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Power went out due to lightning. PW on battery, lost power in the house momentarily.

Sep 24, 2015
841
727
San Diego (Oceanside)
I posted a similar thread before here and oddly I had the same experience. Lightning tonight in the area. After one of the strikes made the UPS's beep, I switched the PW to self powered and they started supplying the house. Less than 10 minutes later, the area power went out right after a strike. Items plugged into the wall such as TV, cable box, amp, all lost power. The last thread suggested this may be normal, but since that thread, there's now a "go off grid" option in the app. Since the cutover is not clean when on PW, should I have selected that option instead of "self powered"?
 

power.saver

Grid Specialist
Supporting Member
Mar 4, 2018
636
670
Arcadia, CA
I posted a similar thread before here and oddly I had the same experience. Lightning tonight in the area. After one of the strikes made the UPS's beep, I switched the PW to self powered and they started supplying the house. Less than 10 minutes later, the area power went out right after a strike. Items plugged into the wall such as TV, cable box, amp, all lost power. The last thread suggested this may be normal, but since that thread, there's now a "go off grid" option in the app. Since the cutover is not clean when on PW, should I have selected that option instead of "self powered"?
Yes! That option would not only have made the switchover clean, but would also have isolated your house from the grid during the storm.
 

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
500
300
Bay Area
Self powered doesn't disconnect you from the grid, it just prioritizes energy use from your Powerwall(s), subject to reserves that you set.

For lightning, I think that it is much better to throw your main disconnect to keep surges from hitting the Gateway, but don't be at your panel if it is actively raining or you have nearby lightning strikes! Throw the disconnect when lightning is in the forecast, not when it is happening. (I'm not an electrician, or lightning expert, so it is just free advice.)

All the best,

BG
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,516
13,425
Riverside Co. CA
Self powered doesn't disconnect you from the grid, it just prioritizes energy use from your Powerwall(s), subject to reserves that you set.

For lightning, I think that it is much better to throw your main disconnect to keep surges from hitting the Gateway, but don't be at your panel if it is actively raining or you have nearby lightning strikes! Throw the disconnect when lightning is in the forecast, not when it is happening. (I'm not an electrician, or lightning expert, so it is just free advice.)

All the best,

BG

Since we can (supposedly anyway) now take ourselves off grid using the app, without touching the physical main disconnect at all, that might be the safest way in the above scenario since you dont have to get close to the equipment at all.

I have been too "nervous" to push that "go off grid" button, lol. Concerned that it somehow would not re connect me when I wanted to, etc. In the above situation though, I likely would have thought about it.

We had a (for california anyway) pretty "freak" lightning storm over southern california yesterday. It postponed Monday night football, as any sports fans might have noticed, and then rolled across southern cali. I had some of the loudest thunder and lightning I have ever experienced in southern california over my neighborhood in temecula (inland, riverside county), and I am a native southern californian.
 

power.saver

Grid Specialist
Supporting Member
Mar 4, 2018
636
670
Arcadia, CA
Since we can (supposedly anyway) now take ourselves off grid using the app, without touching the physical main disconnect at all, that might be the safest way in the above scenario since you dont have to get close to the equipment at all.
Absolutely. This is one of the best new features Tesla has added to the Gateway.

@jjrandorin go try it today. You'll be pleasantly surprised and ready for the next storm. Was quite a show last night!
 
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BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
500
300
Bay Area
Since we can (supposedly anyway) now take ourselves off grid using the app, without touching the physical main disconnect at all, that might be the safest way in the above scenario since you dont have to get close to the equipment at all.

I have been too "nervous" to push that "go off grid" button, lol. Concerned that it somehow would not re connect me when I wanted to, etc. In the above situation though, I likely would have thought about it.

We had a (for california anyway) pretty "freak" lightning storm over southern california yesterday. It postponed Monday night football, as any sports fans might have noticed, and then rolled across southern cali. I had some of the loudest thunder and lightning I have ever experienced in southern california over my neighborhood in temecula (inland, riverside county), and I am a native southern californian.
Yes, I agree with you that if it was already storming, the app is definitely better than using the panel main disconnect in my opinion. The less exposure to lightning, the better in my book. Having grown up with lightning, I am very respectful of its power, ability to cause damage, and kill. California has relatively fewer lightning storms than the rest of the country, but about the same fatality rate, probably due to a general lack of "situational awareness"

From NOAA, the national weather service;
Nationally, fishing and beach going are the leading categories of activities resulting in death.​

Stay safe out there. From the above report; "...the key to safety is just to go inside and not take chances..."

I would also put in a small plug for whole house surge suppression. Powerwalls and solar aren't cheap.

All the best,

BG
 
Last edited:

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
87
50
Placerville, CA
My grid power went out this morning. Everything in my home remained energized. You should not be having plugged in devices losing power unless they are extremely sensitive to voltage and or frequency excursions IMHO.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,516
13,425
Riverside Co. CA
My grid power went out this morning. Everything in my home remained energized. You should not be having plugged in devices losing power unless they are extremely sensitive to voltage and or frequency excursions IMHO.

There are some instances where transition from grid to power is not "seamless" and we have been over them a few different times in this subforum.

The TL ; DR version is, sometimes it will be seamless, sometimes not, depending on where ones power is coming from at that particular time (grid, solar , powerwalls).

If you want to read one of the discussion threads we have had in the past here on that topic, I can dig up the thread I am thinking of, and link it here.
 

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
500
300
Bay Area
Would you need multiple suppressors to handle grid surge, panels surge, inverter surge, ...???
I would; it is the belt and suspenders view of not having all of your eggs in one basket. I think that the huge advantage of a whole house surge suppressor is that it is clamping the surge as it enters your panel, limiting the voltage and energy of the surge to the rest of the house. Having other surge suppressors distributed around the house helps clamp the voltage locally. There is also the issue that a nearby lightning strike can induce voltages directly in wires at a distance, such as your household wires. That happens in all wires, so having surge suppressors close to items that you wish to protect will shield them well from these electromagnetic pulses. Solar storms do the same thing, and we are currently entering a phase of predicted large solar storms over the next six to seven years. It will get worse before it gets better.

Whole house suppressors can take in much larger amounts of energy before failing than the smaller plugin ones.

I wouldn't overlook internet, phone lines or cable; we tend to have more expensive items hooked up these days.

All the best,

BG
 

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
87
50
Placerville, CA
There are some instances where transition from grid to power is not "seamless" and we have been over them a few different times in this subforum.

The TL ; DR version is, sometimes it will be seamless, sometimes not, depending on where ones power is coming from at that particular time (grid, solar , powerwalls).

If you want to read one of the discussion threads we have had in the past here on that topic, I can dig up the thread I am thinking of, and link it here.
Power was coming from powerwall's as per his description. He should not have lost power on a grid outage.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,516
13,425
Riverside Co. CA
Absolutely. This is one of the best new features Tesla has added to the Gateway.

@jjrandorin go try it today. You'll be pleasantly surprised and ready for the next storm. Was quite a show last night!

I didnt have a circuit on the backup loads side that I was comfortable using for charging until just a couple days ago. My 120V garage outlet is daisy chained with a bunch of other outlets, including the garage lights, my garage fridge, and my outside outlets (including the one I use for my BBQ smoker).

Anyway I recently had a 14-50 outlet put in on the backup loads side a couple days ago. Luckily for me, the tesla install electrician who did my install in the beginning of 2020 lives fairly close to where I live (<20 miles) and was willing to do a bit of side work to install this for me. It was a bit more challenging that we both thought it would be, due to how full the panel is they installed for my whole home backup, but we worked it out and got the 14-50 installed properly on the backup loads side.

Now that I was all setup to test this, I did, and man its pretty darn cool! It worked exactly like described. The only part that is a bit frustrating (to nit pick) is that I wish that this worked this way when ON grid. It is very easy to take yourself off grid with the button in the app (once setup of course) and I even tried to do it with my powerwalls at 100% full, and the app would not let me.

It gave me a warning that the powerwalls were 100% full and I should drain them a bit to ensure there was no interruption in power delivery (to paraphrase the warning message it gave me when it failed to take me off grid, when powerwalls were 100%).

This was something I wanted to get done and test, so thanks for encouraging me to follow through with it!
 

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