TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

powerwall is awesome - installers not so much

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by dortor4ev, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. dortor4ev

    dortor4ev Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    so happy with my power wall1 but OMG what purchase and install experience!

    installed on the 14th - 2 powerwalls watsonville, ca - roads were closed - power was out for 7 hours - install went ahead despite the circumstances - online by end of day - 1 hour PV solar charging - units arrived with 16% charge

    installers were 2 hours late - they told me they didn’t know how far away my house was from their site - I’m not sure how you couldn’t know that given that the install was schedule 1st week of january , and the product ordered last may - you can’t check google maps to see how far you have to drive tomorrow

    when they arrived they assessed the job as 2-3 day job, not a one day job, and since they had arrived late they would have to end early for the long commute back - I suggested why don’ they get started and see how far we can get - I didn’t think there was that much to do that couldn’t fit in a day’s work…

    design called for install on non existent wall - well the wall isn’t non existent - but it’s shared wall with another townhome unit -and the design called for the units to be installed on the “outside” of my wall - which is the inside of my neighbor’s garage - that wasn’t going to work - this almost torpedoed the whole thing - i problem solved on site - Tesla installers were not that creative - apparently design changes aren’t allowed on site even when the design is wrong and the solution obvious!

    they didn’t have necessary marterials to complete install - mentioned a 2nd visit to finish the install - called scheduling and they said 60 days from the 14th was first available appointment! sheesh - i’ve already been waiting a year!

    visit to home depot with a shopping list and i brought back supplies and lunch for installers - this seemed to help

    powerwalls would not boot up - no green lights! installers spent hour trying various things - i noticed the can-bus connectors were mis-wired - installer A had done one connector - installer b had done the other 2 - the order of wires was agreed upon by both of them - but not left to right or right to left - one connector was correct order but wrong orientation! fix the connector and voila powerwalls boot up! they wanted to leave and come back - thought the batteries might be bad - said 6 month wait for replacements

    installers placed existing solar circuits in new sub panel away from breaker for solar monitor - i have enphase micro inverters and the enphase envoy monitor to see production and consumption - the monitor uses the X10 power line protocol to communicate with the microinverts - i was concerned about them being it two different sub panels on sepate sides of the gateway relay - they said it would be fine - guess what it wasn’t! i spent yesterday moving the envoy solar monitor breaker into same panel as solar breakers and everything immediately started working again!

    commissioning the units did not go well - installers didn’t know how to use a wifi picker to find the gateway - and i watched them mistype the password 12 times despite me pointing out passwords are case sensitive - they had a different opinion - we completed the commissioning on my tablet with me running the setup wizard since they didn’t know how - seems pretty strait forward when i saw it for the 1st time - taught them a few things on my first run through

    units were making some noise - asked installers they didn’t know - i learned later it was initial preconditioning

    installers told me units would not provide power until PG&E remotely enables them via PG&E’s remote control - they could not override - this is 100% false and not true - i challenged them on this - we enabled them and after an hour the system started working!

    initially all the power metrics in app were wonky - not making any sense -since I have other power sensors in my system, solar monitor and smart meter read out I was able to see everything was “working” fine, but the numbers in the Tesla app were just wrong, I re oriented and moved some of the power taps the installers had installed, and the numbers now make more sense and are mostly correct, only time they are wrong is when I’m charging the car.

    i’m running 1.32 gateway firmware - not listed on website yet - no release notes!

    been running in self powered mode for 2.5 days - it’s awesome!

    still having some minor issues with power reporting in app - when i run the EV chargers on the non backup circuit it reports eEV current draw as solar power exported to the grid! it’s not -

    purchase, design, wait, install, fix wrong design, correct installers on nearly everything, buy my own supplies, provide blind tech support to clues less installers, correct misinformation and ultimately set the system up myself and it works great! But Tesla is really really incompetent - great product - terrible purchase and acquisition process!

    I love the product, but Tesla really has to send out people with a clue to install these things - my installers were 100% clueless, and in most cases wrong and didn’t understand what they were doing - if I hadn’t been there I’m sure it would not be installed or functional for at least 2 more visits each 60 days apart.

    Tesla phone support has been fantastic and the people on the phone line are very knowledgeable and useful information - but Tesla’s installers were just awful - truly awful - it it wasn’t such a great product I would’ve returned it just based on the level of incompetence demonstrated by the crew Tesla sent to my site.
     
    • Informative x 9
    • Helpful x 1
  2. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    6,721
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Great write up, thanks! I’m waiting for my PWs also. You wonder what training the installation teams get or if this the result of all the turnover....
     
  3. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    3,065
    Location:
    Sonoma, California
    Thanks for the info, stuff like this has me very apprehensive on doing the powerwall. I really want to do it but all the problems make me wonder if I should move forward.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    846
    Location:
    Cali
    Where did the installers come from?
     
  5. nexusone

    nexusone Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    California
    Sounds like completely normal Tesla experience. Reflects the purchasing experience, the support experience, and on and on. Glad you got them working. I gave up trying to buy powerwalls. 18mo is too long to wait.
     
  6. cwied

    cwied Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    I think it's really luck of the draw. My installation was much smoother. They showed up on time. The only thing they didn't do was register the Powerwalls in the backend. After self-registration, everything worked fine.
     
  7. jeep1979

    jeep1979 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Crestline
    I am in the southern California San Bernardino mountains and on SCE. My install went smoothly over 2 days. First day 4 guys showed up and on the second three guys. They were from Solar City and were very knowledgeable, competent and on time both days. My only complaint would be from reservation (Oct 2016) to installation (Dec 2017), there were long gaps in communication at times from Tesla. Commissioning went fine and my batteries started charging form solar. It took SCE 9 months (Aug 2018) to give Permission To Operate (PTO), so fortunate that Solar City went ahead with commissioning.

    One issue I have had is that when grid power is out, the Powerwalls output at a frequency of 60.5 Hz which is above the threshold set in my inverters causing the solar to shut down and not able to charge the batteries while the grid power is out. The threshold in my inverters is settable to a point and I am looking at upping the threshold to fix the issue.
     
    • Informative x 1
  8. dortor4ev

    dortor4ev Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Installer's were from "Tesla" and they came from Milpitas geographically. But I ordered and purchased the Powerwalls from Tesla's website in April/May 2018. Still loving them today - they are great!
     
  9. miimura

    miimura Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    4,622
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    Sorry you got such a poorly trained crew. They should do more OJT with at least one person on the crew well trained.

    I think you still don't have the CTs placed and configured correctly. In the basic installation there are only two pairs of CTs. One pair measures the Grid and the other pair measures the Solar. The Powerwall(s) report their flow digitally and the Home value is calculated from the others. One CT from each pair needs to go around each hot line of the same 240V circuit. From the factory, the Grid CTs are usually mounted directly on the grid side of the Gateway transfer switch. If they remain there, the whole system should be blind to whatever your EV charging circuit is doing since it's in the main panel and not backed up. The CTs for the solar need to go over all the wires from your solar inverters. I have two circuits from my inverters and at one point after the initial installation someone thought it was wrong to have two wires going through a CT and removed one. That made things all wonky because my afternoon generation pushed the house consumption negative.

    If you want more help straightening it out, post pictures of all the electrical panels and gateway with the covers off. I'm sure we can help you figure it out.
     
  10. markus478

    markus478 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Australia
    Had my powerwall installed today here in Australia. The install went very smooth. Had a 5KW PV system add along with the powerwall. It was completed in 5 hours roughly. No complains about the installers, they were very good.
    I have 3 phase and the CT clamps dont seem to pickup small energy usage on each phase if it is below 0.2KW on each phase. The app shows like the home is using nothing, even though the combined usage of all three phases is approximately 0.8kW. I will monitor this for few days.
     
  11. dortor4ev

    dortor4ev Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    @miimura I agree it's not quite right yet - after playing with it - my speculation is that they placed the CT Tap on the circuit for the EV chargers (the only circuit not backed up by the Powerwall) - and they need to place the CT Tap on the "whole house" panel at the meter - it will then "see" the entire put/take power flow and be correct - the problem with that is requires some 14/16 gauge wire to be run about 40 feet through the attic to get from the gateway to the meter panel to place the CT Taps…

    I'd like to prototype the setup first and see if it works before I do all the work for that - the other problem is I've inspected the meter panel and there isn't a lot of room to physical "fit" the CT taps into the box - so there is both a wire run issue (labor) and a physical space issue…I'm going to think on it for a bit.
     
  12. miimura

    miimura Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    4,622
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    I think extending the actual CT wiring 40 feet may be problematic. Mine were extended about 8 feet into my main panel. I don't know what the "right" solution is, but as I mentioned before, moving the Grid CTs to the transfer switch and ignoring non backed up loads is one solution. Another possibility is adding a second Neurio device close to the meter so it gets an accurate measurement and digitally communicates that back to the Gateway. However, I don't know how to configure the Gateway to support this. I have heard of other installations that used more than one Neurio device. Without knowing the actual topology of the electrical system in your house, I can't really answer more intelligently than that.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. irpete

    irpete Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Following as I'm having the same issues. I have two 200 amp service panels. One panel is backed up by my 2 Powerwalls and the other isn't. Whenever anything on the non-backed up panel is drawing power my app shows that usage as power being exported to the grid. Right now it's only a wall oven and an electric dryer but I'm planning on purchasing an EV as soon as the Rivian truck comes out at the end of next year.

    My Nerio in my gateway has 6 CTs. Two for solar, Two on the main line in my gateway (this is where the backed up panel connects to the gateway) and the last two are on the feed lines in the panel that isn't backed up. I've got a trouble ticket in with Tesla support and they acknowledge seeing the strange flows but so far no solution..]
     
  14. RoBoRaT

    RoBoRaT Zero Farts Given!

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    SoCalNorth
    For the OP and those with recent Powerwall install, any of you get the Backup Gateway 2?

    OP thanks for sharing your experience.

    I declined Tesla's proposal (no SGIP since they have fully used reservation quota), and went with a reputable local Solar / Battery installer - promised they can reserve SGIP, have Powerwalls on hand , AND ready to deploy WITH BU Gateway 2!
     
  15. cwied

    cwied Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    This sounds to me like the CTs to the second panel are flipped. They're subtracting from site load instead of adding. I suspect flipping them would result in the correct numbers being reported.
     
  16. PBBear

    PBBear Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Australia
    There are settings inside the Tesla gateway for flipping the CT directions in software, so it may not benecessary to physically turn around the CT clamps in the meter box.

    Also, the Neurio can be removed from the gateway box - it communicates back to the gateway processor using cabled ethernet or wifi (the same TEX-XXX signal). My Neurio was taken out of the gateway and is inside the meter box, tucked behind some wires and cable-tied in. It communicates back to the Telsa gateway using wifi. It must use standard 240V mains power, they powered the neurio using some narrow wires clamped into one of the phase connectors.
     
  17. PBBear

    PBBear Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Australia
    Would it be easier to put the entire Neurio sensor box inside the meter panel, and run an ethernet cable 40 feet through the attic? This is also likely to minimise the amount of noise leaking into the very long CT clamp cables that might make their readings unreliable.
     
  18. cwied

    cwied Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Since he has 6 CTs and the Neurio only has room for 4, I was assuming that the main and secondary CTs are hooked in parallel to the same terminals. This means if he flips the sense in the wizard, his main site will end up negative and the secondary panel positive.
     
  19. dortor4ev

    dortor4ev Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I’ve tried physically flipping the CT’s and doing it via software the numbers are stil wonky - I’m going to pursue a solution where they don’t report anything - I really don’t care what the EV charger use since it will all be “off peak” usage...if i can get them out of the system that is my goal...

    The gateway got was the old style not the new style with the Tesla logo.
     
  20. dortor4ev

    dortor4ev Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    It’s interesting to note that I’m very in tune with this house’s particular usage - for example when it’s idle and we’re not there I know for a fact (with over 600 days of data) the house uses between 5.8 to 6.2 kWh when it’s idle for 24 hours - ever since installing the gateway I’m now using 7 to 7.4 kWh when the house is empty and idle....

    Or about 1 kWh /day just to run the two powerwalls+gateway - or 365 kWh/year - that’s about 10 days production of my solar system.
     

Share This Page

  • 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