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Request "Load Test" for new Solar install?

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by CameronB, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. CameronB

    CameronB Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    622
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    Solar set to install tomorrow. Very excited!

    I am aware that technically the solar panels are not fully operational and able to generate electricity until the utility (PG&E here) does their part and gives the OK to connect to the grid. I understand this can take weeks - sometimes a month or more.

    But I've also heard of solar installers who will (wink wink, nod nod) say they are going to run a long "load test" or "burn in" or some such (forgot the actual phrase) and leave the system post-install in a configuration where the panels are immediately generating electricity for the house that you can use but the excess isn't able to be sold back to the utility/grid.

    My questions:

    1) Is what I have described above somewhat common? Or pretty rare that an installer will do this for you so your panels don't sit completely useless for weeks while waiting for the utility interconnect or whatever?

    2) Do people know if Tesla Solar/SolarCity in particular do or don't typically do this for new installs?

    3) Is it crass to somehow ask or hint to the installer that you'd like this if they don't offer it proactively? Like, "This is a big system. Can we run some tests for a while to make sure it is generating the right amount of electricity?"

    New to solar, and install is tomorrow so I appreciate any tips.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mike Swift

    Mike Swift Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2019
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Scotts Valley, CA
    It is not a problem placing the system on line as soon as the install is complete. It is just a formality. If they do like all of the installs I have seen they will bring the system on line for a final test, but then have to take it back off until the utility inspector has OKed the system. The whole thing is just a lot of bureaucracy.
     
  3. Schroeder0202

    Schroeder0202 2019 Stealth/White/Black/20 inch Tsportline

    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    IL
    The issue is not necessarily Tesla that has the issues it's your utility company. Basically w out permission to operate (pto) you are technically not paying for electricity. You can be fined for the usage you are not paying for. Your utility company knows exactly how much you use daily and when they see your usage goes to zero it may raise a red flag even though they know you have a permit and solar install planned. Other issue is sending power back to the grid which your certainly going to be doing. Its unavoidable. I tried a my system. Lucky my inspection was a week after install and got PTO the next day. Was super fast here.
     
  4. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    Sonoma, California
    The system has to be inspected by the local building department, then that final building permit gets sent to PG&E for them to process the paperwork for the Permission to Operate. That process took a week or two for me. In the meantime the breaker marked solar had been left on inadvertently and I was able to monitor the system production. None of that production above what I consumed showed up on my bill until after PG&E issued the PTO.
     
  5. JayClark

    JayClark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Arizona
    #5 JayClark, Sep 20, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    In my case the solar and PWs are installed at my house, and the Tesla team tested the system with me present on the day of the install and I was able to verify the solar charging the PWs through the Tesla App, and we flipped the the system to off-grid and it was running the whole house off the PW again visible through the Tesla app - but I think they had temporary meters installed. Both the solar and PWs have their own separate meters & shutoffs that everything runs through as required by the utility. So at least in my case there are currently no meters installed until the utility comes back and installs meters after final inspection and approval - just open holes right now. Because of curiosity... I did attempt my own "quick" test and I switched on the components in the same way as when we did the post installation test - but this time the Solar and PWs never actually came online due to the missing meters (I assume). The gateway is currently on and active and the app works, but it's just all grid.
     

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