Author Topic: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!  (Read 3998 times)

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Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2019, 11:39:21 pm »
I'm wondering if the solar panels and wiring have significant inductance.  Enough to sustain a DC arc that etches across the solar cells? Or is it a ground fault.
There seems to be nothing that can interrupt the arc- a thermal fuse or AFCI for the purpose.

(I posted this question in Solar and Renewable thread not realizing discussion is here)

The pic is from the court filing.

There we go.  Was looking for some pics, its the bottom link of exhibits.  Somewhat disappointed wallyworld held back the fuse box with bolts.  You can bet your arse they have it.

I'm pretty impressed that the roofing materials seem fairly fire resistant.  Would have thought what looks like standard commercial rubber roofing with urethane based insulation under would have spread fire easily.  Wonder if they have any hot tar roofs with Tesla solar?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 11:44:48 pm by orion242 »
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2019, 11:44:35 pm »
I'm wondering if the solar panels and wiring have significant inductance.  Enough to sustain a DC arc that etches across the solar cells? Or is it a ground fault.

The voltage versus current curve of a photovoltaic source makes it self ballasting so no inductance is required.  They operate more as a constant current source under arcing conditions.

My guess is that environmental contamination causes electrolysis which eventually leads to arcing.

Quote
(I posted this question in Solar and Renewable thread not realizing discussion is here)

I did the same thing.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2019, 11:55:49 pm »
My guess is that environmental contamination causes electrolysis which eventually leads to arcing

I suspect the high paid ($600K for 248 sites) cheap consultants hired by Wally nailed it.  Almost all their points are related to a piss poor install that hasn't been maintained let alone inspected for some time.  What service was done, was by poorly trained individuals.  Wally claims one of Tesla's people was spotted walking on the panels.  :palm: :palm: :palm:  Tesla cannot provide a single inspection report prior to 2018 according to this as I recall.  Sounds like inspections didn't start till after the first fire.  Slap them in, don't bother to do the maintenance/inspection your under contract for and hope it all shakes out till things become profitable...then "make it right" maybe...  Oh wait, the dick that did this cashed out and Musk bought this turd.

Lawyers will be fighting it out for a few years now, but it sure smells like a stinker.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 12:49:35 am by orion242 »
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2019, 12:17:56 am »
I've been reading through the exhibits, but I can't find anything the tells me what Tesla identified as the 'root cause' of the two fires that Walmart acknowledges that they have finally coughed up their analysis.  And these were all roof fires, if I understand, but they blame the inverter?  Are the inverters installed on the roof in this setup--anyone know?
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2019, 12:24:15 am »
Wally want's Tesla to issue a final root cause report on each site with a fire, and they claim Tesla has not ever provided them with one.

Read exhibit 248 bottom of page 6 and down for Tesla's inspection of ~30/248 sites as reported by wally.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:28:16 am by orion242 »
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2019, 12:26:33 am »
Not really Tesla's panels, they just bought into the liability.

And it seems failed to rectify known issues after the acquisition in 2016
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2019, 12:32:23 am »
Failed on known issues?  They apparently ignored GF alerts after several fires??  AFTER wally orders in writing to stop all AC/DC generation.  HELLO MCFLY!  Under contract for maintenance and operation?

They didn't start inspecting them till after fires in 2018 at the request of wally and they sound to be under contract to do regularly.  What's regularly is grey, but I'm guessing industry standards that wally can point to are going to narrow more than one every two years.  They also don't seem to be able to document they have ever been inspected which goes back to at least 2012 or further.  Show a court there its not industry standard to put eyes on an install in 5+ years under a kind of performance contract as this sounds, good luck.  You can also bet wally is going to go after the likely fact few Tesla representatives touching these systems held licenses/qualifications required by the respective AHJ.  Would also add that Tesla also calls out that these systems where inspected by the AHJ at the time of install and approved.  That's fine and dandy.  Final inspection approval by the AHJ does NOT absolve one from liability of a code violating install.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:58:43 am by orion242 »
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2019, 12:37:03 am »
Wally want's Tesla to issue a final root cause report on each site with a fire, and they claim Tesla has not ever provided them with one.

Read exhibit 248 bottom of page 6 and down for Tesla's inspection of ~30/248 sites as reported by wally.

Exhibit 252 p 2

" In fact, Walmart did not see any final root cause analyses
until August 8, 2019, when-over fourteen months after Walmart's initial request-Tesla finally
produced the first of these reports. The rest remain outstanding.
"

I seem to remember a reference to there being two completed "root cause" reports.  No mention of what is in it or them.  I'd really like to hear Tesla's explanations for the fires that we do know actually happened.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2019, 12:44:17 am »
I seem to remember a reference to there being two completed "root cause" reports.  No mention of what is in it or them.  I'd really like to hear Tesla's explanations for the fires that we do know actually happened.

Exhibit 245

use search for "root cause" seems to be the first.  Dated May 31, 2018

Wally brings this up in many of the provided exhibits that all appear to be between legal teams.  There are mentions of calls as well between both parties, but of course there are no transcriptions of those here.  Wally want a root cause of all fires, and Tesla has not provided that.  Can't provide a detailed cause of each fire to date, show its mitigated in all 248 installs, the $hit remains off seems to be wally's response in a nut shell.  They also want damages for each fire directly tied to these installs, and Tesla to assume any further fire damages added to their 248 contracts on the installed systems.  Yep insanity, each install seems to be a separate contract.  Lawyers wet dream & design apparently.  Both parties seem to agree language is basically the same between them all.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 01:09:30 am by orion242 »
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2019, 01:01:45 am »

Exhibit 245

use search for root case seems to be the first.  Dated May 31, 2018

Wally brings this up in many of the provided exhibits that all appear to be between legal teams.  There are mentions of calls as well between both parties, but of course there are no transcriptions of those here.  Wally want a root cause of all fires, and Tesla has not provided that.  Can't provide a detailed cause of each fire to date, show its mitigated in all 248 installs, the $hit remains off seems to be wally's response in a nut shell.  They also want damages for each fire directly tied to these installs, and Tesla to assume any further fire damages added to their 248 contracts on the installed systems.

Yes, I keep seeing "root cause" mentioned,  but not even a hint of what Tesla may have found.  I suspect what is going on here is that there isn't a single, consistent or even well-established caused for the various fires, so Walmart is not claiming any specific defect, but rather that Tesla just made so many errors that they were negligent in general.  That's actually a harder case to make, b/t/w.   Unless there are bolts in the fuse holders and corrosion damage from missing covers..... :(
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2019, 01:20:30 am »
but not even a hint of what Tesla may have found.

Did you bother to read wallys summery of Tesla's reports on ~30 sites?  Few posts above I call out exactly where wally documents ~30 of Tesla's own inspection reports calling out safety issues in 50% of them and action items on nearly all of them.  That's 30 sites of 248.

Again this is just court docs filed by wally.  Time will tell, good luck Tesla I'm sure wally is just tossing their weight around.

Edit - Your correct, do believe there is reference of one or two "root cause" reports but they are not in what's available in these exhibits.  Given wallys account of the three fires they do talk about and their summery of Tesla's own reports, it all looks like initial install issues.  They specifically point to the inverters twice, one with bypassed fuses and water leaks.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 12:31:42 am by orion242 »
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2019, 03:46:36 am »
Great research here, Tesla are big-time to blame here:


« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 04:13:24 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2019, 04:52:15 am »
I'm not going to subscribe to his channel, but that's a good video.
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2019, 09:35:16 am »
Wally claims one of Tesla's personally was spotted walking on the panels.  :palm: :palm: :palm:
Who new Tesla was into Solar Walkways :-DD
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2019, 11:17:49 am »
Good video, sums it up nicely.

I think at this point there is a snowballs chance in hell wally would allow Tesla to preform any work on these sites.  More likely wally will want to hire their own contractor to remove/replace all these installs and hand the bill to Tesla.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2019, 11:50:49 am »
Good video, sums it up nicely.
I think at this point there is a snowballs chance in hell wally would allow Tesla to preform any work on these sites.  More likely wally will want to hire their own contractor to remove/replace all these installs and hand the bill to Tesla.

Was hilarious how the Tesla lawyer practically begged for the lawsuit  :-//a
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2019, 11:59:59 am »
Ya....  your stores are constantly on fire, big deal.

What an arrogant ahole response to seven fires all directly related to their equipment.   :palm:

Wonder how many other Tesla installs are of the same quality.  Might be a wad of pending lawsuits from resi installs that don't make the news or settle quietly.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:03:58 pm by orion242 »
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2019, 04:12:14 pm »
Great research here, Tesla are big-time to blame here:




So, here's the same guy just a few days before.... >:D
b/t/w, his advice in this video is aimed at his (and my) locale of Southern California.  And he's pretty much spot on until he starts to wax eloquent about how great Tesla is...

 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2019, 04:31:34 pm »
Ya....  your stores are constantly on fire, big deal.

What an arrogant ahole response to seven fires all directly related to their equipment.   :palm:

Wonder how many other Tesla installs are of the same quality.  Might be a wad of pending lawsuits from resi installs that don't make the news or settle quietly.

Take it from me, the tone and substance of Tesla's reply is 100% driven by the client. 

Judging by Yelp reviews and the consistency of the complaints (my roof leaks, the system doesn't work, they lied about the costs/terms, they don't answer the phone), I'm going to guess that they are design thrifted, subcontracted to the lowest bidder and on to the next.

 

Offline floobydust

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2019, 06:04:53 pm »
This turd smells like the solar roadways - it's subsidies, politics, lease/loan/purchase power agreements and business deals that have nothing to do with reality.

Panels from Trina and Yingli solar china, $0.75B state subsidies to SolarCity who is $2.9B in debt 2016, Tesla buyout for $2.6B as investors complain amidst serious conflicts of interest.

US Trade ruling and Trump order added tariffs 30% (-5%/year) on imported solar cells and modules. You can't wave a magic wand and expect to hire thousands and be producing solar cells in America, especially when china produces 71% of the world's panels and 60% of the world's solar cells.

I think Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo NY, "producing" solar roof tiles, it was Panasonic imported cells and not sure if they actually make any of the cells yet in NY. Musk demo'd the glass shingles that couldn't even produce electricity. An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

All the SolarCity installations look very shoddy, plenty of youtube vids that show a rushed, inexperienced crew, as if plumbers did the work.
I think the back sheet/laminate on the module is a little too flammable and only 90C 12AWG wire.
Fuses are Trina recommended (to 20A) only to protect the reverse-diodes, they do not seem to be for anything else.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-11-20/inside-elon-musk-s-forgotten-gigafactory-2-in-buffalo
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2019, 07:14:39 pm »
This turd smells like the solar roadways - it's subsidies, politics, lease/loan/purchase power agreements and business deals that have nothing to do with reality.

I agree in the sense that most or many renewable and green energy initiatives are rent seeking scams.  But at least rooftop solar, unlike solar roadways, can work without violating mechanical engineering.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2019, 08:45:21 pm »
Great research here, Tesla are big-time to blame here:




So, here's the same guy just a few days before.... >:D
b/t/w, his advice in this video is aimed at his (and my) locale of Southern California.  And he's pretty much spot on until he starts to wax eloquent about how great Tesla is...


I saw that same video and was surprised he was around here too and not saying that everyone everywhere should get the biggest solar system they could afford. He also had a decent video on solar "scams" going into issues with certain contracts and types. It seems his opinion on Tesla started moving pretty quick with this lawsuit business. Owning a Tesla however I'm sure he'll reconcile pretty quickly.
 

Offline orion242

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2019, 12:15:26 am »
Owning a Tesla however I'm sure he'll reconcile pretty quickly.

Not just the car, a fair wad of stock.  Not sure I could sleep after tossing that kind of money at a company operating as long and with constant losses.  Its a religion apparently.  If you believe hard enough, it will happen.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2019, 06:01:24 pm »


Amphenol H4 PV connectors are being implicated, there's now calls to have Musk resign, as "Last year, Tesla initiated 'Project Titan' — a stealth nationwide program to replace solar panel parts that could cause fires".... "a remediation effort to limit any impact the [H-4] connector may have had."

TBH the H4's look not so great- special crimp tool, strip tool, unlock tool, wrench tool etc. which installers would likely never have. And only one tiny seal ring for IP68. I'm not sure how it seals against the wire(end) or what OD it can accommodate. Automotive connectors are much better, less complicated - triple seal rings too, just need a HV rating. Trina Solar switched over to their own proprietary TS4 connector.

I'd guess the installers did hasty crap-ola assembly/crimp of the H4's.

edit: youtube videos on assembling these looks straightforward- with the special tools. But your IQ must be over 50.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 06:17:40 pm by floobydust »
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: eevBLAB #64 - Tesla Solar Panels Are CATCHING ON FIRE!
« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2019, 06:37:51 pm »
https://www.renvu.com/Learn/MC4-VS-H4-Multi-contact-MC4-Compared-To-Amphenol-H4

I'm sure Walmart's lawyers are trotting out every complaint they can, regardless of of what caused the fires.  "Mismatched" connectors are a different (regulatory, according to the link) problem than piss-poor installation and crimping by untrained installers without proper tools--if that's what happened.
 


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