Tesla Powerwall and Rolec Car Charger

Last Friday we have our Tesla Powerwall installed and at the same time the electricians installed my Rolec car charger.  I was most excited about the Powerwall as I’ll hardly use the car charger and the Powerwall has an API which means I can add extra data to my home monitoring 😀

The whole process from emailing Tesla with some questions to getting the Powerwall has taken a while, mostly because we had to get some electrics fitted in the house before asking for a quote from Tesla.

The sign-up process is quick – fill in a brief form and pay a deposit by card.  The quote process after signing up is a lot more involved… You walk around your house taking lots of pictures and writing descriptions of where you’d like the Powerwall installed.  I’d prefer they sent out someone and I think it would have taken just as long for them to walk around my house assessing the various locations and Solar equipment as it took me to fill in the form – 2 and a half hours!  If you’re in the same boat, take pictures with a phone and fill the form in later on a laptop – you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle.

Once the quote form is filled in it goes off to your local installer (mine was 50 odd miles away) who takes a look and tells Tesla how much for their part installing the Powerwall will be.  I found this bit a little odd as we’d given various locations in the house where the Powerwall could go, but we weren’t told where it would go, so ended up asking for our installers details to contact him directly.

After you’re happy with the quote (cost of Powerwall + Installation) your installer then sends a request to the DNO who decides whether you can output from the Powerwall at 3.68 or 5kW.  This bit is the slowest part in the whole process and took around 8 weeks…!  Luckily our DNO was happy for us to output at 5kW from the battery (apologies if this isn’t the correct technical speak!  I’m no good with electrickery).

Mark Cawood (of Cawoods Electricians) and his team arrived around 8:30am on Friday morning.  You don’t get a sense of the size or weight of the Powerwall until you see it in person being lifted out the back of a van!

By 1:30pm the Powerwall and charging point were installed and the Powerwall just needed configuring.  I was surprised the process of configuring the Powerwall was so complicated and problematic.  It took around 30 minutes of trying various connections (wifi, ethernet and 3G) and filling the same form in 5 times to get the Powerwall correctly configured and setup.

By 2:30pm Mark and the guys had cleared up, given us a full demo of how to use the car charger, including some useful tips on how to store the charge cable, made sure we had access on our mobiles to the Tesla app and our Powerwall data and said their goodbyes.

I’d highly recommend Mark and the team if you’re looking to get a Powerwall or solar panels installed.  They were very friendly, tidied up and did a neat job of all the cable runs, answered loads(!) of questions we had, made sure we were able to see our Powerwall on the various devices we own and made sure I knew how to use the car charger.

Since installing the Powerwall we’ve used a grand total of 23 units, far less than our normal 60 odd units.  We’ve even had two complete 100% self-powered days where the solar and Powerwall have provided 100% of our power requirements for the day.

As for the car charger – I haven’t used it yet – still reads 0.26kWh consumed!  I’m trying to spend as little as possible on fuel during the spring-summer months since charging at work is free 😉

Ordered Home Car Charger

Follow on to my post yesterday about my Leaf 2.Zero.

I’ve ordered my home charger. It’s a Rolec, black with grey inserts, 32A tethered type 2 device. I researched a number of devices and companies when looing for a home charger and landed on this device because I liked the look of the device and the terms and conditions suited my needs.

So why didn’t I order a Pod point or chargemaster given that Nissan were offering them as part of a deal when order a Leaf 2.Zero?

For starters, it wasn’t clear if I was entitled to a free charger with my leaf? The Nissan T’s and C’s indicated that I needed to have ordered it by mid December 2017.  I may have been wrong and potentially entitled to a free device, but…

The chargemaster looked too bulky and quite expensive, so I didn’t look too far into this product.

Pod point I found too pestering. I received at least three emails (+ the phone calls!) from when I signed up for my car until when I finally got the message through to them that I wasn’t going to purchase their product. The wording in their emails I thought was a little misleading too “Your Pod Point Order” – what order? I never clicked order… And there’s never a clear indication of how much things are going to cost.

I also turned the Pod point down because of a particular part in the Terms and Conditions: “All our charge points are supplied with Carbon Sync capability. Carbon Sync allows us to briefly pause charging on instruction from official bodies (for example the national grid) for the purpose of balancing or maintaining stability of the local or national electrical generation or distribution grid. Under normal circumstances, we don’t expect Carbon Sync to have any material effect on charging, however, you agree that Carbon Sync may lead to pauses in charging.”

Given that I need my car to be charged to get to work, this particular feature of the Pod point was the deciding factor in ruling this product out. If I plug my car in, I expect it to charge.

I’ve now got a bit of a wait until my charger is fitted as it’ll be installed at the same time as another product, by the same electricians.

I’m soooo looking foward to the “other product”, far more so than getting my leaf!!

More to be revealed soon 😀