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Advice needed on Tesla vs SolarEdge inverter selection

Inverter selections:


  • Total voters
    35

CalMdl3

Member
Sep 7, 2019
40
2
Novato
The learning was introducing the Tesla inverter. I think they can diagnose the inverter remotely, but they're required by the SolarEdge warranty requirements to physically inspect it before making a claim.

Honestly, I don't think it would be any different with a local installer. They wouldn't eat the cost of keeping spare inverters in stock, and would likely go through the exact same warranty process as Tesla. At least you can rely on Tesla to be in business for the length of your workmanship warranty. The same cannot be said for the little guys.
Interesting - SolarEdge support told me to send Tesla my case # to have the inverter replaced . But from what you are indicating Tesla has to send field rep to take a picture - why do they need a picture - wouldn’t remote diagnosis be more reliable than a picture. That said I already sent Tesla a picture. With respect to the timeline - another earlier poster said their local installer replaced an inverter in 10 days. When I originally called Tesla they scheduled the field service visit (to apparently take a picture) more than one month out. I called to complain and they found a slot 2 1/2 weeks out. How long do you think I will have to wait before my $47k Tesla system produces energy? So far it has been 3 months with 2 1/2 days of production. I believe a local installer would have been more responsive. But if you have a different experience please share.
 

smaster553

Member
Feb 5, 2021
51
12
New Jersey
Thank you. That is my current plan - but based on prior experience with my install trying to get Tesla to save money by not sending someone out twice is unlikely.

They are so bad with their “standard” processes. There is no learning and process improvement happening.

I don’t know why Tesla energy cannot see what Solar Edge can remotely?

The answer is someone at Tesla probably can - but unfortunately the front line folks that answer the phone have no power or knowledge of how to escalate.

To my knowledge Tesla Energy Support does not have a Tier 2 technical support?

So instead they waste their (and my) time and money sending field techs out to take pictures when the issue is known.

It is crazy and unless they start learning I am convinced Tesla energy side is doomed to money losing business. Really too bad because on the automotive side they seem to have learned how to get better in terms of service and quality.

On my project alone I am pretty sure I have spent the equivalent 65 hours on the phone with various Tesla agents.

You are right about poor scheduling.

I am trying to get some panels replaced since last one month. The people at Las Vegas scheduling keep on scheduling crew on the worst snow days, when I send them local weather reports.

The crew that came yesterday when there was 8" on snow on the roof told me they love working with Tesla for more than 6 years but their main concern is scheduling do not see ground realities and they are made to visit homes in worse weather - rain or snow and they have no concern.

Hence making multiple trips is normal.

I got a crew with 4 trucks come in yesterday when I kept on sending emails please reschedule as we have snow on the roof. Waste of time and money ...
 
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willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,088
14,084
Maryland
So far it has been 3 months with 2 1/2 days of production. I believe a local installer would have been more responsive. But if you have a different experience please share

Did you get quotes from competitors before going with Tesla? In my area, folks were asking for $2.50 to $3.50 per watt. Tesla's quote came in about $6,000 under the average local installer.

My system would have to be broken and in need of repairs for about 23 months straight (even factoring lost SRECs) before I would save more money going with a local installer.
 
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preilly44

Member
Nov 1, 2014
466
350
Bethesda, MD, United States
Something to be said about using a local installer. I guess we get what we pay for :(

That's not always true, my first solar system (2016) I went with a highly rated local installer. 2 of my 3 SolarEdge inverters died over 4 years and had to be replaced. Both times it took them over a month to get a replacement in stock, then I had to wait for a tech to come out.

I am going with Tesla this time....
 
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CalMdl3

Member
Sep 7, 2019
40
2
Novato
That's not always true, my first solar system (2016) I went with a highly rated local installer. 2 of my 3 SolarEdge inverters died over 4 years and had to be replaced. Both times it took them over a month to get a replacement in stock, then I had to wait for a tech to come out.

I am going with Tesla this time....
There seem to be a few folks in this thread that have issues with premature failure of SolarEdge inverters. I wonder if anyone with the new Tesla Inverter has experienced failure? I might try to push for a replacement Tesla inverter vs a SolarEdge.
 

zonela

Member
Jul 30, 2018
80
39
Bay Area
Another frustrating attempt by Tesla yesterday. I had triple confirmed with scheduling prior to the installation date that warehouse had SE inverters/optimizers in stock and my project is designed with SE. Guess what, whole crew came at 7:30am unloading everything, and once they opened the box revealing a flashy Tesla inverter. Same story about national shortage on SE inverters and no ETA when the crew called their warehouse managers. The whole crew travelled from east coast to help support the solar demand in California, and was told they had installed one SE inverter out of 10 projects.

Going over with the crew lead about my plan and he agreed definitely fight for the SolarEdge inverters due to the sporadic layout of the panels and shading issues for my case. I would almost certainly produce less electricity with the 3-panel-sequenced MCI configuration on Tesla inverters. Calling my project advisor and he apologized somehow my BOM still listed Tesla inverters and would fix it right away, which I was told should’ve already done after the first installation attempt on 2/1.

At this point I’m starting to get quotes from a few local installers and would start considering paying more for LG panel and Enphase inverters.

I’m attaching my layout, 12 panels seems like the max I can go so probably the new LG panels with 425-440 watt output can benefit more in my case. Depending on the cost difference.

54691C1A-B501-418E-98BD-C4B00B4E3EEC.jpeg
 

heytae

Member
Mar 9, 2015
147
60
Cupertino, CA
Hang in there @zonela hopefully you'll get your SE inverter on Monday! If so, I hope I get mine soon thereafter since that seems like Tesla got more SE inverters in finally.

With a Tesla inverter, my total output will be significantly reduced, because multiple panels on multiple strings have to face different directions and will have some tree shade daily. AND there are no optimizers to compensate for that. Therefore the $130/month won't be as good of a value.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,253
6,768
Canyon Lake,CA
I had two Solar Edge inverters fail on my new system. First lasted one day, the 2nd never even connected. Tech said sometimes they can get a bad batch and it takes them several weeks to get a warranty replacement from Solar Edge. Just the way things are at this time.

Believe that is one of the reasons they decided to make their own.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,175
336
auburn, ca
I had two Solar Edge inverters fail on my new system. First lasted one day, the 2nd never even connected. Tech said sometimes they can get a bad batch and it takes them several weeks to get a warranty replacement from Solar Edge. Just the way things are at this time.

Believe that is one of the reasons they decided to make their own.
no issue with mine so far
 

Infinus

Member
Dec 5, 2020
10
0
Az
Are the optimal temp ranges on both similar? The Tesla inverter seemed somewhat low at 113 with AZ heat but I don’t know what the SE one is? I signed a new contract recently and my email states SE inverters. I wouldn’t mind the Tesla one as I like the look and would have assumed they would have used Tesla for all new installs. Shading is not an issue and I have full southern exposure on all panels.
 

CalMdl3

Member
Sep 7, 2019
40
2
Novato
I had two Solar Edge inverters fail on my new system. First lasted one day, the 2nd never even connected. Tech said sometimes they can get a bad batch and it takes them several weeks to get a warranty replacement from Solar Edge. Just the way things are at this time.

Believe that is one of the reasons they decided to make their own.
How long did it take for Tesla to replace your SolarEdge inverter after it failed on day one?

I am in the Bay Area, my SolarEdge inverter failed 2 days after I got PTO.

I have been waiting nearly 4 weeks and Tesla has no update on when my inverter will be replaced.

I am at loss with what to do to get Tesla to act- I call, I email and they don't have any information other than to say they will call me when they have an inverter and they will schedule an appointment. When I checked last week the earliest available appointment is March 17 but they said they will cancel that if they don't have the inverter.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,175
336
auburn, ca
How long did it take for Tesla to replace your SolarEdge inverter after it failed on day one?

I am in the Bay Area, my SolarEdge inverter failed 2 days after I got PTO.

I have been waiting nearly 4 weeks and Tesla has no update on when my inverter will be replaced.

I am at loss with what to do to get Tesla to act- I call, I email and they don't have any information other than to say they will call me when they have an inverter and they will schedule an appointment. When I checked last week the earliest available appointment is March 17 but they said they will cancel that if they don't have the inverter.
One reason I loved I went with a 3rd party. They have this stuff in stock.
 

SciFriGuy

Member
Sep 8, 2018
48
4
Connecticut
Just had panels installed yesterday with Solar Edge inverter. ( BTW, installers and electricians were first rate. ) They said the Tesla inverter has yet to prove itself over the long run, as Solar Edge has. Hinted that Tesla may be having some problems with them. But did admit that a Tesla inverter can have firmware updated, an advantage. BUT. The Solar Edge is guaranteed for a long time. And by the end of its life, we may be asking: "what was that thing they used to call an inverter?" :cool:
 
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zonela

Member
Jul 30, 2018
80
39
Bay Area
I guess third time's the charm, Tesla installed my solar system with SE3800 inverter this Monday with the help of my advisor (great guy, very courteous) requesting for approval. They definitely have SE in warehouse but probably difficult to get for approval unless its a special case. All the three installation crew leads I spoken to vouched for SE inverters, but I'm sure the Tesla inverters will catch up down the road. Anyway, waiting for inspection and PTO. Appreciate all the feedbacks from this forum.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,175
336
auburn, ca
I guess third time's the charm, Tesla installed my solar system with SE3800 inverter this Monday with the help of my advisor (great guy, very courteous) requesting for approval. They definitely have SE in warehouse but probably difficult to get for approval unless its a special case. All the three installation crew leads I spoken to vouched for SE inverters, but I'm sure the Tesla inverters will catch up down the road. Anyway, waiting for inspection and PTO. Appreciate all the feedbacks from this forum.
Smart to never get the first of anything, if one can avoid
 
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bevo

Member
Mar 10, 2021
39
16
Irvine
I guess third time's the charm, Tesla installed my solar system with SE3800 inverter this Monday with the help of my advisor (great guy, very courteous) requesting for approval. They definitely have SE in warehouse but probably difficult to get for approval unless its a special case. All the three installation crew leads I spoken to vouched for SE inverters, but I'm sure the Tesla inverters will catch up down the road. Anyway, waiting for inspection and PTO. Appreciate all the feedbacks from this forum.
I'm glad this worked out for you and absolutely think you made the right decision. Generally speaking, a string system is inferior to one with optimizers, especially if they are at the same costs. One could argue that at a lower cost, it might be worth it to go without optimizers but that's not the situation here.
 
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Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,384
4,495
Kaneohe, HI
@zonela, I can't say Tesla vs SE. But I have two SE's on my two systems. IF you go SE, insist on the version with EV Charging feature. Make sure its ordered. Gives you one more way to charge. If they are waiting on a SE, maybe one with EV charging is more readily available, since so few people know about them.

I don't need daily, but I have three ways to charge now. Two SE's and one 14-50. Great to have options.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,175
336
auburn, ca
@zonela, I can't say Tesla vs SE. But I have two SE's on my two systems. IF you go SE, insist on the version with EV Charging feature. Make sure its ordered. Gives you one more way to charge. If they are waiting on a SE, maybe one with EV charging is more readily available, since so few people know about them.

I don't need daily, but I have three ways to charge now. Two SE's and one 14-50. Great to have options.
Its actually much cheaper to buy the parts to add into the SE inverters for EV charging and do it yourself
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,175
336
auburn, ca
Wow, Did not know that. It can be added after the fact for the standard SE inverter (recently installed SE) ?
Basically a non EV charger unit and EV charger unit the same exact the bus stuff is installed. They want 1K more for the inverter with the EV stuff installed.
I found the parts for like 100 bucks, but cannot find again
 
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