Winter storm, no solar with panels covered with snow, and PW2 batteries draining down, now at 2 percent, Concerns?

Winter storm, no solar with panels covered with snow, and PW2 batteries draining down, now at 2 percent, Concerns?

We are experiencing severe winter storm up in Edmonds/Seattle over past 6 days with more snow on the way. I have been unable to charge the PW2 batteries over past three days, with more than 1 foot of snow covering them with temperatures in teens to twentys, and with yet another dumping of snow scheduled this afternoon. I had my PW2 batteries lower limit set at 5 percent in self-powered mode, but they continue to draw down, and are currently showing only 2 percent remaining. I am worried the batteries will drain down to zero, and what that might do to them. Any thoughts. I will be contacting Tesla-Energy to register my concern but thought the PW2 community might have some feedback/thoughts. I sure wish I had a safe and expedient way of getting the snow off the panels, as we do have good sun right now. Thanks for any input.

Patrick | 10 februar 2019

Maybe turn them off?

ripatriot | 11 februar 2019

yea i would switch them off until you are producing solar again.

this was my biggest concern in the winter. i bought a roof rake (snowbrum and a 27 ft fiberglass extension pole). haven't had to use it yet because we've had an unusual lack of snow this year.

Tesla-David | 11 februar 2019

Well things have gotten worse and batteries now at 0 percent. I talked with my PW2 installer, who said I shoulld be OK in backup mode, which I am now. Hopefully I will be able to get some feedback from TeslaEnergy today. This weather system is nothing like I have ever experienced, since moving here in1985, and we are projected to get more snow every day this week.

Tesla-David | 11 februar 2019

Thanks @ripatriot, I just ordered from with 30 ft extension pole. Wish I had prepared for this earlier like you had. Still snowing like a banshee, and will take another 3 days before delivery, but I will be prepared next time.

nwfan | 13 februar 2019

@Tesla-David, I've been reading about your winter weather.
I imagine the roads are horrible and just a slip away from
an accident. Stay safe. Let me know how the snow rake works out.

Here in North TX I finally produced 50kw. 1st time this year.

Tesla-David | 13 februar 2019

@nwfan, great to hear from you, and I am completely envious. We are recovering from the worst Winter Snow storm in more than 50 years. I have had zero solar production for last 4 days, with my two PW2 batteries drained to zero, but I have 10 of 55 panels partially cleared today, and will be getting some solar, and the batteries are now charging, so hopefully they weren't damaged by this storm. We have only produced 24 kWh's so far this month, and would normally be averaging 19 kWh/day, so this is extremely unusual. The side streets are impassable and we have hills getting out to major passable streets. Tried to make it to store yesterday in our 85D and it was no go getting up the hills in our MS, so had to turn around and head back home. Will try again today and see if we can make it to the store as supplies getting low. Doubt the snow rake will get here in time to make much of a difference. We have never experienced anything like this and normally don't get much snow in the lowlands, with most snow going to the Cascade Range where it is needed for water supply.

Tesla-David | 17 februar 2019

Happy to report that our PW2 batteries are doing fine, and have charged up the backup level to 25 percent to give me extra protection against additional snow impacts. Our Snow Rake should be arriving tomorrow. We have 52 of 55 panels free of snow, but another snow storm is on the way, so hopefully it will be handy to remove the snow from our panels.

mcdonalk | 17 februar 2019

Living in Phoenix, we are not faced with the snow issues. However, when our system was installed, it was explained to me by the PW will ALWAYS retain enough reserve to restart the panels in the morning, or when sunlight has returned following a dark period.

abasile | 25 februar 2019

Our two Powerwalls drained down to "0%" due to heavy snow covering our solar panels. At that point, I noticed via the Tesla app that the PWs were drawing small amounts of energy from the grid, presumably to protect them from fully discharging. Later, Storm Watch mode came to the rescue, as we had a big rain/wind/snow event that activated Storm Watch and charged our PWs fully.

We still haven't had any solar production since February 1, and my ground-based efforts to get the snow to slide off the panels proved futile. The PWs are now down to about 40% just due to using energy to keep themselves alive in the cold. Thankfully, the weather is getting warmer and there's no more snow in the forecast. Hopefully, the panels will shed the snow soon!

Tesla-David | 25 februar 2019

I am happy to report that the issue I raised several weeks ago has been resolved and the PW2’s are operating normally, even after 4 days with batteries at 0 percent. The snow finally melted and the batteries charged back up with no problems. We had 48 kWh day today with batteries at 100 percent and we actually charged both Tesla’s, covered all electric needs for our home and exported 27 kWh back to grid in self powered mode, with battery backup set at 25 percent. I continue to be extremely impressed with our PW2 batteries as a perfect complement to our solar system. I am still waiting to receive the snow rake I ordered more than 10 days ago. Hopefully it will help to clear some of the snow off of my panels when we get a future snow storm.

stevewa206 | 2 april 2019

The batteries keep warm themselves which is why it was using up power. It got down to 80% over the 3 or 4 days where the solar was not avalible for charging.

The grid charge will kick in around as low as 30%. And only when in storm mode. ( way too low) Not a good back up feature!

I said that is not a great way for it to behave in a storm event. It should be as close to 100% by what ever charging is avalible when a storm event detected.

Since they sell and have the option of 100% backup feature, I was expecting close to 100% at durning critical, pretictable times. The Nation Weather service called it a storm event hours before it started and the system should have responded by keeping it charged from the grid. The sun was not out during the storm to keep the system charged.

stevewa206 | 2 april 2019

Sorry, my post got a posted before I finished. I too live in Seattle and opened a case with Tesla because of the charging issues. The response is what I understood is above.

I have also heard that if the batteries have to communicate with Tesla all the time and if they can not call home, after two days they shut down.