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Powerwall+ Inverter Loud Cooling System

kairojya

Member
Jun 30, 2021
82
77
Tampa, FL
I posted about this on Reddit, and figured I would share here and get feedback as well. My system was installed last month and I’ve already discovered an issue before PTO with rain water getting into this inverter. Sadly it doesn’t seem to help cool it down 🤣.

I live in Florida and have a Powerwall+ (3012170-25-B), a Powerwall 2 (3012170-05-B), a Backup Gateway 2, and 8.16 kW of Tesla installed Hanwha solar panels. The Poweralls (including inverter) are installed in my enclosed garage which has been 85-95 F since my install last month. I have not noticed any solar production issues, like with the inverter overheating problem I’ve read others reporting. I have noticed a couple of strange complete drops in solar production in the afternoon. The system is chugging along producing 4 kW or more and then drops to 0 for several minutes; the solar part in the Power Flow diagram goes dark and the drop in production is obvious in the daily solar graph. This does not occur every day, but most days I end up turning my system off by 3 PM before I start exporting excess solar to the grid (I’m pre PTO).

For most of the day once my solar production ramps up (sustained about 1 kW or more) it seems like the inverter’s fan is running fast, maybe at full speed. I don’t know of course what full speed is, but I definitely hear a difference between when solar production is off, when it first starts in the morning, and once it is fully up and running. I‘m wondering if this is normal and nothing to worry about, or if my inverter’s cooling system is running hard often. I’m hoping others with Powerwall+ installations could chime in, both indoor and outdoor installations. The fan I’m talking about is in the inverter (the top unit of the Powerwall+) in the bottom right area mounted against a heat exchanger. It appears to draw in air from the back of the unit (mounted against my wall) and exhaust it below in between the inverter unit and the battery unit.

While the fan is running fast, if I open the cover (hinged at the top) of the inverter and hold it open, the fan speed decreases within a few seconds. Since noticing this I started propping open the cover with a piece of wood.

I made a video where you can hear the difference between how the cooling system sounds during the morning at a lower load versus how it sounds after running for a few hours under higher load.

 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

kairojya

Member
Jun 30, 2021
82
77
Tampa, FL
Today I had a Tesla employee from the Quality Assurance team perform a Quality Audit of my Tesla Solar and Powerwall+ install. My install was last month (6/24). My inspection passed within days of install but I’m waiting for PTO. I don’t think this audit is related to the ongoing/open issue I have with the install/maintenance team regarding water getting into my inverter.

He arrived around noon and I had the system running; solar had been producing for 5 hours and it has been sunny and unusually warm (we’re under a heat advisory). The auditor said he agrees with me that it sounds like the unit is running hard but he’s not sure just based on listening to the fan noise/speed. He is aware of this newer inverter having low coolant issues but he didn’t indicate that it was a widespread problem. He included the high fan speed in his write up. I’m not sure if anyone will contact me specifically about it, but I will bring it up with whoever contacts me and/or comes out to fix other issues.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,443
11,792
Riverside Co. CA
Were you all over him about the water issue? I would have been (politely, of course, but I would have brought it up a few times, especially if this was a "QA audit")
 

kairojya

Member
Jun 30, 2021
82
77
Tampa, FL
Were you all over him about the water issue? I would have been (politely, of course, but I would have brought it up a few times, especially if this was a "QA audit")
Yea, I showed him pictures I had taken previously after it rained on 2 separate occasions. Tesla already has these pictures that I’ve emailed to my advisor, who forwarded it to the maintenance team. The auditor had me email him all the pictures too and he said he would include it in his report. I made sure to point out every thing I didn’t like, or was curious about. He noticed the lack of drain holes in my 90-degree conduit fittings before I could mention it. He also didn’t like the seal/putty job the installers did around the conduit going through my block wall to/from the Powerall stack in my garage. I showed him hanging wires I found in between one of my solar arrays and roof. He said all of it would be in his report. I’ll follow up here when there’s an update.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,443
11,792
Riverside Co. CA
Yea, I showed him pictures I had taken previously after it rained on 2 separate occasions. Tesla already has these pictures that I’ve emailed to my advisor, who forwarded it to the maintenance team. The auditor had me email him all the pictures too and he said he would include it in his report. I made sure to point out every thing I didn’t like, or was curious about. He noticed the lack of drain holes in my 90-degree conduit fittings before I could mention it. He also didn’t like the seal/putty job the installers did around the conduit going through my block wall to/from the Powerall stack in my garage. I showed him hanging wires I found in between one of my solar arrays and roof. He said all of it would be in his report. I’ll follow up here when there’s an update.

Im curious if this is audit for you is "for show" so to speak, or because of your escalation of the water issue, or just a random QA sampling. I am also interested to know if anything happens because of it. Let us know.
 

kairojya

Member
Jun 30, 2021
82
77
Tampa, FL
Im curious if this is audit for you is "for show" so to speak, or because of your escalation of the water issue, or just a random QA sampling. I am also interested to know if anything happens because of it. Let us know.
I wonder the same thing. The auditor contacted me via email and did not mention my ongoing issues. It didn’t seem like he was aware of them, but he could just be concealing that. This is what the original email from him said:
My name is ————, with Tesla’s quality department. My job through the quality department is to travel around and perform audits on recent installs to ensure that our crews are upholding our quality standards. I would like the opportunity to come out and perform an audit on your recent powerwall and solar installation.

This audit is purely optional and not a requirement of you, but does help us improve our quality standards and ensures that your install meets those standards. After a quick review of your job, it looks like your powerwalls are located on the interior of your garage, so someone would need to be home for me to audit the powerwall. It usually takes me no longer than an hour to perform the audit. I am going to be in your area this Thursday, July 22nd and was hoping it would be ok to stop by that morning/afternoon. I would most likely be there 11am-12pm.
He was responsive via email, and told me to feel free to reach out to him with any issues in the future too. He said he does around 14 audits per week if I remember right. Though the PV and Powerwall systems are considered separate audits; so my site counted as 2 audits in their system. He travels around multiple neighboring areas of service, and not just the area which my local office services.
 

kairojya

Member
Jun 30, 2021
82
77
Tampa, FL
The fan speed has been much lower the last couple of days since I noticed my firmware updated to 21.20.5. My solar production has been just as high. I haven’t seen any unusual drops in production.
 

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