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MASTER THREAD: Oct 2019 electric utility power shutdowns in various parts of California

Discussion in 'California' started by sceptic, Oct 8, 2019.

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  1. Russell

    Russell Supporting Member

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    Did you check the Tesla app? I got the message last night a little after 9pm.
     
  2. sceptic

    sceptic Member

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    Yes, but there was no notice to check it - I only did after reading about stuff here and there was a red dot by the
    "gear" icon I had to hit to see the message. Without prior knowledge I wouldn't have even looked - a text or email would automatically alert me.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I’ve started a new thread in the California Supercharger forum where you can post if you have verified or reliable information that a Supercharger is not operational because of a utility power shutdown, see
    MASTER THREAD: post here if you know that a Supercharger is down due to utility power shutdowns

    @ChrisJ did you visit the Napa Supercharger today and found out it is not operational, or did you hear that from someone?
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. Trevor B

    Trevor B Active Member

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    • Informative x 1
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  5. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Member

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    I live 4 miles from the supercharger and it was down this AM. I the just checked the car and it still shows offline. I know all the traffic signals are still out in the adjacent area and causing traffic problems during the commute. Vallejo on the car is reporting cars plugged in and they were never hit with the outage anyway and not on the list.

    Car is showing one of the Fairfield superchargers down too (Travis/Mall) but the app is also showing cars plugged in and active.
     
  6. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #66 Ulmo, Oct 9, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    You mean be lame?

    All the lame things in California started in Los Angeles, then moved North.
    Well, 90%. No reason to damage your battery if you're not immediately going someplace with it. Top up to 100% immediately before commuting to work.

    Great link!!!

    So, it looks like I charged up my Powerwalls to 100% and used grid electricity for two days at great expense (I'd figure about $25) for no good reason! What a stupid waste! PG&E will leave us alone.

    For almost the entire day, the leaves on the top of the 200 foot trees wouldn't even move a 16th of an inch. Nothing. No wind. Barely was there a rustle for about an hour in mid-afternoon when there's usually a bit more wind. I didn't really grow up with wind, here, though, so wind is really not a common thing around here.

    Of course, around here, the forests are (supposed to be) coastal redwoods that get morning dew all but 5 to 10 days of the year, so basically they don't burn. (The big problem trees are the Australia weeds called "Eucalyptus" which should all immediately be removed and replaced with redwoods.)

    I feel like I'm prepared for something that will never happen.

    I know about the PV ones, but what are you referring to for the battery ones?

    Interesting. More resolution than the prior map, but absolutely wrong. I see the same power lines both inside and outside the blue region. There is literally no way to shut down the ones in the blue sections without also shutting down the ones in the not-blue sections, and vice versa, in the neighborhood where I am. FWIW, I'm about 50 feet inside the blue line, but that's meaningless, because other homes on the same lines are outside the blue section.

    Do you know anywhere this is being discussed to get a better idea? I'll look in the Energy forum here.
     

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    • Funny x 1
  7. Big Earl

    Big Earl Supporting Member

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    Millions of people without power (estimated at 2,000,000 last I heard). That’s about 800,000 customers, also known as power meters.
     
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  8. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    That's because Inverters have absurd anti-citizen anti-islanding software built in. For that to work:
    1. The inverters would have to be designed to reduce the amount of power taken from the solar panels to compensate.
    2. They might need a sink to put it in temporarily, such as a large capacitor.
    3. Definitely battery backups solve the problem in #2 and #1, but also, when the batteries are full, they can tell the inverter to slow down or stop. One of the problems is that they are not very well integrated, so not all battery systems tell inverters to slow down; many of the better ones do, like what @wk057 has done, but many do not.
    4. The inverter you're using to give the solar inverters a "grid" to spoof off would have to be like a grid, which means (a) perfect-ish sine wave and (b) infinite-like capability to have extremely low "impedance", i.e., someplace to put all the excess energy (see problem from #1). I suppose that could be a greater-than-inverter-output resistance heater that is voltage regulated to take exactly the right amount, but that would have to be a whole specific device.
    5. Your Tesla charges faster than most home solar installations; unless your solar installation is above 10kW, better above 15kW or so (and from what I remember maybe yours is), then it wouldn't be enough to slow-charge your Tesla unless you really-slow-charged it. However, if you plugged it into Level 1, or have a really large panel system and limited to the lowest amps possible for Level 2, then I guess it would work, once you solve #1-4.
    Ok, here's a plug for electrical engineer type tinkerers that want to solve it:

    wk057.solar
    EVTV Motor Verks - Custom Electric Car Conversion Instructional Videos

    Or off the shelf, but a hell of a waiting list (this is what I have, and it works well, but it is way undersized, so I want much much more):

    Tesla Powerwall
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    This all has a feel of what did King Chairman Xi tell Gov Newsom to do for him. This isn't about free private citizens in control of their destiny and some well managed utilities.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    As is mentioned in the article ("Overall, power to about 800,000 customers is expected to be shut off, leaving more than 2 million people in the dark"), customers != people, since e.g. entire apartment complexes can be a single customer for PG&E.
     
  11. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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  12. 11thIndian

    11thIndian Member

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    I just got my car at the end of the month and we're doing our first trip from San Jose to Truckee in the Tesla this weekend.

    Looks like I need to stop somewhere along 80 for about 10-20 min to get up there (the way back you don't need to charge). Looking at the two maps Vacaville "might" be outside of the blackout. Both Sacramento chargers are in the clear. Roseville is also on the edge of blackout territory. Rocklin is likely out. Chargers in Truckee itself look good.

    To not overly worry my wife, I'll probably to try and stop in Vacaville or Sacramento.

    I wonder if the "in car" nav will tell us if it's up or down?
     
  13. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    I believe the Sacramento location is powered by SMUD
    Roseville location is powered by Roseville electric.
     
  14. dgatwood

    dgatwood Member

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    There is. It starts by putting all of the power lines underground where they belong.


    Do you still have power?


    Nothing to do with saving money. This is what happens when the only people still at the helm are lawyers. Between the whole Erin Brockovich thing, the San Bruno pipeline explosion, and the Camp fire, that company seems like a sociopathic nightmare of a criminal organization that exists primarily to divert funds from the public to their execs up at the top of the organization. The best thing that could happen to California would be their creditors demanding Chapter 7, shutting the whole thing down, selling off the assets, giving the money back to the shareholders, and letting the state of California buy up the infrastructure and run it as a nonprofit.

    It's not really that absurd or anti-citizen. The reason most grid-tie solar systems don't let you provide power when the grid is down is twofold. First, they don't want to light up the linemen who are repairing the lines. Second, when the grid comes back up, the inverter has to get in sync with it phase-wise, or else you'd have a very dangerous situation, and it's a lot cheaper and easier to just shut down and wait until you have a signal than to disconnect from the grid, wait for a signal, momentarily shut off the inverter to resynchronize it, then turn back on the inverter and connect back to the grid. There are, of course, grid-tie systems that do the latter; they just cost more $$$$. :)
     
    • Like x 1
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    My 3-year old solar/battery system automatically kicks in when the grid goes down and automatically reconnects.

    So far my neighborhood still has power. I’m out of the country but can check my Nest Cams to verify my house has power (only some of my house circuits are tied to my solar/battery system; 2 of my 4 cameras need grid power to operate). My house is right on the edge of an area PG&E identified as potentially going to be shut down. My Nest Cams clearly show that there was barely a breeze in my neighborhood yesterday.
     
  16. gilscales

    gilscales Active Member

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    #76 gilscales, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    The report recommended that the state waive and streamline regulatory requirements and direct Cal Fire to immediately begin 35 fuel reduction projects, such as the removal of dead trees, brush clearing and prescribed burns to create fuel breaks, defensible space and safe travel corridors on 90,000 acres of land around cities and towns vulnerable to wildfires.
     

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  17. bmah

    bmah Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums

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    I thought it was interesting that we lost power in Lafayette around 11:15PM last night, but my co-worker who lives half a mile from me got chopped 30 minutes before that.

    Current state in case anyone's wondering: Powerwalls kicked in, but our home network went down due to AC frequency issues (well known on the Tesla Energy forum here), which caused a bunch of other problems that didn't seem real important to solve at oh-dark-thirty. Woke up this morning to a more sane state, got the network put back together. Solar running the house and recharging Powerwalls now.

    Bruce.
     
    • Like x 3
    • Informative x 1
  18. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

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    Glad to see they are continuing to add solar and now Powerpacks to the Superchargers!
     
  19. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

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    OK. Thanks for the info

    If I were getting a $12,000 powerwall with a 10+KW battery inside I would look at doing what I could to protect it. I like the idea of steel poles. I was thinking of adding a bump on the outside of the house for my solar inverter anyway. Maybe I will make if big enough for a battery, just in case. Ah, more stucco and painting.
     
  20. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

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    Bruce, what are charging your neighbors to charge their phones?:)

    BTW, a "true-sine" backup battery will keep your home network up. I have unit from CyberPower that works well. $120 or so.
     

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