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Bizarre Installation? 4 Powerwalls 15 kWh system.

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
12,966
38,498
Michigan
I couldn’t open the attachment and thread doesn’t mention island mode or surge shield.
Only relevant if the existing breaker box can't handle all the PW and solar generation.

upload_2020-6-8_19-57-31.png
 

xasroma

Member
Apr 19, 2019
72
37
Miami
Oh, they can change it, but it will have a cost (time, money, or both) associated. Not my call, but I'd push for the change to occur.Cheaper now than later, and better to have the 4th powerwall on the house panel. May be able to get the second gateway removed for a cost offset.

I am already paying a small fortune. At least if it has a cost I could make a decision.

I still think they didn’t properly check what was on each panel and this decision should have been made ahead of time ( like I didn’t have months and months) and the powerwall being outdoors installed not happy. As a customer not versed in the technology we only understand some basic things like my $30k batteries are roasting in the sun when I was told they would be in my garage. And my pool will have its own powerwall and 1/3 of my energy production.

Not cool.
Otherwise the installers have been very professional. Not impressed with the engineers.

Elon said this would be the year for Energy.
They have long way to go. Unfortunately it’s the human touch not the Tech.
 
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mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
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Michigan
I am already paying a small fortune. At least if it has a cost I could make a decision. I still think they didn’t properly check what was on each panel and this decision should have been made ahead of time and the outdoors installation as well. As a customer not versed in the technology we only understand some basic things like my $30k batteries are roasting in the sun when I was told they would be in my garage. And my pool will have its own powerwall and 1/3 of my energy production.

It's difficult. You don't know what you don't know. That said, this should have been planned better by the installer, and the split doesn't make a lot of sense regardless.
 
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BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
I have a couple of thoughts on this. I wouldn’t worry too much about the powerwalls being installed outside. They are designed to be able to be installed outside. Their white paint will help prevent a lot of solar heating, but even beyond that the powerwalls actively heat and cool themselves, so there is no worry about the batteries baking in the sun. Even on a hot day under direct sunlight the powerwalls will keep the batteries at an optimal temperature. However, that said, the heating and cooling does take some power. It’s not a significant amount of power, but there will at least be a minimal power cost with the powerwalls being outside instead of in the garage with less extreme temperatures.

As far as splitting the powerwalls goes, however, I agree with the general consensus here that it doesn’t make sense to dedicate a powerwall to the pool panel. I’m getting a 15.12kW system with four powerwalls installed in less than two weeks and I would not be happy if they split up my powerwalls like that. As it is I think four powerwalls is barely enough to cover my house’s power usage, so if they brought me down to three that would not be good. Luckily I don’t have a separate pool panel like that, so hopefully I won’t have the same situation, but I believe that you are right to be unhappy about it.

You’re in kind of a tough situation, but I think it does make sense to resolve this issue, even if it means delays by repermitting. As much as it would suck to delay things by a couple of weeks to get new drawings and get the permit changed, I think you would always regret not making those changes. I personally would do whatever needs to be done to get those changes made, to the point of telling them to completely stop working because you are not going to pay for this until things are changed.
 
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BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
On a side note, like I mentioned, I’m getting my system installed a week from next Monday. My electrical panels are pretty straight forward, so I certainly don’t expect to run into any issues like this, but I think I’m going to call Tesla and see if I can get a copy of my drawings and plans just to make sure I don’t have any surprises on install day.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,204
9,055
Riverside Co. CA
No he is not, all this time he has been installing solaredge things. spoke to Remote manager. After lengthy discussion ( I don’t want a pool pump with a powerwall and 5kw of solar ) we may do what you suggested keeping 4 powerwalls together. But He says we need to submit again permit to have 4 powerwalls together.
They didn’t do that when they decided to install powerwalls outdoors. At this point I don’t know who to believe.

Putting inside vs outside likely didnt change the wiring diagram / energy flow, but moving a powerwall to another panel, removing an extra gateway, moving the solar lines to not run to that panel, etc etc... going to need new permits.

Regardless if it needs new permits or not, if thats what you want, have them do it. you are spending way to much money to not get what you want. There likely will at least be a delay because they will need to get new permits, and they technically need the permits before they can begin the new work to re route all that, but it doesnt matter.

Get what you want, or you will be mad every time you look out there... and while you are at it, tell them you want it inside and "what is it going to take to make that happen".. let them price it for you at whatever that is, THEN decide what you want to do.

Get what you want, even if it costs more money... you are spending enough as it is, what would another couple thousand be if that is what it costs to get what you want?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,204
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Riverside Co. CA
Re reading my post, it sounds more aggressive than I intended. I really just wanted to say "this is expensive technology, so get what you want" and also point out that they likely would need new permits in any location that requires them in the first place (which is almost every place you would be tying into the grid).

I suspect that, like a lot of things, this boils down to a breakdown in communication. You likely asked (or were asked if you wanted) "Whole home backup", and said "yes, I want that, how much is that". They gave you a price, and the pool is a part of your home, so was put in the backup.

I wasnt there, so I dont know, but since tesla does most things via email / phone etc, breakdowns normally come in the "telephone game" like passing of information. If you were asked if you wanted whole home backup and said yes, thats what the engineers designed the system... without asking "hey I wonder if they want the pool backed up".. which they should have.

The installers are there to install what is on the permits etc. There is a little flexibility as long as they adhere to the permitted diagrams. My installers would not even install an additional 14-50 outlet I asked for when they were on site, because "its not on the diagram so the inspectors likely wont pass it if we do.". They said "wait till your inspection, then I can stop back by and install that outlet for you".

So, I dont think your installers are "lazy" or "dont want to do the work".. they need to do whats on the permits and what is "paid for". The disconnect looks to have happened because you did not have an expectation the pool would be backed up (or that it would be one big system) and no one informed you it wouldnt.

I just feel like you should tell them what you want, and if it requires a delay, it requires a delay. If it requires more money, it requires more money. You could likely argue that you were not informed of these details, and see if they would work with you. From your posts, you dont like it. Are you being as clear with them that you dont like it, as you are here?

I couldnt imagine spending as much money as that would all cost, and then not having what I wanted, or, if I couldnt have what I wanted, being clear on why that was the case (or how much money it would take to make it the case.... because you can almost always have what you want if you spend enough money on it). At least then you could make a decision on whether to spend more, or understand why they didnt quote it that way in the first place, etc.
 
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BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
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Orlando, FL
I suspect that, like a lot of things, this boils down to a breakdown in communication. You likely asked (or were asked if you wanted) "Whole home backup", and said "yes, I want that, how much is that". They gave you a price, and the pool is a part of your home, so was put in the backup.

I wasnt there, so I dont know, but since tesla does most things via email / phone etc, breakdowns normally come in the "telephone game" like passing of information. If you were asked if you wanted whole home backup and said yes, thats what the engineers designed the system... without asking "hey I wonder if they want the pool backed up".. which they should have.

I think you’re right that it’s definitely a breakdown in communication, but maybe not a miscommunication of not wanting the pool to be backed up. From what the OP said, the pool has it’s own panel, not it’s own meter, so it’s not really a separate system or anything. I would certainly have expected the pool and the rest of the house to be backed up, and I would have simply expected the pool panel to be connected to the backed up loads panel. And frankly, it’s still not clear to me why that can’t be done, but maybe I’m misunderstanding something.

I think not backing up the pool panel is a compromise to get all four powerwalls to back up the rest of the house. But if I was in the OP’s situation I would have expected that a ‘whole home backup’ would include the pool and wouldn’t involve splitting the pool panel off into it’s own little system.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
12,966
38,498
Michigan
I think you’re right that it’s definitely a breakdown in communication, but maybe not a miscommunication of not wanting the pool to be backed up. From what the OP said, the pool has it’s own panel, not it’s own meter, so it’s not really a separate system or anything. I would certainly have expected the pool and the rest of the house to be backed up, and I would have simply expected the pool panel to be connected to the backed up loads panel. And frankly, it’s still not clear to me why that can’t be done, but maybe I’m misunderstanding something.

I think not backing up the pool panel is a compromise to get all four powerwalls to back up the rest of the house. But if I was in the OP’s situation I would have expected that a ‘whole home backup’ would include the pool and wouldn’t involve splitting the pool panel off into it’s own little system.

There are two feeds from the meter base, one each going to a panel, so there is no way to have backup power transfer from panel B to A. Guessing is a 400A service, so it can't be handled by one Gateway.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
There are two feeds from the meter base, one each going to a panel, so there is no way to have backup power transfer from panel B to A. Guessing is a 400A service, so it can't be handled by one Gateway.

Ah, OK. I guess that kinda makes sense. Although if it’s not 400A service then it seems like they could move the feed for the pool panel from the meter base to the backed up loads panel.
 
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CrazyRabbit

Member
Apr 21, 2020
384
116
Fort Worth TX
this is why i've been forcefully inserting myself in the process, from solar layout to wiring design. i will not approve until i'm happy, tesla isn't happy about this, lol.
I have 320A service and two 200A panels, they originally wanted to install two gateways and split my powerwalls and solar. i said no.
They did a loads calculation and agreed. also had to insist they move my EVC into a non loads backup panel.
 
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xasroma

Member
Apr 19, 2019
72
37
Miami
On a side note, like I mentioned, I’m getting my system installed a week from next Monday. My electrical panels are pretty straight forward, so I certainly don’t expect to run into any issues like this, but I think I’m going to call Tesla and see if I can get a copy of my drawings and plans just to make sure I don’t have any surprises on install day.

Hey thanks for input, yes I would suggest getting all the drawings and plans in advance
 

xasroma

Member
Apr 19, 2019
72
37
Miami
I think you’re right that it’s definitely a breakdown in communication, but maybe not a miscommunication of not wanting the pool to be backed up. From what the OP said, the pool has it’s own panel, not it’s own meter, so it’s not really a separate system or anything. I would certainly have expected the pool and the rest of the house to be backed up, and I would have simply expected the pool panel to be connected to the backed up loads panel. And frankly, it’s still not clear to me why that can’t be done, but maybe I’m misunderstanding something.

I think not backing up the pool panel is a compromise to get all four powerwalls to back up the rest of the house. But if I was in the OP’s situation I would have expected that a ‘whole home backup’ would include the pool and wouldn’t involve splitting the pool panel off into it’s own little system.

Again I want to thank everyone for the great input!
Exactly what I expected. As noted earlier I have a model 3. I live in Florida and I want a backup energy source as well as solar production

What is curious is I had a 25KW generac generator that died which powered both panels without splitting/etc. I thought Powerwalls would do the same, but I am just a guy not well versed in the electric.

My project is currently sitting at 99% and after back and forth with Tesla they are going to move the Powerwalls to the garage and have the WHOLE 15kw solar production go directly to the Main B panel and disregard Main A panel (aka : the pool) completely.

It will cost me an additional 2.7k.
I am not happy about paying them since batteries were supposed to be inside anyways based on our agreement and drawings/plans.

I do understand now the breakdown in communication about the "whole home backup" based on what Tesla told me and based on the expert opinion of Mongo, Brett and JJRandorin.

Changes were not possible from the plans (at least yesterday during install).

I will get what I was expecting and my Powerwalls will be cozy inside the garage.

As a side question the Powerwalls were left with 12% on the 3 bundled together and 15% on the swimming pool one. They told me they couldn't charge them remotely and they can't charge because they are not hooked to solar. I was concerned about phantom drain especially since I don't know when the installation will happen. They are out in the sun and heat.
I decided to turn them off from the power switch they have each physically ( I attached pic).
Will this prevent them from cooling?
After telling Tesla this through install negotiations I was told many times they have an extra reserve. Reserve for 1-3 months ? The agreement for home improvement I signed says 1-3 months. Reinstall date still not available.

Any ideas?
IMG_1951.JPG
IMG_1951.JPG
 
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BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
My project is currently sitting at 99% and after back and forth with Tesla they are going to move the Powerwalls to the garage and have the WHOLE 15kw solar production go directly to the Main B panel and disregard Main A panel (aka : the pool) completely.

It sucks that you have the extra delay and extra cost, but I think that’s probably the best outcome. At least you will end up with the system you want. Given that it should last for 25 years or more, that would have been a lot of time to deal with potential regrets.

Hey thanks for input, yes I would suggest getting all the drawings and plans in advance

I did contact Tesla and get my drawings yesterday and there were no real surprises there, so that’s good. They did show the powerwalls outside and I would prefer them in the garage, but I think I’m going to wait to see what happens on install day since I know the permit has already been approved. I really went back and forth a lot about inside vs outside, so I don’t have a very strong opinion. If they do wind up outside I’m not going to be too upset about it. In my case they would be installed on a north facing wall, so there shouldn’t be an issue with direct sun, at least.

But from your experience it seems like the inside/outside decision can be made or changed at the time of the install. Additionally, if they did wind up inside they would literally be in the same place as they are shown in the drawing, just on the other side of the wall, so it’s not like there would be a longer or more complicated conduit run or anything... they would just need to go through the wall. I guess I’ll find out for sure a week from Monday.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,204
9,055
Riverside Co. CA
As a side question the Powerwalls were left with 12% on the 3 bundled together and 15% on the swimming pool one. They told me they couldn't charge them remotely and they can't charge because they are not hooked to solar. I was concerned about phantom drain especially since I don't know when the installation will happen. They are out in the sun and heat.
I decided to turn them off from the power switch they have each physically ( I attached pic).
Will this prevent them from cooling?
After telling Tesla this through install negotiations I was told many times they have an extra reserve. Reserve for 1-3 months ? The agreement for home improvement I signed says 1-3 months. Reinstall date still not available.

Any ideas? View attachment 550534View attachment 550534

Sucks about the delay, but you will be happier with the install with the items where you want them. As for the reserve, etc, I am no expert on this but I do remember reading that when the powerwalls are "empty" they shut down but have a reserve and power up every day to check for solar power to charge, then shut down again. Since you are not hooked up to solar, I would do the same thing you did and shut them down at the powerwall and if connected at the breaker as well.

I would also push for the re work. You will probably be ok if its done in a reasonable timeframe, like 3-4 weeks or so. Maybe one of the forum vets here knows more about the reserve time?
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
12,966
38,498
Michigan
I decided to turn them off from the power switch they have each physically ( I attached pic).
Will this prevent them from cooling?
Yes, that will prevent them from cooling, but so would running out of battery.
Glad to hear you'll be getting the setup you wanted.
 

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