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Tesla Gateway doesn't switch during power outage

vnda

New Member
Feb 5, 2021
3
12
HAWAII
I have 2x Power Wall 2, SolarEdge Inverter, TEG 1. Installed March 4, 2020. Monitoring app shows batteries charging during day, and discharging also when house load exceeds PV output. I set my power reserve at 40%.

I don't understand why it doesn't pull power off the grid to feed the house instead of discharging the batteries under low sun. From what I've read, the batteries get charged then operate after the sun goes down. Also, not a single backup is listed in "Backup History" since installation. That's because the batteries haven't powered the house (yet) during an outage. Tesla Customer Support says the error listed is "High Surge Current" putting the Power Walls into "self protect" mode.

I have too much in-rush current and I should turn off a few things. This escapes my logic as nothing is starting up, no motors, no compressors, etc. I'm drawing approximately 1300 watts and Tesla says I'm carrying too much load. This has happened multiple times, the last being a 3-hour outage. I was told by one tech to cycle the on/off switch 5 times on each Power Wall to reset the overload.

That did nothing. I was told to manually force the transfer switch by peeling back the label to expose an access hole. There was no switch because the "dead panel cover" was installed upside down. Had I stuck my finger into the hole I would have contacted one of the bus bar lugs. Something is causing this "overload".

After multiple tries, I finally have the installer finally coming out this week for an on-site look. During commissioning, they never did simulate a off-grid test, so I suspect I have had a non-working Gateway from the beginning. I have simulated an outage by throwing the 200-amp breaker feeding the house off. Installer says I have to wait 5-minutes before it turns on. I said I waited 20-minutes before I gave up.

Tesla customer service says overcurrent fault is unknown. Bumped to tier 2 support, after weeks, I have to call them for a status report. Same answer, I have a high surge causing the power walls to go into self-protect mode. Has anyone else experienced this situation? I fear the technician will be scatching his head. Thanks!

(moderator note: added spacing to improve readability. No other changes made)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

bmah

Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums
Mar 17, 2015
3,906
7,018
Lafayette, CA, USA
Welcome to TMC!

I'm far from an expert in this area but asking a few questions to get some information out in the open...

What operating mode do you have your Powerwalls in? (e.g. "Backup Only", "Self Powered", "Advanced / Balanced", "Advanced / Cost Saving")

What are you trying to accomplish (i.e. just back up your house? take advantage of time-of-use pricing to run your house off stored power when rates are high?)

It's been almost a year since your installation. Has your setup always been behaving in this weird way?

In addition to having your installer check the gateway itself and perform an off-grid test, I would suggest that the technician check the various current transformers (CTs). These tell the gateway how much power is going to and from the different parts of your system (to and from the grid, from solar, etc.). If these are malfunctioning or not set up correctly, one can get some odd or nonsensical results. (1300 watts is not a lot of power. Each Powerwall can provide up to 5000 watts and you have two of them, so something's not make a lot of sense.)

Bruce.
 

vnda

New Member
Feb 5, 2021
3
12
HAWAII
Welcome to TMC!

I'm far from an expert in this area but asking a few questions to get some information out in the open...

What operating mode do you have your Powerwalls in? (e.g. "Backup Only", "Self Powered", "Advanced / Balanced", "Advanced / Cost Saving")

What are you trying to accomplish (i.e. just back up your house? take advantage of time-of-use pricing to run your house off stored power when rates are high?)

It's been almost a year since your installation. Has your setup always been behaving in this weird way?

In addition to having your installer check the gateway itself and perform an off-grid test, I would suggest that the technician check the various current transformers (CTs). These tell the gateway how much power is going to and from the different parts of your system (to and from the grid, from solar, etc.). If these are malfunctioning or not set up correctly, one can get some odd or nonsensical results. (1300 watts is not a lot of power. Each Powerwall can provide up to 5000 watts and you have two of them, so something's not make a lot of sense.)

Bruce.
I am using "Self powered" mode at 40% reserve for backup. I have tried "Backup Only".
I am trying to reduce my dependance on the grid and utilize the batteries at night while still maintaining a power reserve for backup.

Our neighborhood has had very few blackouts, lasting just a few seconds. I queried the installer and they claimed it would take "5-minutes" before the batteries would kick in. Last month I had a planned outage as the utility company replace a pole across the street resulting in an outage lasting 4-hours.

The batteries never kicked in. Calls to the installer were too frustrating. Calling Teslas resulted in a remote diagnosis if the PWs shutting down from seeing a high surge current. I tried to explain that made no sense as the load was only about 1500 watts at the time. He lectured me that power (watts) wasn't the same as amperage and that I was drawing too much "amps".

He gave up and said he couldn't figure it out so he gave it a case number and elevated my case to tier 2. Last week, we had a storm roll thru that knocked power out for 3 hours. I called Teslas to see what the error showed from the PW, again, high surge current. The finally said that would contact my installer and arrange for a on-site service call. I contacted the installer and gave them the update.

I kept telling them that when they commissioned the system, nobody tested whether the Gateway could detect an outage and switch the contactors. I was there watching. The APP never has shown any outages in its history. There is a problem and finally, maybe it will be fixed.

I've had a lot of excuses, finger pointing, veiled threats, but no ownership of a faulty installation or equipment. I was actually told to contact Tesla directly to get a "dead cover panel" as the installer doesn't provide service/support to obsolete equipment anymore.

Not even a year old. They didn't install the TEG2, claiming it wasn't available until the later part of 2020. I did hear that it could be a bad CT from Tesla, so we shall see. I was just wondering if this was a familiar problem to anyone out there. Thanks!

(moderator note. added spaces to improve readability. no other changes made
 
Last edited by a moderator:

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,384
2,486
Northern California
I guess the simplest thing to do is to shut about every breaker in your house down that is not critical. Then once you are at a minimal load (maybe just the refrigerator?) take a snapshot of your load in the mobile app (the four circles). I would toggle your solar off too and take a picture. Then toggle off your main breaker from the utility.

See what the four circles looks like then and take a screenshot. It should show the grid as blank as well as the solar. The house should contain that minimum load. And ideally the PWs should be shown feeding the home load. If after a few minutes the PWs don't kick in then something is amiss. They actually should kick in after a few seconds.

You can then turn your solar on but that is a whole new kettle of fish regarding frequency depending on how full the PWs were.

Then of course turn your grid breaker back on and then all your other circuit breakers.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,236
9,092
Riverside Co. CA
(moderator note: Hello OP. I added spacing to your post as I (and many others I am sure) am not able to read a big " block of text" with no spacing in between the lines. I cant focus on it, so tend to simply ignore it when its like that. assuming you wanted some help, I added line spacing, but recommend you add spacing in any further posts in this thread.)
 

bmah

Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums
Mar 17, 2015
3,906
7,018
Lafayette, CA, USA
Our neighborhood has had very few blackouts, lasting just a few seconds. I queried the installer and they claimed it would take "5-minutes" before the batteries would kick in.

This is incorrect. Switchover time is less than a second.

Five minutes is appropriate for the time that it might take your solar inverter to resume providing power after the start of a grid outage. It's also approximately the time it should take for you to get a notification via the Tesla app on your phone.

Bruce.
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,111
231
Monterey, CA
Yes, the switchover to battery in a grid down, real or simulated, is so fast that my clocks in the microwave, regular oven and phone answering unit didn't register a power outage, yet there was a 5 hour outage overnight on a stormy period.

And, that 1300 Watts is nothing for two batteries. When it gets to 10,000 Watts, now we are almost there.
Now you know and can challenge those not well informed phone people.;):)
 
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arnolddeleon

Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
754
838
SF Bay Area
I guess the simplest thing to do is to shut about every breaker in your house down that is not critical. Then once you are at a minimal load (maybe just the refrigerator?) take a snapshot of your load in the mobile app (the four circles). I would toggle your solar off too and take a picture. Then toggle off your main breaker from the utility.

See what the four circles looks like then and take a screenshot. It should show the grid as blank as well as the solar. The house should contain that minimum load. And ideally the PWs should be shown feeding the home load. If after a few minutes the PWs don't kick in then something is amiss. They actually should kick in after a few seconds.

You can then turn your solar on but that is a whole new kettle of fish regarding frequency depending on how full the PWs were.

Then of course turn your grid breaker back on and then all your other circuit breakers.

This is pretty good troubleshooting advice.

My number one theory is the transfer switch is never disconnecting from the grid. When the power goes out the system tries to supply power to the grid that's why they're seeing high inrush current. If this is correct the above test should work since opening the main breaker will definitely disconnect the grid and we will have minimal loads.
 
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vnda

New Member
Feb 5, 2021
3
12
HAWAII
Thank you for all your suggestions and thoughts. I had the installer's technician on-site this morning to troubleshoot the system. It is now working as it supposed to.

The problem was due to the "dead cover" panel on the Gateway being installed upside down by the factory. This smashed the manual override switch and preventing the contactor from moving, causing a fault. Flipping the plate over moved the access hole over the switch as designed, so now the contactor can be energized and switched over, disconnecting my system from the grid. My "Backup History" just logged it's first entry too. Thanks to all for your help.
 

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