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Powerwall 2 - Outage “Switchover” Delays?

Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
13
USA
My PV remains in production when there is an outage. Then after 5 minutes I see the three of my inverters (Delta Solivia) shut off solar production while the SolarEdge inverter stays online and producing. 5 minutes later, the Delta inverters come back online.


If you jump to about 3:14 in the above video, you can see that the solar is happily producing at 12.4 kW during an outage. Then the Powerwalls try the grid again. The Delta inverters stop producing while the SolarEdge continues to produce. Around 8:56, the Delta Solivia inverters start coming back online. Then at 9:25, there's another 'outage' and the cycle repeats.

It appears that the level of charge (loc) in your PowerWalls was below the level considered “high charge” (90%+) when you recorded this. I wonder what would have occurred if the PWs were at 91%+?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,878
Riverside Co. CA
It seems that the behavior of the Gateway is related to the loc in the PWs relative to the Load from the Home & PV production.

Given the above, here’s a scenario: The PV is producing 10kW, the PWs are charged at 50%, and the Home is drawing 5kWs at the moment that an Outage occurs.

I would expect that if things go according to expectations, within a few minutes of the outage the PV would certainly be providing 5kWs to the Home & 5kWs to the PWs.

The Question: all else equal, what would happen if the outage remained in place long enough for the PV to FULLY Charge the PWs? Would the Gateway recognize the excess energy and shut down the PV and revert to power SOLELY from the PWs?

I thought this was answered earlier in the thread, but yes, the gateway would shut down the PV (by raising the frequency to 65 Hz, or if one has contacted tesla to ask for a lower number, whatever that lower number is) and the home would run SOLEY off the powerwalls in the scenario you mention.... until the powerwalls drain down to 96-97% charge, then the gateway would lower the frequency to allow the PV to come back on, then the PV would come on and if it was still providing more power than the home was using, re fill the powerwalls from 96-97 percent to 100%, then the gateway would shut the PV off, rinse repeat, until the PV came on and was NOT providing more power than the home load, in which case both the PV and powerwalls would power the home.

This is all speaking from a "power connection to the grid is out, home is in microgrid" scenario.

Basically, the TL ;DR version is, in your scenario, yes the PV would be cycled off and on by the powerwalls as the powerwalls drained down to 96-97% and got filled back up to 100%, with the time the PV is off obviously not producing energy.
 
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Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
13
USA
I thought this was answered earlier in the thread, but yes, the gateway would shut down the PV (by raising the frequency to 65 Hz, or if one has contacted tesla to ask for a lower number, whatever that lower number is) and the home would run SOLEY off the powerwalls in the scenario you mention.... until the powerwalls drain down to 96-97% charge, then the gateway would lower the frequency to allow the PV to come back on, then the PV would come on and if it was still providing more power than the home was using, re fill the powerwalls from 96-97 percent to 100%, then the gateway would shut the PV off, rinse repeat, until the PV came on and was NOT providing more power than the home load, in which case both the PV and powerwalls would power the home.

This is all speaking from a "power connection to the grid is out, home is in microgrid" scenario.

Basically, the TL ;DR version is, in your scenario, yes the PV would be cycled off and on by the powerwalls as the powerwalls drained down to 96-97% and got filled back up to 100%, with the time the PV is off obviously not producing energy.

Wrt the reduction in frequency, I contacted tesla with the model of my UPS’s a week ago, but there is no way to check to see if they implemented the adjustment. Is it just a matter of trial & error or is there another way to verify?

incidentally, what is the likelihood that the reduction in frequency could make it more likely that the PV remains running thru an outage (assuming low level of charge in PWs)? Or is that 100% irrelevant?
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,109
2,512
Orlando, FL
incidentally, what is the likelihood that the reduction in frequency could make it more likely that the PV remains running thru an outage (assuming low level of charge in PWs)? Or is that 100% irrelevant?

It’s totally irrelevant. If the powerwalls are fully charged at the time of the outage then they will turn off the inverters as soon as an outage happens. If they aren’t fully charged at the time of the outage then they won’t raise the frequency at all, but the inverters may still turn off because of the disruption in the grid.

Even when they lower the frequency the make sure that it is still high enough that it will be able to shut off the inverters.

However, that said, I’m not sure why you are obsessed with the inverters remaining on when an outage happens. If the powerwalls aren’t fully charged and the inverters do turn off because of the disruption in the grid then they will be off for 5 minutes, until they are satisfied that the microgrid power provided by the powerwalls is stable.

Even if you have a large solar system and the outage happens during peak production time the impact will be pretty minimal. Say your system is producing 12kW at the time of the outage. If the inverters are off for 5 minutes then you would only lose 1kWh of production. This will just be a tiny fraction of your daily production.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,878
Riverside Co. CA
Wrt the reduction in frequency, I contacted tesla with the model of my UPS’s a week ago, but there is no way to check to see if they implemented the adjustment. Is it just a matter of trial & error or is there another way to verify?

incidentally, what is the likelihood that the reduction in frequency could make it more likely that the PV remains running thru an outage (assuming low level of charge in PWs)? Or is that 100% irrelevant?


1. On the "reduction in frequency" question, most people check with a kill watt or similar device. You thrown your main breaker and see what frequency the powerwall changes your power to on your kill a watt or similar device. I purchased this one from amazon which is not a kill a watt but gave me the exact information I was looking for (frequency), along with some other stuff:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0777H8MS8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

2. On the " PV remain on during a power outage with no disruption" question its irrelevant in my opinion. It will only be off for 5 minutes while the powerwall checks grid etc, and then ,if the powerwalls are NOT full it will turn back on after that 5 minutes until its full.

PV will turn off during those checks, but its completely irrelevant because either your pw's are full (and will provide energy for the home till they reach 97%) then PV turns back on, or the powerwalls are not full, and the PV is off for 5 minutes then turns back on.
 

Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
13
USA
It’s totally irrelevant. If the powerwalls are fully charged at the time of the outage then they will turn off the inverters as soon as an outage happens. If they aren’t fully charged at the time of the outage then they won’t raise the frequency at all, but the inverters may still turn off because of the disruption in the grid.

Even when they lower the frequency the make sure that it is still high enough that it will be able to shut off the inverters.

However, that said, I’m not sure why you are obsessed with the inverters remaining on when an outage happens. If the powerwalls aren’t fully charged and the inverters do turn off because of the disruption in the grid then they will be off for 5 minutes, until they are satisfied that the microgrid power provided by the powerwalls is stable.

Even if you have a large solar system and the outage happens during peak production time the impact will be pretty minimal. Say your system is producing 12kW at the time of the outage. If the inverters are off for 5 minutes then you would only lose 1kWh of production. This will just be a tiny fraction of your daily production.

#1 im not sure it’s ideal to have PV Inverters continually cycling on & off over the duration of a day—I’d guess not.
#2 if tesla haven’t adjusted the frequency in the PWs to eliminate the UPS issue, then every time the PV resets the UPS will be BEEPING until the PV resumes production.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,878
Riverside Co. CA
#1 im not sure it’s ideal to have PV continually cycling on & off over the duration of a day—I’d guess not.
#2 if tesla haven’t adjusted the frequency in the PWs to eliminate the UPS issue, then every time the PV resets the UPS will be BEEPING until the PV resumes production.

There is no way to eliminate that cycling if the PV is generating enough electricity to both power the home and fill the powerwalls. The power has to go somewhere. You can always charge your car or something to drain the powerwalls, but I doubt its any more harmful to the PV to turn off and on as it is for it for your main breakers or something.
 

Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
13
USA
There is no way to eliminate that cycling if the PV is generating enough electricity to both power the home and fill the powerwalls. The power has to go somewhere. You can always charge your car or something to drain the powerwalls, but I doubt its any more harmful to the PV to turn off and on as it is for it for your main breakers or something.

There must be a way to eliminate the PV cycling if the energy generated by the PV is able to be 100% absorbed by the PWs + Home Load. I’ve seen videos on this very thread as evidence not to mentioned multiple users’ statements. Based on comments on other threads I may need to adjust the Frequency Settings INSIDE the PV Inverters.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,878
Riverside Co. CA
There must be a way to eliminate the PV cycling if the energy generated by the PV is able to be 100% absorbed by the PWs + Home Load. I’ve seen videos on this very thread as evidence not to mentioned multiple users’ statements.

Not that first 5 minutes in a power outage situation, at least I dont think so. That is what it appears you are focused on. If you are NOT talking about the first 5 minutes, and instead talking about after that, then sure, if the home load + powerwalls can absorb the PV, it wont turn off... AFTER the first 5 minutes of a power outage.
 
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Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
13
USA
Not that first 5 minutes in a power outage situation, at least I dont think so. That is what it appears you are focused on. If you are NOT talking about the first 5 minutes, and instead talking about after that, then sure, if the home load + powerwalls can absorb the PV, it wont turn off... AFTER the first 5 minutes of a power outage.

I’m referring to immediately after the outage.

scroll up in this thread. Video evidence of outage with PV uninterrupted.
Powerwall 2 - Outage “Switchover” Delays?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,878
Riverside Co. CA
So, I know its not your video but @MorrisonHiker 's but at the very beginning of the video, the grid is already off (so the "first" power outage has already occured, as the system is off grid already. In any case, I am not an electrical expert, I can only go off what my own system does and what I have researched here.

I dont think that video shows me anything I havent seen though, and it doesnt show that the entire system was still producing when the first power outage occurs. I also think that @MorrisonHiker 's system is not a great one to compare to, as I believe its a very large system that was installed at two different times, so I unless your system matches that ( a large system, installed at two different times) I dont think it makes for an apt comparison.

In any case, I dont see the issue with the PV being off for 5 minutes, but I am not you ,and if you are unhappy with it, then you should get whoever installed your system to explain why it works that way.
 

Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
13
USA
So, I know its not your video but @MorrisonHiker 's but at the very beginning of the video, the grid is already off (so the "first" power outage has already occured, as the system is off grid already. In any case, I am not an electrical expert, I can only go off what my own system does and what I have researched here.

I dont think that video shows me anything I havent seen though, and it doesnt show that the entire system was still producing when the first power outage occurs. I also think that @MorrisonHiker 's system is not a great one to compare to, as I believe its a very large system that was installed at two different times, so I unless your system matches that ( a large system, installed at two different times) I dont think it makes for an apt comparison.

In any case, I dont see the issue with the PV being off for 5 minutes, but I am not you ,and if you are unhappy with it, then you should get whoever installed your system to explain why it works that way.

Not sure why you’re focusing on “the first outage” in the video. What about the other outage in the video that clearly shows the PV producing uninterrupted?

I’m not an electrical expert either so I think we should refrain from implying that posters like BrettS (and numerous others) are lying when they state that their PV produces power uninterrupted thru an outage given the right conditions—nor should we assume a larger system installed 2 different times has any bearing on this. At least not without some reason & logic behind the supposition.

incidentally, in my latest conversations with Tesla, they indicated that the PV SHOULD continue to produce uninterrupted under ideal conditions thru an outage.

What I’m looking into is the internal frequency settings in my PV Inverters. I believe that could be the culprit!

I’ll keep you posted.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,691
2,802
To verify what happens with a specific installation during a power outage, you should be able to test this yourselves by throwing the breaker that connects the Gateway to the grid.

Our Gateway has that breaker at the top of the Gateway box, so it's easy to throw that breaker, and then watch what the system does.

This is an easy way to verify which UPS or other devices have problems due to the brief power outage during the transition or a change in the power frequency.

It will also demonstrate how the Gateway handles solar power when the PowerWalls are almost fully charged - and how the Gateway manages the transition back to grid power when the grid power is restored.

It's much better to do a test of this than wait for an actual outage - and be surprised about how the system is operating...
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,218
952
Silver Spring, MD
Wrt the reduction in frequency, I contacted tesla with the model of my UPS’s a week ago, but there is no way to check to see if they implemented the adjustment. Is it just a matter of trial & error or is there another way to verify?
As @bob_p said, testing yourself is the way to go. In addition to seeing if the UPS still complains, you can view the frequency (as reported by Tesla) if you are on the same network as your gateway, once you figure out the gateway's IP address. It will likely be something like https://192.168.1.x/api/meters/aggregates (where "x" is the specific address assigned to your gateway - and some will use a completely different set of IP addresses.) The nice thing about checking the frequency here is it doesn't require any additional equipment.
 
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Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
13
USA
To verify what happens with a specific installation during a power outage, you should be able to test this yourselves by throwing the breaker that connects the Gateway to the grid.

Our Gateway has that breaker at the top of the Gateway box, so it's easy to throw that breaker, and then watch what the system does.

This is an easy way to verify which UPS or other devices have problems due to the brief power outage during the transition or a change in the power frequency.

It will also demonstrate how the Gateway handles solar power when the PowerWalls are almost fully charged - and how the Gateway manages the transition back to grid power when the grid power is restored.

It's much better to do a test of this than wait for an actual outage - and be surprised about how the system is operating...

Agreed however we have already had several outages which is why I created this thread.

We know the PV is being reset immediately following an outage even with the PWs at low charge—the question is can something be adjusted in the existing system to allow the PVs to run uninterrupted as so many others’ systems appear to allow?
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,101
3,171
Northern California
Agreed however we have already had several outages which is why I created this thread.

We know the PV is being reset immediately following an outage even with the PWs at low charge—the question is can something be adjusted in the existing system to allow the PVs to run uninterrupted as so many others’ systems appear to allow?
I don't think there is any way to prevent the PV inverters from shutting down or decreasing production (which seems to be rather crude) once all of the places that can take the PV power (home, batteries, and grid) are either full or unavailable (i.e grid is down). The power produced by the PV via the inverters has to have somewhere to go.
 
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cridinger82

Member
Aug 5, 2020
66
31
Hollywood, Florida
I know i spoke about this before.... It also seems kind of hit or miss with Tesla installers or if your inverter can do it, would be to curtail the PV to what the house demands are... house needs 1 kw. PV produces 1 kw... i know it is done based on the frequency being adjusted and the inverter following the frequency in a ramp up ramp down fashion... anyone have any more info on this? i'm still waiting on permitting, but will definitely be looking into setting this up on my system. i much prefer not switching back and forth and allowing the pv if possible to run the whole house until it can't anymore.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,101
3,171
Northern California
Wrt the reduction in frequency, I contacted tesla with the model of my UPS’s a week ago, but there is no way to check to see if they implemented the adjustment. Is it just a matter of trial & error or is there another way to verify?

I put in a call to have this changed on my system last week. The guy at Tesla said he would call me back when the change was done. Said it would take 5-7 working days. I have heard other people say it took 2 weeks.
 

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