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Advice needed on Tesla vs SolarEdge inverter selection

Inverter selections:


  • Total voters
    35

zonela

Member
Jul 30, 2018
80
39
Bay Area
I'm located in NorCal Bay Area, submitted my solar panel order last November and my 4.08kW project was designed with SolarEdge inverter with Q.PEAK 340 panels. My original installation date was 2/1 and the full crew came that morning, the crew lead acknowledged my BOM was using SE inverters but later was informed they were given Tesla inverter instead. Our discussion ended to cancel the installation and the lead was personally recommending to wait for SE inverters. Due to they were seeing increased issues after they began to install for the past few weeks. I connected with my project advisor and they are moving toward using in house Tesla inverters rapidly which is expected, and was told my case is still designed with SE inverter and can wait for SE to be back in stock with an estimated wait time 3-4 months..

Nothing against using Tesla inverters here but my concern is given the hardware is so new the chance of issues down the road is likely high, and knowing that the wait time for Tesla to come out for fix can be couple months wait.

I would like to seek knowledge from the thread on whether to go ahead with Tesla inverters or rather wait for proven SolarEdge inverters? If anyone had Tesla inverters installed already, how is your experience so far?
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,154
16,868
San Diego, CA
Tesla has been building inverters for their cars and for supercharging stations for almost a decade, they have a ton of experience in this area.

My intuition tells me they will probably aim for a higher efficiency and reliability than the competition, just like they do with their cars.

My 0.02.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,223
9,068
Riverside Co. CA
The problem with being at the "front end" of a new product, is many times you have to deal with "teething pains" for said product. In this case, "the worst that can happen" (if installed properly) is that your system is "down" for some indeterminate amount of time while they fix some issue or other.

Same thing with the SE inverter installed by Tesla... BUT... its obvious that tesla is moving away from that. So, if you have tesla as an installer, which it sounds like you do, if it were me, I would go with the tesla inverter. Tesla is on the hook to service it, and if it goes out, they will much more likely have replacement(s) in stock.

If you go with the SE inverter, its obvious that tesla does not plan on keeping a lot of that product in stock (3-4 months to get an inverter for your project? Thats a passive / aggressive "No" if I ever heard one.)

Waiting 3-4 months pushes you past the best solar months for me, which is late february to early may. Thats when I bank almost all the "extra energy" that I end up pulling back from the utility during the winter months.

I would take the Tesla inverter, provided this is just a choice of inverter, and not a situation where there is benefit from optimizers on your solar install or something.
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,086
Maryland
If you go with the SE inverter, its obvious that tesla does not plan on keeping a lot of that product in stock (3-4 months to get an inverter for your project? Thats a passive / aggressive "No" if I ever heard one.)

This is already affecting repair times. My SolarEdge inverter died a couple months ago and it took just over 6 weeks to replace. The warranty repair process involved:

1. Waiting for an appointment for a Tesla technician to come to my home and take photos of the dead inverter for the warranty claim
2. Tesla waiting for the SolarEdge warranty claim to be approved
3. Tesla waiting for a replacement SolarEdge inverter to be shipped to their warehouse
4. Waiting for an appointment for a Tesla technician to install the new inverter

Presumably, if you have a Tesla inverter, any repair process will be closer to:

1. Tesla remotely diagnoses you need a new inverter
2. Waiting for an appointment for a Tesla technician to install a new inverter they have on hand already
 

darhall993

Member
Jan 24, 2019
129
119
Sandy Springs, GA
This is already affecting repair times. My SolarEdge inverter died a couple months ago and it took just over 6 weeks to replace. The warranty repair process involved:

1. Waiting for an appointment for a Tesla technician to come to my home and take photos of the dead inverter for the warranty claim
2. Tesla waiting for the SolarEdge warranty claim to be approved
3. Tesla waiting for a replacement SolarEdge inverter to be shipped to their warehouse
4. Waiting for an appointment for a Tesla technician to install the new inverter

Presumably, if you have a Tesla inverter, any repair process will be closer to:

1. Tesla remotely diagnoses you need a new inverter
2. Waiting for an appointment for a Tesla technician to install a new inverter they have on hand already
This is a tough call. I think it makes sense that Tesla should be able to do warranty work much faster when it involves their own equipment. That being said the Solar repair and warranty service doesn't seem to have a good track record based on participating in this forum over the past couple of years. I used a third party installer and SolarEdge, I had one inverter that died shortly after initial install, it took a total of 10 days from report to repair, so I think you will have better pricing from Tesla but better service in general from third parties
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,960
3,037
Northern California
Okay, just to be clear, maybe stuff, not is stuff that works today?
Yes. Additional software-based functionality is something that Tesla does over and over. It is part of the companies DNA,

But, if your like me and you already have 3rd party inverters I see no reason currently to change. But I will monitor the situation. And if my Delta M series inverters die would strongly consider the Tesla inverter. Also, since I have a Tesla installed and warrantied system, Tesla might automatically replace the Deltas with Tesla inverters.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,175
336
auburn, ca
Yes. Additional software-based functionality is something that Tesla does over and over. It is part of the companies DNA,

But, if your like me and you already have 3rd party inverters I see no reason currently to change. But I will monitor the situation. And if my Delta M series inverters die would strongly consider the Tesla inverter. Also, since I have a Tesla installed and warrantied system, Tesla might automatically replace the Deltas with Tesla inverters.
I have SE inverters also, so stuck. With that said, if I were putting in telsa Solar, yep, would want their inverter.
 
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wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,168
912
Silver Spring, MD
I would go for the Tesla inverter, largely for the reasons @jjrandorin outlined. Going forward, it seems clear this will be where Tesla will be focusing its efforts and it is worth any increased risk of problems in the short-term.
But, if your like me and you already have 3rd party inverters I see no reason currently to change. But I will monitor the situation. And if my Delta M series inverters die would strongly consider the Tesla inverter. Also, since I have a Tesla installed and warrantied system, Tesla might automatically replace the Deltas with Tesla inverters.
This is the thing I will be interested in. With a Delta Solivia (which they stopped installing at some point in favor of the M series) I wonder what will happen in the event of a failure in warranty, or eventually out of warranty. It seems like the Tesla inverters should be a relatively easy replacement for the Deltas, though they would have to address the rapid shutdown devices for our system. Also makes me wonder, given some of the discussions around approving plans, what the requirements are where I am for swapping one inverter with a similar - but not identical - unit.
 
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jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,960
3,037
Northern California
I would go for the Tesla inverter, largely for the reasons @jjrandorin outlined. Going forward, it seems clear this will be where Tesla will be focusing its efforts and it is worth any increased risk of problems in the short-term.

This is the thing I will be interested in. With a Delta Solivia (which they stopped installing at some point in favor of the M series) I wonder what will happen in the event of a failure in warranty, or eventually out of warranty. It seems like the Tesla inverters should be a relatively easy replacement for the Deltas, though they would have to address the rapid shutdown devices for our system. Also makes me wonder, given some of the discussions around approving plans, what the requirements are where I am for swapping one inverter with a similar - but not identical - unit.
If they do replace the inverter I assume it would be a minor update to any permits. After all, inverters do die, and inverter manufacturers update their product lines all the time.

And if they do replace an inverter we could get a new set of those "great looking" red stickers. Maybe they will even write the numbers in ink that does not fade in 6 months.
 
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wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,168
912
Silver Spring, MD
If they do replace the inverter I assume it would be a minor update to any permits. After all, inverters do die, and inverter manufacturers update their product lines all the time.

And if they do replace an inverter we could get a new set of those "great looking" red stickers. Maybe they will even write the numbers in ink that does not fade in 6 months.
They need to talk to the people out here - the inspection sticker from 1971 when our home's electric was re-done (guessing they got rid of the fuses in favor of circuit breakers and updated the wiring) is still completely legible, including the hand-written information.

I agree there should be a process since these do fail and products change. I am more thinking of it in terms of could the replacement happen and then the permits updated (to minimize down-time.) This is what I would hope (and similar to replacing a furnace or something) but solar currently does have some different requirements. And, along those lines, hopefully it wouldn't create any issues with any code changes since the original install.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,154
16,868
San Diego, CA
The SolarEdge HS-wave inverters already have 99% efficiency. How much better do you think Tesla can go over that :)

You meant HD-wave. There is no HS-wave product.

Technically that's the CEC "Weighted Efficiency", which is basically:
"CEC efficiency are weighted efficiencies. In calculating them, the efficiency of an inverter at different spots within the operating range are taken into consideration and ‘balanced’ against each other depending on importance. For thevCEC efficiency, there are 6 efficiency points in the calculation.

CEC Eff = 0.04 x Eff10% + 0.05 x Eff20% + 0.12 x Eff30% + 0.21 x Eff50% + 0.53 x Eff75%. + 0.05 x Eff100%"

California Energy Commission efficiency - wiki.openmod-initiative.org
PV Performance Modeling Collaborative | CEC Inverter Test Protocol

We are not able to directly compared Tesla's inverter at this time because they have not published a CEC number. They list 97.5% efficiency, but don't specify if that is max efficiency, or CEC. Regardless, you are correct that it looks slightly less efficient, which I am surprised about given how much experience Tesla has with inverters.

Tesla Solar Inverter | Tesla
 
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zonela

Member
Jul 30, 2018
80
39
Bay Area
Greatly appreciate all the comments from the folks here. I do see the valid reasons to go for Tesla inverters and yes our installation in done by Tesla itself. (Although the poll is close to 50/50). If using in house Tesla inverters can potentially improve the repair time that would be beneficial. Also, accepting to install the Rev1 Tesla inverters now and if unlucky down the road that needed repair/replace, the likelihood of Tesla replacing with a Rev2 or greater version is possible as well. Still need to discuss with my household before making the decision.
 
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dareed1

Member
Jan 15, 2021
66
62
Belmont, CA
Regarding SolarEdge efficiency, it is important to include the module optimizer efficiency in order to compare with a string inverter. The HD-wave does indeed have a 99% weighted efficiency. The P300/400/405 series optimizers have a weighted efficiency of 98.8%, so combined efficiency is 97.8%. The Delta M series string inverters have a weighted efficiency of 97.5%

In a string inverter with middle circuit interrupters, the MCI does have some self power consumption (Delta's is 3 watts, and there are two panels per MCI). I don't know how that may be taken into consideration in an efficiency calculation.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,154
16,868
San Diego, CA
Regarding SolarEdge efficiency, it is important to include the module optimizer efficiency in order to compare with a string inverter. The HD-wave does indeed have a 99% weighted efficiency. The P300/400/405 series optimizers have a weighted efficiency of 98.8%, so combined efficiency is 97.8%. The Delta M series string inverters have a weighted efficiency of 97.5%

In a string inverter with middle circuit interrupters, the MCI does have some self power consumption (Delta's is 3 watts, and there are two panels per MCI). I don't know how that may be taken into consideration in an efficiency calculation.

Thanks. I'll stick with my microinverters (not that I have a choice, LoL).
 
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