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Storm Watch - what triggers it?

garrett5688

Member
Oct 7, 2017
614
1,106
DFW
North Texas is currently under a winter storm warning lasting through Monday. I have storm watch enabled but it is not “active”.

I’m a bit worried because it has been so cloudy all week, I’ve just remained at my reserve of 40%. I switched to backup only to charge as much as I can, but getting very little with the cloud cover.

who or what determines an active storm watch mode? I thought it was based on NWS?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,874
12,598
Riverside Co. CA
Tesla triggers it, based on NWS warnings.

EDIT: I should say that, in my experience, stormwatch are triggered when your area is in the highest form of whatever NWS information is showing.

For example, if your specific area is under a winter storm advisory, or winter storm watch, it is unlikely stormwatch would be triggered. If your are is under a winter storm warning then stormwatch likely would be triggered, if the warning was for your specific zip code.

Its only on the highest (warning) that it seems to trigger, and not always then, if your specific area is not predicted to be impacted. At least that has been my experience (and more around high winds, not winter storms, but should be the same)
 

garrett5688

Member
Oct 7, 2017
614
1,106
DFW
Well reading the warning it would seem this is about as high as it gets...

“..HISTORIC WINTER STORM POISED TO IMPACT THE REGION SUNDAY...”

Is storm watch supposed to be automated? Or am I depending on someone at Tesla to keep up with the weather conditions across the country and “allow” me to grid charge on a case by case basis? seems a little vague.

maybe it will kick on sometime Saturday or Sunday... grid in my area is pretty stable, but still would like to know the feature works when it should...
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,874
12,598
Riverside Co. CA
Well reading the warning it would seem this is about as high as it gets...

“..HISTORIC WINTER STORM POISED TO IMPACT THE REGION SUNDAY...”

Is storm watch supposed to be automated? Or am I depending on someone at Tesla to keep up with the weather conditions across the country and “allow” me to grid charge on a case by case basis? seems a little vague.

maybe it will kick on sometime Saturday or Sunday... grid in my area is pretty stable, but still would like to know the feature works when it should...

I would imagine "north texas" is a fairly large area? It appears to me that they (tesla) narrow it down to zip codes, not large geographic areas. There isnt anything you need to (or can) do to "make it work" other than turn it on so that if they trigger it in the app, it will charge.

As for the actual triggering mechanism, I only know that tesla is responsible for it, and they use NWS data for it. As to whether someone has to approve it for an area or not, or its automated by zip code or something, I dont know.

If the storm is in "your area" but isnt projected to hit your zip code directly (for example) they likely wont turn it on. My city is about 26 square miles, and there are 3 zip codes here. I think stormwatch has been on for people in one of the zip codes in my city and not the other 2, for example.

They try to narrow the range, not widen it, at least thats what it seems like to me.
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,452
475
95762
Storm watch also activates with PG&E PSPS events. Not sure if they get an automated feed from PG&E or they monitor. I would suspect a feed.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,728
2,922
Storm Watch was triggered in the Houston area in advance of the cold weather and in time for the PowerWalls to get to 100% charge before the cold weather hit.

So that worked as it should.

But... Overnight when the grid appears to have gotten back to normal, Storm Watch was deactivated, so our PowerWalls started discharging.

Since I don't trust that the grid is really fixed after only a few hours of "normal" operation, I manually set our system to Self-Powered with a 95% reserve - and will keep it that way until we've gone at least 24 hours without any grid issues.

It would be very useful if Tesla would add notifications about "Storm Watch activated" and "Storm Watch deactivate".

We also never got app notifications on the grid going offline.

The only notification I received was an e-mail after the grid went offline, with suggestions of how to manage the PowerWalls during grid outages.
 

garrett5688

Member
Oct 7, 2017
614
1,106
DFW
I thankfully never lost power, and storm watch mode is still active for me.

I had the same thought that we need notifications for both activation and deactivation of storm watch.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,874
12,598
Riverside Co. CA
Third'ed on the "we should get notifications on these states of operation for the powerwalls. They seem to have issues with notifications in general, as many dont even get the ones that are supposed to be sent on power outages.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,518
3,508
Northern California
I thankfully never lost power, and storm watch mode is still active for me.

I had the same thought that we need notifications for both activation and deactivation of storm watch.
If you have a couple of charged PWs you could be sitting on a gold mine. I read power in texas when from $5 to $500 on Monday and Tuesday.
 

gpez

Member
Apr 25, 2019
737
606
USA
If you have a couple of charged PWs you could be sitting on a gold mine. I read power in texas when from $5 to $500 on Monday and Tuesday.

At the max wholesale rate of $9,000/MWh which is $9/kWh each Powerwall would have about $100 worth of Texas Light Sweet Electrons.
 
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garrett5688

Member
Oct 7, 2017
614
1,106
DFW
Storm watch went back on standby for me around 6 pm. It actually stayed active longer than expected, compared to the NWS warnings, but can’t complain about being prepared.

would prefer notifications, but it definitely worked as advertised
 
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