How Many Solar Panels To Charge A Tesla?

Solar charging is a lot better for the environment as it uses solar energy to provide you with electricity.

How Many Solar Panels To Charge A Tesla

The reason that solar panels are better for the environment is that solar energy replaces using fossil fuels, so the energy that is produced from the sun is clean, sustainable, and healthy for the environment. 

Electric cars are also more beneficial for the environment than cars that run on fossil fuels, but if you have an electric vehicle, can you use solar energy to charge your Tesla?

It is more environmentally friendly and provides you with clean energy, so how many solar panels would you need to effectively charge your Tesla?

This article will explain how to use solar energy to charge your Tesla and how many solar panels you will need for your Tesla to be charged.

You can find out more about using solar energy to charge your Tesla below. 

Can A Tesla Be Charged With Solar Panels?

If you have enough solar panels, you can charge virtually anything with a battery.

It is important to find out how much energy the solar panels will need to generate to make up for the energy that you need for the battery.

This is important to know as you want to make sure that you have enough solar energy to power your Tesla. 

To charge a Tesla, you will usually need 10 solar panels that are each rated 300 watts, which will be enough to power a Tesla if the mileage per day is 30 miles.

That is how many solar panels it takes to power a Tesla with this mileage, but this will differ based on the daily mileage of your vehicle. 

How Many Miles On Average To People Commute Daily?

There have been studies that show that the average person in the US commutes 30 miles a day. If you were using model S by Tesla to commute, it has a range of 402 miles, so commuting only 30 miles uses about 6kWh, which is 6.5% of this model’s battery.

Traveling double to 60 miles a day only uses 13% of this model’s battery capacity.

Can A Tesla Be Charged With Portable Solar Panels?

If you are traveling in your Tesla and are worried about charging your car when you are away, portable solar panels seem like a solution to the problem. However, do they work and can they charge your Tesla effectively?

Portable solar panels can be used to charge your Tesla and you can get panels that are 300 watts.

They are very easy to transport if you are traveling for a trip as they fold over like a suitcase, so you can easily fit them into your car and use them whenever you need them. 

Although portable solar panels are very beneficial for charging your Tesla when you are on vacation, they are not suitable for permanent charging.

You shouldn’t rely on portable solar panels to charge your vehicle when you are at home, so you should have a more permanent option in place and only use portable solar panels when you are traveling. 

What Happens When A Tesla Runs Out Of Battery?

You will be warned when your Tesla is running out of charge to make sure that you are aware that the vehicle needs charging.

The vehicle will give you a warning like saying that the battery power is low and that the heating and air conditioning will be reduced to save power.

This is an indication that you need to pull over and charge your battery. 

If you do not pull over after this warning, the vehicle will send you another warning telling you that the car is shutting down and that you need to safely pull over.

This will indicate that it has no more power left to keep traveling, so you will need to safely pull over to avoid an accident on the road. 

If you need to pull over in a spot where there is no charging port, you will need to call for roadside assistance. Some Tesla models can be towed, but most will need to be loaded onto the back of a truck.

The truck can then take you to the nearest charging port so you can continue your drive or take you straight home depending on where you are. 

As the number of electric vehicles on the road is increasing, there is more demand for electric charging stations to be put on the side of roads for people to use.

This will enable people to charge their vehicles in case of an emergency and make sure that they do not have to endure a breakdown. 

How Long To Charge A Tesla Using Solar Panels? 

When you are charging a Tesla using solar panels, you need to make sure that you correctly size the solar panels and the amount of sun that you get in your area.

The best way to use solar energy to charge your Tesla is to use an inverter, but for this to work, the solar panels need to be the right size. 

How Many Solar Panels To Charge A Tesla (1)

Where you are located is a big factor when it comes to how long it will take to charge your Tesla with solar panels.

The amount of sun that your area gets is important because, without energy from the sun, you will not be able to successfully charge your Tesla.

Knowing the peak sun hours in your area is important as you need to know how to work out how long it will take to charge your car.

If you were using a charger at home to charge your Tesla, it would take around a day to reach full battery capacity but to work out how long it will take to charge using solar panels, you need to know your peak sun hours. 

Use an inverter and plug the regular charger in, do not connect the solar panels to the battery of your Tesla.

When using the inverter, there will be energy losses, but it shouldn’t be too much if you have correctly sized up the solar panels.

Therefore, the calculation would be 11kWh divided by 4.25 (average peak sun hours), which equals 2588 watts. Divide this by 300, and it equals 9 solar panels. 

What Is An Inverter?

An inverter is used to convert the electrical energy from the solar panel into electricity that can be used to charge a Tesla.

Having an inverter is very important for not only making sure that your Tesla charges up properly but for keeping your house and vehicle safe as it is dangerous to not have an inverter.  

Therefore, knowing the peak sun hours in your area will help you to work out how long it will take to charge your Tesla using solar panels.

Without knowing the peak sun hours, you will not be able to see how long it will take to charge your Tesla. 

How Many Solar Panels Charge A Tesla Overnight?

As solar panels are unable to store electricity, you cannot use them to solely charge up the battery of your Tesla.

If you do want to charge your Tesla overnight, you will need a battery bank to make sure that your battery does charge, as the solar panels on their own will not be able to fully charge the Tesla at night.

If you are unsure what the size of your vehicle’s battery energy storage system is, you can work it out by working out the battery discharge value in kWh. If the commute is 60 miles in a Tesla S, the battery discharge value is 11kWh.

Therefore, the energy that you need is 11kwH divided by the charging time, which is around 8 hours. 11000 divided by 8 equals 1375Ah. 

Therefore, to work out how many batteries you need to fully charge your Tesla overnight, you will then need to divide 1375 by 200, which equals 6.87 batteries each 200Ah.

This will make sure that your Tesla is fully charged and you can commute the next day. 

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Charge A Tesla Powerwall 2? 

When working out how many solar panels are needed to charge a Tesla Powerwall 2, this calculation will assume that it has no power at all and needs to be completely recharged using solar panels.

There is an energy storage capacity of 14kWh and an average of 4 hours of peak sun in the US, so you need to divide 14000 by 4, which equals 3.5kW. 

To calculate the number of solar panels that you need to charge the Tesla, you will need to divide 3500 by 300, which equals 11.66, but round it up to 12 panels.

Each of the panels will be 300 watts, so you will need 12 panels that are each 300 watts to fully charge your Tesla.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, you can work out how many solar panels you need to charge your Tesla by working it out.

Firstly, you need to work out the energy that is required by dividing the energy storage capacity of your car by the number of peak sun hours in your area, and then dividing this number by 300 (watts) to calculate how many solar panels you need. 

This calculation will show how many solar panels you need to fully charge your Tesla and make sure that the battery is at full capacity.

This will prevent you from breaking down or having to worry about charging stations on your journey. 

More charging stations are being put on the road due to the popularity of electric cars, but you should make sure that your vehicle is charged to avoid getting caught out!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Portable Solar Panels Easy To Use?

Portable solar panels are very easy to use and they are very convenient for use when you are traveling.

You can simply fold the solar panels in the car and store them on top of your gear to make sure that they don’t get crushed.

They are very efficient and can keep your car charged while you are on vacation. 

Despite portable solar panels being a great option to use when you are traveling, they are not recommended for home use.

A more permanent option is recommended to make sure that your Tesla is properly charged. 

Can A Tesla Run Out Of Charge When Driving?

Yes, a Tesla can run out of charge when driving.

You will be sent warnings about the battery levels to allow you to find a charging station, otherwise, the vehicle will tell you that it is out of charge and you need to pull over safely.

You will then need to call for assistance to get your car towed either home or to the nearest charging station.

Joe Danner