Energy Products

Am I right to be frustrated with Tesla?? you be the judge

I got 9.8KW solar system installed and became operational in September 2019. I paid in full. Three weeks into production, Tesla app showed error message " Graph data unavailable". I contacted tech support. We couldn't resolve the issue over the phone so Tesla scheduled for Tech to come in after one week. Tech came in and determined that Hitachi inverter is fried and it needs to be replaced. Why the brand new, factory tested, inverter went bad?? Don't know.
I called them and was told it will be replaced in two weeks. Not bad.
I called again after a week to follow-up and I was told it will be 4 to 6 weeks. I said, that's not fair and tech support told me that I can get my money back in " performance review" time. I asked her when that will be and after going through my contract, she mentioned that I don't have it in my contract. Tesla didn't put that in contract and I was not even aware of this option. I got frustrated and ended the phone call.
I called again this week to get some timeline and I was told that they can't get the Hitachi inverter anymore so they are looking for another compatible inverter. Once they find it, it will be 4 to 6 weeks after that. UNBELIEVABLE! Although she sympathized with me on my situation, she couldn't do anything about it.

I am also a proud Tesla model 3 owner and that was the reason to stick with Tesla for solar panels but I regret this decision.

Comments

  • edited October 2019
    You're right to be frustrated.
  • edited October 2019
    Same here. More than frustrating, it is a nightmare. It seems not enough testing of that inverter compability with Tesla gear was done.
    By the way, is that a single inverter for the whole system? There are other messages of other brand failure soon after installation.
  • edited October 2019
    Yes, it's a single inverter, 7.5KW. SE7600H-US.
  • edited November -1
    So the inverter was rated lower than the panel system? Overloaded and fried?
    I am running a Solar Edge inverter, also 7.5kwh, but my solar panel system is rated 6kwh! Optimisers on the panels and it hasn’t missed a beat in 2 years. It self diagnosed an optimiser failure which was replaced under warranty.
    They should be able to source an alternate inverter very quickly. There is no justification for it to take so long.
  • edited October 2019
    Solar edge works extremely well with powerwall2.
  • edited November -1
    @dborn - G'day mate, just a friendly reminder to drop the 'h' from the rated unit for inverter and solar panel system. It is the power that is rated, so the unit is kW, not kWh (which is used for energy). Your inverter power rating is higher than your solar panel system and that's a good thing. The other way around would not be good and could lead to overloading (e.g, at high noon on a sunny day). I'm not suggesting that's indeed what happened in the OP's and @charlesj cases, but proper component sizing/rating is an important design consideration.
  • edited October 2019
    You're absolutely correct to be frustrated, and actually quite a bit more than frustrated. I've owned two Tesla cars and based on my experience I've been very skeptical of purchasing a PV/PW system from them. I suggest taking your comments to the Tesla Motors forum - Energy section which has a much wider audience than this Tesla sponsored forum.

    The system was not sized correctly. I don't know what your contract looks like, but I suggest that by installing an inverter that is not large enough to handle the panels, they breached the contract.

    My experience has been to fix it myself and then seek reimbursement from the courts. Small claims courts in California will handle up to a $10,000 claim. Call a local installer and have them install a properly sized inverter ASAP. File a complaint in small claims court for the cost of the fix, plus the value of the electricity that was lost during the outage. Show the judge how the system was not properly designed/installed, you paid in full, they breached. I suspect you'll get a judgement for all your expenses, plus related court costs. You won't need an attorney, just a well documented record of the facts and timeline.

    You don't have to wait around and be Tesla's victim. Good luck!
  • edited October 2019
    Most inverters are rated for 130-150% I have a 9.77 kw system with a solar edge 7.6 inverter. I lose some power midday, but gain it in the morning and evening because not powering a bigger inverter. Read about it. I was unsure at first too.
  • edited November -1
    Tesla came around last week. Replaced the inverter. System is back up and running as of Nov.8th. Thanks Tesla.
  • edited November 2019
    The "normal" ratio of inverter AC power to array DC power is .85. In other words, it's common for the inverter to be rated at about 85% of the array nameplate rating.~85%. The array nameplate rating is for ideal conditions, usually only achievable in the lab. Weather, temperature, panel cleanliness, angle and elevation are some of the variables that derate array production on an actual roof.
  • edited November 2019
    Sure took them a while to get it exchanged.
  • edited May 26
    So I have my inverter bad on the 8th this month . They finally came today and replaced the inverter, but with a different one . The one I purchased was SE7600H-US000SNU2, but for some reason they replaced it with SE7600H-US000BSC4. Is this acceptable ? That I’m not getting what I paid for ?
  • edited May 26
    Look up the specs for the two inverters. If the new one has lesser specs, complain about breach of contract.
  • edited May 26
    @Swagddady - A quick lookup and they are both seem to be the same - 7.6 kW inverters. The Solar edge spec sheet doesn't list any differences only the SE7600H-US part number. Could be the color of the case or some other trivial difference.
  • My system stopped on 5/14 due to an error with the solaredge converter. At first customer service said 6/19 was the next available appointment for technician. Told them that was unacceptable, Tesla tech appointment moved to 5/26. Tech said I could have just given them the error code over the phone on the first call, which I did. Tech calls backs on same day said replacement ordered. As of 6/10 Tesla is still waiting for the replacement. This is totally unacceptable. I would have been better off going with "Joe's Solar" instead.
  • edited June 11
    Except "Joe's Solar" is much more likely to go out of business. Then you're stuck with zero recourse, rather than the backing of a multi-billion-dollar company that is Tesla. This is the primary reason I went with Solar City, and later, Tesla. BTW, my Customer Support experience has been exemplary. I'm sorry about your difficulty getting a satisfactory response, but at least understand that it is the exception, rather than the rule.
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