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Ocelot

Member
Jul 2, 2012
863
950
Canada
Installation of solar has been dropping for Tesla. I wonder if they knew internally they had a problem that needed to get fixed, before hitting the accelerator again. mmh.
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,268
3,000
Sparks Nevada / GF 1
The inverter operates in parallel to the grid. So an inverter causing damage to something parallel to the grid would be like a flea pushing a dog over. In an inverter vs grid battle the inverter dies....

It is easy to spot...
Being an electronic engineer and having consulted on the design of inverters for SMA in the past, I generally agree with that statement, EXCEPT an inverter can do some pretty nasty stuff in home systems for certain types of failures. Somewhat related, I've seen simple power surges from other equipment in a home to cause damage to other devices, so I don't doubt an inverter flea can push over a dog. Been there, seen it, fixed it. :)
 
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erikreynolds

Member
Aug 21, 2019
8
1
Rocky Hill, CT
These seem to panels installed a number of years ago... but even so, it does give me pause before proceeding with a solar rental install I'm considering. I would imagine the panels they used back then are not necessarily the same panels Tesla is installing in 2019, but who knows. I would hazard a guess that the may be using different products for extremely large installations to take advantage of volume pricing, etc. The hap-hazard installations causing wiring failures and fires is very concerning!
 

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,358
456
Irvine
Ummmm.... probably because Tesla have been intractable and refused to acknowledge their culpability in all of this or come up with an acceptable mitigation plan.

In my area we have several small but well established solar installation companies and then we have solar city who appears to be entirely staffed with pimply faced kids who don't look like they know DC from AC.
the do....only if listening to music
 
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afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
692
624
NYC
this is Tesla though they have an anti establishment problem ( see SEC, NHTSA etc...)

More like an anti-customer problem: when anything goes sideways post delivery (cars) or post-install (solar), good luck finding someone at Tesla to take ownership of the problem and make things right.

Small customers (us, car owners) grumble and move on. Large customers (Walmart), sue Tesla to extract the desired resolution.
Same root cause, different remedies.

Spawning conspiracy theories around this, is unnecessary and lame.

a
 
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MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.15
Mar 8, 2015
9,576
8,782
Colorado
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,748
9,972
United States
Being an electronic engineer and having consulted on the design of inverters for SMA in the past, I generally agree with that statement, EXCEPT an inverter can do some pretty nasty stuff in home systems for certain types of failures. Somewhat related, I've seen simple power surges from other equipment in a home to cause damage to other devices, so I don't doubt an inverter flea can push over a dog. Been there, seen it, fixed it. :)

That's just odd; Is it usually a voltage spike or a dip? I'm just trying to envision how a grid-tied inverter can cause a disturbance significant enough to damage other appliances without it being absorbed by the grid. Off-grid or an islanded grid-tie that's not shutting down like it should? I can 100% see that causing a problem...
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,010
4,613
McKinney, TX
I very much doubt Walmart was timing this lawsuit to anything else other than their legal team's internal schedules.

The fact that Walmart installed 240 solar roofs is proof enough that they at least wanted green street cred. Suing Tesla was no doubt a last ditch attempt to make themselves whole. Do you really want to roll the dice on 3% of your stores catching fire? That's a big fat NO. They had no choice but to either extensively overhaul the systems or tear them and start over. Given a roof caught fire even after it was turned off, they are forced to remove. Hence the lawsuit. Don't over complicate things.


And WalMart is renowned for pinching every penny. It's entirely believable that they would want every system removed rather than risk future loss and that they'd want the removal to cost them exactly zero dollars. It's believable, also, that Tesla, ever mindful of their bottom line, would say they were going to fix or remove the systems that had problems but not bear the cost of removing systems that didn't. Hence, the impasse.
 

imjustdave

Member
May 3, 2013
16
11
Bonney Lake WA
WOW I read the complaint and honestly I can see Walmart's point of view. Sounds like Tesla ignored basic things on the install, has ignored requests for info and basic maintenance and repair ETC. I feel at this point Walmart is also drawing a line in the sand and giving notice that if something epic happens, building burns down, someone is injured severely ETC they will be looking at Tesla as someone responsible. Ontop of the Fix the system that was installed.
 
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imjustdave

Member
May 3, 2013
16
11
Bonney Lake WA
I got the feeling in the paper work that Tesla owns all the gear and Walmart just rents the roof and access to sell the power back. If not at the very least it appear obvious Tesla is on some sort of maintenance plan and it was all 1 big package, making it a turn key system for Walmart... if you notice Tesla deactivate all the systems not Walmart.
 
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vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,096
479
az
More like an anti-customer problem: when anything goes sideways Post delivery (cars) or post-install (solar), good luck finding someone at Tesla to take ownership of the problem and make things right.

Small customers (us, car owners) grumble and move on. Large customers (Walmart), sue the company to extract desired resolution.
Same root cause, different remedies.

Spawning conspiracy theories around this is unnecessary and lame.

a


Good points. Had referral miles issue with Tesla (not alone) and no luck. The org is very bureaucratic even if someone wants to help.
 

qdeathstar

Active Member
May 17, 2019
2,454
2,061
VB
7 fires 240 installs. It’s easy to see why Walmart wants all of them removed. The other ones haven’t caught fire yet...
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,096
479
az
Ummmm.... probably because Tesla have been intractable and refused to acknowledge their culpability in all of this or come up with an acceptable mitigation plan.

In my area we have several small but well established solar installation companies and then we have solar city who appears to be entirely staffed with pimply faced kids who don't look like they know DC from AC.

they must share the pimply faced kids from car sales
 
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Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,268
3,000
Sparks Nevada / GF 1
That's just odd; Is it usually a voltage spike or a dip? I'm just trying to envision how a grid-tied inverter can cause a disturbance significant enough to damage other appliances without it being absorbed by the grid. Off-grid or an islanded grid-tie that's not shutting down like it should? I can 100% see that causing a problem...

Great comment and question. First off, I like your flea knocking over a dog metaphor :D I might just steal that comment in the future.

Yes, odd. In the "very few" instances (only 3 I can remember), the inverter failures caused a huge spike (as you mention) that went across the 240 legs, and they were grid-tied inverters. In two of those cases, a large electrolytic cap blew out. That's why I like inverters such as the SolarEdge (and a couple others) that don't use large caps. It's one of the first things to fail and they don't survive a long life in regular heat. Not usually a problem to anything else when they fail, yet as I mentioned, it has occurred. In one case of an inverter failure, it "blasted" out the circuit breaker in the panel. That was a surprise. In my own experience, long ago, I had a couple electronic devices in a prior home coincidentally fail when a larger starter capacitor (electrolytic) failed in one of my A/C unit. That was also a rare surprise. Usually nothing else is harmed.

You probably know this already, but for the sake of some folks here, when attaching a storage oscilloscope on the 120 VAC lines in a home, and triggering it on spikes above 180 volts you'll see regular spikes from things that have motors (like some refrigerators) that put an inductive kickback into the line when they turn off. You'll see the biggest spikes (dip and spike) when the air conditioning compressor turns on and off. You've probably noticed the lights dim for second when it kicks on. Almost always never large enough or long enough to be a problem, yet can be seen. So not far fetched to see how an inverter disaster can cause the damage to home devices as claimed above in a post. Especially since I have seen a couple in person. Again, RARE.

As a side note, in my home, I installed a large surge suppressor tied into the garage panel. It prevents (or reduces) regular short spikes (mainly from large appliances and my table saw, compressor, etc) from going across the AC lines, but of course a big enough problem from the grid or other nasty failure can still get through if it were to happen.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,748
9,972
United States
Yes, odd. In the "very few" instances (only 3 I can remember), the inverter failures caused a huge spike (as you mention) that went across the 240 legs, and they were grid-tied inverters. In two of those cases, a large electrolytic cap blew out.

So basically a very flawed inverter. I can kinda see that and as you mention it's going to be exceedingly rare. But I don't see how an improper install could really lead to this unless they series'd two strings that were supposed to be in parallel or something equally as crazy...
 

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