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another grid outage here, Solar/PW behavior observations

nyprepper

Member
Nov 8, 2018
128
155
NE US
i'm about 3 hours into a grid outage here. we had one earlier in the week that lasted about 5 hours total. Solar and PW working beautifully. I've had a 6.6kw PV and 2 PW's in place or about a year now. The behavior of the system has definitely changed. For the first several months that I had the system, if the grid went down and PW's began powering the home, solar would NOT start charging the PW's until they dropped to about 75-80% of capacity. However, now the solar will start charging the PW's as soon as they drop below 96-97%...... which is great. I'm assuming this was just a software change in a recent release. Anyone else notice this? Note from the picture that we are in Storm Watch mode now but the system behaved the same way during last week's outage when we were not in Storm Watch.
IMG_2174.jpg
 
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MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2015
10,348
10,186
Colorado
What firmware do you have? I did a 7 hour off-grid test yesterday and everything worked perfectly but I ended the test before the Powerwalls got back to 80% since peak was starting and I wanted to dump my excess solar back to the grid.

I was glad the frequency issue was corrected. I've been on 1.37.1 since May. I think this is the longest I've gone without an update on the Powerwalls.
 
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bmah

Moderator
Supporting Member
Mar 17, 2015
4,378
8,568
Lafayette, CA, USA
Interesting. Last week (coincidentally on the same day that PG&E announced the possibility of a power shutoff), I had Tesla Energy looking into a problem I was having with solar curtailment and the higher AC line frequency not playing well with my Insteon gear and UPSs. The technician mentioned that for some reason my gateway was running a very old version of software (I think it was 1.37.1), and this was because for some reason my gateway was locked from getting software updates. He didn't know why. They pushed 1.40.2 to me, just in time for a 36-hour power outage. I described my experience in this post:

Powerwall 2 + UPS Connundrum - and solution

Someone who replied to my post posited that Storm Watch might be one of many factors that controls which solar curtailment happens (during the PSPS we were under Storm Watch and the inverter got shut off around 82% SOE, but off-grid tests I've done before and after that had the inverter shut-off happening around 96%). (Sure is great that Tesla documents all the details of this behavior...note sarcasm.)

Sometime in the last few days the gateway got 1.41.0. I still have an ongoing case with Tesla Energy support regarding the line frequency issues.

Bruce.
 
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Reactions: MorrisonHiker

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2015
10,348
10,186
Colorado
Interesting. Last week (coincidentally on the same day that PG&E announced the possibility of a power shutoff), I had Tesla Energy looking into a problem I was having with solar curtailment and the higher AC line frequency not playing well with my Insteon gear and UPSs. The technician mentioned that for some reason my gateway was running a very old version of software (I think it was 1.37.1), and this was because for some reason my gateway was locked from getting software updates. He didn't know why. They pushed 1.40.2 to me, just in time for a 36-hour power outage. I described my experience in this post:

Powerwall 2 + UPS Connundrum - and solution

Someone who replied to my post posited that Storm Watch might be one of many factors that controls which solar curtailment happens (during the PSPS we were under Storm Watch and the inverter got shut off around 82% SOE, but off-grid tests I've done before and after that had the inverter shut-off happening around 96%). (Sure is great that Tesla documents all the details of this behavior...note sarcasm.)

Sometime in the last few days the gateway got 1.41.0. I still have an ongoing case with Tesla Energy support regarding the line frequency issues.

Bruce.
When I got another Powerwall installed a couple weeks ago, I asked and they instantly said I had "the latest firmware". I checked when they left and confirmed it was still at 1.37.1. I guess I will give them a call so they can push out the update.
 

boaterva

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,589
3,830
Northern Virginia, USA
On the 1.41 also and all the notes show is new country and nothing.

I was on backup on the previous (1.49?) for a few minutes and Solar was out but my PWs are always at 97+ (100% backup use). I need to do a real test and see when they charge and when they don’t. Still haven’t gotten to complaining about the ‘Storm Watch’ not going above 100, want to try it on the current firmware to see if it’s still there (it’s a plot, right, Tesla?).

I did notice that when I was on backup for 6 minutes (barely time to notice, since it takes over 5 for the alarms (app and email) to function):

1. I got an orange border on the Tesla app. Seems to be a new, and welcome alert.

2. Didn’t notice any UPS issues so, as David @MorrisonHiker says, I think they have finally fixed (for all?) the frequency issue.

You wonder why they don’t announce these things?

Does the link at the bottom show you the current FW even if you aren’t on it?
 

boaterva

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,589
3,830
Northern Virginia, USA
Nope. The link shows whatever version you have installed. Mine still shows 1.37.1. If I click on the link, it takes me to the release notes and I see there have been 4 other releases that I've missed out on.
Right, that’s what I meant, that at least you can tell you are that much behind. :D I meant the list shows all of them while the actual link shows yours. Wasn’t clear, my bad.

Weird, mine seems to always be current about a week after a new one comes out. Wonder if it’s anything like the car firmwares where new VINs are at top(-ish) of the list?

My PWs were installed this summer, a bit of time after yours, I believe.
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,905
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
I find this thread of messages curious. I've had most of the versions available, and whenever I've run tests with the utility disconnected, the PowerWalls would charge up to near full before shutting off the solar.

I wonder if that has changed recently. By recently, I mean sometime since my last tests, more than 414 days ago. (One of my servers has been up 414 days, and I have not lost any power to it in that time.)

I didn't have a chance to test it during the PG&E shutoffs, because we were some of the only people in my area that didn't lose utility power, and furthermore, during the entire PG&E shutoff event, I kept our PowerWalls at full state of charge.
 

bmah

Moderator
Supporting Member
Mar 17, 2015
4,378
8,568
Lafayette, CA, USA
I find this thread of messages curious. I've had most of the versions available, and whenever I've run tests with the utility disconnected, the PowerWalls would charge up to near full before shutting off the solar./QUOTE]

"Curiouser and curiouser". Up until the PG&E PSPS, that was my experience as well...so it was a complete surprise to have my Powerwalls still doing the frequency shift thing down to the low 80% range (especially at night but that's another thing). The only difference I could think of between my tests and the real thing was that Storm Watch was enabled at the time of the PSPS. I did an off-grid test a few days later (no Storm Watch) and observed the solar cut-off back around 96-97%, where I expected.

Don't know if I mentioned this in my other post but I had to use my Model S to soak some energy from the Powerwalls during the day just so they'd 1) let the inverter turn back on, 2) stop screwing around with the AC line frequency, 3) not waste perfectly good photons hitting the solar panels.

(To whomever wrote "they fixed the frequency issue", no they didn't, at least not for my setup. Trading emails with their support now to try to get this fixed.)

Bruce.
 

boaterva

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,589
3,830
Northern Virginia, USA
I find this thread of messages curious. I've had most of the versions available, and whenever I've run tests with the utility disconnected, the PowerWalls would charge up to near full before shutting off the solar.

I wonder if that has changed recently. By recently, I mean sometime since my last tests, more than 414 days ago. (One of my servers has been up 414 days, and I have not lost any power to it in that time.)

I didn't have a chance to test it during the PG&E shutoffs, because we were some of the only people in my area that didn't lose utility power, and furthermore, during the entire PG&E shutoff event, I kept our PowerWalls at full state of charge.
Gonna have to clarify this.. why would shutting things down shut down your server? When I switched to PWs I didn’t even know until I happened to look at the app after five minutes and see the orange border. No effect on my UPSes at all. So what does your server uptime mean?
 

CWNE88

Member
May 13, 2019
27
30
Australia
Okay, get ready to laugh. I'm on version"1.17.1\n"
Don't ask how I manged to do that, but I did. I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it" way of thinking. It works just nicely, so I keep it that way.

As for the charge percentage though before it charges from solar, I made a video on my week long test of this in July last year. At that time and on that version it was also about 96 or 97% before turning solar back on. I've never seen a situation where it waited until it dropped to 75%.

I demonstrated this in this video:
(About mid way in the video I demonstrated it)
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,588
13,540
Riverside Co. CA
Okay, get ready to laugh. I'm on version"1.17.1\n"
Don't ask how I manged to do that, but I did. I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it" way of thinking. It works just nicely, so I keep it that way.

As for the charge percentage though before it charges from solar, I made a video on my week long test of this in July last year. At that time and on that version it was also about 96 or 97% before turning solar back on. I've never seen a situation where it waited until it dropped to 75%.

I demonstrated this in this video:
(About mid way in the video I demonstrated it)

I just read some information from tesla that says, in effect, if you do not regularly connect the powerwall to internet and allow it to update, the 10 year warranty gets reduced to 4 years. Not sure if thats the same outside the US, but it might be something to consider if you are not connecting the system to the internet. Maybe you are, and just not allowing it to update?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,588
13,540
Riverside Co. CA
Maybe I should just bend over and do whatever Tesla dictates then

Thats not quite what I said, I dont believe. I said "it might be something to consider". Maybe this difference in warranty if you dont connect is common knowledge, but I just ordered mine and am educating myself on ownership quirks as much as possible.

If you somehow took offense at my providing that information, sorry about that. I was just trying to provide what I thought might be useful information I came across.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,588
13,540
Riverside Co. CA
Nah, you're right. I'm not having a go at you, just sick of the world demanding that I connect to it.

This is a battery, and Tesla don't need to know how many times a day I boil the kettle.

Appreciate the clarification :) . I can certainly relate, as I dont have any facebook / instagram / twitter /other social media accounts, on purpose (and I am an IT professional, so not participating in social media sharing is a bit strange for someone in my profession).

I just am not interested in the cesspool that is twitter, and facebook, and I dont feel the need to "follow" or "check up on" anyone that way. I dont mind being connected though, but I draw the line at voice assistants like Alexa, Cortana, etc.

Anyway, very off topic for this thread so sorry to the OP, but I get what you are saying there. I am not quite there, but understand. My motto is, "eyes wide open" when making decisions. As long as you know, then, well You know, you know? (lol).
 
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nyprepper

Member
Nov 8, 2018
128
155
NE US
Nah, you're right. I'm not having a go at you, just sick of the world demanding that I connect to it.

This is a battery, and Tesla don't need to know how many times a day I boil the kettle.

I can totally relate to that sentiment. I wish they offered a "dumb" version of the PW. There is no reason a deployment option couldn't be dumbed-down to support a true off-grid scenario.
 

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