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Is this what Storm Watch looks like for everyone?

Yonki

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2015
609
1,788
Pacific Grove, CA
The yellow triangle with the "!" makes me think somethings not right...right? It certainly isn't working for me - we've had severe weather alerts (and 5 power outages on Feb 2 alone), but I never saw it charging from the grid.
stormwatch.gif
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,750
20,246
North Bay, CA
The yellow triangle with the "!" makes me think somethings not right...right? It certainly isn't working for me - we've had severe weather alerts (and 5 power outages on Feb 2 alone), but I never saw it charging from the grid.
stormwatch.gif
Mine has that same graphic and it works properly. We had a storm last week and it charged from the grid in anticipation.
 

Yonki

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2015
609
1,788
Pacific Grove, CA
Mine has that same graphic and it works properly. We had a storm last week and it charged from the grid in anticipation.

Interesting. I called Tesla Powerwall Support about it yesterday. The person I talked to didn't know much (anything?) about Storm Watch. She put me on hold to talk to someone knowledgeable, came back and said "Storm Watch is only activated during natural disasters." I pointed out that the whole function of Storm Watch is to charge the battery before a potential disaster, or a bad "Storm". She didn't argue, just said she'd open a ticket and someone would get back to me.

I'm not holding my breath.
 
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ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,750
20,246
North Bay, CA
Interesting. I called Tesla Powerwall Support about it yesterday. The person I talked to didn't know much (anything?) about Storm Watch. She put me on hold to talk to someone knowledgeable, came back and said "Storm Watch is only activated during natural disasters." I pointed out that the whole function of Storm Watch is to charge the battery before a potential disaster, or a bad "Storm". She didn't argue, just said she'd open a ticket and someone would get back to me.

I'm not holding my breath.
You know, Tesla rarely disappoints on their inability to know as much as this forum. :)

Is it possible that your address in Tesla's system is not your residence address? I don't know for sure where Tesla gets their storm information, but the NWS might have different regions that delineate between your profile address and installation address. Just a random guess.
 
Follow the NWS twitter feed for your area. Storm Watch is only issued on themes severe NWS storm alert, and not every alert, regardless of your frequent your power company grid goes down. Once NWS issues the most severe storm alert for your specific alert, then the Powerwalls go into Storm Watch.

(1) You'll received an APNS on your iPhone/Apple Watch when that happens.
(2) Your main screen on the Tesla iOS app will show "Storm Watch" in the upper left of the screen where you see your panels + Powerwall or just Powe
IMG_5226.jpg
rwall
(3) You're energy flow will show the Powerwall charging off grid and all the way up to 100%
(4) Once you see 100%, you'll notice it will keep charging at a much smaller space for another hour or two but the percentage is still at 100%. This because the view that shows 100% normally is really at 90%, but in Storm Watch, it is actually charging up to 100% and balancing all cells.
 
That's odd that mine doesn't..... and we've definitely had a few high wind warnings recently. The only other thing I can think of is since I have mine set to backup only mode there might be some logic in the code to automatically preclude me from a storm watch trigger. Even in backup only mode, my PW's are often at 95-96% and it would be nice to have them topped off to 110% with grid power. I tried to test it once but latency may have invalidated the test.
 
That's odd that mine doesn't..... and we've definitely had a few high wind warnings recently. The only other thing I can think of is since I have mine set to backup only mode there might be some logic in the code to automatically preclude me from a storm watch trigger. Even in backup only mode, my PW's are often at 95-96% and it would be nice to have them topped off to 110% with grid power. I tried to test it once but latency may have invalidated the test.

That might explain it. Storm Watch is similar to Backup mode but as you said it charges to the 100% SOC, so in that case you might not see Storm Watch.
 

abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
We have a High Wind Warning in place right now, and a Flash Flood Watch goes into effect tonight. Thus far, Storm Watch hasn't activated. We're using "Balanced" mode.

Meanwhile, according to the Tesla app, our Powerwalls have been at 0% charge since late last week. Our solar panels continue to be buried by snow and ice ("Sierra cement"), so we haven't had any solar production for the last 11 days, even on bright, sunny days. That's in spite of my best efforts to pull some of the snow off the roof, without actually climbing onto the roof. Thankfully, so far, the grid has stayed up.

Interestingly, ever since the Powerwalls got down to 0% reported charge, I've noticed from the app that they've been using a bit of grid power to keep them "alive", 0.4 kWh yesterday for instance.

IMG_6926.png
 
We have a High Wind Warning in place right now, and a Flash Flood Watch goes into effect tonight. Thus far, Storm Watch hasn't activated. We're using "Balanced" mode.

Meanwhile, according to the Tesla app, our Powerwalls have been at 0% charge since late last week. Our solar panels continue to be buried by snow and ice ("Sierra cement"), so we haven't had any solar production for the last 11 days, even on bright, sunny days. That's in spite of my best efforts to pull some of the snow off the roof, without actually climbing onto the roof. Thankfully, so far, the grid has stayed up.

Interestingly, ever since the Powerwalls got down to 0% reported charge, I've noticed from the app that they've been using a bit of grid power to keep them "alive", 0.4 kWh yesterday for instance.

We're having our 3rd storm since January and this is the 3rd instance of Storm Watch engaging. IT's been on for almost 32 hours. While I think the feature is great, even in PG&E's area here in the SF Bay Area, we rarely have power outages...

I'm curious if certain utilities allow Tesla to engage Storm Watch, so while the NWS sent out a severe alert, maybe the electricity providers can choose to either support Storm Watch or not. Just a thought.
 

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Mar 8, 2015
10,553
10,585
Colorado
We have a High Wind Warning in place right now, and a Flash Flood Watch goes into effect tonight. Thus far, Storm Watch hasn't activated. We're using "Balanced" mode.

Meanwhile, according to the Tesla app, our Powerwalls have been at 0% charge since late last week. Our solar panels continue to be buried by snow and ice ("Sierra cement"), so we haven't had any solar production for the last 11 days, even on bright, sunny days. That's in spite of my best efforts to pull some of the snow off the roof, without actually climbing onto the roof. Thankfully, so far, the grid has stayed up.

Interestingly, ever since the Powerwalls got down to 0% reported charge, I've noticed from the app that they've been using a bit of grid power to keep them "alive", 0.4 kWh yesterday for instance.

View attachment 376980
You should look into getting a snow roof rake to help clear the panels. Only about half my panels can be reached with my roof rake but I've found that if I clear snow off between the gutter and the bottom panel, it allows other snow that is higher up to slide down as it melts. Of course the slope of the roof helps too.

I can't imagine going 11 days without solar production! It irritates me enough after 1 day to get out there and start clearing panels off. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it for a couple dollars a day but it's good exercise.
 
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abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
I'm curious if certain utilities allow Tesla to engage Storm Watch, so while the NWS sent out a severe alert, maybe the electricity providers can choose to either support Storm Watch or not. Just a thought.
Last Fall, we had an NWS wind warning of some sort, and Storm Watch activated briefly before I turned it off. (Solar production was not an issue at that time, I didn't want to use Peak electricity to charge, and I later turned the Storm Watch feature back on.)

You should look into getting a snow roof rake to help clear the panels. Only about half my panels can be reached with my roof rake but I've found that if I clear snow off between the gutter and the bottom panel, it allows other snow that is higher up to slide down as it melts. Of course the slope of the roof helps too.
I created a makeshift snow rake by attaching a push broom to a pole, and was able to get a fraction of the snow off a lower panel. The problem is the thick layer of ice that's stuck up there. And our roof pitch isn't that steep (3/12, I believe). We've had over three feet of snow in less than two weeks, and fairly cold nights. With all of the rain that we're now expecting, people around here are worried about ice dams on their roofs. Maybe the rain will liberate the ice that's stuck to our panels.

IMG_6919.png
 
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abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
Is it possible that your address in Tesla's system is not your residence address? I don't know for sure where Tesla gets their storm information, but the NWS might have different regions that delineate between your profile address and installation address. Just a random guess.
I've wondered whether that might be the case for me. We don't get USPS mail delivery here (we have to use PO boxes), so our physical address technically doesn't have a ZIP code. As a result, depending on the mapping software, our street address gets assigned to any one of three different, possible ZIP codes, one of which actually belongs to a town in the nearby Mojave Desert.

EDIT: Yes, sure enough, on tesla.com, my installation address has a Mojave Desert ZIP code! Not sure what can be done. I'm going to call Tesla.
 
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abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
OK, I just got off the phone with Tesla. After checking our account, the Powerwall Support rep was very clear that, for Storm Watch purposes, our Powerwalls are registered with the same ZIP code as our PO box. :)

I also asked what level of NWS alert it takes to activate Storm Watch mode. The Tesla rep responded that there aren't specific NWS alerts that trigger Storm Watch activation, that the NWS evaluates on a case-by-case basis the likelihood of an extended grid outage, and passes relevant alerts on to Tesla. I don't doubt this, as I've seen NWS alerts that specifically refer to the possibility of grid outages.

As has been mentioned before, "normal" seasonal storms don't generally activate Storm Watch. The Tesla rep agreed with my statement that Tesla seems to be setting a high bar in order to preserve US customers' ability to claim the federal tax credit. And I agree that, for the $4000+ tax credit we're expecting on our two Powerwalls, it should be possible to buy a couple of residential wind turbines or install a couple more solar panels and orient them vertically, i.e., on the side of the house or ground mounted.
 
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abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
Within the last few minutes, I started noticing the faint hum of the thermal management system on our Powerwalls. Sure enough, Storm Watch mode was activated and I just got a notification on my phone from the Tesla app! Currently charging at 5.7 kW (and the SOC is still showing 0%). SCE's peak winter rates currently apply ($0.36/kWh), so this is clearly for emergency purposes only (in case the IRS is reading this). Very happy that we won't have to go without power during the high winds, the expected deluge of rain, and the subsequent, expected snowstorms!
 

abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
@zanary mentioned that, in Storm Watch mode, the Powerwall will charge higher than the customary "100%". I can confirm this. Roughly around the time that our two Powerwalls started indicating 100% state of charge, my Tesla app reported that 31 kWh had gone to the Powerwalls today. It's easy to believe that, as they initially took some time to get above 0% (due to having had zero solar energy available to charge), the ambient temperature was several degrees above freezing thus necessitating thermal conditioning, and normal battery charging losses. After reaching 100%, the Powerwalls continued charging for around 30-45 minutes more, and the app reported a total of 33.8 kWh into the Powerwalls for the day. (The storm is now intensifying, so we're thankful to have the stored energy!)

All I see when I log into tesla.com is my car - do you see energy stuff there? Maybe my account's not configured correctly.
Yes, in your main tesla.com account page, you should see both your car and your Powerwall(s). You may want to call Tesla Energy for support on adding this, though it's not a big deal. The main benefit is that it shows your Powerwall info and the purchase/order agreements that you signed. But you can't actually control anything - that's what the app is for.
 
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