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Should I care if no inspection/PTO for months?

eaa795

Member
Jun 2, 2021
5
0
NorCal
Hi folks,

We had powerwalls installed in March to an existing solar system. Installation was a mess, but system has been working since installation was completed. In April, Tesla rep came by on the day of inspection. He said the install was not to plan, so he canceled that day's inspection. We haven't heard anything since then.

Should we care? The system is working, and we haven't paid Tesla. Is there any advantage to getting inspected and PTO if the system is working?

Thanks
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,104
1,486
East Bay NorCal
Lol, now I'm intrigued about the details of what the plan was and what they installed.

On the plus side, there's nothing stopping you from using the batteries for backup. Keep in mind that if you bank your solar power into your batteries to use later, you actually lose about 14% efficiency. So if your old solar time of use plan wasn't really a big difference between peak and off-peak, you may not want to bank too much power into your batteries while they sort out the PTO.
 

arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
891
948
SF Bay Area
Usually the issue is that Tesla won't release a system to your app until inspection or PTO so you can't configure it.

Recently I added more PV and more Powerwall to an existing system PV and Powerwall system. Since I already had Powerwall all that happened was minutes after it was installed I could see the "2" change to "3" in my app so I had full access immediately after install.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,104
1,486
East Bay NorCal
Usually the issue is that Tesla won't release a system to your app until inspection or PTO so you can't configure it.

Recently I added more PV and more Powerwall to an existing system PV and Powerwall system. Since I already had Powerwall all that happened was minutes after it was installed I could see the "2" change to "3" in my app so I had full access immediately after install.


Yeah, when I was in PTO-purgatory with my Sunrun install, all I had on my app was the ability to see the SoC and whether there was a stormwatch. I didn't get to actually set up time-based-controls and other fancy stuff until after PTO was granted. But at least the PW's worked and would store/export power as needed.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,328
11,667
Riverside Co. CA
Hi folks,

We had powerwalls installed in March to an existing solar system. Installation was a mess, but system has been working since installation was completed. In April, Tesla rep came by on the day of inspection. He said the install was not to plan, so he canceled that day's inspection. We haven't heard anything since then.

Should we care? The system is working, and we haven't paid Tesla. Is there any advantage to getting inspected and PTO if the system is working?

Thanks

Since you are adding powerwalls to existing solar, its not as big a deal as if you were installing solar only (IMO). The issue I see is, if you havent passed at least the city / local AHJ inspection successfully, if something happened to your system, its not fully permitted yet. Unlikely, but "possible".

once you pass the local AHJ inspection for ADDING powerwalls to EXISTING (permitted) solar, at that point its just paperwork. You are not pushing anything to the grid you were not before, and in fact are likely putting either the same, or less stress on the grid.

Where I would focus on would be the AHJ inspection, but you mention that wasnt passed either. That part would bother me, simply because if something happens and you need to make an insurance claim, the insurance company could conceivably go toward "it wasnt permitted, no inspections were passed. Nothing likely to happen, but I would push for at least the local authority having jurisdiction inspection.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,148
503
az
i had something similar happen where the utility tech showed me how to turn system .TSLA didn't know PTO till I sent them door hanger pic. as proof. It was only $50/mo. sub. in my case so I didn't care. Also no PW.

Had I known it could be months of free power though ;)
 

eaa795

Member
Jun 2, 2021
5
0
NorCal
Thanks for the responses. I'm not exactly sure what was different between the plan and the install. They moved most of our breakers inside the garage. Does it make sense that some of the breakers were moved into a new panel instead of into the gateway?

Good thoughts on insurance, and not banking too much. I'm on PGE TOU-C, so there's very little difference between peak and off peak.

Thanks again.
 

valleydude

Member
Dec 21, 2019
24
3
California
Thanks for the responses. I'm not exactly sure what was different between the plan and the install. They moved most of our breakers inside the garage. Does it make sense that some of the breakers were moved into a new panel instead of into the gateway?

Good thoughts on insurance, and not banking too much. I'm on PGE TOU-C, so there's very little difference between peak and off peak.

Thanks again.
Based on my experience, all the loads that need to be backed up have to be on what they call as the "backup load center" or could be directly on the gateway. The gateway has a limited number of circuit breakers though. So, not knowing the exact details of your install, I am guessing, if they moved the breakers inside your garage on to a separate panel, that panel must be the "backup load center". And, the "backup load center" might be connected to the gateway. All the loads that are not backed up, would be on a separate panel, which is directly connected to the grid. This include loads such as the A/Cs.

If you have the plan which Tesla would have left behind for the inspection guys, you would see on one page which shows, which loads were relocated at "Design time" and which were relocated at "Install time". I am guessing here, if you got approval from the City for the design and there were changes done at the install time, they need some kind approval from the city, which is not a completely new permit though.

In NorCal (East Bay to be precise), and Tesla completely screwed up my PW2 install.
They did not relocate the loads from the panel inside the garage to the backup load center.
Most of the essential loads inside the house, such as the ones that backup my office room, the kitchen, bedrooms, my wiring closet with routers, etc are on the panel in the garage, which is not backed up by the PW. I've very expensive porch-light backup solution :( .

On top of that, Tesla, in my opinion, has the worst customer service in the Universe - worse than Comcast, period.
It has been a month since the install and I am trying it fixed and they won't respond to emails or phone calls.
 

eaa795

Member
Jun 2, 2021
5
0
NorCal
Based on my experience, all the loads that need to be backed up have to be on what they call as the "backup load center" or could be directly on the gateway. The gateway has a limited number of circuit breakers though. So, not knowing the exact details of your install, I am guessing, if they moved the breakers inside your garage on to a separate panel, that panel must be the "backup load center". And, the "backup load center" might be connected to the gateway. All the loads that are not backed up, would be on a separate panel, which is directly connected to the grid. This include loads such as the A/Cs.

If you have the plan which Tesla would have left behind for the inspection guys, you would see on one page which shows, which loads were relocated at "Design time" and which were relocated at "Install time". I am guessing here, if you got approval from the City for the design and there were changes done at the install time, they need some kind approval from the city, which is not a completely new permit though.

In NorCal (East Bay to be precise), and Tesla completely screwed up my PW2 install.
They did not relocate the loads from the panel inside the garage to the backup load center.
Most of the essential loads inside the house, such as the ones that backup my office room, the kitchen, bedrooms, my wiring closet with routers, etc are on the panel in the garage, which is not backed up by the PW. I've very expensive porch-light backup solution :( .

On top of that, Tesla, in my opinion, has the worst customer service in the Universe - worse than Comcast, period.
It has been a month since the install and I am trying it fixed and they won't respond to emails or phone calls.
I'm in the East Bay, too. Maybe we had the same installer.
 

valleydude

Member
Dec 21, 2019
24
3
California
I'm in the East Bay, too. Maybe we had the same installer.
I would highly recommend that you do a test of the system yourself.
Shame on me, I did not do this before the installer left :(

Follow this procedure:
1) just turn on all the lights and any other important loads that you expect to be backed up by the PW.
1a) Check the Tesla app and note down the power flow direction and the number of KW of power flowing into the house.
2) Check if your powerwall is charged, at least to the setting specified in your app (I'm still trying to figure this out, so don't have a precise number for you).
3) Turn off the service disconnect - in my case, this was gigantic switch with a 1ft handle on it, that they installed outside the house.
This switch would disconnect your home from the grid.
4) Next, go inside the house and note down which loads stay on and which ones got powered off.
5) Check the Powerflow in your Tesla App and see which way the power is flowing and what is the number in KW.
Make sure this matches up with the the number you see before the disconnect.

If you see all the loads that you expected to be backed up, still on after you do a grid disconnect, then you are good.
 

astrorob

stealth performance M3
Aug 27, 2014
483
111
oakland, ca
with respect to PTO and the app working, it seems that if you have existing solar then tesla at least believes that you implicitly have PTO for the batteries, despite the fact that they do have to file paperwork with PGE for the storage. they characterized the paperwork needed as "registering" the powerwalls with PGE. i can see that tesla made the storage interconnection PGE application 2.5 months ago, but nothing has happened. regardless since late 2020 my PWs have been online. the PW installer provisioned the app access on the spot on that day.

i am in the east bay too, and my installation went very smoothly (though it took like 6 months to complete.) the reason for the smooth sailing is that i requested a main panel upgrade, and a local electrician (from Alameda) came in and did that (very high quality) work. as it turned out, they left a nice big gap between the new main panel and the existing stuff, and tesla was able to put the gateway in that spot. in the end what tesla did was to use the new main panel as the backup load center and just move the AC and EVSE breakers into a small panel which is not backed up. that panel also fit into the gap. so it was all somewhat serendipitous and i apologize for stealing everyone else's good luck.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,517
2,570
Northern California
i can see that tesla made the storage interconnection PGE application 2.5 months ago, but nothing has happened.
It might be good to call PG&E and ask what the hold up is. I suspect they have had dialog with Tesla during this time and it would be interesting to see what was requested and what they are currently held up on.

In my case the issues seem to evolve over time which is not unusual. The last iteration I found out the PG&E wanted a picture of my gas meter (don't have one) and the Tesla sent them something that made no sense. I got in the middle of that and low and behold the next week I had a PTO. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,104
1,486
East Bay NorCal
I wonder if when NEM 3.0 gets a firm start-date ... if PG&E will slow-roll PTO's for customers hoping to sneak into NEM 2.0 so they all get bamboozled and stuck on NEM 3.0.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,242
6,014
Merced, CA
Lol, now I'm intrigued about the details of what the plan was and what they installed.

On the plus side, there's nothing stopping you from using the batteries for backup. Keep in mind that if you bank your solar power into your batteries to use later, you actually lose about 14% efficiency. So if your old solar time of use plan wasn't really a big difference between peak and off-peak, you may not want to bank too much power into your batteries while they sort out the PTO.

10%. That 4% you lose just sitting there whether you use the powerwalls or not.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,242
6,014
Merced, CA
Usually the issue is that Tesla won't release a system to your app until inspection or PTO so you can't configure it.

Recently I added more PV and more Powerwall to an existing system PV and Powerwall system. Since I already had Powerwall all that happened was minutes after it was installed I could see the "2" change to "3" in my app so I had full access immediately after install.

My system was up and fully running the day of the install with it available in the app. The county inspection was the following week and PTO was months later. I still used the system but stayed on self consumption and made sure to turn the solar off if I got close to exporting to the grid which was rare in the middle of the winter.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,242
6,014
Merced, CA
It might be good to call PG&E and ask what the hold up is. I suspect they have had dialog with Tesla during this time and it would be interesting to see what was requested and what they are currently held up on.

In my case the issues seem to evolve over time which is not unusual. The last iteration I found out the PG&E wanted a picture of my gas meter (don't have one) and the Tesla sent them something that made no sense. I got in the middle of that and low and behold the next week I had a PTO. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not.

This is what I had to do finally to get the ball rolling on Tesla's incorrect filing of the paperwork.
 

eaa795

Member
Jun 2, 2021
5
0
NorCal
Based on my experience, all the loads that need to be backed up have to be on what they call as the "backup load center" or could be directly on the gateway. The gateway has a limited number of circuit breakers though. So, not knowing the exact details of your install, I am guessing, if they moved the breakers inside your garage on to a separate panel, that panel must be the "backup load center". And, the "backup load center" might be connected to the gateway. All the loads that are not backed up, would be on a separate panel, which is directly connected to the grid. This include loads such as the A/Cs.
I contacted Tesla. The response was that the installers relocated the solar and Powerwall breakers to the Gateway.
 

astrorob

stealth performance M3
Aug 27, 2014
483
111
oakland, ca
It might be good to call PG&E and ask what the hold up is. I suspect they have had dialog with Tesla during this time and it would be interesting to see what was requested and what they are currently held up on.

In my case the issues seem to evolve over time which is not unusual. The last iteration I found out the PG&E wanted a picture of my gas meter (don't have one) and the Tesla sent them something that made no sense. I got in the middle of that and low and behold the next week I had a PTO. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not.

i might do that - the email i received from PGE gives instructions to log in to a PGE website to see the status of the paperwork but i don't seem to have any credentials for that website. so not sure (besides calling them, as you suggest) how to proceed.
 

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