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Powerwalls inside or out for longevity?

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,134
5,930
Merced, CA
My 3 poweralls are currently installed outside in a covered breezeway(no direct sunlight). The temperatures can range from high 30s in the winter with a few weeks of 105+ temps in the summer. We even occasionally get 110 degree days but that doesn't happen every year. In 20 years, I've seen a handful of 112 degree peaks on the hottest days.

I could move the powerwalls inside on the other side of the wall the on now. The room they'd be in aren't actively heated or cooled because the vents are closed but the temperature range would be far narrower ranging from mid 50s in the winter to mid 80s in the summer when the temperature is 105 outside. i.e. bascially knocks 20 degrees off each end of the extremes.

It seems like this would be a no brainer, especially preventing them from being exposed to 100+ temps for hours each day for a month out of the year.

Any thoughts?
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,134
5,930
Merced, CA
I would move them inside. Not only are you benefiting from not exposing them to 100+ temps, but you are also keeping them safe from the elements.

I get it. It seems like a no brainer. Certainly would be a better environment. I guess what I'm really after is opinions on if it would make enough difference over the lifetime of the PWs to make it worth the time and expense to move them in.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
490
auburn, ca
I get it. It seems like a no brainer. Certainly would be a better environment. I guess what I'm really after is opinions on if it would make enough difference over the lifetime of the PWs to make it worth the time and expense to move them in.

I will have mine installed outside. Too many issues to move inside
 

kennyb03

Member
Sep 11, 2020
19
8
Southern California
Any thoughts?

I just had a powerwall installed outside in a climate that sounds very similar to yours. Last night I performed an off-grid test. By the morning my powerwall was about 35% and 35 degrees. I had read about an issue in the past where the powerwall will not charge if below 50 degrees when the grid is out. That must have been fixed as it started charging as soon at the sun came up. I guess what I'm saying is that it doesn't seem like the cold will be a problem. I'm not sure about the heat yet.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,165
3,217
Northern California
Mine are inside my garage. Minimizing temp variation is just one reason. Keeping them out of the weather (rain, etc) is another, as is the potential for damage or accidental shutdown.
 

mnsweeps

Member
Aug 3, 2019
555
135
Los Angeles
There is no difference. These Powerwalls are tested to extremes of temperatures. I even saw a video where powered ON powerwalls were immersed in water for over 15 minutes ... I assume you guys would also park your cars inside garage when its too hot outside? Model 3 and Model Y battery packs are over 72kw.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,663
12,517
California
I talked about this extensively with my installer as I can either put them on a north facing exterior wall or an interior garage wall (though the interior wall would require some work to relocate built-in shelving and some other minor inconvenience).

In the end, with their reassurance, I decided theyll be fine and will put them outside on the North wall.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,838
1,215
East Bay NorCal
IMO, since you don't specify this "room" to be a garage makes me think some inspector will deem that room to be part of the habitable space of the home. The room having vents (even if they are closed) also indicates it could have at one time been habitable space. ESS can't be mounted in habitable spaces of the home.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,165
3,217
Northern California
There is no difference. These Powerwalls are tested to extremes of temperatures. I even saw a video where powered ON powerwalls were immersed in water for over 15 minutes ... I assume you guys would also park your cars inside garage when its too hot outside? Model 3 and Model Y battery packs are over 72kw.
It is not that they are not tested for these conditions, it what these conditions do day after day, year after year. They may be fine the first few times, but after years of exposure seals dry out and that rain that used to shed so easily, leaks in.

Same with a car. If you leave your car outside all the time. Nothing happens on one hot day or even a summer of them. But over time large thermal cycles break down the rubber in hoses, fan belts, brake lines, actuator doors, plastic fittings, etc. Also, paint fades, and tires dry out and crack. I come from a family that has owned auto service shops for decades. And have plenty of experience replacing these items. You can both see, and feel, the difference when people leave their cars outside in the elements

And yes, our Teslas are in the garage when not being driven. I hate coming out to our X or 3 and find the fans running in a parking lot trying to cool the pack.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,165
3,217
Northern California
IMO, since you don't specify this "room" to be a garage makes me think some inspector will deem that room to be part of the habitable space of the home. The room having vents (even if they are closed) also indicates it could have at one time been habitable space. ESS can't be mounted in habitable spaces of the home.
Good point. I was thinking garage. However, I have seen people mount Powerwalls in their finished basement with couches, TVs, and things.

 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,092
9,839
SF Bay Area
It is not that they are not tested for these conditions, it what these conditions do day after day, year after year. They may be fine the first few times, but after years of exposure seals dry out and that rain that used to shed so easily, leaks in.

Same with a car. If you leave your car outside all the time. Nothing happens on one hot day or even a summer of them. But over time large thermal cycles break down the rubber in hoses, fan belts, brake lines, actuator doors, plastic fittings, etc. Also, paint fades, and tires dry out and crack. I come from a family that has owned auto service shops for decades. And have plenty of experience replacing these items. You can both see, and feel, the difference when people leave their cars outside in the elements

And yes, our Teslas are in the garage when not being driven. I hate coming out to our X or 3 and find the fans running in a parking lot trying to cool the pack.

I'm sure what you said about the parts of the car is true to varying degrees but I will say that our previous Toyota Avalon with sun roof was driveway kept and so was our Toyota Camry also with sun roof. 17 years on the Avalon and 8 on the Camry before getting our Teslas. Both cars were here in California with lows generally in the upper 20s and highs in the high 90s-low 100s. The Avalon's leather seats were looking a bit worn and I didn't really condition them over the years regularly but overall were in pretty good shape and weren't cracked. The exterior paint over the last few years was starting to flake (guess that was the clear coat?) but never had any problems with the other parts of the car. We did have the cars maintained regularly. I know some Toyota Avalons of a particular model (and think it applied to another manufacturer's car as well) had dashboards that were turning gummy. My 2001 didn't however have that issue even after all 17 years in the sun. Our Camry had no real issues at that point. Before our Toyotas we both had Honda Accords and the one thing that deteriorated on those being driveway parked was the rear seat back on one of them had the stitching of the fabric seats start falling apart. Never had window tint on any of the cars we owned.

How soon weather will affect our Teslas is too soon to say and I hear you on the battery concerns but feel that Tesla is doing a lot to keep them healthy. I don't think I will have my Model 3 anywhere near as long 17 years so guess I'm not super concerned about it. We both have Xpel and ceramic pro on our cars and if we have them long enough to start to see them get to their aging point and we want to still keep the cars, we'll have it removed and redone. Expect the paint underneath to be fine though. As for tires any tire will rot and likely will be replaced over a number of years with normal use anyway.
 

mnsweeps

Member
Aug 3, 2019
555
135
Los Angeles
There is a difference. But it won't be apparently immediately. Damage is cumulative.

And damage will vary based on SoC, higher temps and higher SoC is bad, lower temps and low SoC is also bad.
[/QUOTE]

If you own a Tesla car and live in an apartment complex with no garage, would you park outside or rent a storage to park everyday?
 

RandyS

Fan of Elon
Jul 8, 2012
715
931
San Diego
Can you combine the moving of the current PWs inside with another project (more solar or more PW) so you might be able to get a tax credit rolled into the job?
 

TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,116
1,614
USA
If you own a Tesla car and live in an apartment complex with no garage, would you park outside or rent a storage to park everyday?

How long are you keeping the car? If it's going to be less than 6-8 years, it won't matter that much for you. Then we have to talk about ROI, cost of the storage place vs value in the vehicle and not losing 20 miles range or whatever it ends up being.

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jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,165
3,217
Northern California
I'm sure what you said about the parts of the car is true to varying degrees but I will say that our previous Toyota Avalon with sun roof was driveway kept and so was our Toyota Camry also with sun roof. 17 years on the Avalon and 8 on the Camry before getting our Teslas. Both cars were here in California with lows generally in the upper 20s and highs in the high 90s-low 100s. The Avalon's leather seats were looking a bit worn and I didn't really condition them over the years regularly but overall were in pretty good shape and weren't cracked. The exterior paint over the last few years was starting to flake (guess that was the clear coat?) but never had any problems with the other parts of the car. We did have the cars maintained regularly. I know some Toyota Avalons of a particular model (and think it applied to another manufacturer's car as well) had dashboards that were turning gummy. My 2001 didn't however have that issue even after all 17 years in the sun. Our Camry had no real issues at that point. Before our Toyotas we both had Honda Accords and the one thing that deteriorated on those being driveway parked was the rear seat back on one of them had the stitching of the fabric seats start falling apart. Never had window tint on any of the cars we owned.

How soon weather will affect our Teslas is too soon to say and I hear you on the battery concerns but feel that Tesla is doing a lot to keep them healthy. I don't think I will have my Model 3 anywhere near as long 17 years so guess I'm not super concerned about it. We both have Xpel and ceramic pro on our cars and if we have them long enough to start to see them get to their aging point and we want to still keep the cars, we'll have it removed and redone. Expect the paint underneath to be fine though. As for tires any tire will rot and likely will be replaced over a number of years with normal use anyway.

Tesla paint jobs are known to not be the greatest. Partially this is to blame with California laws that do not allow the use of anything but low-VOC type paints. They don't adhere as well, are softer, and chip easier. My guess is the paint job on your Teslas will not hold nearly as well as your Toyotas, especially if you had not spent the extra $$$ to have them coated.

But like I said, when a car comes in a shop a mechanic can recognize pretty quickly cars that are garaged or otherwise protected from the elements. Certain cars, like BMWs, are famous for splitting their rear seats by your head because of sun exposure. Others like Hondas can have steer wheel cracks. Fords leak air and water at their windows as the door and window seal dry out, and it goes on and on.

Bottom like weather can be hard on things.
 
Last edited:

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,238
967
Silver Spring, MD
If you own a Tesla car and live in an apartment complex with no garage, would you park outside or rent a storage to park everyday?
I don't think anybody has said don't get a PW if it is going to be located outside or don't get a Tesla vehicle if you have no garage, but that doesn't mean there is no difference in expected lifespan or cost of ownership. With a PW, an indoor location will likely save you a bit of money on heating/cooling the unit, and it will also generally experience less wear and tear than one located outside. So, if all else is equal, an indoor option would be the better one. But when there are other factors to consider, there is nothing wrong with an outdoor location, even though, on the average, I would expect an outdoor unit to have a shorter lifespan than an indoor one. (And, to emphasize, this is on average - there will of course be indoor units that fail early and outdoor units that run for decades with no issues.)
 
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