Solar Roof

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When will solar roof show up in app?

We got PTO from our utility late yesterday and turned on our system (solar roof + powerwalls) today, but the "power flow" diagram in the app still looks the same. It shows Grid, Home, and Powerwall, but no roof. I can tell that the roof is producing, because we're getting negative values in our energy usage from the grid, but there's no roof icon in the app. Is this normal? Does it take time for things to show up in the app?

Comments

  • That doesn't sound right at all. As soon as the install team switched on my system, I was able to see the solar roof production. I'd call the tech support line.
  • Sometimes it can take as long as a couple of days.
  • Thanks for the comments! Here's what I found out after a lot of back and forth with customer support: 1) Once the utility's PTO comes through, Tesla also has to switch things on on their end in order for the app to be activated, so this can take a few days. 2) The app won't work unless I have a gateway connected by ethernet to my home router. None of the Tesla installers ever gave this gateway to me or even mentioned it, but they are now sending one by mail. The whole installation process (begun in March) has been a comedy of errors from the start, so I shouldn't be surprised by anything anymore, but still, I'm amazed that they would simply forget such an important part of the system.
  • @SanDiegoNH - Ok, there are actually two gateways. The primary one is installed in a gray box and handles the disconnection of grid power when running the house off-grid during a grid power failure. This is all that's needed for the app to work, although it does go through the Tesla servers. It should communicate both via cellular and your local WiFi, but if both of these are blocked, then I can see the app not working.

    There is a second small black box gateway that primarily to get internal solar inverter data. It allows Tesla to monitor the solar in more detail, such as error conditions. My understanding is that the gray box gateway does not get access to some of this error info. My guess is if the gray gateway can't get to Tesla's servers, the black-box gateway acts as an alternate connection.

    Like you, I did not get the black box 2nd gateway, but it was mailed to me. I got it, and left it on my desk, figuring it wasn't needed. Tesla later asked that I connect it up, which I did. I didn't see any changes, but Tesla confirmed they were getting the additional data. So it's not all that important inmost instalaltions, but worthwhile. Not sure why they didn't set up from the start, but it's also not critical to the operation if the gray gateway also has communications.
  • The little Com Gateway box (~4"x4"x1") gets its data from the inverter, which is "revenue grade", which means the inverter data is highly accurate. Solar-only installations *depend on* this little box for data reporting.

    Installations that include Powerwalls also have a big Tesla Energy Gateway (TEG), and use Current Transformers (CTs) for energy flow detection. These CTs feed the TEG, and are not all that accurate. The TEG is a much larger box on the wall, usually next to the main electrical panel, and might even be bigger than the main electrical panel.

    IIRC, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) installations, where the customer pays Tesla for every kWh generated, have Com Gateways regardless of whether or not they have Powerwalls, a TEG and CTs, in order to get the revenue grade data for billing. Unless you have the need for revenue-grade data for billing, an installation that includes a Powerwall might not have a little Com Gateway.
  • @gregbrew - thanks for the more detailed explanation! Makes sense.
  • Interesting! Thanks for all the useful information. The Tesla customer service person said they refer to the big grey metal box (TEG) as the "backup gateway." In my case, that's currently all I have, so it means that the app shows the power flow to/from the grid and to/from the Powerwall, but not from the solar roof. I also can't control anything about the flow from the solar roof, so for instance, I can't direct any excess power into the Powerwall (it automatically goes to the grid instead). All of these functions apparently depend on having the Com box (the small black gateway), so presumably I'll be in better shape once that arrives.
  • @SanDiegoNH - A guess is the inverters are not communicating with the TEG. Are they far away from the TEG or blocked by a wall between them?

    On my system the inverters did communicate with the TEG, so I got the solar data in the app without the com gateway.

    Hopefully, when you get the com gateway it will start working. When I installed mine, Tesla said it could take a few hours for it to providing data. I called Tesla later in the day to confirm it was working.
  • Interesting. My TEG has one CT that is on relatively long run (~30') from a convenient tap point that is the feed from my inverter to a sub-panel. My solar is mixed in with other loads on this sub-panel, so the connection from it to the main e-panel wouldn't contain valid PV production-only data. The energy from the utility feed flows through the TEG, so all the other info (like home consumption), can be extracted from this data with some simple math. The remote location of this sub-panel is the reason I can't use a third-party product like Sense. The CTs Sense uses are limited to a distance of about three feet from the main e-panel.

    I wasn't aware that the TEG could communicate directly with the inverters that Tesla uses. Is it via RF?
  • @"TeslaTap.com" This makes sense, but in my case, the TEG and the inverter box are almost right next to each other, so distance can't be an issue. And when they checked things while I was on the phone, they said everything was working properly, so I'm guessing that the TEG is communicating with everything else in the way it is supposed to. I too am hopeful that all will be good once the Com gateway arrives.
  • Ok, then I don't know. It's possible they are using different equipment and communicate differently. I think my Delta inverters communicate via Zigbee (not 100% sure of that). They don't have the WiFi option, so they don't communicate that way. My inverters are about 8 feet from the TEG. It's also possible as Greg points out that the TEG is only using the CTs for data and I never had direct communications with the Inverters, yet I did have solar data in the app. Another mystery!
  • I'm only aware of ZigBee being used to communicate from the inverters to the Com Gateway to Ethernet to the home router, and WiFi (or Ethernet) from the TEG to the home router.

    I'd be interested to know about any confirmed direct communications between an inverter and the TEG. You never know what "progress" will bring.
  • I was going to report back on this once the issue was fully resolved, but since the forum is closing, I'll do it now. The Com gateway (small black box) did arrive and helped a lot (allowed me to see Solar Roof production in the app), but didn't solve everything. The Solar Roof can't charge the Powerwalls and doesn't show up accurately in the Power Flow diagram in the app. I've had many phone calls with customer support and a service call, and now another service call scheduled for later this month, so hopefully that will fix the problem. The roof itself is working great, but apparently, the Tesla crew that installed the Powerwalls (a year ago now!) did not know how to integrate them with the roof. Thanks to all for the very helpful comments above!
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