Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Solar Only Monitoring Options

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
I just recently had my system installed and wanted to monitor my generation and usage details before adding any PowerWalls. Unfortunately once I got the system turned on I noticed that I'm not seeing any usage information in the Tesla app.

  • I have I 12.24kW system comprised of 3 groups of panels
  • I have SolarEdge SE11400H Inverter but not hardwired to ethernet
  • I have the small black gateway (GWY20) which shows up my router as a MMB Research device
I've read through some posts but am a bit confused on the best way to move forward. I think it comes as no surprise (now) that you're pretty much wasting your time going through support so I'm hoping this group can be a good substitute.

  • There are plenty of options to monitor energy usage by purchasing and installing hardware in your main panel. My electricity provider is SMUD and I can see hourly usage on their site but it's delayed by a day and there's no automated way to get the data. The only API that I've found is through UtilityAPI but they want $20/month.
  • I see that Solaredge has a monitoring solution that uses RS485 to connect back to their inverter. My inverter is not located right next to my electrical panel so that adds a bit of an inconvenience in the installation.
  • The most I've seen out of my system is ~7.5kWh so I'm guessing that either something is "wrong" or I shouldn't expect maximum power from all 3 groups at the same time. Perhaps my installation provides power longer, based on panel location, rather than more power at a given time. Again, it would be nice to have al of this explained beforehand or even now if I could speak with anyone.
So what are my options and what advice does everyone have? I saw that there are more options available to monitor power if you have a Powerwall but I don't have any yet. It looks like there is an API for Solaredge that could supply information to Home Assistant which would be great as I could create my own graphs and chart real time usage and generation or perhaps see all of this with the Solaredge app.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,161
5,752
Los Altos, CA
Tesla uses a device called a "Power Blaster" that measures your grid consumption and communicates with their black gateway box. You should ask Tesla why it wasn't activated or not installed with your system.
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,115
359
95762
Solaredge monitors. Have your installer registeer you on their site. It won't give you usage, but you can get generation. Then get net usage from SMUD or PG&E which ever one you have
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
So I think the question here is... exactly what do you want to monitor?

If you just want to monitor your power usage then I would follow the advice from @miimura. You should be able to get your power usage info from the tesla app, but we have seen some cases where the power blaster wasn’t registered properly and occasionally some cases where it wasn’t installed at all. But I would start with that as it should be available at no cost.
 

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
I'll try and call support and ask about the "Power Blaster". Looking inside my electrical panel I don't see any evidence of any monitoring going on. I also don't see the main legs coming into the bus bar so the CT could be attached on the left side but then it still would need 120VAC power and I don't see any wires going off to the left.

In a perfect world I'd like:

  • Use the Tesla or other app to see a quick picture of power being generated and how much power is being consumed.
  • I'd like per panel output data so I can see why I'm not getting 12.24kWh as my maximum (or certainly why I'm not more than 7.5kWh)
  • I'd like access to real time data so I can create my own charts and monitoring
Hopefully they did install the blaster and it just needs to be activated. I did call support after I received the PTO from SMUD and she sent an email for me to forward the paperwork so she could activate (the gateway perhaps). I then sent her an email asking about this but no reply, nor any reply from my general support email request (3rd time that support just ignored me other than saying they got my request).
 

Attachments

  • 2020-10-11 11.32.43.jpg
    2020-10-11 11.32.43.jpg
    480 KB · Views: 45

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,106
8,970
Riverside Co. CA
I'll try and call support and ask about the "Power Blaster". Looking inside my electrical panel I don't see any evidence of any monitoring going on. I also don't see the main legs coming into the bus bar so the CT could be attached on the left side but then it still would need 120VAC power and I don't see any wires going off to the left.

In a perfect world I'd like:

  • Use the Tesla or other app to see a quick picture of power being generated and how much power is being consumed.
  • I'd like per panel output data so I can see why I'm not getting 12.24kWh as my maximum (or certainly why I'm not more than 7.5kWh)
  • I'd like access to real time data so I can create my own charts and monitoring
Hopefully they did install the blaster and it just needs to be activated. I did call support after I received the PTO from SMUD and she sent an email for me to forward the paperwork so she could activate (the gateway perhaps). I then sent her an email asking about this but no reply, nor any reply from my general support email request (3rd time that support just ignored me other than saying they got my request).


Its likely there is nothing wrong with your system, if your basis for thinking something is wrong is "I am not getting 12.24kW out of my 12.24kW system".

I believe you might see more information in the thread created by another user asking a similar question

What's the max generation you've seen for a 16.2kWh system at any given time?
 

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
I'm definitely not expecting to see 12.24kW, especially in October, but I've read that it is possible to perhaps get power/panel or power/"panel grouping" just so I can see a little more detail as to what is going on
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
Use the Tesla or other app to see a quick picture of power being generated and how much power is being consumed.

Looking at your panel I don’t see a powerblaster in there. It is a physical device maybe a bit bigger than a deck of cards that would be attached to it’s own circuit breaker. But I also see why they probably didn’t install one. Because of how that panel works with the integrated meter there’s just nowhere to install the CT’s to be able to monitor your power usage.

I don’t think tesla will be able to install a power blaster and I don’t think that you would be able to install any other device either for the same reason, unless maybe you open the meter side of the panel and install the CT’s on the wires coming in to the meter. But there is likely a tamperproof seal on the meter that will prevent you from opening that side of the panel and frankly I’m not sure how the power company wold feel about you installing CT’s on their ‘side’ of the meter anyway.

I'd like per panel output data so I can see why I'm not getting 12.24kWh as my maximum (or certainly why I'm not more than 7.5kWh)

I think that is totally normal for this time of year. I have a 15.12kW system and back when the system was installed in June I was seeing peaks of around 13kW during the sunniest times of the day. Now I’m only seeing peaks of around 10kW. It’s just the angle of the sun this time of year and if you have panels facing different directions that will affect it too because the panels in each orientation will peak at different times, so you won’t have the full 12.24kW system peaking at once.

In order to get panel level data you will need to request a monitoring account for the solaredge portal from tesla (not from solaredge) and then connect your inverter to ethernet so it can send data to solaredge.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
Thanks @BrettS I figured since I didn't see the electronics box I didn't have monitoring but it wasn't something that was brought up during the install and I forgot to check. I have seen some CT that attach to the bus bars but I'm not sure if there's enough room for them at the top. I also wasn't sure if they could be attached in the upper left part of the panel where the main breaker is located.

I spent an hour on the phone with support without much luck. She didn't sound like she knew the systems and put me on hold several times. She asked me to power cycle the inverter because she saw 2 inverters but only 1 of them was online. When I asked if that meant 2 physical Solaredge inverter boxes or if there were 2 inside the inverter box I had she didn't know.

I went back to my permit drawings (I'll scan the page and post later if you want to see it) and I see the MP1-MP3 groupings with 12 panels in each. The drawings show MP1 and MP2 bussed together in parallel going into in the Solaredge inverter and then MP3 also going into the inverter so perhaps that's what she was talking about. Nothing to do with me not seeing energy consumption but supposedly someone else will be calling me back to follow up on my "issue"
 

mnsweeps

Member
Aug 3, 2019
555
135
Los Angeles
is POWER BLASTER installed by default? I have Tesla plans they submitted to L.A. county and want to make sure they have it installed on 10/19. I have 8.16kwh and 2 Powerwalls included...
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
Thanks @BrettS I figured since I didn't see the electronics box I didn't have monitoring but it wasn't something that was brought up during the install and I forgot to check. I have seen some CT that attach to the bus bars but I'm not sure if there's enough room for them at the top.

Is the bus fed from the top? If that’s the case, then that is a possibility if the CT’s will fit there. A lot of those meter main panels are fed from the side into the middle of the bus, so if that’s the case then it wouldn’t work.

I also wasn't sure if they could be attached in the upper left part of the panel where the main breaker is located.
Where is the main breaker? I don’t see it in the picture

I spent an hour on the phone with support without much luck. She didn't sound like she knew the systems and put me on hold several times. She asked me to power cycle the inverter because she saw 2 inverters but only 1 of them was online. When I asked if that meant 2 physical Solaredge inverter boxes or if there were 2 inside the inverter box I had she didn't know.

It would definitely be two physical inverters, but it seems odd that they would think you had two physical inverters if you only had one.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
is POWER BLASTER installed by default? I have Tesla plans they submitted to L.A. county and want to make sure they have it installed on 10/19. I have 8.16kwh and 2 Powerwalls included...

They do not install the powerblaster on installs with Powerwalls because the TEG will measure your power consumption. The powerblaster is only needed for solar only installs because they don’t have a TEG.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GenSao and mnsweeps

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
Is the bus fed from the top? If that’s the case, then that is a possibility if the CT’s will fit there. A lot of those meter main panels are fed from the side into the middle of the bus, so if that’s the case then it wouldn’t work.


Where is the main breaker? I don’t see it in the picture

I don't think the bus is fed from the top and I couldn't see where it was being fed. I hope that it's not from the side but the main breaker is behind the door on the upper left corner of the panel (the side that I partially cut off in the picture. I need to search and see if I can find pictures on the internet of how my panel is being fed.

I had almost no confidence in the support person I spoke with as it seemed she knew less than I did. I'm not holding my breath that they'll call back but hopefully they will as I hoping if they do I'll get someone more knowledgeable and helpful.
 

Hay2000

Member
Sep 1, 2020
33
11
ca
Hi,
I'm still waiting for PTO. so do not know if I've powerblasters or not.
However, would like to know more.

1)Are powerblasters and optimizers are same ? does not sound like one from above description.
2) How do you know if powerblasters are installed ? What to look for ?
Thanks.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
Hi,
I'm still waiting for PTO. so do not know if I've powerblasters or not.
However, would like to know more.

1)Are powerblasters and optimizers are same ? does not sound like one from above description.
2) How do you know if powerblasters are installed ? What to look for ?
Thanks.

powerblasters and optimizers are not the same. Optimizers are installed under each panel to help mitigate any shading or panel orientation issues. They can also report panel level production data to solaredge.

a powerblaster is usually installed in your main panel and it is used to measure the power you are sending to or pulling form the grid. Based on that number and the solar production data provided by your inverter the Tesla app can figure out how much power your house is using. The powerblaster is online installed if you do not have powerwalls.

If you have one you would be able to see it if you took the cover off of your electrical panel. You should also see a circuit breaker for it in your panel. (Probably labeled PB or powerblaster).
 

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
To my surprise I did get a call back from support and from her side she said I should have a power blaster. She expected to see a breaker labeled PB but I already from taking my cover off that I most likely didn't get a power blaster installed. She still had me power cycle all of my 15A breakers and to no surprise I'm still not seeing consumption numbers.
She said she would follow up tomorrow as it could take up to a day for data to appear (something else I highly doubt) but at least she said if I didn't have data she would schedule a support visit which I hope will lead to a PB being installed.

Stay tuned...
 

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
I had to call support back today and at least this person seemed a bit more knowledgeable. She said I would get a call from scheduling but instead I got an email telling me to use the app to schedule. What sucks is that the 1st available appointment is November 4th. That's really rather ridiculous to have to wait that long for "service" on a new system.

Once this does get resolved I definitely am going to switch to Solaredge monitoring.

I did notice in the notes for my service call they list a MAC address for my powerblaster. The Mac starts with 00:13:a2 which assigned to MaxStream Inc which makes wireless modems so I'm guessing that the powerblaster communicates with black gateway, is that right? If so that might be bad news since Solaredge may not be able to read my consumption data. I was hoping that the powerblaster got connected to the inverter.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
I had to call support back today and at least this person seemed a bit more knowledgeable. She said I would get a call from scheduling but instead I got an email telling me to use the app to schedule. What sucks is that the 1st available appointment is November 4th. That's really rather ridiculous to have to wait that long for "service" on a new system.

Once this does get resolved I definitely am going to switch to Solaredge monitoring.

I did notice in the notes for my service call they list a MAC address for my powerblaster. The Mac starts with 00:13:a2 which assigned to MaxStream Inc which makes wireless modems so I'm guessing that the powerblaster communicates with black gateway, is that right? If so that might be bad news since Solaredge may not be able to read my consumption data. I was hoping that the powerblaster got connected to the inverter.

That is correct. The powerblaster connects to the gateway and reports directly to Tesla. It will not report your consumption to SolarEdge. There an option for an RS485 power meter that can connect to the inverter and report your consumption to SolarEdge, but I believe that is a few hundred dollars.
 

GeorgeIoak

Member
Oct 13, 2020
15
0
Sacramento, CA
So the power blaster communicates over Zigbee back to the gateway as does the inverter. From what I've read the Solaredge inverter can only communicate with one method, either ethernet OR Zigbee.

I do see that Neurio has an API so perhaps the gateway could connect to Neurio's service and the inverter would connect to Solaredge's service and I could grab data from both places and merge the data myself. Has anyone else done this?
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
So the power blaster communicates over Zigbee back to the gateway as does the inverter. From what I've read the Solaredge inverter can only communicate with one method, either ethernet OR Zigbee.

Yes, that’s all correct.

I do see that Neurio has an API so perhaps the gateway could connect to Neurio's service and the inverter would connect to Solaredge's service and I could grab data from both places and merge the data myself. Has anyone else done this?

I don’t think anyone has looked into this at all. It’s my understanding that the powerblaster is a modified version for Tesla, so I don’t know if it will connect to the official neurio app or anything. If you want to play around with it then I’m sure a number of people would be happy.
 

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
Top