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Powerwalls worked as advertised

Powerwalls worked as advertised

Lost power this morning at 0530 according to my phone when I woke up.
power transfer was flawless, no blinking lights or resets!
lost wifi due to Spectrum not having a backup battery in our area.
The Tesla App asked if I wanted to switch to cell service for monitoring, which I did and it worked perfectly!

gregbrew | 19 May, 2020

"The Tesla App asked if I wanted to switch to cell service for monitoring..." I didn't realize it would do that.

Very cool!

I recommend that anybody with PV and PWs flip their main breaker to "off" at least once a year to verify that everything is working properly. Try to minimize the active loads at the time, as opening or closing a breaker under a large load can cause arcing, which isn't kind to the breaker's contacts.

3500HDP3D | 21 May, 2020

I didn't either! It was the Gateways use of the AT&T service, because we use T-Mobile

Jones | 21 May, 2020

@ gregbrew

Agree with the off grid test - I actually do it quarterly - mostly to make sure that firmware updates have not somehow changed a behavior. I would also recommend that the breaker remain off for a significant period - at least an hour to make sure the load behavior of the battery is stable and sustainable. Also assess that the solar will appropriately perform in the off-grid state. And lastly - go thru the house and make sure that every device or appliance that you have on solar/battery still functions properly. If you start the test with everything or most things off, go thru and build the load by turning everything on. Y'all spent a boatload of $$ to install the thing - make sure it works. The 5 minute test at installation is nearly useless in assessing what will happen when you desperately need the thing to work.

gregbrew | 21 May, 2020

I just did my periodic test, and got puzzling results: If I flip the main breaker with full PWs and fully illuminated PV panels, the PWs go into a pulsing power mode, which drives electronics nuts. I can see it with ceiling fixtures pulsing on and off. If the PWs are not full, it transitions smoothly when the main is flipped, and then operates perfectly as the PWs become full and cycle on and off as they deplete a little and refill from the PV.

I'm going to run some more experiments to see if I can determine more specific conditions that cause this, before I call customer support. BTW, I've had great experiences the few times I've called customer support in the past. I got right through to a human in less than five minutes each time. The first-level support techs have been very knowledgeable, and I didn't need to elevate the relatively complex issues to a higher level of support.

TeslaTap.com | 21 May, 2020

@gregbrew - That sounds like the PWs are overloaded? While I'd not done it, if you're attempting to pull 60 amps from a pair of Powerwalls, I would expect they would drop off, and then reconnect to see if the load is within the allowable range. Some items, like an HVAC could cause it to oscillate as the overload starts up again.

sonoboy | 21 May, 2020

Check the frequency at the outlets when the light are pulsing, besides checking the loads. May take an adjustment by customer support.

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gregbrew | 4 June, 2020

Yeah. I called it in the first time it happened during a test, but I forgot that I had two EVSEs plugged into EVs when it was trying to come up. Oops! The tech polled my PWs and they indicated that they were trying to come up into a 100A+ load. That sounded like a ridiculous measurement, but I have no idea what an EVSE looks like at start-up. I know that HVAC and refrigeration equipment motors have crazy-high inrush currents at start-up, so it isn't unreasonable to think that an EVSE-EV combo might look like a huge inductive load to the mains. After I unplugged the EVSEs that time, the PWs acted normal, but what I didn't do at that time was open the main utility feed breaker under a full battery and illuminated panels condition.

No HVAC at my house, and this time I reduced all of the loads at the main breaker panel to just the house refrigerator, garage freezer and wine refrigerator. Those loads aren't anywhere near the instantaneous peak 14kW that two Powerwalls should be able to supply.

Looks like it may be time to dig out the ol' O-scope and have a *real* look.

dmanincali | 4 June, 2020

I've had my main breaker off & my solar roof + powerwalls have been powering my house non-stop since May 7 (including charging EVs). It's a beautiful thing. Once I get PTO next week I'll flip the main breaker on and start exporting all that excess power.

gregbrew | 6 June, 2020

Good way to use your embedded resource without violating utility edicts. I simply flipped my PV inverter on prior to PTO, but made sure to not allow production to exceed consumption. It was easy, as my installation was completed in December 2015. For my PWs (early 2019), the installer simply left everything "on" when he left. I got the "official" PTO from SCE two months later.