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Powerwall only no solar, Tesla app fails to charge batteries during off peak

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
I am surprised that with my very basic setup, 3 powerwall's with no solar, that the Tesla app has not reliably charged my batteries during the off peak time period 00:00 - 15:00. It has reliably served my load during the on peak period 15:00-00:00, but when it turns to the off peak time period the powerwall's go into standby mode. I have had to manually force them to charge by changing from time based controls to back up only. There really is nothing else for the app to think about, off peak charge immediately, on peak discharge until the reserve is hit, should be pretty simple and straight forward.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,538
Orlando, FL
I believe that there’s actually a little more intelligence to it that’s just “Charge in off peak and discharge in peak”. I believe that the app tries to learn how much power your house uses and will only charge enough to be able to get you through the peak period without hitting your reserve. So it may not fully charge your powerwalls during the off peak period.

Do you make it through the peak period without hitting the reserve, even if the powerwalls haven’t been fully charged during the off peak period?
 
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getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,398
447
95762
I believe that there’s actually a little more intelligence to it that’s just “Charge in off peak and discharge in peak”. I believe that the app tries to learn how much power your house uses and will only charge enough to be able to get you through the peak period without hitting your reserve. So it may not fully charge your powerwalls during the off peak period.

Do you make it through the peak period without hitting the reserve, even if the powerwalls haven’t been fully charged during the off peak period?
that would seem to defeat the purpose of being backup. You would want to have 100% for backup.
Primary purpose of PWs = backup for outage
Secondary purpose = rate arbitrage

The app should not be over thinking this
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,241
6,014
Merced, CA
I am surprised that with my very basic setup, 3 powerwall's with no solar, that the Tesla app has not reliably charged my batteries during the off peak time period 00:00 - 15:00. It has reliably served my load during the on peak period 15:00-00:00, but when it turns to the off peak time period the powerwall's go into standby mode. I have had to manually force them to charge by changing from time based controls to back up only. There really is nothing else for the app to think about, off peak charge immediately, on peak discharge until the reserve is hit, should be pretty simple and straight forward.

I didn't realize there's any place in california you can use powerwalls to load shift usage without solar as that would require charging powerwalls from the grid rather than solar which we can't do.

So why do you have it set to anything other than backup mode? Even then I'm assuming there's some provision that allows grid charging but only for backup mode and if you game the system by switching back and fourth I imagine PG&E will get upset.

....or are you in the small section of Placer County served by Liberty?
 

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
SGIP.

Under my SGIP agreement I am required to select a rate plant that has a TOU aspect. I am required to discharge my batteries 52 times a year, so once per week, I assume that means that I need to use at about 6kwh per day on average over peak hours. With the rate schedules if I do not have the batteries cover that amount my peak usage on average, I won't get my rebate, and my cost of power would be substantially more than my old rate.

The other purpose for the batteries is backup power for the multiple PSPS events that have happened in my area. This should allow the "storm watch" feature to fully charge the batteries prior to a PSPS event.

As far as the programming, I really do not care if the batteries are charged at midnight or at noon, but because they serve a dual purpose, load shifting, and backup power it again would seem to me that they should charge to full as soon as off peak time is established.

Tonight I will resist my urge to force the batteries to charge and see if the app eventually charges them. As it has been very hot I am using about 60% of the batteries capacity from 1500-2400, so they should charge at leas somewhat between 2400-1500.
 

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
Powerwall's are still not charging off-peak. I believe I am at tier 2 Tesla support but I am not sure because they do not communicate very well. I will call them again today and see if they have a fix.
 

Dh202020

New Member
Jul 24, 2021
1
0
Uk
Powerwall's are still not charging off-peak. I believe I am at tier 2 Tesla support but I am not sure because they do not communicate very well. I will call them again today and see if they have a fix.
Hi, did you get any joy solving the issue?
I'm in UK totally fed up with the algorithm set up, how does it know the wife wants to bake and do the laundry the next day and still only charge to 50% the night before??
Why can't it be like the car... I want 80% charge by tomorrow I get 80%!! (I know how far I'm traveling... Algorithm doesn't!)
Called powerwall a few times they say they pass on my concerns.
Rant over.... Thanks David
 

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
Hi, did you get any joy solving the issue?
I'm in UK totally fed up with the algorithm set up, how does it know the wife wants to bake and do the laundry the next day and still only charge to 50% the night before??
Why can't it be like the car... I want 80% charge by tomorrow I get 80%!! (I know how far I'm traveling... Algorithm doesn't!)
Called powerwall a few times they say they pass on my concerns.
Rant over.... Thanks David

Unfortunately no. Tesla has elevated the issue to "Service Engineering team" saying they believe that it is a firmware issue. I told them it might be a firmware issue after talking with Texaco on this forum who has a similar setup, powerwall with no solar. He is running a different firmware that works. I got downgraded to firmware 20.49.0 when many others reported this.

I certainly agree that Tesla needs to let the end user have some advanced control and functionality in the app. From the different stories that I have read many have a similar complaint about the "Algorithm". Algo's are great right up until they are not doing what is desired and then they suck. This Algo absolutely will not charge my batteries regardless of the current charge level or previous days usage, the time based algo is broken on my system when it comes to charging.

I am hopeful that they fix this issue. I have reported the issue to the CPUC in California and to my electric utility PG&E SGIP program. The thing that sucks for Tesla is that I have signed a contract to operate these batteries in a specific way, charge them off peak and discharge them on peak. The CPUC is paying out around 600 million dollars to put in similar setups throughout high fire danger areas. PG&E and CPUC have a vested interest in this program being successful, which means the batteries need to charge off peak, automatically.
 
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Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
Tesla has now had this issue for 6 weeks. 3 weeks at tier 2 support followed by 3 weeks at engineering support. They have yet to send even 1 watt of energy to charge the powerwall's.

I can force them to charge in one of 2 ways. Force the system to back-up and they will immediately commence charging from the grid. Keep the system in time based control but increase the reserve amount to above the current charge level and they will start to charge during off-peak time.

Both the CPUC and PG&E didn't seem to really care at all. I think that is funny due to the fact they paid almost $40k for the system and have already paid me the entire rebate.

Sad on all accounts. I am glad that my off-peak is between midnight and 1500 as it gives me ample opportunity to recharge manually, even if it is extremely annoying that it is not automated.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
271
148
California
Tesla has now had this issue for 6 weeks. 3 weeks at tier 2 support followed by 3 weeks at engineering support. They have yet to send even 1 watt of energy to charge the powerwall's.

I can force them to charge in one of 2 ways. Force the system to back-up and they will immediately commence charging from the grid. Keep the system in time based control but increase the reserve amount to above the current charge level and they will start to charge during off-peak time.

Both the CPUC and PG&E didn't seem to really care at all. I think that is funny due to the fact they paid almost $40k for the system and have already paid me the entire rebate.

Sad on all accounts. I am glad that my off-peak is between midnight and 1500 as it gives me ample opportunity to recharge manually, even if it is extremely annoying that it is not automated.

Perhaps CPUC and PG&E don't care because your PW"s are mainly for backup power during PSPS based on the SGIP subsidies you received. So, as far as they are concerned the PW's are working as expected. The fact that you can't easily do rate arbitrage is probably not important to them. May also mean more revenue for PG&E if your PW's end up charging more during peak hours.
 
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Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
Perhaps CPUC and PG&E don't care because your PW"s are mainly for backup power during PSPS based on the SGIP subsidies you received. So, as far as they are concerned the PW's are working as expected. The fact that you can't easily do rate arbitrage is probably not important to them. May also mean more revenue for PG&E if your PW's end up charging more during peak hours.

That might be correct if they did not have me sign an agreement stating that I would "for a minimum of 5 years, to discharge the storage system in an amount equivalent to 52 complete cycles per year of the incentivized energy capacity rating, with the discharges occurring during peak hours or peak day events". The system has a dual purpose, load shifting, and backup power during PSPS events.

The system is certainly not "working as expected" While I am no fan of PG&E I would not believe that even they would not want SGIP customers to load shift as this explicitly helps them save money. They have ample supplies of energy during my off-peak times, and the system allows me to serve ALL of my peak usage from 15:00-24:00.

"May also mean more revenue for PG&E if your PW's end up charging more during peak hours." So you think they spent almost $40k to get more revenue out of me? That is more money than I have paid them for electric service over the last 20 years that I have been their customer.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
271
148
California
That might be correct if they did not have me sign an agreement stating that I would "for a minimum of 5 years, to discharge the storage system in an amount equivalent to 52 complete cycles per year of the incentivized energy capacity rating, with the discharges occurring during peak hours or peak day events". The system has a dual purpose, load shifting, and backup power during PSPS events.
Nothing in the agreement requires you to charge during off-peak hours in order to be compliant.

The system is certainly not "working as expected" While I am no fan of PG&E I would not believe that even they would not want SGIP customers to load shift as this explicitly helps them save money. They have ample supplies of energy during my off-peak times, and the system allows me to serve ALL of my peak usage from 15:00-24:00.
They probably care as a concept but not enough to work too hard on it.

"May also mean more revenue for PG&E if your PW's end up charging more during peak hours." So you think they spent almost $40k to get more revenue out of me? That is more money than I have paid them for electric service over the last 20 years that I have been their customer.
I doubt PG&E paid much if any of the $40K. It's mostly if no all from the state. PG&E wants every dime they can get, it's why they charge a relatively small monthly NBC for solar owners.
 

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
After 68 days nearly 10 weeks, talking with Tesla support multiple times, having the issue escalated to Tier 2 support, having the issue escalated to Engineering support for almost 7 weeks I contacted Tesla support one last time on September the 2nd.

I told the Tesla support individual my issue, I informed her that I have been evacuated from my home for 16 days and that I really needed the system to automatically charge during the off peak, and I informed her that I would not be leaving the phone call until the issue was either fixed or I was talking to Tesla management.

After about 1 hour she fixed the issue. She said something about a miss-configuration on the back end at Tesla. I gave her very high marks on my review, the rest of Tesla Energy, garbage support.

And to cali8484 nice try troll, you are wrong on all counts!
 

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
I believe that there’s actually a little more intelligence to it that’s just “Charge in off peak and discharge in peak”. I believe that the app tries to learn how much power your house uses and will only charge enough to be able to get you through the peak period without hitting your reserve. So it may not fully charge your powerwalls during the off peak period.

Do you make it through the peak period without hitting the reserve, even if the powerwalls haven’t been fully charged during the off peak period?

The system works exactly as I described, now that it actually works. It starts to charge to full as soon as off-peak period is hit, it discharges all the way down to reserve during peak period. I have only been using 5 kW per day due to being evacuated and it still charges to full each night starting at midnight.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
271
148
California
After 68 days nearly 10 weeks, talking with Tesla support multiple times, having the issue escalated to Tier 2 support, having the issue escalated to Engineering support for almost 7 weeks I contacted Tesla support one last time on September the 2nd.

I told the Tesla support individual my issue, I informed her that I have been evacuated from my home for 16 days and that I really needed the system to automatically charge during the off peak, and I informed her that I would not be leaving the phone call until the issue was either fixed or I was talking to Tesla management.

After about 1 hour she fixed the issue. She said something about a miss-configuration on the back end at Tesla. I gave her very high marks on my review, the rest of Tesla Energy, garbage support.

And to cali8484 nice try troll, you are wrong on all counts!

Glad to see your problem has been fixed by Tesla and sorry you had to evacuate. However, I don't know what you are accusing me of being wrong of? My comments were specifically about CPUC and PG&E and your latest update doesn't disprove any of them. Did CPUC or PG&E do anything to resolve your problem?
 

Zabe

Member
Jun 11, 2021
77
47
Placerville, CA
You might want to read your comments again. If you don't see that you were trolling me well I don't know what to tell you. Most likely you are just a Tesla Fanboy, who is in denial that this entire issue was Tesla's fault, not the CPUC or PG&E whom you really really wanted to blame!
 

swedge

Member
May 12, 2020
82
66
Oakland, CA
The system works exactly as I described, now that it actually works. It starts to charge to full as soon as off-peak period is hit, it discharges all the way down to reserve during peak period. I have only been using 5 kW per day due to being evacuated and it still charges to full each night starting at midnight.
Zabe, I am glad to see your no-solar system is finally working correctly. Thank you for sharing the whole story!

I am also an SGIP PowerWall owner. In addition to backup, time shifting my grid consumption to off peak times saves me money and also eliminates my the grid draw during peak load times, saving PG&E money and hence all of their customers as well. While I do have solar, I am interested in your story because sometimes I want to grid charge due to insufficient solar, and have posted info about this elsewhere in this forum. However, until your description above, I was never clear on exactly how a non-solar installation functions. So your description answers an important question for me.

For those who posted to this thread who do not know the facts: 1) PG&E and CPUC do allow, and even encourage charging PowerWall from the grid during off peak times. This is, in fact, what TOU rates are for, and why CPUC created SGIP in the first place. 2) Tesla's web site describes how PowerWall without solar is supposed to behave, which is what as the Zabe expected and eventually got Tesla to configure it for.

Anyway, thank you again, Zabe, for posting your story. I'm sorry that your installer and Tesla got it wrong and then took so long to correct their mistakes.

SW
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,919
555
auburn, ca
Zabe, I am glad to see your no-solar system is finally working correctly. Thank you for sharing the whole story!

I am also an SGIP PowerWall owner. In addition to backup, time shifting my grid consumption to off peak times saves me money and also eliminates my the grid draw during peak load times, saving PG&E money and hence all of their customers as well. While I do have solar, I am interested in your story because sometimes I want to grid charge due to insufficient solar, and have posted info about this elsewhere in this forum. However, until your description above, I was never clear on exactly how a non-solar installation functions. So your description answers an important question for me.

For those who posted to this thread who do not know the facts: 1) PG&E and CPUC do allow, and even encourage charging PowerWall from the grid during off peak times. This is, in fact, what TOU rates are for, and why CPUC created SGIP in the first place. 2) Tesla's web site describes how PowerWall without solar is supposed to behave, which is what as the Zabe expected and eventually got Tesla to configure it for.

Anyway, thank you again, Zabe, for posting your story. I'm sorry that your installer and Tesla got it wrong and then took so long to correct their mistakes.

SW
Yep, if you have no solar, you can charge what ever you want. But if you have solar, even though I believe legal with some sgip stuff, tesla WILL NOT support grid charging.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
271
148
California
You might want to read your comments again. If you don't see that you were trolling me well I don't know what to tell you. Most likely you are just a Tesla Fanboy, who is in denial that this entire issue was Tesla's fault, not the CPUC or PG&E whom you really really wanted to blame!

That might the first time I've been called a Tesla Fanboy. Tesla Energy customer service is pretty bad in general. My comments about CPUC and PG&E are mainly reflection of my frustration with them. Certainly not meant to troll you. In any case, glad your system is now working as expected.
 
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