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Best Practices (with Powerwalls) During Lightning Storm


May 24, 2020
Cape Coral
I live in Florida, the lightning capital of the US, and was wondering if there is anything I can do to reduce the chance of electrical surge damage during a lightning storm.

At work, our facility will manually transfers to generator power if severe thunderstorms are approaching, in hopes of avoiding damage to sensitive equipment from a power surge through the utility grid. Some facilities actually have a lightning prediction system that will automate the transfer from utility to generator power.

In the event of a grid power failure, the Powerwalls automatically take over, with a minimum run time of approximately 5-10 minutes. Sometimes, I will see many brief outages over the course of an hour or so, which I assume would cause the Gateway to continuously transfer back and forth between the grid and Powerwalls. I'm not sure if this would cause excessive wear on the Gateway or other issues with sensitive electronics in my home.

Anyone know if manually opening the Gateway breaker during an electrical storm, forcing off grid operation, would significantly reduce the chance of a utility grid power surge damaging the Gateway, Powerwalls or other components in my home (HVAC, appliances, etc.)?

Although opening the breaker can not be automated, which would probably provide the best protection, any idea if automatically switching to the Powerwalls during an electrical storm could still provide some benefit? If nothing else, to stop the back and fort switching between the grid and Powerwalls. If so, this seams like a feature that could easily be added by Tesla, similar to Storm Watch mode.


Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
Orlando, FL
Manually transferring is an interesting thought, but I feel that there are plenty of other places for a surge to come from... the cable or telephone lines, or even lightning hitting your own solar panels.

Additionally, if you were going to manually transfer I think there would be a bigger benefit to doing so by throwing a breaker or a disconnect outside of the gateway. If there was a feature in the app that told the gateway to disconnect then the gateway itself would still have a connection to the grid, before it’s internal disconnect. So if there was a surge then there is still a chance that the gateway itself could be damaged.

Normally the gateway waits 5 minutes before it transfers back to ensure that the power is stable, but in events where there is a storm and it keeps transferring back and forth it might be nice if there was some logic that caused it to start waiting 10 or 15 minutes, or maybe even longer before it transferred back.

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