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Disappointing PowerWall News

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by MattMDK, May 6, 2015.

  1. MattMDK

    MattMDK Member

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    Today, I had a teleconference with my rep at SolarCity regarding the PowerWall. He gave me disappointing news. Earlier in the week I was told that they would only be installing the PowerWall for new customers. I would be considered a new customer if I added more panels to my existing SolarCity solar system. We set a call for today to discuss that option. During the call the rep explained that with the exception of the state of Hawaii, the PowerWall can only be used as a backup battery system during a blackout. Current regulations will not allow you to use the PowerWall to supply energy when the sun is down. "Going off the grid" is not an option unless you live in Hawaii. Even if it were an option, the 10k system can not power your entire home. For that you would need to link several of them together. The $3,500 price that Elon quoted does not include the inverter or installation. The actual price quoted from SolarCity is $7,000 but you are eligible for a $2,000 tax credit bringing it down to $5,000. Even though my solar system has an inverter, I would need another one for the battery system.

     
  2. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I suspect it is early days... and lots of confusion. Hopefully this will be sorted out sooner rather than later.
     
  3. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    You are not going "off grid" if you use it to supplement you power when solar is not producing. You will be still grid tied and are using grid power as well as the power wall.

    Also you make be eligible for about $2k in CA SGIP rebates, plus 30% federal tax credit if you add solar at the same time.
     
  4. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Does that mean if I unplug my UPS when it's dark, but still have my computer draw power from it, I can go to jail?? :scared:
     
  5. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Simple (though inconvenient) solution: Flip the whole house breaker when the sun goes down.
     
  6. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    LOL. That highlights the absurdity of the notion that a public utility could tell us what we can do behind the meter. I think the original poster's bad news was merely a misinformed salesperson's explanation. Clearly this is a complicated topic with tax incentives driving some of the options. But I firmly believe in Democracy and that applies to the choice I have as a consumer about where I get and how much I pay for electrical energy. Last year I installed solar panels. 4 months later Southern California Edison changed the time periods for peak rates which slightly changed the economics. As a hedge, and partly inspired by WK057's thread I invested in a battery system to shift loads and make my system flexible to optimize my solar -production and charging needs of my electric cars.

    There is a Deja Vu here for me. Twenty years ago I remember a GTE person telling me it was illegal to install a box on my business phones that would allow me to have a choice of the long distance carrier. Now I don't even have a land line. All my telephone calls are done on a cell phone with unlimited long distance dialing. Some of that change was a result of the deregulation of the telephone monopolies but most of it was because of the free market availability of an alternative to a land line.
     
  7. notAmeenPerson

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    In the conference call it was mentioned that an additional DC-AC inverter wouldn't be necessarily if the Powerwall was combined with solar. As the solar system would already have an inverter.
     
  8. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    #8 Ampster, May 8, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    Yes, I think the Power Wall would work with string inverters that run at 350v, but a system with mini inverters like Enphase would need an additional inverter that would run on 350v DC to produce 240v AC
     
  9. drees

    drees Active Member

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    No, what he means is that you can't use the PowerWall to export energy to the grid, but you can certainly use it to power your home after the sun goes down effectively keeping your house off the grid until the PowerWall runs out of energy.
     
  10. rpc364

    rpc364 Member

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    I was told much the same after I "reserved" a Powerwall on Tesla website and was contacted by Solar City a couple of days ago (Hmmm. Didn't appreciate Tesla just feeling it was okay to hand off my information to SC even if they are both Musk-inspired/related). Was also told that the Powerwall units wouldn't be available for five (5!) years. Really some serious head scratching during/after the call. Not sure if Tesla isn't doing their homework, employing bad marketing/messaging, jumping the gun, or relying on SC too much, but it is leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth so far. Model S owner and believer in the company and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but not impressed with SC so far...
     
  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    (As far as I know, you can't buy a PowerWall directly from Tesla, you have to get it through an installer. So it makes sense that if you reserved on Tesla's site, you'll be contacted by an installer.)
     
  12. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    given their reputation, this is probably most likely. if the unit itself cannot be bought by directly by consumers for the stated uninflated price of $3000, then the ROI just gets thrown right out the door and the product is totally lame. no reason to just throw cash away like that.
     

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