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Solar during outage

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by OCdave, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. OCdave

    OCdave Member

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    Orange County, CA
    I know this has probably been addressed a ton, but I received conflicting answers from Tesla directly. I am waiting for two powerwalls but when I inquired about an outage at this point (with solar alone), one representative told me that my system would work during the day to power my house and the other told me nothing would work with the grid down. I would assume that I would not be able to generate excess power back to the grid, but why would my panels not directly power my home's electric usage?

    Thanks and I did search for this question prior to posting and came up empty.
     
  2. cwied

    cwied Member

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    Solar inverters turn off when the grid goes out because without a transfer switch, they're still connected to the grid. The end result is you will try to power the grid if the system still produces power. This both won't work and is dangerous for utility workers because the supposedly de-energized grid will be powered. Even if you were disconnected from the grid, solar inverters are designed to synchronize with the grid electricity. They can't generate their own waveform.

    The Powerwall Gateway contains a transfer switch that disconnects you from the grid. The Powerwall inverters are able to both synchronize to the grid and operate in standalone mode. When the power is out, the Gateway disconnects and the Powerwalls generate the waveform to which the solar inverter can synchronize.
     
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  3. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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  4. OCdave

    OCdave Member

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    so there is no other option with this "gateway switch" besides a battery back up? Honestly I am not too worried about the power going out, but I also don't need to run things overnight if they do - I would be happy to just have my system kick back on in the morning when the sun comes up.
     
  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Solar is too intermittent and, without a battery, your electric devices would fail if it suddenly got cloudy. Also, where would the extra energy produced by the panels go without the grid and/or battery?
     
  6. NuShrike

    NuShrike Member

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    SoCal
    Your system will not kick back on in the morning if the grid is still down if your panels are not in island mode (cut-off from the grid via the Gateway switch). Your panels will not generate an AC waveform so they will not turn on when the sun comes back up.

    That's why you need something like a PowerWall to synthesize the AC waveform so the panels think they're still connected to the grid, and to absorb excess energy coming out of the panels not consumed by the house.
     

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