Powerwall Maximum Elevation: 3000 m (9843 ft). Why?

Powerwall Maximum Elevation: 3000 m (9843 ft). Why?

The Tesla Powerwall data sheet, under "ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIFICATIONS" states:

Maximum Elevation: 3000 m (9843 ft)

I have a coworker who lives in Blackhawk Colorado who just got a solar install bid from a solar company other than Tesla. She asked about a Tesla powerwall, and the salesman said they couldn't install one because of Blackhawk's elevation (8500 ft.) That is below the max stated above, so not sure why he said that, unless for some reason 8500 feet works but isn't efficient. He recommended some other battery backup. Not sure what.

Does anyone know why there is a 3000 m (9,843 ft) elevation limitation for the Powerwall? And what might the disadvantage be of installing one at 8500 ft?



Patrick | 9 March 2020

Maybe the solar firm is not Tesla certified...

markbraukman | 9 March 2020

Just a guess, and probably wrong - since the cells are sealed, with increased elevation there is a decrease in atmospheric pressure. So at a higher altitude there could be an increased probability of a leak with risk of combustion. If that's correct, I wonder what happened to the batteries in Elon's Roadster that's now in space.

jlhm | 9 March 2020

I believe the limit is because of less cooling with higher altitudes due to thinner air.

gregbrew | 9 March 2020

PWs also have a coolant loop and radiators. Could be a limitation on the sealing cap pressure differential because of the lower atmospheric pressure at altitude?

dortor | 13 March 2020

it's definatley air pressure related - less air = less thermal capacity - Tesla has not designed the system to properly handle heating/cooling with typical air densities above 9.843 ft…

the "danager" of installing at higher altitutes may be increased wear/tear on the thermal management system due to greater demands of running longer for any particular thermal managment it has do over the life of the system.

dortor | 13 March 2020

also systems spending more time at 9,000+ feet are probably going to spend more time near the bottom of the thermal operating range (it tends to be colder at higher altitudes) - I see several factors

1. less air has less thermal capacity
2. temperature swings are going to be more extreme
3. thermal management system will have run longer and more often
4. cold LiON batteries don't like to charge or discharge
5. temperature volatility is going to be increased

basically the system is not design to operate at altitudes where planes need to pressurize for safety.

rlwrw | 13 March 2020

Well, not going to be able to install a Powerwall at the Summit Hut on top of Pike's Peak.