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Anyone start with 1 Powerwall and added more later [ to a solar roof ]

simpson

Member
Jun 17, 2021
13
1
Boston
We have been trying to get our order through for quite some time, and one of the big sticking points for me was that nothing showed what we were getting for $68k. I just found out that they didn't include any Powerwalls in my price but luckily they have a program now that they could add to my old order. So for the same price I get one Powerwalls, but I know I really need 2-3 more long term.

Has anyone else installed one up front and then tried to add more down the road? Is it a nightmare to try to add on to the system later?
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,916
555
auburn, ca
We have been trying to get our order through for quite some time, and one of the big sticking points for me was that nothing showed what we were getting for $68k. I just found out that they didn't include any Powerwalls in my price but luckily they have a program now that they could add to my old order. So for the same price I get one Powerwalls, but I know I really need 2-3 more long term.

Has anyone else installed one up front and then tried to add more down the road? Is it a nightmare to try to add on to the system later?
Adding stuff later is way more difficult, and depending on things like code changes, might not even be possible. If you are going to do more, do it now!!!
 

Dukeybootie

Member
Nov 12, 2015
223
139
United States
I started with two, then added a third within a year using the same company (not Tesla). No major issues. Was expecting a longer wait for the third PW but got lucky.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,287
11,624
Riverside Co. CA
We have been trying to get our order through for quite some time, and one of the big sticking points for me was that nothing showed what we were getting for $68k. I just found out that they didn't include any Powerwalls in my price but luckily they have a program now that they could add to my old order. So for the same price I get one Powerwalls, but I know I really need 2-3 more long term.

Has anyone else installed one up front and then tried to add more down the road? Is it a nightmare to try to add on to the system later?

its likely going to be more expensive "later", how much more depends on what your specific setup will need. These are major construction projects. What you are asking is, basically, the equivalent of:

"Hi I am gutting and re doing my kitchen, in a kitchen remodel. Can I move the oven to another location later, if I want to?"

Doing it with the kitchen remodel would always be cheaper than doing it later, and how much it would cost would depend on your layout. You can likely do it with your solar roof for not much more than the cost of the powerwalls + a little bit of installation (maybe).

If you do it later, you will pay the cost of the powerwalls + the full installation charges, and right now you cant buy powerwalls only from tesla, so will have to go with a different company who may or may not be able to get them in a timely manner.
 

simpson

Member
Jun 17, 2021
13
1
Boston
its likely going to be more expensive "later", how much more depends on what your specific setup will need. These are major construction projects. What you are asking is, basically, the equivalent of:

"Hi I am gutting and re doing my kitchen, in a kitchen remodel. Can I move the oven to another location later, if I want to?"

Doing it with the kitchen remodel would always be cheaper than doing it later, and how much it would cost would depend on your layout. You can likely do it with your solar roof for not much more than the cost of the powerwalls + a little bit of installation (maybe).

If you do it later, you will pay the cost of the powerwalls + the full installation charges, and right now you cant buy powerwalls only from tesla, so will have to go with a different company who may or may not be able to get them in a timely manner.
I get the analogy, but it is a bit simpler than that right. In our basement there is plenty of wall space for more batteries, and the electrical work should be trivial. With the federal tax credit we would get 26% of additional batteries paid for so that is weighing on me. We just switched to the Tesla financing of 10yr/0.9% financing which is an amazing rate but does raise the monthly amount
 

Electrph

Member
Aug 29, 2019
456
308
Central California
i tried to add just one additional powerwall 4/21 to an existing 2 powerwall system PTO'd 2/21 (all Tesla done) tesla at that time would not add powerwall without adding panels .. tried to get just 4 panels added and 1 powerwall . no go had to do at least "small" panel size ...maybe policy will change
cost for sure is more ..MUCH better get all you want at once
edit: sorry just saw [solar roof] so maybe diff policy for your install
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
886
945
SF Bay Area
Started with two, added a third.

If the "system" is interpreted to be the Tesla mothership and app, it was not a big deal at all. Once the third one was added it was working the others minutes later in the app.

Biggest issue was the rules changed between the installs so I couldn't install the 3rd one with the other two.

The generation panel that was installed was luckily large enough to handle the additional powerwall and solar. I think the original build had a smaller one specified but they didn't have it in stock so they installed a bigger one so I lucked out. I believe they had a bigger one with them for the expansion anticipating that they would need to swap out.

I also managed to talk Tesla into reducing the install price by the price of the gateway since I didn't need another one. I think Tesla still "won" on the install for the expansion because it was so simple because of the hard work done during the initial install. On the other hand I think I came out way ahead during the initial install considering how much work went into preparing my electrical system.

If I had to do it over I would have installed the 3rd one upfront but on the other hand but that depends on knowing things that are hard to know up front and having the cash for it. I originally thought I would just be peak shaving and backup was a free bonus. Once I had it didn't take long to crave more capacity. Now I'm into more self consumption. I originally was hoping that by now Tesla would be offering integration with cars to augment the capacity.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,287
11,624
Riverside Co. CA
I get the analogy, but it is a bit simpler than that right. In our basement there is plenty of wall space for more batteries, and the electrical work should be trivial. With the federal tax credit we would get 26% of additional batteries paid for so that is weighing on me. We just switched to the Tesla financing of 10yr/0.9% financing which is an amazing rate but does raise the monthly amount

How easy or hard you think it is, doesnt have that much to do with how much it is going to cost you "later" verses "now". Especially because you will not be able to do it through tesla (as they do not sell batteries only currently).

Adding 2 more powerwalls "now" will likely cost you 14-15k more. Adding 2 powerwalls "later" will likely cost you 21-23k because you wont be able to get them through tesla (which would likely be around 17-18k later).

Adding them to your install now is going to be pretty much just the cost of of the product. Later is going to be from a third party vendor, and likely 11k per powerwall or so.
 
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bryan995

Member
Sep 15, 2018
301
158
San Diego
Started with two, added a third.

If the "system" is interpreted to be the Tesla mothership and app, it was not a big deal at all. Once the third one was added it was working the others minutes later in the app.

Biggest issue was the rules changed between the installs so I couldn't install the 3rd one with the other two.

The generation panel that was installed was luckily large enough to handle the additional powerwall and solar. I think the original build had a smaller one specified but they didn't have it in stock so they installed a bigger one so I lucked out. I believe they had a bigger one with them for the expansion anticipating that they would need to swap out.

I also managed to talk Tesla into reducing the install price by the price of the gateway since I didn't need another one. I think Tesla still "won" on the install for the expansion because it was so simple because of the hard work done during the initial install. On the other hand I think I came out way ahead during the initial install considering how much work went into preparing my electrical system.

If I had to do it over I would have installed the 3rd one upfront but on the other hand but that depends on knowing things that are hard to know up front and having the cash for it. I originally thought I would just be peak shaving and backup was a free bonus. Once I had it didn't take long to crave more capacity. Now I'm into more self consumption. I originally was hoping that by now Tesla would be offering integration with cars to augment the capacity.

Why did you end up needing a third? Simply because your PV is so large and you needed the added capacity? Or was it a draw/load issue, and you needed more to run multiple large appliances/ac?

I am planning on 2x powerwall+, and secretly hoping that 1) The two batteries are enough to handle whole home + 2 x a/c and 2) that tesla adds the ability to divert excess production to a vehicle instead of back to the grid, once the available PWs fill during the day (assuming this becomes more cost efficient). Which would be the same functionality as already exists when one is on backup power.
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
886
945
SF Bay Area
Why did you end up needing a third? Simply because your PV is so large and you needed the added capacity? Or was it a draw/load issue, and you needed more to run multiple large appliances/ac?

I am planning on 2x powerwall+, and secretly hoping that 1) The two batteries are enough to handle whole home + 2 x a/c and 2) that tesla adds the ability to divert excess production to a vehicle instead of back to the grid, once the available PWs fill during the day (assuming this becomes more cost efficient). Which would be the same functionality as already exists when one is on backup power.
It wasn't so much "need" as want. On heavy air conditioning days (like today) I wanted to be able to stay on battery power while running the AC. I've basically embraced the mindset of being able to enjoy things without time limits. For example today we where being asked to conserve from 5 to 10 pm. I drew zero from grid during those hours. Someone whose name escapes me at the moment started a thread on the value of being able live unconstrained.

When I was getting my first set of Powerwalls 3+ years ago I was thinking the same as you. My economic analysis at that time said it would basically break even and backup power was free.

Then 10 months ago I was telling someone about Tesla solar so I checked the website. When I saw how cheap it was so I decided to add more solar myself. But then I thought if I could get another Powerwall at a good price then maybe I would go for it. Between the bundle price discount, getting Tesla to remove the gateway cost and TSLA winning for me, I went for it.
 
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simpson

Member
Jun 17, 2021
13
1
Boston
Geography plays a big part in this as well. All of you are in Cali with sky high electric. Here in Massachusetts, my municipal power company is pennies on the dollar compared to you, so if I have to hit the grid it isn't a big deal costwise. Now that being said, there is always a down side, for me that downside is with net metering I'll only get $0.02kwh for what I send to the grid, which isn't even worth the time and money to install a new bidirectional meter but they do. So keeping what I generate vs sending it to the grid for practically nothing is something to consider. Also, in 8 years of living in our current home I think we've lost power 3-4 times for maybe an hour each time, so this isn't backup for us.

For me I'm not super concerned about having a huge surplus of energy stored at the current cost per Powerwall and our crazy cheap electric from the grid, I do think it is important to lighten the load on the grid though. It will obviously be cheaper material/installation plus the federal rebate now but I'm just not sure the numbers work out..
 

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