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Tesla Solar Install Timeline + Question

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,673
492
auburn, ca
Gotcha, I hope Tesla can confirm why each of your strings isn't pushing out much DC; so you're only gathering about 4 kW at peak.
When I read SO many posts about issues with Tesla stuff, whether panels, solar roofs,or inverters, I am SO glad I have none of it. The only thing I see no issues with are the Powerwalls. Or am I just not reading posts correctly?
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,866
1,253
East Bay NorCal
When I read SO many posts about issues with Tesla stuff, whether panels, solar roofs,or inverters, I am SO glad I have none of it. The only thing I see no issues with are the Powerwalls. Or am I just not reading posts correctly?


You should consider that most people who post here are the ones with issues. There aren't many people posting about how swell their installs go because they really have no reason to comment; or wouldn't even make an account on TMC since going solar isn't really an enthusiast type of thing. So this TMC forum contains a biased sample-set where we are mostly hearing from customers with issues.

I think the worst part is that people have to post here for answers since they clearly aren't getting answers from their normal channels. This is the greater issue for prospects who go with Tesla; they better have a clean install or it's going to be headache-inducing to get a remedy since Tesla doesn't staff people to actually fix problems. They are barely staffed to just get through normal installs.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,673
492
auburn, ca
You should consider that most people who post here are the ones with issues. There aren't many people posting about how swell their installs go because they really have no reason to comment; or wouldn't even make an account on TMC since going solar isn't really an enthusiast type of thing. So this TMC forum contains a biased sample-set where we are mostly hearing from customers with issues.

I think the worst part is that people have to post here for answers since they clearly aren't getting answers from their normal channels. This is the greater issue for prospects who go with Tesla; they better have a clean install or it's going to be headache-inducing to get a remedy since Tesla doesn't staff people to actually fix problems. They are barely staffed to just get through normal installs.
Maybe true, but when was the last time one has seen a post, as an example, of issues with solaredge installations. But, I got the cheapest price. :)
 

taphil

Member
Apr 17, 2021
37
13
Los Angeles
Congrats! Can you explain more what you mean or what they did? Do you have 2 or 4 wires coming into the inverter?

In my case, I apparently got a new PA according to my account. I emailed them about my problem, and they again assured me that the system will have full functioning/production after PTO. I haven't been able to find anyone else who has their inverter software limited or restricted til after PTO.
 

MountainPower

Member
May 23, 2021
13
7
Denver, Colorado
My understanding of the situation - my 24 panels are connected on a single string. The string splits into two near the inverter and shows up as two strings at the inverter. This means that string 1 and string 2 will always report roughly half of the production. You cant tell from the inverter wiring how many actual strings are setup on the house.

My issue - around the half way mark of the single string, a connection was missed (so, we'll say between panels 12 and 13). He simply fixed this missed connection and I was up at full production.

He noted that, even before I opened a case, my system had been flagged as they monitor production. After a specific amount of time (I want to say 7 days), a tech would be dispatched. I get the impression that they're trying to be much more proactive with these.

Even with this production hiccup, I've been really impressed with Tesla Energy/Solar.
 

power.saver

Supporting Member
Mar 4, 2018
571
607
Arcadia, CA
Actually, you have two 12-panel strings on the roof (24 panels is too much for one string). These are connected in parallel and run down to the inverter on two wires, then split into two strings again. One of the 12-panel strings was open on the roof.

I don't understand why Tesla does this. Their inverter has 4 MPPT inputs, and it makes no sense to run parallel strings because you lose the ability to compensate for differences in shading on the strings. Unless all 24 panels are on the same roof plane with no shading, it would have been better to run the two strings all the way into the inverter.
 

hwangja

Member
Jun 3, 2021
15
6
CA
Actually, you have two 12-panel strings on the roof (24 panels is too much for one string). These are connected in parallel and run down to the inverter on two wires, then split into two strings again. One of the 12-panel strings was open on the roof.

I don't understand why Tesla does this. Their inverter has 4 MPPT inputs, and it makes no sense to run parallel strings because you lose the ability to compensate for differences in shading on the strings. Unless all 24 panels are on the same roof plane with no shading, it would have been better to run the two strings all the way into the inverter.
Maybe a bit off topic, but this happened to me recently. I only have a 12 panel system with 3.8KW Tesla inverter with 2 MPPT inputs, 6 panels on south facing plane, and 6 on west facing plane, and they combined the two strings in parallel! See details here if curious: Post Your Tesla Solar Layout I asked them why they did that and what the impact to estimated efficiency and will decide what to do from there (it didn't sound like they were going to fix it post-install unless I paid for it...).

Also annoying is I can't see how each plane is producing now and only get a combined reading. I was curious to see what my production would be at peak time bright sunny day 70deg day, not a cloud in the sky, so I turned it back on briefly after the installers left, but the voltage was about 170V at 20A total for about 3.4KW. Does this seem reasonable? The amps look great, but the voltage seems like exactly 1/6 of where it should be if Vmp is ~34V for these panels. I realize I shouldn't expect to ever hit the max rating, but I was under the impression Vmp should be pretty stable and just the amps vary based on the illuminance, or is my understanding wrong? I'm wondering if one panel in one of the strings isn't working right and being bypassed, bringing down the voltage in both strings since they are in parallel now, but I have no way of knowing given how they're hooked up.
 

dareed1

Member
Jan 15, 2021
101
94
Belmont, CA
Since you have 6 panels in each string, we might expect 6*34V or about 204V if the inverter is successfully operating at MPPT. I had (before they fixed it) two strings connected in parallel on a 8kW system with a Delta inverter. The strings face 178 and 268 degrees, or almost exactly south and west. I did not see much change at midday after they fixed it, but the behavior in the morning was different, since the west facing string was poorly illuminated and would drag down the string voltage some. Presumably this sort of effect would depend on the inverter model and MPPT algorithms. They fixed it on April 12, and the below screenshots roughly show the effect, although we didn't have cloud free skys during April. Most of the loss woud happen around 9:30AM to 11AM. It probably amounts to around 2 or 3kWh on this 8kW system. The afternoon is harder to interpret because of shading of the west panels.

Screenshot_20210609-213618_Tesla.jpg
Screenshot_20210609-213656_Tesla.jpg
Screenshot_20210609-213742_Tesla.jpg
 

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DJVoorhees

Member
Jun 16, 2019
298
162
New Jersey
Tesla is terrible as far as logistics, communication, and moving things along. After my experience with my model 3 getting a bad charger replaced I figured it would be a little screwed up but I have no idea how terrible their energy teams are.

I ordered my solar in January and it's still not activated. I cant get anyone at Tesla to pick up a phone or call me back - the emails to support I send tell me to contact my advisor who is no longer with them. I tell them this in every email so they dont even read the emails.

My contact info on my order has been replaced with the usless info below. I cant believe how horrible Tesla energy is in NJ.

(888) 518-3752
[email protected]
 

hwangja

Member
Jun 3, 2021
15
6
CA
Since you have 6 panels in each string, we might expect 6*34V or about 204V if the inverter is successfully operating at MPPT. I had (before they fixed it) two strings connected in parallel on a 8kW system with a Delta inverter. The strings face 178 and 268 degrees, or almost exactly south and west. I did not see much change at midday after they fixed it, but the behavior in the morning was different, since the west facing string was poorly illuminated and would drag down the string voltage some. Presumably this sort of effect would depend on the inverter model and MPPT algorithms. They fixed it on April 12, and the below screenshots roughly show the effect, although we didn't have cloud free skys during April. Most of the loss woud happen around 9:30AM to 11AM. It probably amounts to around 2 or 3kWh on this 8kW system. The afternoon is harder to interpret because of shading of the west panels.

View attachment 671506View attachment 671508View attachment 671511

When you say Tesla "fixed it", you mean they came out and re-wired your two parallel strings so each could be on independent MPPT channels? Do you know if your original wiring plan was meant to be separate from the beginning? I think I'm in a situation where the original wiring plan had them in parallel to begin with, so they technically have nothing to "fix" even though it is a poor design and hurts efficiency. I'm trying to see if they will come out and rewire it, but so far not making much headway. If you had the same situation, how did you get them to come out and wire them separately? Thanks in advance.
 

hwangja

Member
Jun 3, 2021
15
6
CA
Tesla is terrible as far as logistics, communication, and moving things along. After my experience with my model 3 getting a bad charger replaced I figured it would be a little screwed up but I have no idea how terrible their energy teams are.

I ordered my solar in January and it's still not activated. I cant get anyone at Tesla to pick up a phone or call me back - the emails to support I send tell me to contact my advisor who is no longer with them. I tell them this in every email so they dont even read the emails.

My contact info on my order has been replaced with the usless info below. I cant believe how horrible Tesla energy is in NJ.

(888) 518-3752
[email protected]
You should try calling that number if you haven't already. I just noticed it showed up a day or two before my install the other week. Up until then, having an advisor assigned meant nothing. When you called in to their extension, they would never answer, and it would just go to the general pool. When I had concerns about how they wired up my strings after install, I wanted to try to get one of the earlier reps I spoke with that I found helpful (I never managed to speak with the person named in my order). I had this rep's extension from an email follow-up he sent me, but when I tried calling it, again it just went into the general pool. Out of desperation, I called that new number and was routed to an advisor that said he had just been assigned to me, and it would be truly "permanent" now. The last few times I've called that number to discuss my wiring issue, afraid to get another random advisor and having to explain my situation each time, but when the automated voice says "connecting you to your Tesla advisor," I've actually gotten the same rep each time. It's actually working like it should, and my advisor has been very accommodating in trying to address my concerns. I saw in some other threads or forums that a big overhaul in the customer service and how project advisors are handled may have literally happened within the last week or two.
 

DJVoorhees

Member
Jun 16, 2019
298
162
New Jersey
You should try calling that number if you haven't already. I just noticed it showed up a day or two before my install the other week. Up until then, having an advisor assigned meant nothing. When you called in to their extension, they would never answer, and it would just go to the general pool. When I had concerns about how they wired up my strings after install, I wanted to try to get one of the earlier reps I spoke with that I found helpful (I never managed to speak with the person named in my order). I had this rep's extension from an email follow-up he sent me, but when I tried calling it, again it just went into the general pool. Out of desperation, I called that new number and was routed to an advisor that said he had just been assigned to me, and it would be truly "permanent" now. The last few times I've called that number to discuss my wiring issue, afraid to get another random advisor and having to explain my situation each time, but when the automated voice says "connecting you to your Tesla advisor," I've actually gotten the same rep each time. It's actually working like it should, and my advisor has been very accommodating in trying to address my concerns. I saw in some other threads or forums that a big overhaul in the customer service and how project advisors are handled may have literally happened within the last week or two.


Ive called them a few times, last two times I got the same guy's voicemail after that message - but not a call back. I believe they are so wildly understaffed that they are likely going nuts and dont know which way is up, really bad for the customer.
 

dareed1

Member
Jan 15, 2021
101
94
Belmont, CA
When you say Tesla "fixed it", you mean they came out and re-wired your two parallel strings so each could be on independent MPPT channels? Do you know if your original wiring plan was meant to be separate from the beginning? I think I'm in a situation where the original wiring plan had them in parallel to begin with, so they technically have nothing to "fix" even though it is a poor design and hurts efficiency. I'm trying to see if they will come out and rewire it, but so far not making much headway. If you had the same situation, how did you get them to come out and wire them separately? Thanks in advance.
See this post for a description of the progression of events. I found during December through April that calling or emailing a project advisor was useless. Instead I emailed a description of the issues, including a comparison of expected outputs on the two strings versus actual to service support. After a few days I called the service number, and waited until a human answered. It took a while but I did get transferred to a technical person who wasn't able to see the graphs from my email in the computer system. He gave me an email address to send the data, and that got the ball rolling to re-wire at the roof. But in my case the original plan called for independent connections for the two strings.
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,866
1,253
East Bay NorCal
Ive called them a few times, last two times I got the same guy's voicemail after that message - but not a call back. I believe they are so wildly understaffed that they are likely going nuts and dont know which way is up, really bad for the customer.


Lol I bet the person you were speaking with left the company. When I was trying to get a quote for my install from Tesla in 2020, my primary sales guy just ghosted me. I called back in to the general sales line and was told that guy had left the team. The new guy then picked up my account; and proceeded to vanish a few weeks later too.

But for all I know, the entire Tesla "team" may just be android robots that are being repaired... so they're unable to get to the phone right now.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,092
9,840
SF Bay Area
Tesla is terrible as far as logistics, communication, and moving things along. After my experience with my model 3 getting a bad charger replaced I figured it would be a little screwed up but I have no idea how terrible their energy teams are.

I ordered my solar in January and it's still not activated. I cant get anyone at Tesla to pick up a phone or call me back - the emails to support I send tell me to contact my advisor who is no longer with them. I tell them this in every email so they dont even read the emails.

My contact info on my order has been replaced with the usless info below. I cant believe how horrible Tesla energy is in NJ.

(888) 518-3752
[email protected]
Are you installed but don’t have PTO yet? If so where are you with payment? Who’s your utility company?
 

DJVoorhees

Member
Jun 16, 2019
298
162
New Jersey
Are you installed but don’t have PTO yet? If so where are you with payment? Who’s your utility company?

Correct - the system is financed, and I am already paying the loan. PSEG is my utility company and they have verified they sent Tesla PTO.

Tesla seems completely lost and I cant get any answers from them or even a reply that makes sense. At one point Tesla told me PSEG will contact me for activation which makes no sense, they even said no - Tesla needs to do that,
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,092
9,840
SF Bay Area
Correct - the system is financed, and I am already paying the loan. PSEG is my utility company and they have verified they sent Tesla PTO.

Tesla seems completely lost and I cant get any answers from them or even a reply that makes sense. At one point Tesla told me PSEG will contact me for activation which makes no sense, they even said no - Tesla needs to do that,
We have PG&E out here and first got an email from them saying we had PTO. We contacted Tesla to share the news and waited for them for like a day or two I think but I think PG&E said we could turn our system on. Have to look for our email. Can’t remember if Tesla had to come out or just said go ahead and turn on. I wonder if you should try calling the “after install” phone number. Sounds like you’re floating in the system. Maybe the financing added another layer of contacts to get lost in.
 

Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
458
582
Pasadena
Correct - the system is financed, and I am already paying the loan. PSEG is my utility company and they have verified they sent Tesla PTO.

Tesla seems completely lost and I cant get any answers from them or even a reply that makes sense. At one point Tesla told me PSEG will contact me for activation which makes no sense, they even said no - Tesla needs to do that,
If the utility said "turn it on" - go outside and turn it on. I mean, some people don't even wait for "PTO" - especially since often the entire installation is inspected already. In my case "PTO" means you get the upgraded meter which keeps track of the credits for sending power back, but the system "worked" immediately after it was installed and certainly "worked" after it was inspected.

Its not Tesla who decides whether it can be turned on, its the utility.

That is if, and only if, your utility said you have PTO and you believe whoever said that.

If "..... verified they sent Tesla PTO" means they sent Tesla some form to fill out, then maybe you don't have PTO.

In my case I was waiting for the new meter to be official. The day LADWP installed it I turned it on. I actually got the text from Tesla the next day but its not as if I was going to wait for that!

Sheesh, its like an episode of "Get Smart."
 

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