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Existing Powerwall 2s to get 50% power capacity increase with SW update...

tomuo

Member
Mar 15, 2021
19
7
Los Angeles, CA
I pushed to grid for months before PTO. Nothing negative happened.

My Installer wouldn't commission / program the PowerWall / Gateway until the City Inspectors passed their work, so it was sitting idle during the time from installation.
But that's a different event than PTO.
Worst case, what could the electric company do, not give you credit for any excess feed to the grid? You'd still get all the benefit of local production and consumption.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,464
423
auburn, ca
My Installer wouldn't commission / program the PowerWall / Gateway until the City Inspectors passed their work, so it was sitting idle during the time from installation.
But that's a different event than PTO.
Worst case, what could the electric company do, not give you credit for any excess feed to the grid? You'd still get all the benefit of local production and consumption.
Yep, I got no credit for the months my solar was greater than house usage. But at least I was getting solar.

I had no batteries when I first got my solar.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,218
952
Silver Spring, MD
My Installer wouldn't commission / program the PowerWall / Gateway until the City Inspectors passed their work, so it was sitting idle during the time from installation.
But that's a different event than PTO.
Worst case, what could the electric company do, not give you credit for any excess feed to the grid? You'd still get all the benefit of local production and consumption.
There are a few "worst case" items of note. The first might be readily apparent - some have reported that their meters only detect power flow (regardless of direction) and therefore the utility will bill you the cost of the power you generate and send to the grid. You can probably tell pretty quickly by seeing what your meter is doing - if it is still rolling forward when you know you are producing more than you consume, that might be what your meter is doing.

Another would be based on your interconnection agreement. It may contain a provision for what happens if you turn on the system early, which might include the right to deny interconnection. I'm not sure there has ever been a confirmed report of that happening, but it is a "worst case." I think there have been one or two mentions where PTO was delayed if a utility noticed - which also seems more likely with smaller utilities.

And, probably the true "worst case" would be that somehow your system being energized and on-grid causes an injury to a utility worker. Again, I'm not aware of any reports of that ever occurring.

Just to avoid any possible issue with my utility, I only operated off-grid from inspection to PTO. Since the system does not provide enough power at all times of year (and depending on weather) I would turn the system off and connect to the grid as needed in the evening or overnight. It also gave me a good chance to get an idea of how my system performs and what I might need to do during an outage.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,516
892
East Bay NorCal
My Installer wouldn't commission / program the PowerWall / Gateway until the City Inspectors passed their work, so it was sitting idle during the time from installation.
But that's a different event than PTO.
Worst case, what could the electric company do, not give you credit for any excess feed to the grid? You'd still get all the benefit of local production and consumption.


Nah, an even worse case is you turn on your system without PTO, and your local transformer eats it. Then PG&E comes out and accuses you of operating your system without PTO and sue you for damages.

I can think of many, many, many even worse cases... but won't share them here. My job is to identify negative outcomes and try to mitigate them before they happen. So yeah, my glass is always half empty hah. I'm not very fun at parties.

PS since you have Powerewalls, you should be fine operating your solar as long as your Powerwalls don't fill up and you start sending energy back to the PoCo.
 

warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
I checked one of my two Powerwalls that were installed Jan 02, 2020 and it is also marked ASY,AC POWERWALL2.1,5KW

Not sure where you see the date.
If you look on the black plastic grill after it is removed there is a stamped or molded table of year (row header) and month (column header). It is hard to see because it is almost black on black.

In this table there are dot markings for each year and month that PW2 has been in prod, I’m guessing. I think the most recent dot indicates the manufacture date. That’s my guess.
 

warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
what does dot marking mean? Have pictures? If Elon's tweak is real, and they did not start until Nov, and you truely have one made in July v2.1,
then maybe there is something different coming? We will just have to wait and see. IMO, sure glad it is not a capacity increase!!
1619666213214.jpeg
 

airboyd

Member
Sep 10, 2020
27
8
Southern California
Well, got my Powerwalls today. The Tesla installers knew all about what Elon said and they said I wouldn't need a physical change to anything existing. So, I guess we'll have to wait and see. Haven't taken a single watt from the grid since they were turned on. Awesome.
 
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warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
what does dot marking mean? Have pictures? If Elon's tweak is real, and they did not start until Nov, and you truely have one made in July v2.1,
then maybe there is something different coming? We will just have to wait and see. IMO, sure glad it is not a capacity increase!!
What's important is to freak out continuously about this, since we don't know yet.
I checked one of my two Powerwalls that were installed Jan 02, 2020 and it is also marked ASY,AC POWERWALL2.1,5KW

Not sure where you see the date.
 

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warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
I think the date marker in the plastic is just when the plastic part was made. Seems like the bin of plastic parts at the PW assembly plant had a part hiding in the bottom of the bin for awhile before it was used.
Haha I noticed the plastic part shows 2.0 as PW version, but the PW sticker shows 2.1. I wonder why Tesla feels the need to mark a date on a plastic panel and not on the unit itself.
 

warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
what does dot marking mean? Have pictures? If Elon's tweak is real, and they did not start until Nov, and you truely have one made in July v2.1,
then maybe there is something different coming? We will just have to wait and see. IMO, sure glad it is not a capacity increase!!
43D75D03-1AD9-4A37-92D9-382D9F91412B.jpeg
Someone else mentioned the date might be for the panel itself. I’d find it extravagant that Tesla would mark prod dates on plastic panels but not on the battery sticker.

I’m hoping 2.1 really means it can qualify for the upgrade. I have two PWs and I backed up my HVAC. When I throw the service disconnect to simulate a power outage and try to start the AC (LRA 105.5), the compressor sputters and the PWs shutdown for 15-30 sec before they come back on. I think the surge is too much and I did not install a soft starter because my installer did not tell me. Based on Elon’s tweet, with the upgrade, one PW can handle 80 LRA so two should be able to handle up to 160 LRA 😀
 

warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
Given the shortages of Powerwalls, I am intrigued that you have one that apparently sat around for five months.

All the best,

BG
TL;DR 😭. There was a huge delay of ~5 months between the installation of the first and second PW2 units.

Long Story

I had started this project in Dec 2019. Installer got permit and that was all I heard from them till 5/14/20. The shutdown in the Bay Area prevented battery installs was the claim. I also read a SJ Mercury news where apparently the installer had almost gone out of business! I had prepaid the entire balance in Dec 2019 to get the 30% ITC federal tax credit. So I probably would have lost a lot of money but luckily they weathered the shutdown.

So one day they schedule me for the install Nov 3, 2020. The installer apparently didn’t know I wanted whole home backup. Apparently the salesman thought I had meant whole inside home and not the outside like the HVAC. I was confused as I thought whole home backup was everything to do with the home. So once that was clarified, no big deal I thought. The installers install one PW2 and then tell me there’s a problem backing up the HVAC. I did not have a solar ready main panel. It had no service disconnect and although it was 200A rated, the bus bar could only handle max 100A breaker which wasn’t big enough to backup the whole home. They needed to put in a 150A breaker in the main panel and transfer all the breakers to a subpanel next to the Gateway 2. My current main panel could not support a 150A breaker on the bus bar.

In my displeasure and confusion, I stupidly told the installers not to come back to install the second PW2 and instead come back after I upgraded the main panel. I was frantically calling the project manager and salesman to schedule the main panel upgrade. They ended up subcontracting out the upgrade and then there was a concern around the upgrade because my gas riser is not 36 inches away (like only 24 inches) from the main panel. Luckily, they were able to get approval from PG&E for a like-for-like upgrade (200A rating but now with a 225A bus bar). The upgrade was performed in end Jan 2021. So another 3 months blown there. But ok I had a brand spanking new 200A/225A busbar main panel with a service disconnect so I was happy. The electricians also did an amazing job patching my home stucco because the texture was an exact match.

The battery installation continuation was then scheduled for Feb 1, 2021. The day before, the project manager tells me they don't have a battery because procurement had given it away for another install and that they have to order another one from Tesla. Around this time, I think the PW2 were hard to come by. It took another 2 months (Apr 2021) until they finally got the second PW2 unit.

The remainder of the install (Mar 30, 2021) went smoothly except they had some delays in ordering the 150A breaker. For some reason they only had a 125A breaker but they said they would install the 150A breaker after the city inspection Apr 7, 2021. City inspection went smoothly and they then installed the 150A breaker.

All in all, the process from Dec 2019 -> Apr 2021 had a lot of bumps and setbacks and more $$$ spent. However, now that I am staring at the energy flow and stats of the PW2s in the Tesla app, it was really worth the trouble!
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
799
864
SF Bay Area
Haha I noticed the plastic part shows 2.0 as PW version, but the PW sticker shows 2.1. I wonder why Tesla feels the need to mark a date on a plastic panel and not on the unit itself.
I suspect it is to track the number of uses/age of the mold used to make the plastic part.
 
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warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
Lol, someone I used to work with was considering taking a job at PG&E... you can imagine the advice I gave him.

BTW, when you look at my avatar (stock photo)... Would an optimist see this as a hand having just turned a system on? And a pessimist would see it as a hand about to turn a system off?
It looks like the palm of the hand is pushing the switch up more than the fingers are gripped to pull down. So...on?
 

tomuo

Member
Mar 15, 2021
19
7
Los Angeles, CA
Nah, an even worse case is you turn on your system without PTO, and your local transformer eats it. Then PG&E comes out and accuses you of operating your system without PTO and sue you for damages.

I can think of many, many, many even worse cases... but won't share them here. My job is to identify negative outcomes and try to mitigate them before they happen. So yeah, my glass is always half empty hah. I'm not very fun at parties.

PS since you have Powerewalls, you should be fine operating your solar as long as your Powerwalls don't fill up and you start sending energy back to the PoCo.
Hah. In my case it's just a hypothethical, as PTO was 2 years ago with the first solar installation.
 

RKCRLR

Member
Apr 13, 2020
393
143
Garden Valley, CA
I’m hoping 2.1 really means it can qualify for the upgrade. I have two PWs and I backed up my HVAC. When I throw the service disconnect to simulate a power outage and try to start the AC (LRA 105.5), the compressor sputters and the PWs shutdown for 15-30 sec before they come back on. I think the surge is too much and I did not install a soft starter because my installer did not tell me. Based on Elon’s tweet, with the upgrade, one PW can handle 80 LRA so two should be able to handle up to 160 LRA 😀
One PW can currently only handle about 30 LRA so you still wouldn't be able to handle a 105.5 LRA with two Powerwalls.
Your best bet would be a soft start device if it will work with your compressor.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,516
892
East Bay NorCal
TL;DR 😭. There was a huge delay of ~5 months between the installation of the first and second PW2 units.

Long Story

I had started this project in Dec 2019. Installer got permit and that was all I heard from them till 5/14/20. The shutdown in the Bay Area prevented battery installs was the claim. I also read a SJ Mercury news where apparently the installer had almost gone out of business! I had prepaid the entire balance in Dec 2019 to get the 30% ITC federal tax credit. So I probably would have lost a lot of money but luckily they weathered the shutdown.

So one day they schedule me for the install Nov 3, 2020. The installer apparently didn’t know I wanted whole home backup. Apparently the salesman thought I had meant whole inside home and not the outside like the HVAC. I was confused as I thought whole home backup was everything to do with the home. So once that was clarified, no big deal I thought. The installers install one PW2 and then tell me there’s a problem backing up the HVAC. I did not have a solar ready main panel. It had no service disconnect and although it was 200A rated, the bus bar could only handle max 100A breaker which wasn’t big enough to backup the whole home. They needed to put in a 150A breaker in the main panel and transfer all the breakers to a subpanel next to the Gateway 2. My current main panel could not support a 150A breaker on the bus bar.

In my displeasure and confusion, I stupidly told the installers not to come back to install the second PW2 and instead come back after I upgraded the main panel. I was frantically calling the project manager and salesman to schedule the main panel upgrade. They ended up subcontracting out the upgrade and then there was a concern around the upgrade because my gas riser is not 36 inches away (like only 24 inches) from the main panel. Luckily, they were able to get approval from PG&E for a like-for-like upgrade (200A rating but now with a 225A bus bar). The upgrade was performed in end Jan 2021. So another 3 months blown there. But ok I had a brand spanking new 200A/225A busbar main panel with a service disconnect so I was happy. The electricians also did an amazing job patching my home stucco because the texture was an exact match.

The battery installation continuation was then scheduled for Feb 1, 2021. The day before, the project manager tells me they don't have a battery because procurement had given it away for another install and that they have to order another one from Tesla. Around this time, I think the PW2 were hard to come by. It took another 2 months (Apr 2021) until they finally got the second PW2 unit.

The remainder of the install (Mar 30, 2021) went smoothly except they had some delays in ordering the 150A breaker. For some reason they only had a 125A breaker but they said they would install the 150A breaker after the city inspection Apr 7, 2021. City inspection went smoothly and they then installed the 150A breaker.

All in all, the process from Dec 2019 -> Apr 2021 had a lot of bumps and setbacks and more $$$ spent. However, now that I am staring at the energy flow and stats of the PW2s in the Tesla app, it was really worth the trouble!


Wow yeah, you got lucky PG&E gave you like-for-like on that new MSP. I have the same issue where my MSP and gas riser are too close. But PG&E initially said that a 200A "solar ready" main service panel was clearly an upgrade from my old 200A "not solar ready" main service panel. They also said that a "Solar Ready" main service panel was considered "generation equipment" which would exempt it from like-for-like treatment.

I agree with you the end result is worth it, but the process can suck real hard haha.
 
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warriorsfan

Member
Apr 7, 2021
18
9
Bay Area, CA
Wow yeah, you got lucky PG&E gave you like-for-like on that new MSP. I have the same issue where my MSP and gas riser are too close. But PG&E initially said that a 200A "solar ready" main service panel was clearly an upgrade from my old 200A "not solar ready" main service panel. They also said that a "Solar Ready" main service panel was considered "generation equipment" which would exempt it from like-for-like treatment.

I agree with you the end result is worth it, but the process can suck real hard haha.
Wow looks like I did luck out. The installer subcontracted to another electrician and the swap was a separate permit and everything. I'm sure they sold some story to PG&E to get the approval. Maybe they claimed my main panel was broken or that it was already solar ready 😁 They said they have done this in the past and that PG&E usually is ok.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,516
892
East Bay NorCal
The remainder of the install (Mar 30, 2021) went smoothly except they had some delays in ordering the 150A breaker. For some reason they only had a 125A breaker but they said they would install the 150A breaker after the city inspection Apr 7, 2021. City inspection went smoothly and they then installed the 150A breaker.

Wow looks like I did luck out. The installer subcontracted to another electrician and the swap was a separate permit and everything. I'm sure they sold some story to PG&E to get the approval. Maybe they claimed my main panel was broken or that it was already solar ready 😁 They said they have done this in the past and that PG&E usually is ok.


Actually, what you put about how you had a 125A installed during inspection but then you swapped out 150A after the inspector left was the exact thing that PG&E told me that "shady" solar companies do all the time. He said shady companies cut corners and do stupid stuff behind inspectors backs because they only want to make a quick buck.

It's why he took it as a personal mission to stop my installation. He said Sunrun was shady, and would make my house unsafe. So he was "protecting me" since solar companies don't have the interest of the homeowner in mind. Of course, PG&E only has my best interest in mind... yep. But your story kind of reinforces why PG&E didn't trust me. They thought Sunrun would do what Tesla did for you; and make my MSP "unsafe". And since my MSP was near my gas riser, that's just a big BOOOOOOM waiting to happen.

And it wasn't just him that had the issue. Some (not all) of the folks at the PG&E planning department in their Diablo office also said the same thing. They felt the larger busbar in the solar-ready panels was inherently less safe. So solar companies using like-for-like to add bigger busbars is not allowed per the Greenbook due to safety concerns.
 

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