Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

National Grid and Tesla Backup Switch [PV + (1) PW+ and (1) PW2]

dailo

Member
Jul 22, 2017
773
862
Bay Area
Seems time makes more sense to stay with what is proven to work, the GW. So, how is the switch solution better than just using the GW2?
Motivation is probably mainly to reduce installation costs, as it cuts down a few hours from the installation and less materials.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,100
677
auburn, ca
For starters, it's one less box on the wall. But for those of us in the West with combo meter main service panels, if the existing main panel has enough breaker space and ampacity remaining to add breakers for solar and storage, then there is no need to relocate the branch breakers to a new panel. Much simpler installation, with reduced power shutdown time for the homeowner.
So glad I did not have a combo meter.
 

FurryOne

Member
May 1, 2019
130
116
Rome, NY USA
Seems time makes more sense to stay with what is proven to work, the GW. So, how is the switch solution better than just using the GW2?
I expressed that same thought, and was told that a directive from on high stated no more GW2 installs, only Backup Switches. Apparently this setup is still cheaper for Tesla than the Gateway2.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,692
6,534
Los Altos, CA
Yes, that makes sense, but still would want at GW2
If the system includes a Powerwall +, then the sum of all the components is the same, just packaged differently. Adding a GW2 would be adding redundant components and would introduce more complexity. Which computer is actually in control? Can the PW+ computer control the switch in the GW2?
 
  • Informative
Reactions: cali8484

mountfield

Member
Aug 6, 2021
20
17
Chicago
If the system includes a Powerwall +, then the sum of all the components is the same, just packaged differently. Adding a GW2 would be adding redundant components and would introduce more complexity. Which computer is actually in control? Can the PW+ computer control the switch in the GW2?
I agree with your comments re complexity and that the gateway 2 is mostly redundant with pw+
But clearly the pw+ can control the gw2 - I have this setup and the pw+ is acting as the controller
 

dailo

Member
Jul 22, 2017
773
862
Bay Area
I expressed that same thought, and was told that a directive from on high stated no more GW2 installs, only Backup Switches. Apparently this setup is still cheaper for Tesla than the Gateway2.
Have you tested to simulate a power outage manually? If I select off grid in the app everything works, but if I shut off the main service breaker I lose power. I am guessing it's because the backup switch is still live so doesn't tell the PW+ that the grid is down. Still waiting to hear back from Tesla about this.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: cali8484

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,692
6,534
Los Altos, CA
Have you tested to simulate a power outage manually? If I select off grid in the app everything works, but if I shut off the main service breaker I lose power. I am guessing it's because the backup switch is still live so doesn't tell the PW+ that the grid is down. Still waiting to hear back from Tesla about this.
OMG. I never thought about that case. The backup switch is upstream of the main service disconnect (main breaker), so it doesn't see the power failure. This is probably why they introduced the "go off-grid" because you can't do it manually.
 

FurryOne

Member
May 1, 2019
130
116
Rome, NY USA
Have you tested to simulate a power outage manually? If I select off grid in the app everything works, but if I shut off the main service breaker I lose power. I am guessing it's because the backup switch is still live so doesn't tell the PW+ that the grid is down. Still waiting to hear back from Tesla about this.
As I explained before, the inverter section in the PW+ fails to complete it's self-test cycle, so I'm dead in the water - no solar, no backup, nothing.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
286
171
California
Posted this in the other thread, but since this is also being discussed here wanted to share the update I received directly from PGE.

I also didn’t have my backup switch installed yet as was waiting for PGE to remove the tamper tag on the meter.

Since I was waiting, decided to to see if they had more info on the backup switch. I called PGE today and was routed to a different dept that handles the requests to have someone come out to remove the tag for the meter. I specifically asked about the backup switch and the lady mentioned that they just received an internal memo ~1 hour before I called that the Tesla Backup Switch is not approved and will not be allowed at all. I asked her what would happen for people that already had it installed and she wasn’t 100% sure but said since this is new info on their side but that it is definitely not approved and they will probably have to recall them. She also said they won’t be scheduling for techs to come out to remove the tags for this purpose anymore. Obviously not sure if everything she said is true but from what I also gathered from these threads my project advisor and PGE, it will be a great challenge.

When I called my project advisor this morning, he seemed aware that there’s been some trouble with these and that there would be some delay (weeks to months he said). However this update from PGE side seems to completely block using backup switches at all.

Did PG&E explain the reason for not approving?
 

powerwall+

New Member
Sep 17, 2021
3
4
Bay Area
Did PG&E explain the reason for not approving?
They didn’t tell me but I called my advisor again this week (spoke to 2 different advisors actually) and now they’re telling me that Tesla is in active negotiations with PGE to allow the backup switch. They’re just taking it day by day and do not have a good timeline of how long it would be.

However he told me that the backup option would be to just use a backup gateway but that would require a redesign and resubmitting of the permit which would be an estimated 1 month delay of the project. Instead I was advised to wait for the negotiations to proceed as they think they are close and that this is Tesla’s highest priority right now since so many backup switches were already installed in PGE territory. Tesla really should’ve squared away all the approvals before going ahead and putting these out everywhere as this was bound to happen!

Regarding why PGE would care, it seems like this new way of using the backup switch affects stuff on the PGE side. When using the backup gateway everything was behind the meter so they didn’t care but this backup switch would go on the PGE side which is why they need to come out and remove the meter. I asked someone from Tesla’s inspection team and they said city could come out and inspect everything else even though backup switch is not installed yet as that is on PGE side.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
286
171
California
They didn’t tell me but I called my advisor again this week (spoke to 2 different advisors actually) and now they’re telling me that Tesla is in active negotiations with PGE to allow the backup switch. They’re just taking it day by day and do not have a good timeline of how long it would be.

However he told me that the backup option would be to just use a backup gateway but that would require a redesign and resubmitting of the permit which would be an estimated 1 month delay of the project. Instead I was advised to wait for the negotiations to proceed as they think they are close and that this is Tesla’s highest priority right now since so many backup switches were already installed in PGE territory. Tesla really should’ve squared away all the approvals before going ahead and putting these out everywhere as this was bound to happen!

Regarding why PGE would care, it seems like this new way of using the backup switch affects stuff on the PGE side. When using the backup gateway everything was behind the meter so they didn’t care but this backup switch would go on the PGE side which is why they need to come out and remove the meter. I asked someone from Tesla’s inspection team and they said city could come out and inspect everything else even though backup switch is not installed yet as that is on PGE side.

In the past, PG&E has denied approval for GenerLink (a transfer switch similar to the backup switch) on the grounds that only PG&E owned equipment can directly connect to the grid (I am guessing for liability). So, I was wondering if PG&E is using the same reason to deny approval for the backup switch or there is actually some technical reason.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Vines

dailo

Member
Jul 22, 2017
773
862
Bay Area
They didn’t tell me but I called my advisor again this week (spoke to 2 different advisors actually) and now they’re telling me that Tesla is in active negotiations with PGE to allow the backup switch. They’re just taking it day by day and do not have a good timeline of how long it would be.

However he told me that the backup option would be to just use a backup gateway but that would require a redesign and resubmitting of the permit which would be an estimated 1 month delay of the project. Instead I was advised to wait for the negotiations to proceed as they think they are close and that this is Tesla’s highest priority right now since so many backup switches were already installed in PGE territory. Tesla really should’ve squared away all the approvals before going ahead and putting these out everywhere as this was bound to happen!

Regarding why PGE would care, it seems like this new way of using the backup switch affects stuff on the PGE side. When using the backup gateway everything was behind the meter so they didn’t care but this backup switch would go on the PGE side which is why they need to come out and remove the meter. I asked someone from Tesla’s inspection team and they said city could come out and inspect everything else even though backup switch is not installed yet as that is on PGE side.
Probably using the number of installs as a bargaining chip unfortunately...maybe they are trying to leverage the VPP program or something to convince them.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top