cars.
Check out MKBHD’s excellent video below: