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Tesla Power Wall as Emergency Backup Power Source for Surgery Center

Tesla Power Wall as Emergency Backup Power Source for Surgery Center

I work at a surgery center which has a diesel generator as backup source of energy. We inquired about using Tesla power wall (less maintenance and smaller footprint). Tesla stated they do not recommend the power wall in this situation but did not list a reason. Has anyone else looked into using a power wall in this situation? I wonder why it is not recommended in this situation.

Thanks

ir | September 25, 2019

Pretty simple. Tesla doesn’t want to be liable if something goes wrong. There are “mission critical” backup systems that cost a lot more, not so much for raw materials but due to the higher level of testing, certification, service specialists and liability insurance policy.

Eyeballmd | September 25, 2019

I would think a Power Wall would be more reliable than a diesel generator. Our corporate owner said a lead acid battery backup system could be used...

Tesla-David | September 25, 2019

Tesla PW2’s are generally coupled with solar, and our residential installation includes 13.2 kWh solar + 2 PW2 batteries and have worked exceptionally well for us over last 15 months. The solar is required to charge the PW2’s. I would expect PW2’s would be a suitable backup system and certainly better than lead acid battery backup system or diesel generator.

Eyeballmd | September 26, 2019

I understand the liability issues. Our critical equipment has their own battery backup systems. Our generator runs lights and plugs (when it works) and I think a PW2 would be a great solution for us (and many small surgery centers). I understand it was designed to be charged by solar, but I presume it can be grid tied as well.

ir | September 26, 2019

Like Tesla, I probably heard “Surgery Center” and ran away.

Another theory is I’ve only ever heard of Powerwalls being sold to residential customers. Maybe their commercial power division that could sell you a Powerpack instead?

Are you on 2-phase or 3-phase power?

Eyeballmd | September 27, 2019

We are in 2 phase power. Our generator provides 25 KW which is overkill for the power we need as it runs a limited number of lights and outlets.

Patrick | September 27, 2019

My guess is Tesla would prefer using a PowerPack design instead of Powerwalls for a commercial use case.

Eyeballmd | September 27, 2019

I looked at the PowerPack information, looks like overkill for our needs. Thanks for all of the responses.

FossCoder | October 24, 2019

The smallest PowerPak is 50kVA which is about five times our need for a small medical office for server room battery backup, so i could see it being too much for a small surgery center as well. Most businesses are three phase 208v power, not two phase. Is it the case that there is only a single phase on the existing generator circuit?

Anyone use PowerWalls in lieu of traditional lead acid uninterruptible power supplies for about 13kVA of computer server room equipment?
https://www.tesla.com/powerpack

gregbrew | October 24, 2019

When the internal PbA batteries die on my UPS, I replace them with much larger external PbA batteries. It's pretty easy to do if you are at all handy with a soldering iron. Because the wires to the battery are longer, I replace them with larger wires (smaller gauge number) to reduce resistance in them. I also make sure that the larger batteries are fully charged before hooking them up, otherwise it could take a very long time for the UPS to fully charge them, as it thinks it's charging a much smaller battery. Since the UPS gauges how much capacity (%) remains on backup based on battery voltage, that bit of information is still valid, but *time remaining* will need to be "adjusted" based upon the battery capacity increase. IIRC, in mine, I multiply the time by four, because the external battery has four times the capacity that the internal one had. Be sure to remove the internal battery before attempting this. Mixing different sizes or types in a parallel configuration is a definite no-no. This also assumes that the UPS uses PbA batteries. It wouldn't work for lithiums.

Seems to me that you could get a UPS with the instantaneous power capacity you need (13kVA), and put as many larger external PbA batteries (in parallel) that you want to achieve the desired backup longevity. Make sure the external PbAs are the same age, brand, size and type. I recommend AGM. (I like VMax Tanks. They're pricey, but are American made, and shipping is free through Amazon. I use eight 125Ah versions for my solar PV battery backups.)

As always, YMMV, and any modifications to electronic devices will void the warranty, and above all ...DOING ANY OF THESE MODS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

lilbean | October 24, 2019

Doesn’t your machine already have a backup battery to complete the treatment in progress?

DermMD | November 12, 2019

I just booked a powerwall installation for my practice with an in house surgery center. I called Tesla before I placed the order as reading on their website did not answer the question whether a powerwall could be installed at a business (not necessarily commercial as that implies Grid in energy back up setups). They told me they do install powerwalls at businesses for grid power back up (without solar installation).
As someone else pointed out, energy back up setups for outpatient medical facilities (and in many cases hospitals as well) are only required to power a few essential circuits for critical functions. For outpatient surgery centers the Medicare (and Medicare is the law of the land in these setups) requirement is for power backup to essential circuits for 90 minutes only. This would allow for the safe completion or termination of any surgeries in progress. I would certainly cancel my pending surgeries in the event of grid failure as would most centers, I believe. So, in my opinion battery backup is just as safe and probably more reliable as/than ICE generator. Indeed one would not realize there has been a grid failure if operating a tool attached to a Tesla powerwall supported outlet whereas ICE generators do lead to a loss of power albeit for a minute.
If indeed Tesla refuses to install at my site after a survey, they will just be losing business to any one of the many other battery backup vendors coming online. In fact, I have found an overseas manufacturer who's already shipping Lifepo4 batteries to the US. I'd just prefer a Tesla system at this point.

Passion2Fly | November 12, 2019

I'm not sure that the PowerWall is suitable for Mission Critical applications.
Not only the transfer switch but also the power monitoring must be designed to much higher standards.
It's very common to lose communication between your Phone app and the PW2 in case of a power outage, since the WiFi network might be affected by the outage. This is not acceptable for a Mission Critical application. This is just one example...