Skip to main content

Tesla Solar Roof: more details about the product through certification

Tesla is moving quickly with its upcoming solar roof tiles and a lot of customers are already waiting for it.

Now we learn of a few more new, albeit small, details coming to light through Tesla’s UL certification for the first versions of the tiles.

Earlier this month, Tesla received approval from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for permitting and installations.

The company received a “Class A” roofing product classification, which could facilitate the permitting process and therefore, accelerate installations.

By pulling the certification, we learn that the solar cells inside the tiles have a maximum power of 6 watts.

As we can see from the pictures of the tiles, there are two cells per tile, which mean that each tile has a maximum power of 12 watts.

It means that 20 to 25 tiles are the equivalent to a regular full-size solar panel.

Of course, though they all look the same from street view, not all tiles on the roof would be solar tiles. It depends on the energy needs of the household and shading coming from structural items such as dormers.

During a conference call when revealing more details about the solar roof products in May, CEO Elon Musk said that in some cases, depending on the roofs, customers will be able to have up to 70% solar tiles, but in most cases, it will be about 40%.

The UL certification also revealed some information about the “roof part” of the “solar roof”:

“Photovoltaic (solar) shingles/tiles, Model(s) Solar Roof, model No. SRxxxxxx, for installation over minimum 15/32 in. thick plywood decks as a Class A prepared roof covering when laid over one layer Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC “DensDeck ® Roofboard” with all joints staggered a min of 6 in. from the plywood joints followed by one ply UL Classified underlayment, followed by nominal 1 x 2 in. wood battens installed per manufacturer?s installation instructions. These solar shingles/tiles are also for installation as a wind resistant roof covering. Degree of wind resistance investigated in accordance with Procedures adapted from ASTM D3161 at a wind speed of 110 mph (Class F).”

Basically, it consists of a complete roofing job. Tesla expects that it will take as long as a typical new roof installation, 5 to 7 days, which is not bad considering it’s both a new roof and a solar installation.

Based on the pricing information released last month, Tesla’s new solar roof tiles are going to be highly competitive, but only in markets where houses already have strong valuations and where electricity rates are high.

The offering was attractive enough that Tesla sold out roughly a year worth of installations within the first few weeks. The first installations are expected to start during the third quarter.

Tesla solar roof products are perfect for homeowners who want solar and need a new roof relatively soon, but a regular solar panel installation is still a good solution for people who don’t need a new roof. Solar and energy storage prices are highly dependent on your market (electricity cost, gov incentives, etc.) and your property. We suggest getting quotes from more than one installer to make sure you get the best energy solution for your place. UnderstandSolar is a great free service to link you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates for free.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.