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Question about 120 percent NEC rule with Tesla Gateway 2

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
is there a maximum number of circuits to be thrown to disconnect (4 solar and 10 powerwall)? is there a time limit or speed requirement?

to me it should be obvious...


If only stuff in this industry were obvious...

Reading this document, do you think my Class 200 system with 3 Powerwalls and a 8 kWp DC PV system fits within the exemptions?
https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/p...lity/electrictransmission/handbook/060559.pdf

Because even if I qualify for the exemptions, I still need PG&E to grant the exemption. And from what PG&E tells me, granting the exemption could take money from their pockets and reduce someone's pension. So instead I'll put a huge box with a cool lever on the wall that will likely never see use in my lifetime.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,421
11,773
Riverside Co. CA
@holeydonut

I find myself silently cheering from the sidelines here, invested in your outcome. I am frustrated over here just reading about the roadblocks you have had. Full disclosure inc....

At the very (very) beginning of this, when you were talking about specific types of roofing mounts and stuff, I thought to myself "self, @holeydonut is just a very particular customer". Having watched this unfold over a few months now, that certainly doesnt seem to be the case at all. It appears like you have unfortunately drawn the short straw out of the incomplete deck when it comes to trying to get your system installed.

Please keep us informed, I for one am really pulling for you here.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,052
2,380
Silicon Valley, CA
If only stuff in this industry were obvious...

Reading this document, do you think my Class 200 system with 3 Powerwalls and a 8 kWp DC PV system fits within the exemptions?
https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/p...lity/electrictransmission/handbook/060559.pdf

Because even if I qualify for the exemptions, I still need PG&E to grant the exemption. And from what PG&E tells me, granting the exemption could take money from their pockets and reduce someone's pension. So instead I'll put a huge box with a cool lever on the wall that will likely never see use in my lifetime.

100% of the time you will get this exemption if you are within the box I defined, however Sunrun might not play ball on the paperwork side with getting the exemption, it could be worse than a giant disconnect that does nothing. It will give the Gateway some exercise at least!

On the bright side next Halloween you can dress up like a mad scientist and prank kids with your giant disconnect switch somehow? Looking for a bright side here lol...just think of all the fun things you learned!
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
@holeydonut

I find myself silently cheering from the sidelines here, invested in your outcome. I am frustrated over here just reading about the roadblocks you have had. Full disclosure inc....

At the very (very) beginning of this, when you were talking about specific types of roofing mounts and stuff, I thought to myself "self, @holeydonut is just a very particular customer". Having watched this unfold over a few months now, that certainly doesnt seem to be the case at all. It appears like you have unfortunately drawn the short straw out of the incomplete deck when it comes to trying to get your system installed.

Please keep us informed, I for one am really pulling for you here.

Lol no you're right I am very particular customer. My wife tells me that all the time haha.

Thanks for the positive vibes; I think I'm really close now to getting past this ordeal with something that PG&E just can't weasel out of (I hope).

But you should feel better knowing that I tell the sales guys up front what type of customer I'm going to be when I initially engage with them on a project. I tell them I'm going to be annoying compared to your average customer, but I'm not just hunting for the lowest cost. .

I'll pay a premium for something to be done right; but I'm not going to over-pay like some ninny. But most importantly, I want zero assumptions of cutting corners. I tell them if they even think something is the "easy route" that I won't notice, they should realize I will notice and it won't be fun for anybody. So I want them to communicate stuff up front and leave it to me for an informed informed decision instead of doing something that feels hidden from me to juice their margins. I've had sales guys tell me to get bent after the initial consult. I appreciate that sort of honesty.

The stuff with the roof flashing was very important to me after hearing about the bad experience a neighbor had with tile hooks. His house is a great solar candidate and is the mirror flip opposite of my layout. He had the same flat tiles instead of W spanish tiles. He got solar installed a few years ago, and already found the hooks had cracked some of the tiles that they sat on. I also heard some stories from my roofer that sounded pretty gnarly. So up front I spent most of my energy making sure I could find the right racking that used the triple course method with an abundance of mastic and flashing instead of the hastily installed hooks.

And on the Powerwall side, I told the salespeople my #1 desire was to obliterate exposure to the TOU and net metering garbage. I wanted to store and use my own energy without PG&E touching it. I didn't care about ROI; I cared about not letting the PoCo's win if they changed their rules on net metering. I hadn't even watched that Jonathan Scott's Power Trip thing... I know about these PoCo's and their shenanigans.

Time and time again, I kept getting wildly expensive quotes from installers that would only back up a few rooms or circuits. I was told repeatedly that the Powerwalls would not be able to do the "self consumption" mode to help spread things out over a 24 hour cycle because they didn't know how to engineer a solution to fit my needs. Small installers couldn't get 3x Powerwalls to do a whole home backup. Large installers like Tesla told me I was too picky.

So yes, it took me about 3 months to get a contract signed, but I thought I was done with the heavy lift since Sunrun was the only company to do the triple course method and had the buying power to get 3x Powerwalls. I literally created my account on TMC because I was flabbergasted at how difficult it was to find a ESS solution that would work in my house. So yeah, I was my own blocker from May to July because I was being a picky bastard.

It never actually dawned on me that PG&E would actively work against Sunrun on my installation. So from August to now, the blocker has all been PG&E. I just hope I can sneak all this in before 2021 for the 26% ITC.
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
PG&E okayed the like for like and things are are actually moving ahead! Whooooo.

Lol for some reason sunrun updated my line diagram to put my home loads on the internal panel board instead of a sub panel with a 200A OCPD. I never discussed that option with them, they came up with that on their own.

The guy doing the install agrees with wayne’s and vines’ interpretation where this isn’t a good idea. So he’s using the internal panel board for the generation panel instead. He seems cool with the quad 30 A. Compared to corporate, the guys doing the work seem pretty chill.
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
I recall the cantankerous lineman told you that. Has anyone else from PG&E given you that attitude, or just this one fellow?

Cheers, Wayne

It was the line man and a guy at the Diablo Planning office (different fellow than the initial person that approved my like for like). They said the main service panel was part of the generation system.

And approving like for like wasn’t in PG&E s interest so I would need to go do it right with a lift and shift and paying to retrench a longer service feeder. They both implied sunrun was abusing the loophole for their own benefit.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
Ok so my install got wrecked since the county inspector never showed up to approve the main panel replacement. So PG&E can’t turn on my power.

So to anyone interested ... just say no to solar and Powerwalls. This sucks. A lot.

By the way- for @Vines... Sunrun’s installers told me that in the last few weeks installs inland East Bay (Lamorinda, Danville, San Ramon, etc) are getting tripped up if there is no disconnect on the same wall as the powerwall.

For example if your powerwall is inside but the gateway is outside (using the internal panelboard as a generation panel), that’s a violation.

The reason is a worker accessing the Powerwalls no longer has line of sight to the disconnect for that Powerwall. This means a switch or OCPD needs to be added on the inside wall, or the gateway needs to be indoors as well.

Also, Sunrun is forbidden by Tesla from putting any stickers on the gateway 2. This means sunrun isn’t actually allowed to label the gateway 2 as a PV disconnect box. So they cannot design any system where the gateway 2 is the rapid shutdown. Plus for those cities where the ESS shutdown has to be outside, they can’t use the exterior mounted gateway 2 for that either since they can’t put stickers on it. Gateway 1 doesn’t have those restrictions from Tesla.

Lolz.
 
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jedmo

Member
Sep 9, 2020
115
49
Northern California
Ok so my install got wrecked since the county inspector never showed up to approve the main panel replacement. So PG&E can’t turn on my power.

So to anyone interested ... just say no to solar and Powerwalls. This sucks. A lot.

By the way- for @Vines... Sunrun’s installers told me that in the last few weeks installs inland East Bay (Lamorinda, Danville, San Ramon, etc) are getting tripped up if there is no disconnect on the same wall as the powerwall.

For example if your powerwall is inside but the gateway is outside (using the internal panelboard as a generation panel), that’s a violation.

The reason is a worker accessing the Powerwalls no longer has line of sight to the disconnect for that Powerwall. This means a switch or OCPD needs to be added on the inside wall, or the gateway needs to be indoors as well.

Also, Sunrun is forbidden by Tesla from putting any stickers on the gateway 2. This means sunrun isn’t actually allowed to label the gateway 2 as a PV disconnect box. So they cannot design any system where the gateway 2 is the rapid shutdown. Plus for those cities where the ESS shutdown has to be outside, they can’t use the exterior mounted gateway 2 for that either since they can’t put stickers on it. Gateway 1 doesn’t have those restrictions from Tesla.

Lolz.

Man, sorry to hear about all these issues you keep running into.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,052
2,380
Silicon Valley, CA
OMG seriously! Thats a serious screwup, you cant be without power for some unknown number of days...

Interesting info there, thanks ;) Explains some of the weirdness, but wow, what a restriction. Guess its good to be a relatively little fish sometimes. I'd be happy to go to the mat with any inspector looking to require Bladed lockable AC disconnects for no good code reason. Glad we don't get that silliness here that I know of. For many of our customers they always want as few boxes as possible on the exterior wall as possible for best aesthetics.

We always design our systems so that the breaker or disconnect for that Powerwall is within sight, that's just good design practice and NEC code.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
OMG seriously! Thats a serious screwup, you cant be without power for some unknown number of days...

Interesting info there, thanks ;) Explains some of the weirdness, but wow, what a restriction. Guess its good to be a relatively little fish sometimes. I'd be happy to go to the mat with any inspector looking to require Bladed lockable AC disconnects for no good code reason. Glad we don't get that silliness here that I know of. For many of our customers they always want as few boxes as possible on the exterior wall as possible for best aesthetics.

We always design our systems so that the breaker or disconnect for that Powerwall is within sight, that's just good design practice and NEC code.


I have power... somehow my meter got blown by the wind into the meter socket. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For sure, it sounds like inspectors just like to annoy the corporates where they can as a way to "stick it to the man". The Sunrun installer says they just comply when poked since it's not worth the push-back on their end unless it's an outrageous request. But as you saw with my install, Sunrun didn't know how to push back when PG&E demanded a lift-and-shift plus a re-trench costing about $17k.



So for now, once they can complete the installation... we'll take a stab at getting past the inspection with the solar and ESS OCPD on the GW2 internal panelboard (with a Quad 30A!).

If they get poopoo'ed on by a grumpy inspector who demands line of sight to the switches, then they'll use the version with a new interior generation panel that has the solar and ESS OCPD's. And they'll go back to normal two-pole breakers without the quad thing. This leads back outside to a 125 A two pole on the internal panelboard.

BUT, if the inspection still requires a "readily accessible while outside and wearing gloves" disconnect, they will intersect this generation panel output to put ANOTHER 200 A bladed disconnect. This is because Eaton doesn't make a 125 A bladed disconnect.



I bet Sunrun wanted to put their fancy corporate branded stickers on the Gateway 2 and Powerwall hardware; but Tesla denied this. So then Sunrun went the logical next step, and said "absolutely no stickers everrrrr".

The Sunrun installer said this was a highlighted item in the training; absolutely no stickers on the Gateway or Powerwalls unless the lack of a sticker fails an inspection. And the design of the system cannot rely on the GW2 for any important disconnects. Too funny.
 
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Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,052
2,380
Silicon Valley, CA
Well next time you go to do this PM me, I'll make sure you don't get rejected outright for a tile roof lol!

Good thing you have a good wind around. my wife keeps complaining about my bad wind.
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
Well next time you go to do this PM me, I'll make sure you don't get rejected outright for a tile roof lol!

Good thing you have a good wind around. my wife keeps complaining about my bad wind.


Haha next time? I haven't even survived this time!

I can tell you this much, none of my immediate neighbors are going to be getting solar or ESS any time soon. After seeing my terrible experience they're just saying nope. Maybe if they move to a different subdivision with a different house design...

I tried to convince them that I've found all the gremlins so their installs should be silky smooth.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
Found a new gremlin today. If the representative with your contractor goes to take a piss so he isn't on site when the inspector shows up, the inspector doesn't wait around.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
Damn department of labor rules around breaks...

BTW the inspector said he didn't really need to do much for a meter release. So he just looked for 2 seconds and signed the permit then left.

I don't understand this process... I feel like it only causes stress and gives the County a few bucks for the trouble.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,052
2,380
Silicon Valley, CA
Damn department of labor rules around breaks...

BTW the inspector said he didn't really need to do much for a meter release. So he just looked for 2 seconds and signed the permit then left.

I don't understand this process... I feel like it only causes stress and gives the County a few bucks for the trouble.

Welcome to bureaucracy, glad its not exploding into a larger issue. Guess there is no sh!t left to hit the fan maybe.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,121
1,503
East Bay NorCal
Welcome to bureaucracy, glad its not exploding into a larger issue. Guess there is no sh!t left to hit the fan maybe.


I'm still waiting for those Powerwalls and Microinverters to be switched on... :confused:

BTW, who is this notoriously "awesome" inspector in Palo Alto? The crew was calling her all sorts of interesting names haha. They said sometimes she'd make someone prove that certain bolts were torqued to spec and would blow up for the weirdest of things.
 
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