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4 kW Tesla solar install (with existing solar) and Powerwall addition and what I learned

jlquinn

New Member
Feb 26, 2019
4
0
new york
NY now has powerwall restrictions somewhat similar to what you encountered, except that they are allowed in garages. I just got my 12kW system installed with 2 powerwalls. The 3 ft distance from any opening and each other makes it challenging to find good locations for each. Also, if they are installed in the section where a car can puill in (I have 1 bay and space that is not a bay), there has to be a concrete protection piller installed.

I really didn't want the batteries outside, since cold weather is a thing here, and battery efficiency matters to me.

The NY restrictions were put in place last summer.
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
745
829
SF Bay Area
A few updates:

I was inspired to climb up the roof and take some photos so the original album: 2021 4kW Tesla and PW install now has more photos.

I was able to find the places where drilled to locate the rafters and the plate they installed to cover the holes.

The cables just exit the conduits without any apparent glands so it looks like the conduits are just open.

While I was up there I also took photo of a SunRun install next door that was done next door. Key visible differences. Tesla paints the conduits, adds skirts and there are no visible rails. The panels also look more uniform (e.g. the wire traces on the face of the modules are practically invisible). Those don't matter to me but nevertheless interesting difference.

My inspection was scheduled for this coming Tuesday. I pointed out to them that they had something that needed to fixed before the inspection. A few minutes later I got a call scheduling "maintenance" for tomorrow. I think I just saved Tesla and myself a failed inspection.

Obviously they missed counting my system in Q1.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,929
3,020
Northern California
A few updates:

I was inspired to climb up the roof and take some photos so the original album: 2021 4kW Tesla and PW install now has more photos.

I was able to find the places where drilled to locate the rafters and the plate they installed to cover the holes.

The cables just exit the conduits without any apparent glands so it looks like the conduits are just open.

While I was up there I also took photo of a SunRun install next door that was done next door. Key visible differences. Tesla paints the conduits, adds skirts and there are no visible rails. The panels also look more uniform (e.g. the wire traces on the face of the modules are practically invisible). Those don't matter to me but nevertheless interesting difference.

My inspection was scheduled for this coming Tuesday. I pointed out to them that they had something that needed to fixed before the inspection. A few minutes later I got a call scheduling "maintenance" for tomorrow. I think I just saved Tesla and myself a failed inspection.

Obviously they missed counting my system in Q1.
Thanks for the report. Neat work is something I value.

I hope you have a quick and easy inspection.
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
745
829
SF Bay Area
Friday: Tesla was out here for "maintenance", more ground wires were swapped. Apparently the ground wire needed to be insulated not bare copper, at least in Cupertino.

They still didn't have the right breakers to fix the breaker the wrong breaker issue

Tuesday (today): Inspection today. The short version is it passed.

The long version: I reminded them last night they still need to fix the breakers. I also suggested an alternate plan if they didn't have the right breakers, shuffle one of the existing solar inverters. Apparently double pole 20/30 quad Eaton breakers are in short supply (I tried searching online and couldn't find anyone that had them stock). So today the person came to swap the breakers. I had a Zoom meeting to attend so I wasn't able to hang out to see what happened.

The inspector came and it passed but when I took a look at the panelI thought they got the breakers wrong. It turns out they did the shuffle as I suggested however the different person that applied the stickers labeled things incorrectly:


Fortunately the inspector didn't notice/cared. The 30A breaker over the right is now the Powerwall and dual two pole 20A breakers are the new Tesla PV system and the older Solar City PV system. I can fix the labels myself.

The sticker they applied to the main panel,


is misleading. Only the new PV system has a rapid shutdown system. BTW in another thread I learned that "MIC" was actually "MCI" or Mid Circuit Interrupter (thanks @miimura ). Throwing the main breaker will not shutdown the PV systems. I now have 3 PV systems on roof, one is 48V nominal, one high voltage string system and newest high voltage system with rapid shutdown.

They forgot (and I did too) that the door the inverter was missing a nut for the ground wire:


It took them less than 2 hours from inspection passing to posting the invoice and asking for payment. Now I'm trying to figure out if I can pay via credit card. I know others have posted about this before so I'm hoping the path is still there (it's not a readily available option on the web site).

I'm still trying to get a copy of the plans that match what is installed and built.

So far Tesla is performing for or less how I expected. They could easily do better, I probably have saved them some time and effort but also caused them some of the same for noticing things that most customers wouldn't.
 
Last edited:

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,147
9,003
Riverside Co. CA
Friday: Tesla was out here for "maintenance", more ground wires were swapped. Apparently the ground wire needed to be insulated not bare copper, at least in Cupertino.

They still didn't have the right breakers to fix the breaker the wrong breaker issue

Tuesday (today): Inspection today. The short version is it passed.

The long version: I reminded them last night they still need to fix the breakers. I also suggested an alternate plan if they didn't have the right breakers, shuffle one of the existing solar inverters. Apparently double pole 20/30 quad Eaton breakers are in short supply (I tried searching online and couldn't find anyone that had them stock). So today the person came to swap the breakers. I had a Zoom meeting to attend so I wasn't able to hang out to see what happened.

The inspector came and it passed but when I took a look at the panelI thought they got the breakers wrong. It turns out they did the shuffle as I suggested however the different person that applied the stickers labeled things incorrectly:


Fortunately the inspector didn't notice/cared. The 30A breaker over the right is now the Powerwall and dual two pole 20A breakers are the new Tesla PV system and the older Solar City PV system. I can fix the labels myself.

The sticker they applied to the main panel,


is misleading. Only the new PV system has a rapid shutdown system. BTW in another thread I learned that "MIC" was actually "MCI" or Mid Circuit Interrupter (thanks @miimura ). Throwing the main breaker will not shutdown the PV systems. I now have 3 PV systems on roof, one is 48V nominal, one high voltage string system and newest high voltage system with rapid shutdown.

They forgot (and I did too) that the door the inverter was missing a nut for the ground wire:


It took them less than 2 hours from inspection passing to posting the invoice and asking for payment. Now I'm trying to figure out if I can pay via credit card. I know others have posted about this before so I'm hoping the path is still there (it's not a readily available option on the web site).

I'm still trying to get a copy of the plans that match what is installed and built.

I believe you will need to call into tesla and pay over the phone, to pay via credit card... at least I think that was the last advice I saw in the pay by credit card thread we have here.
 

Electrph

Member
Aug 29, 2019
320
188
Central California
That's what I'm expecting. I'm hoping they will respond to my emails with a "call us here".
If I were you I would not email them (or further) about paying via cc ... just call the number on that thread about paying with cc over phone (sorry I do not have it). As thread indicates and my experience paying that way last Jan it seems a grey area for them that they possibly may deny exists if officially asked via email etc. Also, you may already know this but if first rep says not possible .. call back few hours or next day ask again as if denial never happened, worked for others.
Good luck .. hope it works for you ... it’s awesome feeling when it does and you end that call :cool:
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
745
829
SF Bay Area
In the not surprising category, the PTO paperwork has the wrong size for the solar (it doesn't include all of my previous solar). Tesla got this wrong 3 years ago when they did the PTO for my original batteries. This time I knew to read it closely and not just blindly sign. They have been email/texting me for payment which was technically due after inspection but I'm not paying until I see a proper PTO form. It's about the only leverage I have right now since they are impossible to reach.

I still want a copy of the plans as built, I got a version that is close (location of battery is wrong). They must have ninja labeler because another placard appeared on my main panel. It might as well be painted red as this point:

 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,248
746
East Bay NorCal
I still do not understand the differences, pro and cons to these 2. At the end of the day is cost different for TOU?

Supposedly MT has higher NBC tariffs and needs that insurance malarkey. At least for new entrants. Not sure how Leon’s is handled since he could be grandfathered.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,165
5,761
Los Altos, CA
I still do not understand the differences, pro and cons to these 2. At the end of the day is cost different for TOU?
I don't know the difference either. Clearly NEM 1.0 and NEM 2.0 differ by the Non-Bypassable Charges. Every other component of billable costs that I know of are specified in the rate schedules such as EV2-A, TOU-C, E-1, etc.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,098
328
auburn, ca
I don't know the difference either. Clearly NEM 1.0 and NEM 2.0 differ by the Non-Bypassable Charges. Every other component of billable costs that I know of are specified in the rate schedules such as EV2-A, TOU-C, E-1, etc.
That is what I thought. I am getting closer that this is going to happen to me so just wanting data in case I can push things one direction.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,248
746
East Bay NorCal
That is what I thought. I am getting closer that this is going to happen to me so just wanting data in case I can push things one direction.


I'm still waiting for my first PG&E bill where I'm on NEM2-MT and EV2A (even though I don't have a stupid EV). It's probably going to be $10,000 even though I've sent them way more energy than I've used in the last month. And they'll use ASCII art to spell "FU" on the second page. They'll probably cover the envelope in dog crap as well.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,098
328
auburn, ca
I'm still waiting for my first PG&E bill where I'm on NEM2-MT and EV2A (even though I don't have a stupid EV). It's probably going to be $10,000 even though I've sent them way more energy than I've used in the last month. And they'll use ASCII art to spell "FU" on the second page. They'll probably cover the envelope in dog crap as well.
whats going to cost 10,000?
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,870
2,185
Silicon Valley, CA
The sticker they applied to the main panel,


is misleading. Only the new PV system has a rapid shutdown system. BTW in another thread I learned that "MIC" was actually "MCI" or Mid Circuit Interrupter (thanks @miimura ). Throwing the main breaker will not shutdown the PV systems. I now have 3 PV systems on roof, one is 48V nominal, one high voltage string system and newest high voltage system with rapid shutdown.
With mixed systems this is the appropriate sticker to apply, it indicates that there is rapid shutdown but that the panels stay energized on the roof within the array boundary.

Typically a directory is applied that shows first responders which is which. PM me if you want one.
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
745
829
SF Bay Area
Are you still on the NEM2-MT interconnection or does the extra solar push you to NEM2-PS?
The application that Tesla filled out says "keep the same" and it is for NEM2, my bill says NEM2-MT. The application lists only the additional battery which is under 10kW. But now I have 3 batteries so does that mean I should be doing something different?

I've discovered Sign In which is making me wonder if I should do the application myself.

I'm also tempted to just take the incorrect amount of PV listed (if there is a benefit). With the additional batteries I think I'm able to consume more of the solar that I produce so they're not seeing as much production.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,165
5,761
Los Altos, CA
The application that Tesla filled out says "keep the same" and it is for NEM2, my bill says NEM2-MT. The application lists only the additional battery which is under 10kW. But now I have 3 batteries so does that mean I should be doing something different?

I've discovered Sign In which is making me wonder if I should do the application myself.

I'm also tempted to just take the incorrect amount of PV listed (if there is a benefit). With the additional batteries I think I'm able to consume more of the solar that I produce so they're not seeing as much production.
Since you've already had solar NEM credits disallowed by the NEM-PS billing system using the wrong solar equipment size, I don't know why you wouldn't insist that it be corrected while you have the chance.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,248
746
East Bay NorCal
The application that Tesla filled out says "keep the same" and it is for NEM2, my bill says NEM2-MT. The application lists only the additional battery which is under 10kW. But now I have 3 batteries so does that mean I should be doing something different?

I've discovered Sign In which is making me wonder if I should do the application myself.

I'm also tempted to just take the incorrect amount of PV listed (if there is a benefit). With the additional batteries I think I'm able to consume more of the solar that I produce so they're not seeing as much production.

Good luck figuring it out...

 

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