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Curious about anyone's experience in Louisana

gpez

Member
Apr 25, 2019
794
661
USA
First of all I hope anyone here affected by Ida is safe!

Given the vast damage and lengthy power outages being reported I'm extremely curious to hear of someone's experience with solar + Powerwall and the storm. I'm sure we'll see some news stories about the technology and likely even stories about people powering their appliances with their EVs but would love to see a first hand report.

Stay safe!
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,590
3,021
East Bay NorCal
I was in the process of getting PTO. Since I did not have, had to leave. Found out afterwards I could have been fined if my system was online w/o PTO. Specially with the repair work needed to the grid in the neighborhood.


Couldn't you have just thrown the main disconnect to isolate your home from the Grid then turned on the Solar + Enphase ESS?
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,396
10,312
SF Bay Area
My panels survided!!!.. I could have sworn they were gonna be gonners but nope!.. Not a scratch!. And thankfully no roof damage. However coma.. Devastation around my neighborhood alone was severe.

Glad to hear you were okay. The images from many communities have been so sad to see. Too bad about not having PTO yet when Ida came through. With everything they are dealing with now I hope they will also push to get you granted and have one less household in the dark. I can’t imagine being without power for weeks on end. One PSPS event here was enough to convince us to add solar and PWs. Sounds like you have been able to return unlike many others who evacuated. I imagine first thing to do is empty out the refrig/freezer as soon as possible. Thanks for posting and glad you are safe and have a habitable home.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,396
10,312
SF Bay Area
I read a news story of a family that all the gas station lines were long and they counted 120 cars lined up for gas when they went in search of gasoline for their vehicle, and instead drove over to Mississipi from where they live and said it was faster and no problem getting gas there. Reminds me of the gas lines decades ago.

Seeing all those people’s homes damaged and destroyed like that is really mindblowing. Probably worse than a tornado.

Ida did have me wondering how many people lost their solar panels and or ESS too during this.
 
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I'm in New Orleans, with PV panels and a 2-PW Tesla backup. My system handled the storm very well, almost perfectly. I've got a simple gabled roof with 18 Sunpower panels facing SSW. Our strongest winds were from the east, then swinging to the south. I've got a dozen shingles missing, but no structural damage and no damage to the panels. My roof damage is comparable to my neighbors'. I've seen a lot of shingles and tarped roofs around the city, but I have not seen any damage to any solar arrays. I think the code requires them to be installed to handle a 130-mph sustained wind, but that may have been my system specification and not code.

My PW's took over when the power failed as the storm made landfall, and I didn't have as much as a blinking clock. Our neighborhood was out of power from August 29 to the early morning of Sept. 6, and I managed to keep the batteries from running down below about 20%. We had a good amount of sunshine, so were able to run the downstairs central a/c (variable speed, high efficiency) in the daytime and into evening, set to 78 degrees. Upstairs a/c (less efficient, hotter location) only ran about an hour a day. We had plenty of power for fridge, lights, fans. I'd like to have a few more panels and 3 or 4 PW's, but that's cost-prohibitive at this point, so I have to manage the power usage.

We lost internet service early on August 30, presumably when the provider's backup batteries died, but the PW system could communicate locally via its wifi network as well as by cellular connection when we were not at the house.

The only apparent fault in the system was the still-confusing Storm Watch mode. Tesla decides when that runs. It ran for a while about 48 hours before the storm, when my batteries charged from the grid to 100% (or more, per the experts). But then it stopped doing Storm Watch and the batteries went down to 97-98% by the time the storm hit. It seems like the batteries should remain topped off as the storm approaches. I was set to backup-only the entire time.

For New Orleans, this was a serious storm, but our conditions were the type we get roughly every 10-15 years -- serious, but manageable. The city didn't experience the 150 mph sustained winds experienced by the poor folks nearer the eye, where a gust of 172 was registered on the coast. For reference, 150mph is a strong EF-3 tornado; 170 mph is an EF4. Still, in the city, this was nothing like Katrina. Ida's gusts in the city hit 90-110, depending on location, but sustained winds would have been lower. There was no flooding in the city. Power is now back in over 95% of the city, restaurants and grocery stores and home-repair stores are open and relatively well-stocked. Outlying areas will be in bad shape for a while.
 

gpez

Member
Apr 25, 2019
794
661
USA
I'm in New Orleans, with PV panels and a 2-PW Tesla backup. My system handled the storm very well, almost perfectly. I've got a simple gabled roof with 18 Sunpower panels facing SSW. Our strongest winds were from the east, then swinging to the south. I've got a dozen shingles missing, but no structural damage and no damage to the panels. My roof damage is comparable to my neighbors'. I've seen a lot of shingles and tarped roofs around the city, but I have not seen any damage to any solar arrays. I think the code requires them to be installed to handle a 130-mph sustained wind, but that may have been my system specification and not code.

My PW's took over when the power failed as the storm made landfall, and I didn't have as much as a blinking clock. Our neighborhood was out of power from August 29 to the early morning of Sept. 6, and I managed to keep the batteries from running down below about 20%. We had a good amount of sunshine, so were able to run the downstairs central a/c (variable speed, high efficiency) in the daytime and into evening, set to 78 degrees. Upstairs a/c (less efficient, hotter location) only ran about an hour a day. We had plenty of power for fridge, lights, fans. I'd like to have a few more panels and 3 or 4 PW's, but that's cost-prohibitive at this point, so I have to manage the power usage.

We lost internet service early on August 30, presumably when the provider's backup batteries died, but the PW system could communicate locally via its wifi network as well as by cellular connection when we were not at the house.

The only apparent fault in the system was the still-confusing Storm Watch mode. Tesla decides when that runs. It ran for a while about 48 hours before the storm, when my batteries charged from the grid to 100% (or more, per the experts). But then it stopped doing Storm Watch and the batteries went down to 97-98% by the time the storm hit. It seems like the batteries should remain topped off as the storm approaches. I was set to backup-only the entire time.

For New Orleans, this was a serious storm, but our conditions were the type we get roughly every 10-15 years -- serious, but manageable. The city didn't experience the 150 mph sustained winds experienced by the poor folks nearer the eye, where a gust of 172 was registered on the coast. For reference, 150mph is a strong EF-3 tornado; 170 mph is an EF4. Still, in the city, this was nothing like Katrina. Ida's gusts in the city hit 90-110, depending on location, but sustained winds would have been lower. There was no flooding in the city. Power is now back in over 95% of the city, restaurants and grocery stores and home-repair stores are open and relatively well-stocked. Outlying areas will be in bad shape for a while.
This is exactly the anecdote I was hoping to read, thanks for sharing!

Now the important question: how jealous were your neighbors? :)
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,396
10,312
SF Bay Area
@Doom Man thanks for taking the time to post. As solar/PW owners who haven’t been “tested” yet you do wonder how well it works and does it work as advertised. Our PSPS event back in 10/2019 with more expected to occur in the years ahead (storms, earthquakes, wildfires) motivated us 1st week of January 2020 to place our order. We’ve had PTO two months shy of a year now but are on track to slightly exceed predicted annual solar production. Our additional 3 PW2s have given us an almost 100% self-powered experience every month and no electrical use charges. Waiting for our true-up with our community aggregate provider in November to see how we did on what we sent to the grid. Mainly though bought for the backup ability and solar charging of our cars.

Your experience made for an interesting, educational read. Thanks again. Glad much of your area is coming back and know there’s lots of recovery work ahead.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,396
10,312
SF Bay Area
@el-guapin and @Doom Man are you in Storm Watch now with Tropical Stotm Nicolas heading for Louisiana? Let us know how everything performs and hope you stay dry and powered. After Ida sure this is the last thing people wanted to see. Our friend in the Phoenix area that ended up with roof and water damage when a storm hit that area recently said he was still trying to get someone out for the roof weeks later. At least he’s been dry since then.
 
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@el-guapin and @Doom Man are you in Storm Watch now with Tropical Stotm Nicolas heading for Louisiana? Let us know how everything performs and hope you stay dry and powered. After Ida sure this is the last thing people wanted to see. Our friend in the Phoenix area that ended up with roof and water damage when a storm hit that area recently said he was still trying to get someone out for the roof weeks later. At least he’s been dry since then.
Thanks! I don't think I'm in Storm Watch now ... but I haven't seen what Storm Watch looks like in the new app. T.S. Nicholas is far to the west of New Orleans, so Storm Watch wouldn't normally activate.
 
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