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

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
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East Bay NorCal
It is not code compliant to install an oversized breaker for a 5 kW generation device rated at 5.8kW apparent, but oversized wire is a real possibility.

Many of our installations used #8 AWG all along.


Frack, Sunrun used #10 AWG on mine between the Powerwalls and the Gateway with the 30A breakers. I have three v2.1 with the 5kW (dunno where you find the apparent kW) nameplate.

I guess having 21 kW of juice is better than 15 kW, but I kind of hope I can just opt out of this firmware upgrade...

Edit: quite literally the only benefit I think I'll get with the 21 kW would be on my SGIP application. The large scale rebate goes up with 21 kW because then all the batteries fit under the 2 hour discharge tier. And there's 0% chance of me re-submitting for SGIP and dealing with this BS over a few hundred bucks.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,517
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East Bay NorCal
How can you tell if it's a 2.1?


The left-side of the Powerwall is a long black plastic strip. At the bottom of this plastic strip is a roughly one inch wide tab that pops out when you pull up on it. Once you remove that little tab, the rest of the entire black plastic can be worked loose and slid away from the wall. There's a sticker behind this that shows the nameplate details. Luckily in California there is 3 feet of space between every Powerwall and the nearest obstruction is probably a bollard... so it's easy to access hah.
 
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The left-side of the Powerwall is a long black plastic strip. At the bottom of this plastic strip is a roughly one inch wide tab that pops out when you pull up on it. Once you remove that little tab, the rest of the entire black plastic can be worked loose and slid away from the wall. There's a sticker behind this that shows the nameplate details. Luckily in California there is 3 feet of space between every Powerwall and the nearest obstruction is probably a bollard... so it's easy to access hah.
thanks for this .. I would have spent hours on youtube / forums worrying I would break my powerwall :D
or i would have used one of my bollards as a fulcrum to pry it off ;) ... no I have no bollards
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,864
947
auburn, ca
Frack, Sunrun used #10 AWG on mine between the Powerwalls and the Gateway with the 30A breakers. I have three v2.1 with the 5kW (dunno where you find the apparent kW) nameplate.

I guess having 21 kW of juice is better than 15 kW, but I kind of hope I can just opt out of this firmware upgrade...

Edit: quite literally the only benefit I think I'll get with the 21 kW would be on my SGIP application. The large scale rebate goes up with 21 kW because then all the batteries fit under the 2 hour discharge tier. And there's 0% chance of me re-submitting for SGIP and dealing with this BS over a few hundred bucks.
It sounds like the change is NOT a capacity increase! It stays at 15kw. Its a power output increase, 50%, from 5kw max to 7.5 max. This is why the wiring and breakers are an issue. If it were capacity, non issue if left at 5kw max output.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,864
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auburn, ca
rdx

So just to be clear .. cause I still am not.. are you saying your installer knew about this and ignored it? Or they should have foreseen this possibility and have failed you some how? Are you taking issue with the manufacturer Tesla or your installer or both?
I'm not trying to be confrontational I really am trying to understand your point of view.
I have no point of view. I am just asking all the what if, but, etc questions. Until I get some facts, no reason to going any further.

But as an example. The company who installed my generator knew the code was changing in the next year that would make a disconnect at the generator a requirement. Technically, they could have installed without and said that is code, and we are going to save the money. Instead, they installed one anyways knowing what was coming. I still do business and recommend them since they went over and above the minimum.

Since I love to oversize for the future, like I did with my second inverter, seems it would have been SO easy to just have used 8 gauge wire. That way, if and when a new PW came out that had a higher power output, all one had to do was change the breaker, easy.

So again, I an just asking what is going on. Are all 2.1 units going to be able to get the update and go to 7.5kw output? Or are only newer, certain 2.1's? If so, how are they labeled difference? Etc.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
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auburn, ca
Luckily for you and your installer, you got exactly what you paid for.

Like posted above, there are always people who get on the wrong side of a product upgrade. Last week you were all happy with what you have now suddenly there's an issue, because something new came out.

You don't have any less than what you paid for, just knowledge that some in the future will get more for their money. This is product development, you should expect this.
I just try to work with companies who are forward looking and have good customer satisfaction attitudes.
 

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Mar 8, 2015
10,635
10,754
Colorado
For those of us with multiple Powerwalls, is the "increased power capacity" even something we'd really need? I think it might more useful for those with only 1 or 2 Powerwalls. We've got 4 Powerwalls and if there's an outage, they've always been enough to cover the household load already, even if we are charging multiple Teslas. Of course we try to reduce the household load if there is an outage so that the Powerwalls will be able to keep things running longer.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,864
947
auburn, ca
For those of us with multiple Powerwalls, is the "increased power capacity" even something we'd really need? I think it might more useful for those with only 1 or 2 Powerwalls. We've got 4 Powerwalls and if there's an outage, they've always been enough to cover the household load already, even if we are charging multiple Teslas. Of course we try to reduce the household load if there is an outage so that the Powerwalls will be able to keep things running longer.
Again, what "capacity" increase. I have not read anything about a capacity increase, For me, this would even be a bigger issue, but it is a power increase, or am I reading things wrong?
 

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Mar 8, 2015
10,635
10,754
Colorado
Again, what "capacity" increase. I have not read anything about a capacity increase, For me, this would even be a bigger issue, but it is a power increase, or am I reading things wrong?
Elon mentioned a kW power capacity increase, not a kWh capacity increase. So perhaps it can output at 7.5 kW instead of 5 kW.

Maybe leave off the "capacity" and it makes more sense? Powerwall 2.1 will be capable of outputting 50% more power.*
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,517
2,924
East Bay NorCal
It sounds like the change is NOT a capacity increase! It stays at 15kw. Its a power output increase, 50%, from 5kw max to 7.5 max. This is why the wiring and breakers are an issue. If it were capacity, non issue if left at 5kw max output.

I posted on the first page of this thread about why SGIP actually considers the export kW to be "capacity" and not what we have been thinking of in terms of kWh. The kWh is "storage capacity" while the kW is "capacity".

Anyway, the interpretation of "capacity" would effect the SGIP calculation and incentive for someone like me who is getting a tiered rate depending on "discharge". I would have actually gotten a larger rebate if the PWs exported 7.5 kW instead of 5 kW. SGIP by default loads 13.2 kWh and 5 kW when you select Tesla Powerwall 2 as the battery. But if I force 13.2 kWh and 7.5 kW, the rebate goes up.

If your rebate was already 100% of the battery, it won't matter.


1619211221191.png
 
Last edited:

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,864
947
auburn, ca
Elon mentioned a kW power capacity increase, not a kWh capacity increase. So perhaps it can output at 7.5 kW instead of 5 kW.

Maybe leave off the "capacity" and it makes more sense? Powerwall 2.1 will be capable of outputting 50% more power.*
Yep, Elon I do not believe used "capacity" anywhere in his tweet. If "capacity would increase, that would be, IMO, and MUCH bigger deal and would be a PW3 folks have been waiting for. For me, capacity would be or more value than power since I do not have a AC issue.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,864
947
auburn, ca
I posted on the first page of this thread about why SGIP actually considers the export kW to be "capacity" and not what we have been thinking of in terms of kWh. The kWh is "storage capacity" while the kW is "capacity".

Anyway, the interpretation of "capacity" would effect the SGIP calculation and incentive for someone like me who is getting a tiered rate depending on "discharge". I would have actually gotten a larger rebate if the PWs exported 7.5 kW instead of 5 kW. SGIP by default loads 13.2 kWh and 5 kW when you select Tesla Powerwall 2 as the battery. But if I force 13.2 kWh and 7.5 kW, the rebate goes up.

If your rebate was already 100% of the battery, it won't matter.


View attachment 656449
Interesting, I wonder why? capacity impacts how long we can stay off the grid. Power only impacts what things like AC can be used.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,517
2,924
East Bay NorCal
Yep, Elon I do not believe used "capacity" anywhere in his tweet. If "capacity would increase, that would be, IMO, and MUCH bigger deal and would be a PW3 folks have been waiting for. For me, capacity would be or more value than power since I do not have a AC issue.

Yeah Elon said “capability” while Elektek said “capacity”.

If only Tesla had a PR department to help tract check news sources...

but yeah I kind of just want to opt out of the higher power output capability.
 
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I posted on the first page of this thread about why SGIP actually considers the export kW to be "capacity" and not what we have been thinking of in terms of kWh. The kWh is "storage capacity" while the kW is "capacity".
Makes sense. And, in any event, the term "capacity" can appropriately apply to a storage capacity or a throughput capacity. It doesn't hurt to be specific, but the increase being discussed in this thread is a throughput capacity, so I don't think anybody using the term "capacity" to refer to the kW change is wrong. (And, notably, capacity of power plants also refers to generation capacity, which is measured in Watts, not Watt-hours.)
 
The four Powerwalls I had installed in March are version 2.1, but the associated breakers are only 30A and they're only wired with 10-gauge wire.

But since I have four of them, does it really matter? Even under the old specs, four Powerwalls can provide 20kW continuous / 30 kW peak, which is significantly more than I've ever seen my house consume. Is there a compelling reason in my case to try to get Tesla back out to upgrade the breakers and wiring?
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,864
947
auburn, ca
I just got off the phone with Tesla Powerwall support. Figured might has well call and talk to the source. Bottom line is they have just heard about it. BUT, he clearly said he knew more than he was able to say. Said they should be able to officially say more next week, and suggested I call back Monday. But, what he did not say was a data point. He did not say 2.1's would not be able to go to 7.5 with the fw update, whenever that comes out. He could not say 2.1's could. :)
Since I worked in this business, it was just as important to what he was and was not saying, tone of voice, etc in trying to see how much I could get.

So as of now, from what they told me, I would still assume 2.1 is the new HW, and can take a new FW update and go to 7.5kw. I just did not 100% get that from him, so I still could be guessing wrong. I did say this is a big deal since it impacts needing 8 gauge wire and he said he would pass that along to the team.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,864
947
auburn, ca
The four Powerwalls I had installed in March are version 2.1, but the associated breakers are only 30A and they're only wired with 10-gauge wire.

But since I have four of them, does it really matter? Even under the old specs, four Powerwalls can provide 20kW continuous / 30 kW peak, which is significantly more than I've ever seen my house consume. Is there a compelling reason in my case to try to get Tesla back out to upgrade the breakers and wiring?
Yep, for 99%, most would not care, let alone know there are changes. I guess many just are happy to have them. Most places will match a price reduction within 30 days. I would just expect my installers to know how to wire a setup to be future proof. All they had to do is run 8 gauge and case closed.
 

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