Energy Products

Horror story Powerwall not working in back up mode

I have Powerwall for 2 years now. It does work in "time shifting" mode nicely charging from solar during the day and feeding the home at evening when energy is expensive.
It failed miserably however when we lost grid power. It was pre-announced power outage and I didn't do any preventive work to protect computers and electronics as I thought I'm covered by Tesla.
Boy was I wrong. Tesla Powerwall didn't kick in at all. This was just the start of the saga. Now I'm 3 weeks into it with 10 calls to Tesla with no resolution of the problem.
I talk to low level tech support folks who are kind but don't know much and can't help. They say that they will "escalate" to next level and I'm not allowed to talk to the next level. That's fine with me if they resolve the issue. Now 3 weeks later the issue is not resolved.
The worst part is that they ask me to do "tests" by manual disconnecting the power to the house which causes a lot of harm to computers and electronics. So it takes me 1 hour to prep the house and 2-3 days after that to fix all the damage. Well it is a big estate with 10 WiFi access points and over 100 computers and controllers online according to the routing tables.
I don't mind doing it if there would be someone from Tesla knowledgeable and fixing things on the spot so that we do it all with one session.
To my great surprise they told me that everything seems fine on their end and the last test failed because the load could be too big. They don't say how big is too big. I feel I was left in the mud and I'm pretty sure Tesla Powerwall will not kick in during the next power outage.
Anyone experiencing similar kind of "technical support"? Any way to escalate the case and get it resolved ?

Comments

  • The installers didn't do an outage test during the install? If they did, did everything work fine then?

    I am constantly doing outage checks by flipping the main breaker, not only to make sure it functions correctly, but to also show off to everyone that I won't lose power if we had an outage. If everything is installed correctly, there should be no disruption at all. You won't even know that the power switched form grid to PW.

    Yes, there is a limit on the total amperage for the subpanel that a single PW will feed during an outage. One PW can power the whole home when there no outage, including the circuits not on the subpanel. But the grid is used to supplement sudden surges in wattage. In my house I have ten 20 amp breakers in the subpanel for the PW during an outage. This is everything except the AC, pool pump, ceiling fans, and garbage disposal. So when I flip the main breaker, I can only run the circuits in the subpanel and the AC. pool pump, ceiling fans, and disposal will have no power. When I run the house off the PW during peak time, it powers the whole house, including the AC, pool, and microwave at the same time (the grid will supplement the additional wattage when all three are first kicked on.

    It seems like what you are describing could be an issue with your gateway or your subpanel (which could be overloaded). How many breakers do you have on the subpanel for your PW and what is the total amps of al those circuits combined?
  • I was getting bizarre PW behaviors, with flickering light and such, one time I did the "pull the main breaker" PW test. I called Tesla (got right through), and they polled my PWs to find that a 100A+ momentary surge was preventing the PWs from initializing. (Two PWs are capable of 60A, max.) They were trying over and over, hence the pulsing ceiling lights.

    Oops! I had two EV chargers (EVSE) plugged in, in addition to all my "normal" base loads including three refrigerators and freezers (which present their own high motor-surge loads). The 40A+ from the two EVSEs, coupled with the refrigerator and freezer inductive load surges looked like over a 100A to the PWs. They didn't much like that.

    When I reduced the load by unplugging the EVSEs, the PWs took over just fine.
  • > @risquared said:
    > The worst part is that they ask me to do "tests" by manual disconnecting the power to the house which causes a lot of harm to computers and electronics. So it takes me 1 hour to prep the house and 2-3 days after that to fix all the damage. Well it is a big estate with 10 WiFi access points and over 100 computers and controllers online according to the routing tables.
    > I don't mind doing it if there would be someone from Tesla knowledgeable and fixing things on the spot so that we do it all with one session.
    > To my great surprise they told me that everything seems fine on their end and the last test failed because the load could be too big. They don't say how big is too big. I feel I was left in the mud and I'm pretty sure Tesla Powerwall will not kick in during the next power outage.

    Large estate with >100 computers? How many Powerwalls do you have? I ask just to help get a sense of your setup.
  • Sounds like a house with maybe 800 amp service? Assume half that is required for Powerwalls (i.e. rarely is everything on at the same time), you would need about 20 Powerwalls, split into two 10 unit groups. I agree with others, it sounds like you may have too much load for the number of Powerwalls. When I get a pre-announcement of a likely power failure, I'm careful to avoid using major appliances like EV charging, ovens, and the dryer.
  • I assume the OP means there are 100 devices on his 10 node mesh system. I have 65 or so in my modest size home. I can’t imagine what “damage” you speak of losing power.

    Everything should boot up on its own and you may need to reassign a few devices to different nodes if you’re like me.

    I’m also interested in your setup.
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