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Just had Powerwalls kick in - grid outage [06.21.2022]

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
It reached 104 today a few hours ago and just now heard a slight noise and thought bet the grid went down. Sure enough. I truly feel for anyone across the country right now with no AC. So glad we had our system installed two years ago.

My girlfriend in San Jose was just texting that her install (non Tesla, solar redo due to panel age, and battery backup) was in its next to last day of install. They will still be waiting for PTO then. PG&E had to put up a new transformer before they could connect which they finished the other day. Not sure how widespread outage is. We are south of San Jose.

081BEF47-FFF2-48E7-B901-F53B04DF43CD.png
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
My husband got an automated call from PG&E letting him know they are working on it, estimated 9pm for our area. From PG&E outage map it affects south of San Jose and thru San Martin area in large and small blocks. There is also a large area by San Mateo/Redwood City closer to and on both sides of 280 out, more than 5K affected. Otherwise rest of bay area doesn’t look affected, at least so far.

The Tesla Superchargers at Target by Cochrane and 101 are not showing an outage.

Need to check PG&E’s outage map:

Well update -see map: more of south San Jose is included now. Immediately south of Capital Expressway, between El Camino (82) and 101, areas around and south of San Felipe Road near Evergreen also in red.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
My husband is on way home and I noticed that apparently the cell tower lost power. Getting Call Failed when I try calling out but can reach him thru our landline. Our Landline is on call forwarding to my cell and I hear home phone ring but call drops and can’t reach my cell. Frustrating. Something in general I thought might be worth calling attention to.

Yeah and now he’s in the area can’t reach him by landline anymore and lost his conmection to Location on Tesla app.
 
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BGbreeder

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
1,174
851
Bay Area
Given earthquakes and fires, you would think that cell towers would be required to have days of back up power, but that's not the case in most places, and certainly not in California. It is worth thinking about what your backup communication will be. Email can be a good option because it can take advantage of tiny segments of bandwidth. Texting has a tendency to time out under low bandwidth scenarios.

From the outage pattern, it looks like the switching station had an issue.

All the best,

BG
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
Given earthquakes and fires, you would think that cell towers would be required to have days of back up power, but that's not the case in most places, and certainly not in California. It is worth thinking about what your backup communication will be. Email can be a good option because it can take advantage of tiny segments of bandwidth. Texting has a tendency to time out under low bandwidth scenarios.

From the outage pattern, it looks like the switching station had an issue.

All the best,

BG
Yes you would wouldn’t you.
 

BGbreeder

Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
1,174
851
Bay Area
Having lived other places with arguably fewer natural disaster risks that had better power/communications quality, I just find it odd that places like the Pacific coast and Florida don't have more resiliency built into their grid and telecommunications systems.

Locally, I find it even stranger that after demonstrated issues nothing much was done to address the issues. C'est le guerre...

All the best,

BG
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
Well update. We are still in a section without power. Able to at least at this hour use cellular connection to access internet etc. and map still reporting 9pm tonight to be fixed - so not very reliable info. My husband received an automated call around 9 saying they were still working on it but no new estimate. I can see areas have come back online. Oh and we saw this added to our app so lost not only cellular but wifi and obviously can’t see our PW levels. That’s not good. Did turn up our AC a few degrees just to be careful but still comfortable now with no idea when power will be back.

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With that latest development we decided to drive over to the Morgan Hill Superchargers, and see what reception we could get there since it wasn’t in outage area on the map. Able to hear FM station with local news to get an explanation of what we saw driving over to the SCs but cell tower in area was down there, same as at our home, so no internet connection there either.
4703E4DA-C1E4-48E0-895F-C8CAC9B507A7.jpeg

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Always a scary sight especially with everything so dry. Smoky so used biodefense in our MS. This was not related to outage, but the fire consumed several outstructures near a home around Monterey Rd and Tilton and Live Oaks south of Bailey (reported viewable from 101). On way home from charging heard perimeter contained, structures still smoldering. Wildfire disaster averted. Thankfully wind was very low. Have to say relieved. Two years ago this area got treated to 3 of the Lightning Complex wildfires for weeks. But events tonight made me realize how even with PWs how vunerable and isolated you can still be. Keep your battery radios handy.

Decided to drive around our neighborhood and apart from our home, only 2 other neighbors had battery backup. One neighbor who got his PWs installed before us by Tesla and not sure about the other. We did have someone driving by in otherwise total darkness (no moon or stars seen) stop their car and ask if we actually had power. Replied Battery Backup. Surprised more homes in our area that have solar (plenty) don’t have battery backup. Tonight will probably convince some to install. Took a rather lengthy outage and threats of PSPS to motivate us.

Received PG&E automated call just now stating they expected our area to be restored by 3am. Interesting night and first outage of any real length in the two years we’ve had our system.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,575
23,626
Riverside Co. CA
Oh and we saw this added to our app so lost not only cellular but wifi and obviously can’t see our PW levels. That’s not good.

This is one of the reasons that people log into their powerwall gateway locally, specifically so they could see their powerwall status in the situation you are in.

The instructions between gateway one and two are different so I cant post them for you but tesla will have information on how to log in locally to your gateway on its website (which wont help you if you dont have internet but, in case you do, or for future).

Assuming your network / wifi in your home is up (which it should be, as your internal to your home network does not have to have internet for devices to communicate between themselves and your router), you should still be able to log in locally to the gateway and see.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
This is one of the reasons that people log into their powerwall gateway locally, specifically so they could see their powerwall status in the situation you are in.

The instructions between gateway one and two are different so I cant post them for you but tesla will have information on how to log in locally to your gateway on its website (which wont help you if you dont have internet but, in case you do, or for future).

Assuming your network / wifi in your home is up (which it should be, as your internal to your home network does not have to have internet for devices to communicate between themselves and your router), you should still be able to log in locally to the gateway and see.
Yeah we need to figure that out. Knew how to access it some time ago but since forgot. We really should print it out and have instructions near system because as was our case tonight at one point no cellular or wifi to search for it online when we wanted the info.
 
Yeah we need to figure that out. Knew how to access it some time ago but since forgot. We really should print it out and have instructions near system because as was our case tonight at one point no cellular or wifi to search for it online when we wanted the info.

I'm assuming that if you didn't have cell service at home, that your hardwired internet was also down as well?

Because of course, they'd back up the network switches and cell phone towers... Riiiiiight?
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,420
10,331
SF Bay Area
I'm assuming that if you didn't have cell service at home, that your hardwired internet was also down as well?

Because of course, they'd back up the network switches and cell phone towers... Riiiiiight?
The cellular went out first for us and then down the road (around 9pm) we lost our access to our home wifi. Different carriers. Still able to dial out on our landline. Years ago when someone sabbotaged the underground cabling from south San Jose to Gilroy and we lost cellular and internet wifi at the same time for I think a couple of days while they respliced, and only thing we had was our old landline phone for us to call our out of town parents on along with battery radio for news. I’ve stubbornly held on to it for reasons like this.

Our neighborhood just got our power restored BTW. Tesla Backup History said we were out from 5:19pm to 3:52am (now 4:21am writing this). PWs are at 67%.
 
Loss of communications can be as traumatic as loss of power. I live in a rural area with extremely poor cell phone service, frequent grid outages, and unreliable cable ISP strung above ground on utility poles. Solar and PW took care of the power problem for me. I'm now on Day 3 of having Starlink up and running (after an 18 month wait) and am relieved to say I have now mitigated the risk of loss comms. Starlink is working beautifully BTW. Definitely worth the wait.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,575
23,626
Riverside Co. CA
Loss of communications can be as traumatic as loss of power. I live in a rural area with extremely poor cell phone service, frequent grid outages, and unreliable cable ISP strung above ground on utility poles. Solar and PW took care of the power problem for me. I'm now on Day 3 of having Starlink up and running (after an 18 month wait) and am relieved to say I have now mitigated the risk of loss comms. Starlink is working beautifully BTW. Definitely worth the wait.

Yeah, starlink seems like a decent backup, and decent speeds too.
 
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