Solar Panels

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Did everyone get your power blasters installed?

Hi I live in Phoenix and just got my solar panels w/out power wall turned on.
I was unable to see my energy flow on tesla app so I googled this issue and found out that you either need power blasters or power wall to monitor real time energy flow.
I see that some people got their power blasters installed and some didn't.
Are power blasters optional? We're you suppose to ask them to install it when they come out install your panels?
I just bummed out about this since my sales rep never mentioned about this and moreover, they said I was going to see everything from the app.
I really wish I found this thread before everything was done.
Well have a great holiday season guys.

Comments

  • Non-Powerwall installations have their data fed to the Tesla servers by the little (4" x 4" x 1") Communications Gateway box that's connected to the house *wired* network. They get their data from the inverter via the Zigbee RF protocol. (The house WiFi is *not* used.) All Tesla installation should be provided with PV *production* data, that can be viewed through the app. Home *consumption* data through the app is another matter, and requires a Powerblaster.

    Powerblasters aren't included with every installation. There are several reasons why...sometimes local building codes prohibit them, sometimes there's not enough room in the electrical panel, and sometimes the electrical panel isn't compatible with them. My 5kW solar PV installation in late 2015 didn't have a Powerblaster because of compatibility issues. All I got was PV production data.

    The Powerblaster additionally measures power to and from the grid, so that home consumption can be calculated from that data, coupled with the production data from the inverter.

    In Powerwall installations, the Tesla Energy Gateway (TEG) provides the data necessary for both production and consumption information through the app. I now have both, since I added Powerwalls in early 2019.

    If you're getting nothing at all from the app. there's a problem. First step is to move the little Com Gateway box closer to the inverter, while maintaining the wired connection to the house Ethernet. Line-of-sight to the inverter is best.

    If you still get nothing on the app, a call to Tesla Customer Support is in order.

    Tesla Customer Support

    1-877-961-7652 (Found to work as of 10/30/20)
    1-888-765-2489
  • It's March 2021.

    When my panels were installed April 2018, I was told the Powerblasters were out of stock and the only way to record my home's energy usage was to purchase a PowerWall. The second 'excuse' was they had changed to new inverters integrated into the panels (?) and they weren't even sure of the previous PowerBlasters would work.

    March 1, 2021
    I called Tesla Customer Support regarding this post, with disappointing results:

    - "Some electric providers do not allow PowerBlaster installation." {Me} But I am aware that others in my neighborhood had them before me.

    - "It was a promotion that is no longer available." {Me} Ok, how much does it cost to buy one?

    - "We (Tesla) no longer stock or install the Powerblasters."

    My best friend is a licensed electrician, could somebody tell me how to obtain a Powerblaster or equivalent home usage measurement device..

    For my first two years the True-up with the electric company was $0

    This year it is over $500 and since I have no way to measure how much power and when it was delivered,

    I am feeling pretty bad about my solar panels at this stage.

    Jay
  • Jay, sorry for your problems. There are a number of third-party monitoring solutions available, and most are not that expensive. On my first solar system 6 years ago, I bought one from Neurio, that monitors both the grid and the solar generation and sends the data via WiFi. Those that buy a PW, actually get a Neurio buried inside the Tesla gateway. There are quite a few others if search for solar power monitoring.
  • Even without a Powerblaster, you can calculate home consumption, but it will take some work on your part. This assumes that you can get at least daily utility feed amounts from your utility, and you have access to something like a spreadsheet program.

    Note that your utility only knows what passes through their meter. This is your "net" usage, and does not include what your residence used from your solar array directly. What your house uses directly never passes through the utility meter.

    Your inverter accurately reports its production through the Com Gateway box, and this is what appears in the Tesla app.

    Here's the math part: Your home consumption is what the Tesla app reports as production *minus* what the utility says went through their meter. The utility number should be treated as a negative number if you used energy *from* them.

    Also note that while the Tesla app uses calendar months, your utility probably uses a "billing month" that doesn't necessarily line up with a calendar month. (This is where the spreadsheet comes in...to line up months, by day.)

    Armed with all of your data from both sources, you should be able to calculate your production, consumption and offset...even without a PowerBlaster, but it's a pain in the patootie.

    Having a PowerBlaster and the results published in the app is obviously the better solution.
  • I had ordered solar October 15th and got PTO January 21st. I asked Tesla multiple times for the Powerblaster but the advisors always said they will not do it. The electrician seemed to think he would install it if given one, but they did not supply it.

    As others have pointed out, you can infer the consumption. If your utility supports it, the cheapest and easiest is Emporia Vue utility meter, no electrician skills needed to install it. It lets you watch your meter live, rather than a few days later at the utility web site in hourly buckets as is the case for PG&E.
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