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Powerwall mounted inside or outside?

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Shygar, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Shygar

    Shygar Member

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    I'm having solar and the powerwall installed in a couple of weeks and my intention is to have it installed outside. This is what we planned for and I think it will be the best overall location for me. East facing wall and right next to my meter. They told me being outside has no net effect on the powerwall.

    I was curious what others thought about mounting it inside (say an unheated garage) vs outside in the sun.
     
  2. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    I'd be interested to hear the answers too. If I ever get my powerwall, in the summers it'll be sitting in 100f heat outside, vs. a high of ~85f inside the garage. Current intention is to put it inside, if I recall correctly, the heat issue i one of the reasons that PW1 never made it to the hotter states.
     
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  3. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

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    I would place in my garage if you have the room. I expect to install one next year and it will be in my garage,
     
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  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    According to Tesla the Powerwall can be mounted outside without a problem, within a certain temperature range. In your climate you have no worries about that.

    It really doesn't matter. Mount it where it is most convenient for installation, or where you think it looks best.
     
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  5. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    I've been told by Tesla that they won't install Powerwalls in interior living spaces. So you could have it installed inside a garage, but not inside a home office, for instance.
     
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  6. arnis

    arnis Member

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    The closer to room temperature, the longer will Powewall last, in terms of years..
    Find the most stable temperature, sunny outdoor placement definitely is NOT.
     
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  7. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    The question is on an east facing wall at 90% to the sun near ground level how much sun will it really get. A few minutes a day?

    It's probably shaded much of the day and definitely the wrong angle for solar collection any time sun is hitting it.

    And if I remember correctly it's white. Or are you opting for a different color case?

    Sounds like a non issue to me, morning sun helps warm it up if it was a cold night, the mid day and after noon sun misses it when it's already warm or hot.
     
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  8. acentre

    acentre Member

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    I will have it installed on a basement wall, near the distribution panel. A constant, year round temperature of 55 degrees.
     
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  9. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #9 Ulmo, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
    Only Tesla knows the long term aging requirements of their battery chemistry; are we sure we are qualified to even guess this ourselves? In other words, you're second-guessing the Tesla engineers? Well then, in that case, I'll go ahead and pretend we ought to second-guess them. I would tend to agree, but that's just because I'm a logical and often careful person that gets into things more than other people. I cannot pretend to know the answer, but only to make uneducated guesses, based upon what I've heard about other batteries.

    I'd be curious how being in direct sunlight affects it. If anything, I'd rather put it in the shade. But, in San Francisco, space is such a premium, perhaps you could build some sort of shading element into your property rather than move your planned PowerWall location.

    During our 108º days, the PowerWall v2s' fans were blowing rather substantially; they were straining in the outside heat. That was a very rare event, probably one day per decade average above 105º, and record breaking for that full temp. But, it made me consider that a more conditioned space would be better for the PowerWalls overall, if it was a well ventilated non-living space with some conditioning and plenty of room for the batteries to breath and no sound communication through nearby walls to living spaces. That list of restrictions makes it basically an impossible thing in practically any installation, except those who are single-story and have ample space inside a semi-conditioned garage far from living quarters in an extreme climate area, in which case, I would recommend it; humans don't prefer to live in extreme climates, so often land is cheaper in those climates, and therefore, homes are often built with more space available, and in those types of climates, usually you would have such space available or designable, so overall, that concept at least works out architecturally with typical land uses. In our case, we have no air conditioners, so there was no place I could think of that was cooler, but that could be changed in the future if our climate changes. Therefore, unless you have extreme weather, such as living in very wet (they aren't rated for super or even very wet areas), very hot (we're trying to use logic based upon what we know of other batteries), or very cold (most likely their specifications say what the limit is) weather, then outside should be fine. Tesla's comment that it has no "net effect" basically addresses this. I wonder if Tesla's comment would be equivalent if their target installation was in Mexico, Canada or in the Amazon, or even less extreme, like Florida, Montana, or Puerto Rico.

    The only time I ever hear the fans of the PowerWalls are when I have reason to be near them, such as when I walk past them on the way to or from my car, or bringing out trash. They are 25 feet and a whole room away (including two walls) from the closest living space, and almost a hundred feet (and at least four walls) from the nearest sleeping space. If our weather ever changes into out-of-spec weather (let's say 125º every day with monsoon rains, and -5º every night), then they are improperly installed, and as part of our overall weatherization upgrade, would encase them into a semi-conditioned space to keep them in-spec. Of course, that kind of weather would introduce a list of interesting other problems far more onerous than a simple weatherization project for our home, like what kind of civilization we'd be living in, where work would be, humans, infrastructure, etc..

    Generally speaking, San Francisco is so cold that if it were not for your statement that they'd be in the sunlight in the morning, I'd say for you not to worry about it. In fact, San Francisco is so cold that them being in the sunlight in the morning might turn out to be a good thing; what does a thermometer set outside in direct morning sunlight measure for you in the hottest days in your expected installation location? Approximately 90º? Or is it closer to 110º? I'd be much more worried about 110º than 90º, but then, I don't even know if their battery pack shields against direct sunlight, and what their chemistry optimal ranges are, so that's just superstitious guessing at best.
    Here's Wikipedia's information on your location's climate:

    Estonia is situated in the northern part of the temperate climate zone and in the transition zone between maritime and continental climate. Estonia has four seasons of near-equal length. Average temperatures range from 16.3 °C (61.3 °F) on the islands to 18.1 °C (64.6 °F) inland in July, the warmest month, and from −3.5 °C (25.7 °F) on the islands to −7.6 °C (18.3 °F) inland in February, the coldest month. The average annual temperature in Estonia is 5.2 °C (41.4 °F).[133] The average precipitation in 1961–1990 ranged from 535 to 727 mm (21.1 to 28.6 in) per year.[134]
    In that climate, I would absolutely agree with you that the PowerWalls should be in a stable indoor temperature regime. If possible, I'd prefer that overall in any location, but compared to San Francisco, you have what I would refer to as extreme weather.

    But your comment is more than that; you're basically saying, the PowerWalls are probably like computers, in that they prefer human living room temperature ("stable temperatures"). I'd tend to agree, just out of experience, but not any true specific knowledge about this particular product. That's why I'd prefer a conditioned garage space.

    I've already said multiple times that in the future, I think all garages will be conditioned spaces, since EV's prefer and allow conditioned spaces, since they need less ventilation because they are far less toxic than ICE's (internal combustion engines), and their batteries prefer to be in a narrower temperature range than gas engines. This would nicely fit with the PowerWall installations being interior to the same garage spaces as the electric cars; they'd need to be positioned not to be causing noise to living spaces and away from crash-prone areas in the garage for the cars going in and out, and not in places prone to being buried by storage, since they still have fans that need to work to moderate their temperature.
     
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  10. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    While I agree that installing indoors would probably be ideal, Estonia's outdoor temperatures probably aren't problematic for a Powerwall. Most likely, the only real downside to having the Powerwall out in the cold would be seasonal reductions in the usable battery capacity, exactly the same thing that happens with EV batteries.

    Our Powerwall (assuming everything works out; we're still waiting) is most likely going to have to be installed outside. In our SoCal mountain climate, winter nights can get cold, but usually not below -10 °C (14 °F). Our summer highs are mostly below 30 °C (86 °F). This temperature range has been fine for our EVs.
     
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  11. arnis

    arnis Member

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    Powerwall can heat itself. But it can't get anything colder than ambient air. Therefore it will be
    as warm or warmer (if it is operational) than ambient (let's forget thermal capacity and nighttime).

    And we do know that Li-ion batteries are more capable at really warm temperatures (30-50C)
    but aging processes also happen faster. Even though we do not know exactly what is inside
    PowerWalls, we know the basics of Li-ion batteries.
    We can assume 20*C is already enough for maximum capacity. Anything above that just speeds
    up aging. This is why Model S in Finland got to 400 000km with 7% degradation. That will not be the
    case in hot climate (kept outdoors).
    Powerwall is white. Therefore ~95% direct solar radiation will be reflected. But objects around Powerwall
    will significantly warm up the ambient air, especially on a windless midday.
    Ambient temperatures are measured in shades exactly due to that effect.

    In my climate, heat will not be a problem. Though Powerwall will have to heat itself to above freezing. And that
    uses energy. Therefore indoors installation is recommended. Plus waste-heat (few hundred watts) will be beneficial.
     
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  12. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    Do we know this for sure? Whether this is necessary would depend on the exact battery chemistry and Tesla's design choices. Nearly all Nissan LEAFs (but not mine), for instance, have a battery heater that turns on when the pack temperature drops to -20 °C (-4 °F). Obviously that's well below freezing, yet I'm not aware of any complaints of battery capacity loss in frigid climates. (The LEAF has had terrible capacity loss in warmer climates, including in cooler locales with hot summer weather, but that's another matter.)
     
  13. arnis

    arnis Member

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    Leaf has noticeable "available energy" loss in cold. Pack can stay at well below freezing without any harm, but energy
    can not be taken out. Same thing with Tesla, it shows range bar with blue restricted capacity.

    It's not degradation, it's just energy not being available. And inefficient discharge during harder accelerations.
    Leaf doesn't precondition battery like Tesla does.

    Powerpack will definitely lose available capacity if it is cold.
     
  14. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    Yes, for sure. It might also charge and discharge at slower rates than the rated 5 kW. Considering this, along with the fact that solar production is going to be much less during the winter, it may make sense for customers like myself to install an additional Powerwall.
     
  15. commasign

    commasign Active Member

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    Outside. Wanted it in the garage initially but a difficult to move GFCI outlet meant that outside is the only option. In retrospect, it looks great outside and while it can get hot in Davis, the east facing side of the house only has direct sunlight for about an hour a day due to some tall trees. The south facing garage in comparison stays hot even into the night. Overall, I'm very happy with the location and look.

    image.jpg
     
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  16. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    #16 abasile, Sep 18, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
    Thanks for sharing. Your installation looks great! There's just one thing, though - your Powerwalls appear to be quite low to the ground. Perhaps Tesla isn't worried about moisture intrusion in the event of an especially heavy rainstorm that causes water to pool.

    In my case, I think I'll have to request that the Powerwall(s) be elevated at least 15 cm (6 inches) above the concrete if possible, just so that we won't be knocking into them when shoveling snow, clearing blown leaves and pine needles, etc.
     
  17. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The weight is actually resting on the concrete pad when multiple units are stacked like that. If I'm not mistaken, the installation pictured in Post #15 is 4 PowerWall 2's. If you have a single unit on a wall, I think they can support the whole weight on the wall structure. I think that's the only way to provide the ground clearance you're talking about
     
  18. arnis

    arnis Member

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    5kW is likely inverter based (or cooling). Chemistry should be way more. There is a lowest programmed temperature limit for operation.
    PowerWall will keep that at all costs. I suspect nominal discharge speed can be expected at that temperature.
    Otherwise Tesla should specify what input/output is expected at -20*C, which is within operating range, or at least, mention
    that at the edges of allowed temperature range device will be throttled down.

    Quote:
    Operating Temperature-4°F to 122°F / -20°C to 50°C

    Where I live installation as on the picture above will be unacceptable (outside floor). Few concrete bricks and problem solved.
    5cm slush/water, which can freeze, for a month:confused: Heating cable could fix that. But why.
    A brick per wall will keep it under control.™:p
     
  19. commasign

    commasign Active Member

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    Correct. You can also wall mount up to 1 unit deep. But if you want them stacked, they have to be on the ground. The units are water resistant. Not sure how they'll handle flooding though.
     
  20. Shygar

    Shygar Member

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    Great info. One other thing to consider is if using a TOU plan and charging it at night, this process of charging it will warm it up when it would otherwise be cold outside right?
     

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