Amazon and Walmart Have Tesla-related Solar Panel Fires

More bad press for Tesla that the fanbois will ignore. Amazon Joins Walmart in Saying Tesla Solar Panel Caught Fire.

On Friday, Amazon.com Inc. said a June 2018 blaze on the roof of one of its warehouses in Redlands, California, involved a solar panel system that Tesla’s SolarCity division had installed. The Seattle-based retail giant said by email that it has since taken steps to protect its facilities and has no plans to install more Tesla systems.

News of the Amazon fire comes just three days after Walmart dropped a bombshell lawsuit against Tesla, accusing it of shoddy panel installations that led to fires at more than a half-dozen stores.

In general, solar panels are a mature and safe technology. Not sure what problems Tesla could be having, though apparently there is a faulty connector that Tesla is trying to replace. (I’m sure they specified custom parts, because buying electrical connectors from Molex or McMaster-Carr or wherever is SO 20th Century. Or something.)

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3 thoughts on “Amazon and Walmart Have Tesla-related Solar Panel Fires

  1. I have a hard time trying to figure out how you could get a photovoltaic panel to catch fire if you wanted it to. That made me think of how many flashlights I’ve seen with bad switches that are designed to the requirement they be cheaper than a “real” switch. Then compare that number (many) vs. the number of real switches I’ve seen fail (none).

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    • There are some industrial designs where you put panels in series up to a maximum of 600 volts DC. There are other designs where you have “mini inverters” converting the DC (lower voltage) to AC. (Both of those are to cut down on line-loss.)

      Cut corners are on either of those…

      But as I said, those are “accepted designs.” And there is no way Tesla lives with “industry standard.” They designed something themselves, and they got it wrong, because they aren’t as smart as they think they are.

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      • Though being cheap bastards probably means they also specified something that had a maximum voltage of 250 for an an application that needed the 600 volts.

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