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Powerwall in WA state

thinkelastic

New Member
Jul 18, 2016
4
0
Bellevue WA
I pre-ordered a Powerwall 2 on launch day. After a long wait, I finally got a call a few weeks ago from Tesla. The person that left me a voice mail has been not been replying to my calls or emails. Finally my wife managed to talk to him. He asked her if we had solar and then told her that he will call later to get more details. I am starting to think they are just trying to figure out if they can sell me some solar (which I already have).

Has anybody had a Powerwall installed in WA state?
 

dknisely

Member
Dec 4, 2016
221
151
Seattle, WA
What's the motivation? We have fixed rate service, so no saving ability for night vs. day rates. As I understand it, the Powerwall (at least currently) cannot operate when the grid is off, so it doesn't serve a backup purpose. It also can't "stock up" from the grid, but will only store away from the solar panels, which is of limited value this far north. Also, our electric rates are some of the lowest in the country and our energy is generated in one of the cleanest forms of any state, further reducing any economic value to solar (and thus Powerwall to store solar).

Am I missing something?
 

marksvend

Member
Sep 21, 2017
119
340
Issaquah, WA
What's the motivation? We have fixed rate service, so no saving ability for night vs. day rates. As I understand it, the Powerwall (at least currently) cannot operate when the grid is off, so it doesn't serve a backup purpose.

The Powerwall certainly does work for backup, and it’s the only way to use solar panels during an outage. That’s my main motivation for getting them.

I also think we’ll start to see time of use rates locally in a few years as EVs really take off. Everyone can’t just charge at the same time when they get home.
 
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ThortsMD

Member
Nov 30, 2012
322
309
Seattle
You can use solar during an outage. Not with microinverters on the panels, but if you have a central inverter like I do, there are some on the market now (like a Sunnyboy: Use your Grid-Tie Solar System During a Blackout | Webo Solar Knowledge Base) that allow you to use power generated during an outage. If I ever need to replace my now 9 year old inverter, I'm going to get one that allows me to be self powered during outages.

But I agree about the economics of a Powerwall here in the PNW. Unless you have a Tesla solar roof! That would just be too cool not to include a PW in such a system. : )
 

dknisely

Member
Dec 4, 2016
221
151
Seattle, WA
You can use solar during an outage. Not with microinverters on the panels, but if you have a central inverter like I do, there are some on the market now (like a Sunnyboy: Use your Grid-Tie Solar System During a Blackout | Webo Solar Knowledge Base) that allow you to use power generated during an outage. If I ever need to replace my now 9 year old inverter, I'm going to get one that allows me to be self powered during outages.

I see they have lifted that restriction. Initially, that capability was disabled, perhaps due to regulations in CA or someplace. I guess if you live in an area with unreliable power, it might be a useful alternative to a generator, although a generator would be a lot more economical unless you have a lot of outages.

Can the Powerwall legally charge itself from the grid, or does it only charge from solar? I'm pretty sure they can't (legally), for example, charge up overnight with low rates in CA and discharge during the day (peak rates).
 

marksvend

Member
Sep 21, 2017
119
340
Issaquah, WA
Can the Powerwall legally charge itself from the grid, or does it only charge from solar? I'm pretty sure they can't (legally), for example, charge up overnight with low rates in CA and discharge during the day (peak rates).

There's no reason you can't charge a Powerwall from the grid, but you'll only get the 30% tax credit if you install it in a way that it only charges from solar.

In a major earthquake such as a Cascadia Subduction quake, our modern wood-framed home will probably still be standing. However, electricity will be out for weeks and there will likely be no natural gas service or fuel available for a generator. Having batteries attached to solar would make a huge difference in quality of life until things return to normal. Bridges will be out and nearby hotels will be full as well.

Being able to live off-grid in a crisis, even at night, is a major selling point for batteries plus solar.
 

goneskiian

Active Member
Nov 16, 2012
2,625
812
Bellevue WA
What's the motivation? We have fixed rate service, so no saving ability for night vs. day rates. As I understand it, the Powerwall (at least currently) cannot operate when the grid is off, so it doesn't serve a backup purpose. It also can't "stock up" from the grid, but will only store away from the solar panels, which is of limited value this far north. Also, our electric rates are some of the lowest in the country and our energy is generated in one of the cleanest forms of any state, further reducing any economic value to solar (and thus Powerwall to store solar).

Am I missing something?
Our electricity is pretty clean but not entirely. Consider that the OP is in Bellevue (not Seattle like yourself), which is served by Puget Sound Energy. PSE still gets 59% of it's electricity from coal and natural gas vs. the 88% Hydroelectric Seattle City Light uses.
 
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thinkelastic

New Member
Jul 18, 2016
4
0
Bellevue WA
Yes that is my use case, backup for emergencies. I actually experience several outages per year.

I also have microinverters. I thought there was an AC model that would charge from the AC coming from the microinverters.

In any case it seems their sales team is ran by the Wolf of Wall St :-(
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,703
8,041
Seattle area, WA
In a major earthquake such as a Cascadia Subduction quake, our modern wood-framed home will probably still be standing. However, electricity will be out for weeks and there will likely be no natural gas service or fuel available for a generator. Having batteries attached to solar would make a huge difference in quality of life until things return to normal. Bridges will be out and nearby hotels will be full as well.

Being able to live off-grid in a crisis, even at night, is a major selling point for batteries plus solar.

In such an event which you are describing (no electricity, natural gas, or fuel available in gas stations for weeks), I suspect you'll be facing much bigger problems. Got food and water for weeks? Got security system (weapons?) to defend that food and water? Nothing draws attention like a lit up home in a blackout.

What you need is something like below. For such a setup you need more than just a powerwall, you need the higher capacity solution that Tesla will also sell you.

bunker.jpg
 

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