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Storm Watch failed us again [in MA, Late July 2021]

cwied

Member
Jan 13, 2015
887
643
San Mateo, CA
Isn't the Reserve controlled by the App? Does the app function differently in the NE versus CA?
When in grid services mode in the NE, the configured reserve is ignored. This is because it's a compensated program. It is a completely separate program from the California program, even though both are called VPPs. See Tesla's description of the NE program here: ConnectedSolutions | Tesla
For contrast, here is Tesla's description of California's program: Join the Tesla Virtual Power Plant | Tesla Support
 

jlv1

Twice as much fun
Oct 14, 2015
531
526
Central MA
The main thing I would point out is that some people might mistakenly get the impression that the issue the OP experienced would also apply to the California VPP. That is not the case since the California VPP allows contributors to set a backup reserve and opt out at any time. The Northeast VPPs offer compensation in exchange for the lack of this flexibility,
Correct. I was talking about VPP as it applies to me, where there is compensation. I am in MA. If there wasn't compensation, then I wouldn't be part of the VPP.

But the thread isn't necessary about VPP or compensation; it is the problem of PW only charging from the grid when there is a Storm Watch event coming, after VPP drained it to 20%. That's what failed me in this case.
 

solarAddict

Member
Jan 26, 2020
145
64
MA
The program they are in out there over rides the backup reserve setting, so that part doesnt matter.
I don't think your statement is correct. I'm in this program and when I set my reserve to 25% the discharge to grid stopped at 25%.


In the 8 months we've had the PWs, we've had 12 actual outages. I'm really beginning to think VPP isn't compatible with my needs.
If I had such track record I would probably reconsidered participation in ConnectedSolutions. When I lived in Wayland we were affected multiple times per year, it was very annoying.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,461
13,340
Riverside Co. CA
I don't think your statement is correct. I'm in this program and when I set my reserve to 25% the discharge to grid stopped at 25%.



If I had such track record I would probably reconsidered participation in ConnectedSolutions. When I lived in Wayland we were affected multiple times per year, it was very annoying.
Im only going by what other people who are in the program have specifically stated, like this OP and @jhn_ . Both those members state it over rides the setting (you can see the quote in post #6 in this thread from @jhn_ , and this OP also experienced it).

if you experience something different in the connected solutions program, maybe those users need to contact you to find out what you did when you applied for the program that may be different from theirs.
 

jhn_

Member
Jan 21, 2021
252
261
Northeast United States
I don't think your statement is correct. I'm in this program and when I set my reserve to 25% the discharge to grid stopped at 25%.
@jjrandorin is correct. Tesla can/will override the reserve down to a max of 20% during an event for this “Connected Solutions” VPP in New England. It’s on their webpage and in the contract docs.


“How can I ensure that I’ll still have backup energy if I need it?
Severe storms: Storm Watch mode will be active 24/7/365 and will prioritize backup over participation in this program if a severe storm is forecast.
During program events: the Powerwall will always retain at least 20 percent of its capacity as backup during events. Of course, program events only make up 3% of the year.
All other times: You can set your backup preferences in your Tesla app.“

@solarAddict You’ve just been lucky I guess that the event ended or Tesla didn’t need those last few % for the VPP.
 

solarAddict

Member
Jan 26, 2020
145
64
MA
I had a little experiment today to check if I was right.

Knowing that today would be a "event" day for Connected Solutions I set my reserve to 25% vs usual 20%.
The event kicked in at 3:45 pm with PW 100% charged and continued till 5:55 pm when PW 's level hit 25%. Next time I checked PW's level at 7:16 pm and it was 24%. The I reset my reserve to 20% and hew min later I saw PWs are discharging to home..

So I'm pretty sure my previous statement was correct - Connected Solution discharges your PW to the level set by reserve. At least it is in my case.
 

jhn_

Member
Jan 21, 2021
252
261
Northeast United States
@solarAddict That is not the case. Tesla can discharge them down to 20% regardless of what you have you reserve set to. I’ve posted links to the documentation from Tesla saying so earlier in this thread.

I think your few stat points are still just coincidence. And 5% is very tight margin to call it. Try setting your reserve to something like 50% next time. And if it does stop at 50% during an event consider yourself lucky that Tesla messed up the config on your powerwalls to let your reserve be the final word.

During Connected Solution events, including yesterday, my powerwalls are always drained below reserve I’ve set at 33%. But they don’t always go as low as the 20% Tesla can take them to. Yesterday they took them to 25% in the same time frame as your event.
 

Will792

Member
Oct 9, 2018
41
28
CT
@solarAddict That is not the case. Tesla can discharge them down to 20% regardless of what you have you reserve set to. I’ve posted links to the documentation from Tesla saying so earlier in this thread.

I think your few stat points are still just coincidence. And 5% is very tight margin to call it. Try setting your reserve to something like 50% next time. And if it does stop at 50% during an event consider yourself lucky that Tesla messed up the config on your powerwalls to let your reserve be the final word.

During Connected Solution events, including yesterday, my powerwalls are always drained below reserve I’ve set at 33%. But they don’t always go as low as the 20% Tesla can take them to. Yesterday they took them to 25% in the same time frame as your event.
That is my experience as well. Connected Solutions event ignores reserve setting. Yesterday graph to support it. I have 3 PWs and reserve set at 40%. PWs sent 30.7KWh to the grid between 4PM and 7PM.
 

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solarAddict

Member
Jan 26, 2020
145
64
MA
@solarAddict That is not the case. Tesla can discharge them down to 20% regardless of what you have you reserve set to. I’ve posted links to the documentation from Tesla saying so earlier in this thread.

I think your few stat points are still just coincidence. And 5% is very tight margin to call it. Try setting your reserve to something like 50% next time. And if it does stop at 50% during an event consider yourself lucky that Tesla messed up the config on your powerwalls to let your reserve be the final word.

During Connected Solution events, including yesterday, my powerwalls are always drained below reserve I’ve set at 33%. But they don’t always go as low as the 20% Tesla can take them to. Yesterday they took them to 25% in the same time frame as your event.
I might try to set reserve higher next time. But I would not call it coincidence because a day before I had a reserve set to 20% and PW were discharged to 20%.
Perhaps there is a threshold like 25 or 30% is acceptable, and 40% - is too much and getting override ?

Or perhaps I indeed got lucky? Doubtful, because it never happened with me lol. Btw, I used not Tesla but local company if it could make any difference in this case
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,349
1,061
Silver Spring, MD
@solarAddict That is not the case. Tesla can discharge them down to 20% regardless of what you have you reserve set to. I’ve posted links to the documentation from Tesla saying so earlier in this thread.

I think your few stat points are still just coincidence. And 5% is very tight margin to call it. Try setting your reserve to something like 50% next time. And if it does stop at 50% during an event consider yourself lucky that Tesla messed up the config on your powerwalls to let your reserve be the final word.

During Connected Solution events, including yesterday, my powerwalls are always drained below reserve I’ve set at 33%. But they don’t always go as low as the 20% Tesla can take them to. Yesterday they took them to 25% in the same time frame as your event.
I would agree that 5% difference too close for testing, particularly since Tesla has two sets of numbers, and 25% on the API is about 21% on the app. So, depending on which number a customer is looking at and which number Tesla is talking about, they potentially could be the same thing. (And Tesla has definitely been inconsistent in the past about whether the percentages they reference are true/API numbers or the customer/app percentages.)
 
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solarAddict

Member
Jan 26, 2020
145
64
MA
Update.

You guys were correct. At least today :D
I set the reserve to 31% today and it was mercilessly ignored, discharge stopped at 21%. So for those who affected by frequent power outages the participation in Connected Solutions is probably not recommended.
 

jhn_

Member
Jan 21, 2021
252
261
Northeast United States
Update.

You guys were correct. At least today :D
I set the reserve to 31% today and it was mercilessly ignored, discharge stopped at 21%. So for those who affected by frequent power outages the participation in Connected Solutions is probably not recommended.

Or just buy lots of Powerwalls, 20% of 5 Powerwalls is still 13.5kwh for backup. 😁
 

solarAddict

Member
Jan 26, 2020
145
64
MA
Or just buy lots of Powerwalls, 20% of 5 Powerwalls is still 13.5kwh for backup. 😁

I'm OK with current setup and my participation in CS.
Even with 2 PWs and 10kw array I'm having a hard time when explaining some family members why I spent so much $$ on this project lol
Imagine what happen when I get my hands on Cybertruck :D
 

jhn_

Member
Jan 21, 2021
252
261
Northeast United States
Is it possible to flip the switch on the powerwall if you are expecting storm to stop it from exporting?
Yeah could flip the switch or the breaker for one or more Powerwall. Might draw some attention at Tesla as it would look like a bad powerwall from their side of things controlling the VPP.

Might as well not participate in the VPP though too as cutting out a Powerwall would bring down your average of continuous kw exported which is how they pay us Powerwall owners in the Connect Solutions VPP.
 

Bitslizer

Member
Jun 16, 2021
254
87
IL
Yeah could flip the switch or the breaker for one or more Powerwall. Might draw some attention at Tesla as it would look like a bad powerwall from their side of things controlling the VPP.

Might as well not participate in the VPP though too as cutting out a Powerwall would bring down your average of continuous kw exported which is how they pay us Powerwall owners in the Connect Solutions VPP.

Well some subsidy is better than none, and not every single event is associated with a severe storm
 

RHinCT

Member
Feb 24, 2020
28
28
Connecticut, USA
I just ordered a system (12.24 kW Solar Panels, 2 Powerwalls) and live in part of Connecticut (Eversource) that can participate in the program, so I've been following this discussion with interest. One question I have is about how it is disabled for storms. What determines that there is a storm that qualifies for not using your power? The National Weather Service, when they issue an advisory or warning? Many such warnings I see cover many counties over many hours. Or an actual storm in my immediate area? The NWS doesn't get very local in my experience, but I have an app on my iPhone (Dark Sky) that is highly localized. Who decides? Or, more accurately I am sure, what system decides? Has there been a disconnect between expectations and reality regarding such storms?
Thanks!
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,349
1,061
Silver Spring, MD
I just ordered a system (12.24 kW Solar Panels, 2 Powerwalls) and live in part of Connecticut (Eversource) that can participate in the program, so I've been following this discussion with interest. One question I have is about how it is disabled for storms. What determines that there is a storm that qualifies for not using your power? The National Weather Service, when they issue an advisory or warning? Many such warnings I see cover many counties over many hours. Or an actual storm in my immediate area? The NWS doesn't get very local in my experience, but I have an app on my iPhone (Dark Sky) that is highly localized. Who decides? Or, more accurately I am sure, what system decides? Has there been a disconnect between expectations and reality regarding such storms?
Thanks!
The answer seems to be the same as the answer to when does Tesla Storm Watch kick in, which Tesla describes here. In short, Tesla decides, but the decision seems to be automated and based on certain NWS warnings being active for your location. While Tesla does not explicitly document the list of warnings, a notable exclusion as reported by multiple users on this forum is Severe Thunderstorm Warnings - these seem to not trigger Storm Watch and therefore also do not seem to suspend draining of the batteries during planned events.

(Tesla does seem to occasionally enable Storm Watch without an NWS warning, but the main example is in advance of planned power shutoffs in California, so that does not apply here.)

One thing that has changed with the NWS is that in the last month they announced new severe thunderstorm categories. In addition to a regular severe thunderstorm warning, there are now warnings for ones with "considerable" and "destructive" damage potential. Perhaps at some point, Tesla will setup Storm Watch to kick in at the considerable and destructive levels, even if it does not for the "base" warning.
 
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