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Storm Watch - another year, another hurricane, more questions

rjdunn

Member
Jul 7, 2018
35
30
Emerald Isle, NC
I’m sitting here tonight while Hurricane Dorian is churning up the NC coast, about 60 miles or so from my house. It should pass by overnight, about 20 miles offshore. I currently have grid power, Storm Watch is enabled and active, and the Powerwall reads 99%.

However, it wasn’t easy getting here. Monday, before NC was even under a watch, I flipped the toggle for Storm Watch. The Powerwall quickly went into Storm Watch, even tho it was too early, and since I’m self consumption/no export, I needed the PW to operate normally for a couple more days. I turned it off, and it went back to normal. Then Wednesday, I turned the toggle on again, as it was already cloudy, and I was now under a hurricane watch. The PW responded and charged up...but then after a few hours went out of Storm Watch by itself even tho by then I was now under a hurricane warning, and discharged about 50% before I could set a floor on Reserve. I was not happy...

So, I called Tesla and the person I talked with said it should be on based on my location. She escalated my case and flagged it “Urgent.” At about 5am today it went back into Storm Watch and and charged up...which was good, as I lost power at 9am. Grid came back after 3 hours, but is likely to go out again tonight when the eye passes by.

They said they’d call back, but never did, but since my problem was fixed I was happy...but...why did this happen? Was my location coded wrong in their database? Is this just flaky? Thoughts?

-Joel
 

RoBoRaT

Zero Farts Given!
Nov 22, 2018
1,433
1,275
NorthSoCal
Stormwatch should work when your location is under inclement weather warning or in it.

Yesterday, I noted that Stormwatch went ON as soon as the warning is up, and shuts OFF per the National Weather Service warning ended, on the dot.
20190904_155042.jpg


Keep Stormwatch ON, so it charges PW as soon as warning is up. Then, raise Back Up % if there is looming bad weather. Check NWS for timing/end of bad weather condition. PW stormwatch uses NWS.
 

boaterva

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,575
3,815
Northern Virginia, USA
Why are you turning Stormwatch on and off? It should be enabled all the time so when you have ‘warning’ weather the PW batteries are charged to 100+% so you will have backup power if you lose grid power.

You should not have to do anything. That’s the point. It’s based on the forecast. Anytime we have blizzard or thunderstorm warnings, our stormwatch is activated automatically. No need to flip a switch.
 

rjdunn

Member
Jul 7, 2018
35
30
Emerald Isle, NC
Lee, the reason I do it the way I do is my utility (a rural coop). We don’t have net metering, and it’s either a buy-all/sell-all, or full self consumption. They get antsy if I export more than a deminimus amount. So, I knew Tuesday would be sunny, therefore I wanted to absorb excess solar into the PW. Then, when it was cloudy, and the solar output low, I’d put it in and charge off grid...which worked, except that the PW took itself out of Storm Watch...

I’d prefer not to do it this way, and I don’t care about compensation from the utility, I just don’t want them pissed if I give them a few free kWh

Why are you turning Stormwatch on and off? It should be enabled all the time so when you have ‘warning’ weather the PW batteries are charged to 100+% so you will have backup power if you lose grid power.

You should not have to do anything. That’s the point. It’s based on the forecast. Anytime we have blizzard or thunderstorm warnings, our stormwatch is activated automatically. No need to flip a switch.
 

trmmcd

Member
Dec 28, 2015
229
275
Arlington, MA
Storm watch is a bit of a mess. Storm Watch turned on for me two days before Dorian was expected to be nearby. I was encouraged that it seemed to be pro-active - thinking it was working correctly. Today - I received alerts from my electric provider warning of potential outages and my area was under tropical storm warning. I checked in on my powerwall and it was no longer in Storm Watch and was down to 50%. So now the storm is near, the National Weather Service has a Tropical Storm Warning, the storm is apporaching and Storm Watch has dropped out. I called Tesla, spent 2 hours navigating through phone centers to the Powerwall team. They couldn’t really explain why Storm Watch wasn’t active, but they did change me to backup mode and allowed me to charge up. I was pleased with the end result, but really believe someone needs to explain how storm watch is supposed to work.

I think what might have occurred is that originally there was a full county tropical storm warning that was scaled back to a few communities within the county. Storm Watch likely couldn’t handle the nuance of a few zip codes in a much bigger county. Of course the storm doesn’t honor county boundaries.

At the very least, it would be good to hear from Tesla which NWS alerts are supposed to activate Storm Watch.
 

hodad66

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 26, 2019
104
58
Indialantic, Fl
As we went into "Storm Watch" (central Florida) I noticed that the Powerwalls
were running down to 98% and staying there. Twice I reverted off of storm watch
& switched to self power just to get the batteries back up to 100%. Luckily the
storm passed and I showed a power outage of 10 minutes. We were away and
almost everything in the house was turned off except the fridge and routers. Needless
to say the draw was minimal. Not much of a test but "Storm Watch" didn't seem to
provide 100% backup as designed.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: RoBoRaT

woferry

Member
Mar 4, 2019
406
478
San Jose, CA
Some people on here have claimed that the Powerwall 2 enables extra capacity when Storm Watch is active (i.e. it'll charge the battery to a higher level than it normally does). So you may only be seeing a reading less than 100% just because 100% has been re-defined when Storm Watch is active. I have nothing to back that claim up, just something I've seen mentioned multiple times on this forum. We do know they play tricks with the app's % compared to what the Gateway reports, did you look at the Gateway's percentage reporting when Storm Watch was active? Wondering if it might perhaps show >100%.
 

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