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How do the Powerwalls switch from time based control to backup

AEdennis

Active Member
Jul 23, 2013
2,719
948
If you're confident that you have enough charge and DON'T want to charge from the grid during a PSPS (and Storm Watch), you have to manually de-select Storm Watch...

When mine goes on Storm Watch, in the Summer, and rates are 61¢ a kWh and the house tries to charge from the grid instead, I turn it off, and let time-based continue to run off battery...

I switch it back to Storm Watch after peak hours. If the condition still exists, the house charges from the grid at Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak hours... (Basically doing what I thought it would do when I signed up at the event in Universal Studios... It technically can, but because of the Federal regulations in the USA for solar connected systems, we're not allowed to, except for emergency conditions, like a Storm Watch event.)
 
If you're confident that you have enough charge and DON'T want to charge from the grid during a PSPS (and Storm Watch), you have to manually de-select Storm Watch...

When mine goes on Storm Watch, in the Summer, and rates are 61¢ a kWh and the house tries to charge from the grid instead, I turn it off, and let time-based continue to run off battery...

I switch it back to Storm Watch after peak hours. If the condition still exists, the house charges from the grid at Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak hours... (Basically doing what I thought it would do when I signed up at the event in Universal Studios... It technically can, but because of the Federal regulations in the USA for solar connected systems, we're not allowed to, except for emergency conditions, like a Storm Watch event.)
Good point, if I need the batteries but storm watch is activate but not in use and it runs into peak I would override.
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,760
645
95762
Here is another question, if I shut off storm watch once the power is shut off let’s say for a PSPS won’t the Powerwalls automatically take over.
once power is shut off, PWs will take over no matter what mode you are in

personally, I would allow my PWs to charge from the grid at high rates if there was a weather or PSPS warning. Why not be sure you can make it through the outage for a few bucks more?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,318
18,136
Riverside Co. CA
Here is another question, if I shut off storm watch once the power is shut off let’s say for a PSPS won’t the Powerwalls automatically take over.

Stormwatch mode simply charges the powerwalls from the grid, at the max charge rate they can take, when triggered because of a National weather "warnings" (usually not "watch, or advisories". No matter what mode your powerwalls are in, if stormwatch is enabled in your app, your powerwalls will:

1. Charge from the grid until they hit 99-100%, ignoring any peak, off peak etc times.
2. Not discharge at all, while grid connected, ignoring any peak, off peak, self powered etc settings
3. Return to normal operation when stormwatch mode is canceled by the end of the NWS "warning".

Thats pretty much it. If you turn off stormwatch mode, then the powerwall will operate as normal, meaning it would take over if you have no grid connection. That includes a power safety power shutoff (PSPS). The difference is, if you shut off stormwatch mode, there is no guarantee your powerwalls will be "full" because they will be obeying their normal settings (that is, unless your normal setting is "backup only".

Many times, when I hear of a weather "advisory" in my area (there have been a lot more weather alerts than I knew about in my area, because I really didnt pay attention to them before I got powerwalls), I usually just swap my powerwalls from their normal operation mode (self powered for me) to backup only. That gets them charging from solar, in case the weather situation turns from a "watch" to an "advisory" and stormwatch kicks on.

Stormwatch mode (charging from grid) overrides charging from solar, with charging from the grid, even if there is enough solar to charge. I am sure that tesla's thinking is, "if stormwatch mode is on the person doesnt care about how much it cost to charge, its more important to fill the powerwalls as fast as possible". You can toggle it off if you want, and you are comfortable with being able to get enough power without grid charging.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jhn_
Stormwatch mode simply charges the powerwalls from the grid, at the max charge rate they can take, when triggered because of a National weather "warnings" (usually not "watch, or advisories". No matter what mode your powerwalls are in, if stormwatch is enabled in your app, your powerwalls will:

1. Charge from the grid until they hit 99-100%, ignoring any peak, off peak etc times.
2. Not discharge at all, while grid connected, ignoring any peak, off peak, self powered etc settings
3. Return to normal operation when stormwatch mode is canceled by the end of the NWS "warning".

Thats pretty much it. If you turn off stormwatch mode, then the powerwall will operate as normal, meaning it would take over if you have no grid connection. That includes a power safety power shutoff (PSPS). The difference is, if you shut off stormwatch mode, there is no guarantee your powerwalls will be "full" because they will be obeying their normal settings (that is, unless your normal setting is "backup only".

Many times, when I hear of a weather "advisory" in my area (there have been a lot more weather alerts than I knew about in my area, because I really didnt pay attention to them before I got powerwalls), I usually just swap my powerwalls from their normal operation mode (self powered for me) to backup only. That gets them charging from solar, in case the weather situation turns from a "watch" to an "advisory" and stormwatch kicks on.

Stormwatch mode (charging from grid) overrides charging from solar, with charging from the grid, even if there is enough solar to charge. I am sure that tesla's thinking is, "if stormwatch mode is on the person doesnt care about how much it cost to charge, its more important to fill the powerwalls as fast as possible". You can toggle it off if you want, and you are comfortable with being able to get enough power without grid charging.
Thanks for the clarification it is appreciated
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,760
645
95762
Stormwatch mode simply charges the powerwalls from the grid, at the max charge rate they can take, when triggered because of a National weather "warnings" (usually not "watch, or advisories". No matter what mode your powerwalls are in, if stormwatch is enabled in your app, your powerwalls will:

1. Charge from the grid until they hit 99-100%, ignoring any peak, off peak etc times.
2. Not discharge at all, while grid connected, ignoring any peak, off peak, self powered etc settings
3. Return to normal operation when stormwatch mode is canceled by the end of the NWS "warning".

Thats pretty much it. If you turn off stormwatch mode, then the powerwall will operate as normal, meaning it would take over if you have no grid connection. That includes a power safety power shutoff (PSPS). The difference is, if you shut off stormwatch mode, there is no guarantee your powerwalls will be "full" because they will be obeying their normal settings (that is, unless your normal setting is "backup only".

Many times, when I hear of a weather "advisory" in my area (there have been a lot more weather alerts than I knew about in my area, because I really didnt pay attention to them before I got powerwalls), I usually just swap my powerwalls from their normal operation mode (self powered for me) to backup only. That gets them charging from solar, in case the weather situation turns from a "watch" to an "advisory" and stormwatch kicks on.

Stormwatch mode (charging from grid) overrides charging from solar, with charging from the grid, even if there is enough solar to charge. I am sure that tesla's thinking is, "if stormwatch mode is on the person doesnt care about how much it cost to charge, its more important to fill the powerwalls as fast as possible". You can toggle it off if you want, and you are comfortable with being able to get enough power without grid charging.
Pretty much the same with me. If weather looks bad, but we are not yet in a full warning, I will change to backup only and/or make my reserve high
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,769
2,747
Northern California
personally, I would allow my PWs to charge from the grid at high rates if there was a weather or PSPS warning. Why not be sure you can make it through the outage for a few bucks more?
There is usually a day or more notice before the events occur so if you have the time to monitor the situation (getting alerts from PG&E, weather apps or noticing comments on TMC) you can then proactively turn Storm Watch on at the best possible time for the lowest cost charging.
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,760
645
95762
There is usually a day or more notice before the events occur so if you have the time to monitor the situation (getting alerts from PG&E, weather apps or noticing comments on TMC) you can then proactively turn Storm Watch on at the best possible time for the lowest cost charging.
For PSPS, yes. Not always with weather. And with weather you may be dealing with lots of clouds before the event
 

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