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Tesla switched inverter to Delta (no optimizers) from promised solaredge (with optimizers)

A couple weeks ago, we had install of a 11.8kw panel set with 3 powerwalls completed. While I was promised a system power optimizers for shading and a solaredge 10k inverter (both verbally and was on the planset in 11/2020), what is actually installed has no optimizers and a Delta M10-TL-US inverter. this brand seems to have seveer issues cuting in and out with even a small amount of shading (less than 25% of panels have partial sahde, cuts system output to 20%), or small variations in sunlight due to clouds passing by (output cuts to zero for about 30 mins).
Emailed details to project advisor (no response near 2 weeks) also the planner (no repsonse) posted service requests in the app (no response, a week), etc.

Can I get some suggestions on how to convince Tesla to install the optimizers? The limited (poor) info on delta I can find suggest they don't support optimizing, so it would mean the inverter changed out too.

Overall, this seems like shady business practices. It's analagous to making a deal to sell me an F350 pulling a trailer, and then deliver an F150 with a trailer, then run away and ignore me. I quoted otehr vendors originally with the same specced solaredge and optimizers. is this how Tesla could give me a better price? By planning to play switcheroo with the install?
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,855
12,936
United States
A couple weeks ago, we had install of a 11.8kw panel set with 3 powerwalls completed. While I was promised a system power optimizers for shading and a solaredge 10k inverter (both verbally and was on the planset in 11/2020), what is actually installed has no optimizers and a Delta M10-TL-US inverter. this brand seems to have seveer issues cuting in and out with even a small amount of shading (less than 25% of panels have partial sahde, cuts system output to 20%), or small variations in sunlight due to clouds passing by (output cuts to zero for about 30 mins).
Emailed details to project advisor (no response near 2 weeks) also the planner (no repsonse) posted service requests in the app (no response, a week), etc.

Can I get some suggestions on how to convince Tesla to install the optimizers? The limited (poor) info on delta I can find suggest they don't support optimizing, so it would mean the inverter changed out too.

Overall, this seems like shady business practices. It's analagous to making a deal to sell me an F350 pulling a trailer, and then deliver an F150 with a trailer, then run away and ignore me. I quoted otehr vendors originally with the same specced solaredge and optimizers. is this how Tesla could give me a better price? By planning to play switcheroo with the install?

There is a TON of misinformation out there about optimizers. If you don't have a complicated array arrangement with minimal shading you will likely have better performance without optimizers. Even with shade there's not going to be a noticeable difference.

Optimizers what are they good for?
 
A couple weeks ago, we had install of a 11.8kw panel set with 3 powerwalls completed. While I was promised a system power optimizers for shading and a solaredge 10k inverter (both verbally and was on the planset in 11/2020), what is actually installed has no optimizers and a Delta M10-TL-US inverter. this brand seems to have seveer issues cuting in and out with even a small amount of shading (less than 25% of panels have partial sahde, cuts system output to 20%), or small variations in sunlight due to clouds passing by (output cuts to zero for about 30 mins).
Emailed details to project advisor (no response near 2 weeks) also the planner (no repsonse) posted service requests in the app (no response, a week), etc.

Can I get some suggestions on how to convince Tesla to install the optimizers? The limited (poor) info on delta I can find suggest they don't support optimizing, so it would mean the inverter changed out too.

Overall, this seems like shady business practices. It's analagous to making a deal to sell me an F350 pulling a trailer, and then deliver an F150 with a trailer, then run away and ignore me. I quoted otehr vendors originally with the same specced solaredge and optimizers. is this how Tesla could give me a better price? By planning to play switcheroo with the install?
I ended up cutting my trees down due to this issue with a delta M8 inverter. Once installed it will be hard to get them to change it. How much shade do you have? What is it caused by?
 
A couple weeks ago, we had install of a 11.8kw panel set with 3 powerwalls completed. While I was promised a system power optimizers for shading and a solaredge 10k inverter (both verbally and was on the planset in 11/2020), what is actually installed has no optimizers and a Delta M10-TL-US inverter. this brand seems to have seveer issues cuting in and out with even a small amount of shading (less than 25% of panels have partial sahde, cuts system output to 20%), or small variations in sunlight due to clouds passing by (output cuts to zero for about 30 mins).
Emailed details to project advisor (no response near 2 weeks) also the planner (no repsonse) posted service requests in the app (no response, a week), etc.

Can I get some suggestions on how to convince Tesla to install the optimizers? The limited (poor) info on delta I can find suggest they don't support optimizing, so it would mean the inverter changed out too.

Overall, this seems like shady business practices. It's analagous to making a deal to sell me an F350 pulling a trailer, and then deliver an F150 with a trailer, then run away and ignore me. I quoted otehr vendors originally with the same specced solaredge and optimizers. is this how Tesla could give me a better price? By planning to play switcheroo with the install?

That's beyond shady. Maybe you should Tweet Musk.
 
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Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Remember that Tesla offers price match (competitor quote within 14 days of Tesla's quote and other restrictions) but most importantly for you, satisfaction guarantee. From their website when placing a new order - "If you’re unhappy with your order for any reason, we will uninstall the system for a full refund within 7 days of power on"
Of course you would have to be willing to part way with Tesla solar if they won't fix it but it's an option and you can get your money back.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,190
17,912
Riverside Co. CA
OP.. Any update on this?

This user joined TMC on march 9th, made this one post, and has not visited the site since that first post on march 9th. Im not looking at an admin console or anything to see that, just looking at the users profile the same as everyone else would.

Just mentioning that it appears they joined to make that single post, and not come back.

Screen Shot 2021-05-13 at 9.29.08 PM.png
 
There has been no resolution, nearly 4 months after install. Tesla has largely ignoredmany many contact attmpts after switching to a Delta M-10-US inverter/no optimizers, not as promised and has seriously poor production issues as detailed below. The short of it is that minimal shading, with almost 30 panels in full sun (and less than a quarter of panels shaded) this delta M10 +12kw 36 panel system makes ZERO output. It could/should be producing for at least 2 more hours. (let’s skip discussing its severe problems dealing with a few thin clouds flying by for now).

"CUSTOMER LAYOUT", PLANS submitted and APPROVED by city, right up to install day, were for 12kw array (36x340w qcell G6 duo), SolarEdge 10k inverter, 36xP400 optimizers, 3 powerwalls. Known shading issue, which I clarified verbally early on and insisted on seeing the plans for (and I had from Tesla and verified from the City). I had obtained bids on comparable systems from other providers. Went with Tesla, bit lower price and was thinking they would back up their install if I later have problems (learning hard lesson here). Price: $48,000 cash. 4 months of being almost entirely ignored is not convincing they would ever back anything up.

INSTALLATION day was Friday 02/19/2021. That morning, install team lead called me and said there would be some delay as they were still trying to get the right parts from another warehouse. (I should have made them re-schedule I guess). At this point we also discussed that the 125 A distribution panel would manage future items and I asked him to get a 200a instead. He agreed. They showed up 3 hours later and said its all handled and began installing. When they were ready to leave I was checking things and we had a Delta M-10 inverter installed. I asked the installer and he said "it’s the same thing". He left the system powered up and told me if I shut it off, I might not get it on again. I did my homework and Delta doesn’t have optimizers, only "middle circuit interrupters" (fancy name for a rapid shut down, RSS; they are NOT bypass diodes).

MY ARRAY BEHAVIOR: by about 3:40pm (see pictures) lower quadrant of array is shaded; almost 30 panels are in full sun (probably good enough to max this M10's clipping point of 8.8kw), some of the panels in string 1, and 1 of the panels of string 2 are shade covered. This causes production to drop to ZERO. This is highly consistent every day. The left 12 panels are string 1, the right 24 panels are combined into another MPPT (junction upper right arrow). The behavior is NOT gracefully degraded producing power from the remaining panels in sun (as e.g. @nwdiver suggests would always happen). Note these uploads are from a completely clear day. My array’s behavior is like Solaredge (SE) technical papers suggest for non-optimized arrays (https://www.solaredge.com/sites/default/files/se_technical_bypass_diode_effect_in_shading.pdf).

Compare to my neighbor's system, at a similar angle to the sun and with a similar shading issue in the afternoons. It’s a 4kw array on a 4k inverter with modules under each panel (optimizers or external bypass diodes). See (picture 3) the shading as it begins 4pm for his system. See the notably graceful afternoon degradation in the output graph (picture 4), which continues to produce significant output for 2+ more hours. After many weeks pouring through tech data (of my now-part-time research job! Thanks Tesla :/), I am sure this is the NORMAL behavior if there are optimizers or micro-inverters on the system.

HOW TESLA HANDLES THE COMPLAINT

TESLA GRABBED some CRAP off the SELF at the last second and slapped it on my house, contrary to prior agreements, then plays hanky-panky games for months… here’s the timeline.

On the next business day after install, Monday 2/22/21, I notified (and continued to many times) Tesla that the SE inverter/optimizers were swapped out to a Delta w/out optimizers, without my consent, and I wanted it corrected, as it’s not what they promised. That same day I found a newly submitted planset (sub’ed on 02/22/21) to my city with SE inverter and P400's removed and an M10 in place. Tesla dated this as 2/10/21, but I know that was “back dated”, as the 200 A panel I talked about was in there and it wasn’t even discussed til 02/19/21). Through the following days and weeks I contacted through calls, emails mobile app trouble reports, etc. Numerous contacts and messages, VM etc .... IGNORED. Much later I was able to get a "backup" project adviser to answer through various calls, and they promised they would escalate. Never happened, many contacts later went unanswered. Eventually (3/30/21), I was contacted by "HCI" that my inspection was scheduled ... for that very same day. Exactly 30 mins later the city inspector arrived at my door... but Tesla did not arrive with a copy of the plans. I told the inspector they didn’t install what we had agreed to and I don’t want inspection. He wrote it down as "not ready" and left. A number of unanswered contact attempts and weeks later... and I find in my account that I was assigned a new "project advisor" in my account. I sent a detailed email, timeline and pictures, plans, etc to her wanting them to have a supervisor talk to me. She seemed very concerned and "escalated" the problem. I spoke to who I thought was an operations supervisor, but now suspect was an alternate salesperson. After he told me various things I am sure now are incorrect, (delta are superior in every way, don’t need any optimizers, optimizers don’t do anything anyway unless you have “all over shading”, SE is nothing but problems, SE produces poorly. etc.), he agreed to send out a team to “inspect” my array and see if there is a compromise we can come up with.

A full team arrived on 05/03/21. This was the first sign of any action in over 2 mos. (Interestingly, this same day HCI calls again saying I am ready for an inspection). I showed this team the nature of the shading through the day, including output graphs and pictures I had been taking across many days at various times of the day. We walked though the property so I could show him where the shading comes from in the morning and afternoon, and I gave him hard copies of shading pictures and how they relate to output, as well as the Solaredge+optimizers approved plans and layout, etc, which they took with them. They dismantled my entire array (yes, completely removed all panels) to check if anything was wrong. They found that there should have been one more MCI than was in there (predictably, this later turns out not to affect array behavior at all). After discussion of the shading patterns and output behavior across the days, the team lead said Tesla doesn’t install optimizers for this inverter, nor did they install bypass diodes on module arrays (turns out that every plan i found for solar /roof/ uses external bypass diodes throughout). He suggested a partial mitigation was to add another string, as the delta m10 only allows 2 strings/MPPTs. He called around (while the team slept in my driveway) trying to get some mgmt to agree to a resolution. Eventually he said he was sending a suggestion that a second smaller inverter be added to add additional MPPT(s) and pull a third string down. This would take mgmt 2 weeks to sign off on.

3 weeks later (05/24/21) I get a call from HCI that they are scheduling inspection because the optimizers have been installed (Oh really?). I say no, nothing was done at all. I wanted to know a name of who told her the work was done; she won’t give one. I start calling about Tesla, eventually get (days later) what seems to be an alternate "project advisor" (not mine) on the phone, who apparently can't find any notes in my account of the things I just described above. He says that there was a note in there and says that my "system is producing exactly as expected" (really? I suspect now it was just more sales b-s, like the CSR that tells you “yes sir you have to top of the line” …no matter what you have.) I explained the zero production when the majority of the array is in sun, and that whatever (if anything) they did to decide it’s “as expected” probably didn’t look at any of the print outs I gave them. They didn’t even have notes that the team was here, or importantly, what the team lead that came to inspect to system recommended. So, he promised to "escalate" the issue, and supposedly added note of what i said the team lead recommendations were (including the name of lead i provided being CC'ed, like the CSR was trying to threaten me that I’d be found out if I was making things up), and they would provide a resolution.

By 06/06/2021, I had no contact. So, I sent a detailed email to project advisor, the "op supervisor" and to tesla energy, etc, including shading photos, output graphs, and the history of the project, with subject line HAVE OPERATIONS SUPERVISOR CALL ME TO CORRECT MY ERRONSOUSLY INSTALLED SYSTEM. Another week later now (06/13/21), no call back, no email, nothing.

Summary? VERY POOR BUSINESS PRACTICE by Tesla (incompetence, or dishonesty). This "deal" is quite similar to: agree to buy an F350 4x4 for $48k, to use for towing; deliver a F150 RWD; say sorry we didn’t have a F350 today; oh, you owe us $48k for an F150 instead; an F150 is still a truck, right? 4x4 doesn’t do anything (as long as it’s in full sun) and an F150 has the same towing power anyway (uh, no).

A $48k cash purchase and they secretly slip me an equipment downgrade (clearly not performing as expected), ignore me, and hold their hand out for full sticker. Ab-solute-ly ridiculous.

WHY DID THEY DO THIS? The comments on the phone the morning of install suggested they didn’t have the SE inverter in the warehouse on the install day. I found at least 5 other people on this forum that had plans approved including SE/optimizers, in a similar timeframe (later 2020) that "mysteriously" instead had a delta arrive .... one of them said he refused install (checked their equip before letting them do anything I guess) and complained and later actually received a SE inverter/optimizers. Another said he complained about the delta, finally (only a month later?) got a SE installed and is getting 20% greater output (totally consistent with my estimates if my array "gracefully degraded, at least 10kwh/day more =20+%). When I asked the team lead on 5/3/21 if they could just install SE, he said there might be a problem getting management to agree to that, because Tesla is shifting to using only their own inverters. I think Tesla decided to stop purchasing SE at some time early 2021, and didn’t coordinate with any of the designers, didn’t tell installers, and the installers just grab something else off the shelf and, and if you notice, try to get you to take it, acting like it’s the same (its "an inverter", i guess). This isn’t even as innocent as “bait and switch” this is bait and then deliver the wrong product then pretend it’s the same and want the same money.

TESLA MAKES MORE PROFIT and the CUSTOMER get’s the SHORT END OF THE STICK. Delta (with no optimizers) from what I can tell on the web (there is piss-poor documentation on it, but I did find some asian suppliers that would sell it to me) is FAAAR CHEAPER than a SolarEdge. This equipment downgrade probably “saved” Tesla $2,000+ in equipment costs. They don’t care if it produces reasonably well; that’s my problem. And they think I am supposed to pay the same amount for it. The really weird thing is they sent a whole 5 man crew here for a full day to do NOTHING really. I guess it was for show. By sending the crew out, they probably spent half the money it would have taken to put in the optimizers already and accomplished nothing but wasting my time and theirs.
 

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Last edited by a moderator:
This user joined TMC on march 9th, made this one post, and has not visited the site since that first post on march 9th. Im not looking at an admin console or anything to see that, just looking at the users profile the same as everyone else would.

Just mentioning that it appears they joined to make that single post, and not come back.

View attachment 662165
Yes i joined hoping to find some tips on how to help me get some resolution. Sorry I am pretty busy with work and the projects going on at my properties, or i would post more often (or maybe if i was still as excited about getting a PW+solar system as i was before this "game"started). See below, this is what's happening on this one.
 
There is a TON of misinformation out there about optimizers. If you don't have a complicated array arrangement with minimal shading you will likely have better performance without optimizers. Even with shade there's not going to be a noticeable difference.

Optimizers what are they good for?
@nwdiver suggests that all panel modules will effectively gracefully degrade when combined into an array. The behavior by MY array (described in 2 posts here) is consistent with SE's descriptions, not nwdiver's. With all due respect, as some of the things i have read from you in the past have helped me learn things about solar systems, but I disagree that all systems will behave the way you describe there. ... its plausible ... if all panels had sets of large external bypass diodes... My array clearly does not gracefully degrade (once 1 panel is covered in the second MPPT, the whole things done, for the day...).

I thinkan external large bypass diode can behave very differently than the panel internal set of cell protection diodes collectively, due to response pattens/points, when the diode kicks in. Pvsystems modeling software ( I downloaded and tested this) clearly distinguishes between large External bypass diodes and internal multiple cell overload protection. Forums there by systems designers also Discuss the problem of losing the entire string, even with "internal" diodes. So with all due respect, nwdiver may be over-generalizing, that all arrays will gracefully degrade. My array clearly does not. It seems plausible Optimizers may only make a 5pct difference when there is wide spread partial shading. But when some panels have compelte or near complete shading and others have full sun, the optimizers (perhaps functioning merely as sophisticated external bypass diodes) likely provide major improvements in total array output (itd be easy to call it "major" if you compare to zero fromt eh whole array).

My neighbors array (1/3 the array wattage size of mine, consistently makes 1/2 my output) has an Inverter plus either external diodes or optimizers (block module under every panel). His roof direction is similar to mine, and he has a similar shading issue in the afternoons as mine. His array output gracefully degrades, and continues to significantly produce for 2 hours after the shading shown in that picture of his array. Contrast this to my array's zero output when the first panel of the second mppt gets covered. Its a MAJOR difference in array behavior. I counted the panels being shaded across the next 2 hours on my array. Based on this, and some drop off in sun angle, If my array gracefully degraded it would produce at least 10kwh more for the day from the afternoon. This 10kwh translates to $120/mo, $1400/yr. I suspect this is a very conservative number based on neighbors arrays pattern in the afternoon.

I find it highly likely, instead of the only m10, the SE ( with optimizers, or tigo, whatever, and i bet most of the differnce would happen with external bypass diodes, probably optimizers are simply sophisticated versions),, would produce at least 60kwh and perhaps as much as 75kwh/day (see my discussion above and see the other reply, where at 340ish, when the second mppt gets a shaded panel the out goes to zipppp, the day's done). Best total day output with m10 has been 50kwh (with 36x 340watt panels). I found people posting their tesla output graphs with SE, same panels and same array size in calif, and the pattern is smooth like the neighbors, not the choppy crap i get (see the monring output, theres nothing there the last 2 months to cause that). and while i dont know if they have shading, a good day output of 80+ kwh is claimed from same set of panels in similar area; East bay area. my best day is 50.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,190
17,912
Riverside Co. CA
Yes i joined hoping to find some tips on how to help me get some resolution. Sorry I am pretty busy with work and the projects going on at my properties, or i would post more often (or maybe if i was still as excited about getting a PW+solar system as i was before this "game"started). See below, this is what's happening on this one.

(personal opinion, not moderator content)


You joined, made 1 post and never even came back to read the responses, let alone post, before coming back to try to use social media pressure to try to get some sort of resolution.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,606
867
auburn, ca
(personal opinion, not moderator content)


You joined, made 1 post and never even came back to read the responses, let alone post, before coming back to try to use social media pressure to try to get some sort of resolution.
I am SO SO glad I paid more, went with a local installer, and got exactly what I wanted and paid for. I just cannot believe any company for any reason would not install what the permit was approved for. One reason I am always here with installers. I had this with generation panels. They were not going to install but the permits said do it. (We should not have used but thats a different story).. I have stopped installers when they were not going to do what I thought was agreed to. My latest panels were not put on straight. I commented while they were here, and not done, and took them off and redid the correctly.
 
Why don’t you just take them to court? It doesn’t seem like you are getting satisfaction from them, and I don’t think social media pressure is going to do it due to a combination of ineptitude and lack of leadship on Tesla’s part.
There are probably two challenges with this, assuming the contract is similar to other Tesla contracts (and, if it is different, the following might not apply.) First, it would need to go to arbitration unless the opt-out notification was filed. Second, Tesla does have the right to substitute equipment if it does not charge the customer extra and the substitution "does not materially affect the System's performance." OP might well be able to establish this, but it is a higher threshold than if the inverter was named in the contract with no substitutions allowed.

I guess it would be interesting to know if total production was trending towards or well below the annual estimates Tesla provided. That seems like about the best way to show the system is not performing as Tesla originally advertised.
 
WHY DID THEY DO THIS? The comments on the phone the morning of install suggested they didn’t have the SE inverter in the warehouse on the install day. I found at least 5 other people on this forum that had plans approved including SE/optimizers, in a similar timeframe (later 2020) that "mysteriously" instead had a delta arrive .... one of them said he refused install (checked their equip before letting them do anything I guess) and complained and later actually received a SE inverter/optimizers. Another said he complained about the delta, finally (only a month later?) got a SE installed and is getting 20% greater output (totally consistent with my estimates if my array "gracefully degraded, at least 10kwh/day more =20+%). When I asked the team lead on 5/3/21 if they could just install SE, he said there might be a problem getting management to agree to that, because Tesla is shifting to using only their own inverters. I think Tesla decided to stop purchasing SE at some time early 2021, and didn’t coordinate with any of the designers, didn’t tell installers, and the installers just grab something else off the shelf and, and if you notice, try to get you to take it, acting like it’s the same (its "an inverter", i guess). This isn’t even as innocent as “bait and switch” this is bait and then deliver the wrong product then pretend it’s the same and want the same money.

Poor inventory management can certainly lead to such situation and the Delta inverter probably would have been fine if you don't have shading issues. I can see Tesla management telling their project teams to substitute Delta for SE for customers without shading issues to make up for the inventory screw up. Did Tesla do any shading analysis during the design or site planning phases before installation?
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,749
2,732
Northern California
I can see Tesla management telling their project teams to substitute Delta for SE for customers without shading issues
What is the story here on the shading issue with Delta inverters? I had a FW change that removed all sorts of false start stops but I did have some shading on my Solar roof. I got around to removing most of it (all I could) and the improvement was fairly dramatic. I am using PV1 and PV2 for SE and NW exposure roofs.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,855
12,936
United States
I thinkan external large bypass diode can behave very differently than the panel internal set of cell protection diodes collectively, due to response pattens/points, when the diode kicks in.

No... it's the same. Exactly the same. A schottky diode is a schottky diode. And whether you have one panel or a string of 12 panels is also irrelevant since the current is the same. I guarantee 100% of UL rated solar panels have bypass diodes. They're not optional. They are required by code and for UL approval. Without bypass diodes if a leaf landed on a panel that section could easily catch fire.

But optimizers don't do what they do with large bypass diodes and the internal diodes still perform their normal function of shunting current around shaded areas which is why you lose just as much production when one cell group is shaded with an optimized system as you do with a non-optimized system.

There's nothing magic about optimizers. They're just performing the same MPPT function a string inverter does on the panel level instead of a string level. Which... if all strings in a panel face the same direction is ~100% unnecessary. Even if there's shade. If one cell group in a 300v string of 10 panels becomes shaded the MPP tracker will 'see' that on one of the sweeps it does several times per second and drop string voltage to 290v. The bypass diode shunts string current around the shaded section... exactly as would happen if there was an optimizer on the shaded panel.
 
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What is the story here on the shading issue with Delta inverters? I had a FW change that removed all sorts of false start stops but I did have some shading on my Solar roof. I got around to removing most of it (all I could) and the improvement was fairly dramatic. I am using PV1 and PV2 for SE and NW exposure roofs.

Shading is problematic for all string inverters but based on various forum posts it looks like Delta has particularly poor/limited MPPT that can't handle even moderate shading. When I was getting my solar system an installer got on the roof with a Solmetric SunEye and did a shading analysis that convinced me to go with microinverters. The tool was cool because it was able to model shading throughout the entire year and it indicated for several months a year there would be significant shading even though there was no shading anywhere close to the roof when the analysis was done. I would recommend anyone considering solar to get shading analysis done if there is anything around that could cause shading.
 

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