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Solar advice

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,931
561
auburn, ca
There are currently only a few reasons why it must be the "Bladed AC Disconnect" I had to rate your post funny because of the AC Disconnect fetish again. It was the same when PV first came through, we had AC and DC disconnects everywhere. However, breakers are a means of AC disconnect, the code is mostly clear on this.

As solar matured, the Bladed AC Disconnects went away in almost all cases. When you have a building inspector that is requiring one, just ask for a code reference.
I cannot get mine through the building department, let alone an inspector. Not worth pissing him off was my installers opinion since they have seen this requirement more than once.
 
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Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
2,049
2,375
Silicon Valley, CA
I cannot get mine through the building department, let alone an inspector. Not worth pissing him off was my installers opinion since they have seen this requirement more than once.

Sure, its easier to simply comply in many cases. I've done the same and have also pushed back on them.
 

joh01652

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 29, 2019
433
6,437
Teslaland
The only thing I've learned about this industry is that the answer to every question is "it depends." Hopefully whoever you're going through is a solid company that will actually take the time to resolve the "depends" in the way you need and can explain it to you.

But at a high level, here's an example of a solar-ready 200A main panel that is available at Home Depot. You can see it's relatively cheap at about $150. This is "solar ready" since it's got an oversized busbar and has slots ready for CTs. I think in some cases these panels are also fit for line-side shenanigans to splice in solar... although you shouldn't need that since you have Powerwalls.

Square D Homeline 200 Amp 20-Space 40-Circuit Outdoor Ring-Type Semi-Flush Mount Solar-Ready Main Breaker Plug-On Neutral CSED-SC2040M200PF - The Home Depot

The "It depends" part about the total cost of replacement includes factors like:

1) "Like for Like". Maybe your new main service panel is the same amp-rating as your old one. Or, you're increasing service size... which is a huge headache compared to if you're just putting in a "like for like" replacement. I made this thread to explain the headache I encountered because of PG&E and my gas riser. If you need to lift and shift your main panel along with extending your underground service entry, you could be looking at a $20,000 slap in the face (that was what I was quoted).

2) Jurisdiction. I don't know where Teslaland is, but every PoCo has funny rules and may have other requirements around whether this main panel would work for you.

3) Service. If you have above-ground service you may need an additional tunnel kit.

4) Mounting. The link I provided is for a semi/flush mount. Maybe you need a surface mount box which I think costs a bit extra.

5) Finishing. The actual physical dimensions of your old box panel be different than the new panel. Some exterior work/stucco/blah could be required on top of the actual work to put in the main panel

6) Permitting. I think it's recommended for your contractor to submit the permit to replace the main panel as a separate exercise than the PV and ESS. This means a separate set of doc fees, inspection fees, meter release, and disconnect


Anyway, best case, this is "free" and part of your bid. Worst case it's a $20,000 deal-killer. Good luck.
Great, thanks for the info, very helpful. I've submitted all the pics to Tesla and they've quoted me a price and didn't say anything about having to replace the main panel, so I'm crossing my fingers. Still, thanks for the worst case $20K scenario, good to know. The house is in Sedona, AZ
 

joh01652

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 29, 2019
433
6,437
Teslaland
Typically an electrical contractor in Nor or So-Cal will charge between 3-5k for a service replacement, assuming there is no need to change the location of the service drop.

There are many options and the Home Depot special will work fine for many customers. If you want an eventual large powerwall system I may recommend Square D SC3040M200F. This is the best of all worlds, and will be configurable for what you want in the future

Alternately if you plan to certainly go Powerwalls you can chose any main breaker only service panel without distribution bus, because in this case all loads will be moved into an adjacent backup loads subpanel.
Thank you. Will definitely be going with Powerwalls
 

boriszima

Member
Jul 12, 2018
670
321
Los Angeles
Thank you for these forums, I've read a lot and learned a ton. I have been considering tesla solar since getting my model 3. I have interviewed 4 other solar companies and am consistently being warned about tesla's 10-year warranty vs 25 with local companies and the lack of customer support. Due to the significant cost advantage, was was planning on going with tesla and I have placed the $100 deposit for tesla panels on my house.

My questions for feedback:
1. My tesla advisor says they are going to be using new "tesla branded" string inverters, says they are not going to be using solar edge or delta anymore. Does anyone know if this is true? Efficiency?
2. I'm told with these new inverters they will not use or offer power optimizers. Do people think this is a big deal if I don't have a lot of shade?
3. Despite telling my advisor, they missed a vent on my roof that would need to be moved, is this a big deal?



What would you all do? Thanks in advance.
1 - you can read about it here or just ask Tesla to provide details Tesla (TSLA) launches its own solar power inverter - Electrek
Is it rebranded SolarEdge or their own? as with any new products, you likely dont want to be first one? I will not get into one big inverter vs smaller ones (Enphase)
2 - When I got my Solar, I went with SolarEdge HD Wave as Inverter with Power optimizers as i was getting some shade on some panels during certain times of the day. I think its worth asking and making sure Tesla will give you a "production guarantee" per year so you wont have to worry about it
3 - Depending on the vent, some can be converted to low profile and put solar over it and for others likely extra work (more money) to move it, quote should have that in the pricing, mine did

@h2ofun As far as upgrade of the main panel, here in SoCal it was $3,000 to upgrade main from 100amp main to 220amp main including everything, permits, materials, stucco, paint, etc. I asked around electricians and most said they can do it, but they suggested to go with Solar company as it will be better permit coordination (You being in California understand it) and with tax credit, in the end will be cheaper as its part of "solar install"

B
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,367
11,705
Riverside Co. CA
The new Tesla inverters will not have power Optimizers and are less efficient than a Solar Edge or Delta at 97.5% vs 99% for Solar Edge. Not having Power Optimizers allows for lower cost and easier compatibility with Solar roofs as well as more design flexibility to the PV layout.
New Tesla solar inverter could drop solar prices


If you are interested, there is a thread here discussing this new inverter, which you can find here Tesla Unveils New Tesla Brand Solar Inverter
 

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