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New panel + PW install - Tesla Inverter light off & SSID unavailable

I have a new solar panel + 2 Powerwall install waiting for PTO after inspection. The utility net meter has not been installed yet. In the mean time, I tried turning on the system to make sure everything is working okay and identify any issues in advance. Have heard of other people being able to turn on the system before getting PTO.

Here's my status when I turn everything on:
  1. The Tesla Inverter's LED light is off (it's supposed flash every 5 seconds).
  2. The inverter's SSID does not show up at all in my list of available WiFi networks, when I stand next to it and attempt to connect to it.
  3. I could not find a breaker in the main service panel for the inverter. I only found one breaker that said "backup interface", which I presume is the breaker that connects to the sub-panel for all the breakers that are backed up to the Powerwall. Isn't there supposed to be a breaker for the inverter also?
Is this normal before PTO? Will Tesla do something remotely to turn on the inverter after PTO? Or, is something wrong with my current setup due to which the inverter is not turning on? Should I contact Tesla support right away to troubleshoot or should I wait until PTO? Please advise.
 
Your inverter is powered off, you need to turn it on with the breaker. On your city inspection day, did the Tesla person commission the inverter and show you the browser connection (192.168.92.1) showing what the system is producing? Do you have a TEG2? There has to be a breaker and likely to be outside the house, it could be inside the TEG2 or a big backup load panel. It’s a 40A breaker. I am still waiting for PTO and turned it on a few hours just to make sure everything works fine, though I cannot see the solar in the power flow of the app.
 
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Your inverter is powered off, you need to turn it on with the breaker. On your city inspection day, did the Tesla person commission the inverter and show you the browser connection (192.168.92.1) showing what the system is producing? Do you have a TEG2? There has to be a breaker and likely to be outside the house, it could be inside the TEG2 or a big backup load panel. It’s a 40A breaker. I am still waiting for PTO and turned it on a few hours just to make sure everything works fine, though I cannot see the solar in the power flow of the app.
There is a 40A breaker in the TEG2 labeled solar. It is already turned on. TEG2 is already commissioned and connected to my network. It's only the Inverter that's not coming online!

There was no Tesla person present during city inspection. He came the day the system was installed, but he didn't show me anything working at that time except the steps to turn on when I get PTO.

I hope there's no issue with the Inverter itself or the wiring...
 
My TEG2 and powerwalls were installed 2 weeks before the solar roof was installed, TEG2 has been working showing power flow with grid, PW and house. Tesla inverter was installed same time as the solar roof, when the crew left, I did not see the inverter SSID. The day of city inspection, the Tesla person came and checked all the connections, opened all the panels exposing all the wires waiting for city inspector. Then he commissioned the Tesla inverter, he actually had to call someone about it as he told me that the inverter is too new to him. After that he signed on to the inverter SSID and showed me that 3 strings are on my roof and how much each string is producing and the total instant output. He turned everything off before he left and told me I should leave them off until PTO.
 
Oh... Then, I suspect that my Inverter may not be commissioned. Although I would expect it to at least turn on, even if not commissioned. I find it strange that everything was not set up to be in working condition before the inspection. I'll contact Tesla Support and see what they say. Worst case, they ask me to wait until PTO!
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,756
2,736
Northern California
I tried turning on the system to make sure everything is working okay and identify any issues in advance. Have heard of other people being able to turn on the system before getting PTO.
I don't have one of these new fangled Tesla inverters, but the Delta inverter they installed last December has a small, red, rotatable switch on the bottom of the inverter.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,257
17,996
Riverside Co. CA
Did you make sure that any breaker in your electric panel labeled "solar" or photovoltaic is turned on, AND if you have a disconnect (@holeydonut 's favorite word), it is ALSO powered on?

If your inverter is not flashing its little green light, its not receiving power. I dont have one of those inverters, I just looked at teslas "power on your system" video they have here:Turning On Your System | Tesla Support

My inverter is a completely different brand, installed in 2015, so I am not sure how the tesla one turns on, but if the LED is not flashing, it seems pretty clear to me that you have not completed the process of turning it on.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,619
867
auburn, ca
Did you make sure that any breaker in your electric panel labeled "solar" or photovoltaic is turned on, AND if you have a disconnect (@holeydonut 's favorite word), it is ALSO powered on?

If your inverter is not flashing its little green light, its not receiving power. I dont have one of those inverters, I just looked at teslas "power on your system" video they have here:Turning On Your System | Tesla Support

My inverter is a completely different brand, installed in 2015, so I am not sure how the tesla one turns on, but if the LED is not flashing, it seems pretty clear to me that you have not completed the process of turning it on.
I thought once an inverter was installed, it was ready. When I watched my installed setup my new SE inverter, there was a whole bunch of stuff they had to do in order to get the inverter configured and updated. So in theory, until one has all the green lights, who knows if things are fully ready to go.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,257
17,996
Riverside Co. CA
I thought once an inverter was installed, it was ready. When I watched my installed setup my new SE inverter, there was a whole bunch of stuff they had to do in order to get the inverter configured and updated. So in theory, until one has all the green lights, who knows if things are fully ready to go.

I have not yet read of an install that was completed where the equipment was not commissioned*. I have read on several occasions that the installers turn the equipment off, after installation, for the customer to turn back on after they receive PTO for running the equipment.

Particularly if its a NEW solar install, the installers usually do not leave the inverters in the ON state. For powerwalls installed to go with existing solar, they usually leave the powerwalls on. For solar added onto already PTO'ed solar, they usually leave it on.

For new solar without PTO, they normally leave it off, so thats why I feel that this OP has overlooked something in turning the system on, either a breaker or a disconnect.

*It is common, however, for the tesla app not to be setup to display anything on new installs until after PTO, even though the system can be turned on for testing*
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,619
867
auburn, ca
I have not yet read of an install that was completed where the equipment was not commissioned. I have read on several occasions that the installers turn the equipment off, after installation, for the customer to turn back on after they receive PTO for running the equipment.

Particularly if its a NEW solar install, the installers usually do not leave the inverters in the ON state. For powerwalls installed to go with existing solar, they usually leave the powerwalls on. For solar added onto already PTO'ed solar, they usually leave it on.

For new solar without PTO, they normally leave it off, so thats why I feel that this OP has overlooked something in turning the system on, either a breaker or a disconnect.
Technically, at least from the PGE paperwork, it is not legal to leave solar on until PTO. To do a quick test to make sure it is working was fine.
Seems if we are messing with stuff before PTO, we take our own risks. I made sure before my solar guys left, I saw the system working and knew how to turn on or off. :)
 
Agree with @jjrandorin . So, I went through every switch and breaker repeatedly on a couple of different days to check if there is something I am missing. Every single thing is turned on. Can't for the heck of me make out why the Inverter won't turn on.

Kicking myself for not asking the installer to show me everything in working order the day they finished the install. I only asked me to show me the steps to turn things on. They just pointed out the various switches and advised me on the sequence to turn them on. But I never actually saw the system working.
 
I have a blade disconnect for each of my solar PV inverters. :( Plus the breaker in the generation panel.
That's how it is supposed to be. I am surprised if any city or utility would approve the design without a disconnect on the PV inverters.

I have a blade disconnect between the PV inverter and the utility meter that measures my solar production. My utility also wants a meter for the Powerwall. I have two blade disconnects on either side of the Powerwall meter. This is so that this meter can be isolated both from solar power as well as the Powerwall power. I have two blade disconnects on either side of the main panel with the main utility meter. I presume one of these will disconnect the utility grid from my solar power. I don't understand why there is another disconnect connected to the main panel.
 
I was wondering why I only have a disconnect for the PWs and not the Tesla inverter. But according to PG&E:

Exemption to the Disconnect Switch installation Requirement
Applicants with inverter-based generating systems that are supplied by PG&E single phase services up to 240 volts may be exempted from installing a disconnect switch, as determined by PG&E, if the meter panel that is interconnected with the generation source(s) meets all of the following conditions:
• Self-contained (not transformer-rated).
• Accepts form ”S” socket-based (e.g., FM2S) meters (not bolt-on meters).
• Rated for 320 amps (CL 320) or less of “continuous” current.
• Single-phase, 120/240 volt or 120/208 volt.
Any generation system that does not meet these conditions must install a disconnect switch, as required by PG&E.
 
I talked to my installer on the phone, and I think I know why my Tesla inverter is not turning on. He told me that it won't turn on until the production meter is installed by my utility. At first I was puzzled about it, but he explained that until the production meter is installed, there is no power flowing through the meter slot. So, the inverter won't turn on and I can't "test" my system.

I read on another post in this forum that the installers use a "continuity bar" or wire the meter slot so that the power flows when they test the system after initial install. Some installers leave that continuity bar in place in the meter slot so that the power continues to flow, and you can "test" your system even if you don't have PTO yet. Other installers might remove this continuity bar, no power flows through that meter slot, and you cannot test your system.

What this means is that the production meter controlled by the utility is the gate between my own solar system and my house. So, the utility could potentially cut me off from my own solar generation by simply turning off the production meter. I don't feel good about the utility having that key and control to my own solar production!
 

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