I recently completed the installation of 2 Power wall's by Horizon Solar in Orange County CA. I originally ordered the systems through Swell Energy in December of 2016 since they would handle the SGIP rebate process. Swell Energy sub-contracted the install to a local installer, Horizon Solar. Overall the installation took about 2-weeks with 3-days of work onsite by Horizon. The installation was done over 2-weeks because of a missing part.
Some takeaways I had from the install.
Some takeaways I had from the install.
- I had requested during the site survey last year that only the 110V loads be placed on the Power wall circuit but instead the design was changed without my knowledge to include a full house backup.
- The design that Swell/Horizon had for the wall placement didn't leave sufficient spacing for the installation of the Power walls and the Breaker Panel, Backup Gateway and Generation panel. The original design had called for the Power walls to be directly underneath the new electrical boxes but as you can see this design would never had worked. This design oversight resulted in several design changes onsite.
- I told Swell that these issues could have been fixed by doing a site check and review of the final design with the customer a couple of weeks out. However Swell told me that would require another truck roll which would have cost to much.
- Horizon started the install without the part that allows two power wall's to be clipped together for a ground install. Why they started the install without the proper parts I don't know. I also gave this feedback to Swell and pointed out that maybe a site check with the customer would have prevented another truck roll which is what was required because of the missing part.
- Horizon took my old breaker panel (200-amp service feed) and installed a new 32-space panel inside my garage. This turned my old panel into basically a junction box.
- I wish I would have known ahead of time I was getting a complete new panel. I thought I was just getting a sub-panel because just the 110V loads would be moved. I would have negotiated with Horizon to install a 40-space panel instead of the smaller 32-space panel they did install. The cost is almost nothing between a 32-space and 40-space since everything is in the labor. However they went with the smaller panel to save a few bucks. By the time I realized what was happening it was to late to get a bigger panel. The new panel they installed is almost completely full.
- The Horizon solar tech's were very nice but I had to watch them and a couple of times I caught them making mistakes.
- My bathroom outlets are on a GFCI breaker but they never installed a new GFCI breaker in the new panel. I called them out on it. They then installed GFCI outlets in my three bathrooms. Which I was fine with. But I could see some customers not catching this.
- When they left after the 2nd day of the install because they didn't have the part to complete the install. They left my solar turned off. I knew they had moved my solar panel circuit over to the new panel but of course nothing was labeled. So by trial and error I figured out which breakers to throw to get my solar panels back into production.
- They had to relocate the conduit and wiring that I had installed in 2016 for my EV charger. Instead of leaving a pull wire they removed all the wiring from the conduit. I then found them struggling to re-run the wire through the conduit. I got them some twine so they could get a pull wire through the conduit and complete what they had started.
- I had run Cat-5E wire for the gateway but for some reason the tech was going to leave me on cellular for the gateway. I had to insist that he plug the Cat-5E wire back in. He thought my home network was causing issues but it wasn't my network, it was just the gateway needing a reboot so it would pull a IP address.
- The installers seemed confuse about how to work with the foundation brick that comes out about two inches all around the floor of my garage. They insisted that the Power wall had to be flush to the wall all the way from the ground up. I politely pointed out that a couple of 2x4's could act as a space because of how the foundation brick on the bottom of the wall. I then offered a saw to use and a 2x4 and then they finally agreed they could work around this problem.
- The Horizon techs really struggled getting my system online and eventually they had to call Tesla. The tech on the phone was very knowledgeable and got everything straightened out. Later the Horizon tech admitted to me this was only second install they had done with 2 batteries all the rest of the installs have been single battery systems.