Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tesla Powerwall Customize and No Advanced?

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
My installer left and my system is running. My app under CUSTOMIZE only shows Backup-only, Self-powered (selected) and Reserve for Power Outages (changed from 100% to 50%).

This is an initial setup which he said we should leave running to test it. Any idea why it does not have the Advanced and Storm Watch Settings? I want to enter my rate times.
 

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
TBC started to show up last night. So, I started to play with it around 7:55pm. My PEAK is 2pm-8pm. I decided to try Balanced at first and it stopped my Powerwall feed in POWER FLOW. So, I tried Cost Saving and there was no change. At this time it is about 8pm and my PEAK has ended. I then started to watch more Youtube video's about this and it appears that some of it depends on if you can Charge your Powerwall from the Grid based on low TOU (does not work in the USA). And that it using some "smart" analysis of you usage to determine the best time to charge your Powerwalls and use your Powerwalls. I know I have limited testing but for me it does not work as I expected.

I then read another Thread on here that ask if we need an "Expert" Mode to allow us to make these decisions. That would be ideal in my case.

Here is what I want but I can not see how to do it:

1. Use Solar to run my home and then excess to my Powerwalls (until 100%) daily (including weekends) and excess go to the Grid. This will happen from about 7am to 5pm with most between 11am and 1pm.

2. Start running my home from the Powerwall once Solar is not able to fully provide enough.

3. Continue to running my home even after my PEAK ends at 8pm until it hits the Reserve Limit.

4. Now for an option that appears to not exist. Have the Powerwalls stop running my home even if not at the Reserve say between 3am and 6am during my Super Off peak (which is 10pm - 8am weekdays) so that I can charge my cars from the Grid during that time. There may be a time when I want to charge my cars from the Powerwalls but not always. I also prefer they not charge my cars when there is no power from the Grid. Tesla should know this since they have access to both my cars and the Powerwall API's and simply not start the charging at the schedule time.

It appears I will simply need to use Self-powered mode with a high "Reserve for Power Outage" to get close to what I want.
 

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2015
10,250
9,991
Colorado
TBC started to show up last night. So, I started to play with it around 7:55pm. My PEAK is 2pm-8pm. I decided to try Balanced at first and it stopped my Powerwall feed in POWER FLOW. So, I tried Cost Saving and there was no change. At this time it is about 8pm and my PEAK has ended. I then started to watch more Youtube video's about this and it appears that some of it depends on if you can Charge your Powerwall from the Grid based on low TOU (does not work in the USA). And that it using some "smart" analysis of you usage to determine the best time to charge your Powerwalls and use your Powerwalls. I know I have limited testing but for me it does not work as I expected.

I then read another Thread on here that ask if we need an "Expert" Mode to allow us to make these decisions. That would be ideal in my case.

Here is what I want but I can not see how to do it:

1. Use Solar to run my home and then excess to my Powerwalls (until 100%) daily (including weekends) and excess go to the Grid. This will happen from about 7am to 5pm with most between 11am and 1pm.

2. Start running my home from the Powerwall once Solar is not able to fully provide enough.

3. Continue to running my home even after my PEAK ends at 8pm until it hits the Reserve Limit.

4. Now for an option that appears to not exist. Have the Powerwalls stop running my home even if not at the Reserve say between 3am and 6am during my Super Off peak (which is 10pm - 8am weekdays) so that I can charge my cars from the Grid during that time. There may be a time when I want to charge my cars from the Powerwalls but not always. I also prefer they not charge my cars when there is no power from the Grid. Tesla should know this since they have access to both my cars and the Powerwall API's and simply not start the charging at the schedule time.

It appears I will simply need to use Self-powered mode with a high "Reserve for Power Outage" to get close to what I want.
I do most of what you are trying to do by using TBC-Balanced and extending my part-peak hours past the official end time of my utility's part-peak hours. While my part-peak runs in the evening from 6 pm until 9 pm, I set it to last until 2 am. This way, the Powerwalls will power the house until 2 am, if they have sufficient charge. Then after 2 am we have the cars scheduled to charge and they are usually charged via grid power. Before 1.37.1, the Powerwalls would never discharge during off-peak. but I think 1.37.1 allowed them to start discharging if they have a high enough SoC and solar production is about to start up. In the past few months, we've noticed the Powerwalls will kick in for a brief period around 4 or 5 am and help power the house before they begin charging again when the sun comes up. During the day, the house is powered by solar and extra solar production goes to the Powerwalls until they are charged. Then the excess production goes back to the grid. During peak, the house is powered entirely by the Powerwalls and all solar production goes to the grid.

Currently the cars can't communicate with the Powerwalls to see if the grid is down. We tweeted Elon about this in May and he said that eventually they will communicate better. It should be pretty simple as the Powerwalls can set a flag on Tesla's servers indicating the grid is down and the cars could check for that flag before charging and ask the user to confirm before charging.

So in short, just extend your part-peak end time and the Powerwalls will continue to discharge. Also, until the cars can better determine grid/Powerwall status, be aware of severe weather and consider not plugging the car in if there's a chance of an outage.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: jjrandorin

JayClark

Member
Aug 6, 2019
226
189
Arizona
TBC started to show up last night. So, I started to play with it around 7:55pm. My PEAK is 2pm-8pm. I decided to try Balanced at first and it stopped my Powerwall feed in POWER FLOW. So, I tried Cost Saving and there was no change. At this time it is about 8pm and my PEAK has ended. I then started to watch more Youtube video's about this and it appears that some of it depends on if you can Charge your Powerwall from the Grid based on low TOU (does not work in the USA). And that it using some "smart" analysis of you usage to determine the best time to charge your Powerwalls and use your Powerwalls. I know I have limited testing but for me it does not work as I expected.

I then read another Thread on here that ask if we need an "Expert" Mode to allow us to make these decisions. That would be ideal in my case.

Here is what I want but I can not see how to do it:

1. Use Solar to run my home and then excess to my Powerwalls (until 100%) daily (including weekends) and excess go to the Grid. This will happen from about 7am to 5pm with most between 11am and 1pm.

2. Start running my home from the Powerwall once Solar is not able to fully provide enough.

3. Continue to running my home even after my PEAK ends at 8pm until it hits the Reserve Limit.

4. Now for an option that appears to not exist. Have the Powerwalls stop running my home even if not at the Reserve say between 3am and 6am during my Super Off peak (which is 10pm - 8am weekdays) so that I can charge my cars from the Grid during that time. There may be a time when I want to charge my cars from the Powerwalls but not always. I also prefer they not charge my cars when there is no power from the Grid. Tesla should know this since they have access to both my cars and the Powerwall API's and simply not start the charging at the schedule time.

It appears I will simply need to use Self-powered mode with a high "Reserve for Power Outage" to get close to what I want.


I have the same 2-8 peak period, and I'm in the same boat in regard to wanting to charge our car overnight during off peak, and I have enough extra solar and PW capacity that I'm okay running the house beyond just peak when the battery is at a medium-to-high level of charge. I wish the PW let us do this via the app, as you say via a power user mode or something. However, without that, I accomplish essentially the same goals you have by using Darwins excellent Powerwall Manager app for SmartThings. (requires SmartThings hub, and there are various posts on TCM about Darwins app). I already had a smarthings hub to optimize and automate my house around peak/off-peak Utility periods.

So currently I have the system in "Balanced" mode, with Peak defined as 2-8pm, and I accomplish essentially your same goals and its worked every day for weeks with no issue (except when I had an inverter's failure recently - different story). The first few days it seemed wonky but once I stopped changing modes for a few days, it settled in and work as expected. My main difference from your scenario is I'm okay with the Powerwall running the home before peak during the day while it recharges the PW, so from Sunrise until peak (at least in the winter when I have much more solar and battery than my house needs to cover the peak period) I set a shoulder period from around 7am ending at the same time as Peak ends at 8pm. The final piece needed to make this work, in lueue of the Tesla App enabling this, is I use Darwins app to schedule the PW reserve to change in coordinations with my shoulder and peak times, so I use his app with the SmartThings hub to do the following:

Tesla App Powerwall Settings:
  1. Peak: 2pm to 8pm
  2. Shoulder: 7am to 8pm. (for your desired goal you'd probably set shoulder to 2pm to 3am)

Smarthings Powerwall Manager App Scheduling of Reserve (to change in coordination with my off/peak/shoulder schedule), and force certain PW usage behaviors:
  • At 8pm each day, when my peak ends, I scheduled reserve to go to 100%.
This has the effect of telling the PW to not power the house on battery, at the time I want my car to start charging from the grid on off-peak rate time, starting at 8pm. It's worked every time. One Noteable exception... it seems like there is a bug where if I turn off "Stormwatch" in the app the Balanced/Reserve mode settings and scheduling don't seem to work correctly, regardless of using the Powerwall Manager app or not. So I simply leave Stormwatch on now. It's not really needed where I live, so I'd prefer Tesla not to override my system with Stormwatch, but for now the Balanced/Shoulder schedule only seems to work correctly for me with Stormwatch turned on. My PW version is 1.40.2.
  1. At 7am I scheduled my reserve to go down to 50% (from 100% overnight). when my solar starts producing (and at the same start time as my defined Tesla App shoulder period),
This has the effect of allowing the battery to power my home during my defined shoulder period as long as reserve is over 50% (which in winter it always seems to be) but provides a safety net in case for some reason the PW SOC went very low. In addition, because this is a "Balanced/Shoulder" period, the house is powered first by Solar, with extra going to the battery, and any extra after that going to the Grid once the battery hits 100% (giving me a billed kWh offset). During this time more is going to the PW to charge it than my house uses by like a 3 to 1 ratio except for little blips like hair driers, microwave, etc. In the winter, with this scenario, my PW still ends up fully charged by the time my peak starts at 2pm. (As my AC usage ramps up next summer and starts to put a heaver load, I'll raise the morning reserve back to 75% or 90% as I had it early this month, forcing more solar to go to charge the PW up to at least the higher reserve to make sure the AC doesn't drain the PW before Peak rolls around, but still allowing extra solar to power the house, and possibly return to the grid for offset credit.)
  1. At 2pm (when my peak period starts), I schedule my reserve to go to 0%.
(again via Darwins PW Manager app as is the case in all four of these steps) to guarantee the house is powered by Solar and PW only during my 2-8pm peak.​
  1. At 8pm.. goes to step one above, where I set reserve to 100%, which forces the house to power from the grid, to charge my car.

A couple notes on changing modes and reserve levels. I do actually "schedule" the reserve to change about 30 minutes before (or after) the defined shoulder periods, just to make sure it's in affect by the time the PW Peak/Shoulder schedule activates. Power reserve changes seem to go into effect more quickly, and more consistently than "Balanced/Cost-Saving" mode changes - which seem to discombobulate the system for hours or more at time. If you change the the "Self-powered/Balanced/CostSaving/Bakcup" modes, I don't think you can just watch if for a few hours to truly know what it's going to do. You kind of have to let the "Balanced/Cost-Savings" modes to sit for 1-3 days before you'll see them behave consistently - at least that's been my experience on my system, but I've heard others report the same.
 
Last edited:
  • Helpful
Reactions: jjrandorin

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
Thanks for the feedback. I will re-read later (a couple of times) and give it a try. The City just left and did not approve my install. Need to replace some of the NEW BREAKERS. Oh well.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: JayClark

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
I do most of what you are trying to do by using TBC-Balanced and extending my part-peak hours past the official end time of my utility's part-peak hours. While my part-peak runs in the evening from 6 pm until 9 pm, I set it to last until 2 am. This way, the Powerwalls will power the house until 2 am, if they have sufficient charge. Then after 2 am we have the cars scheduled to charge and they are usually charged via grid power. Before 1.37.1, the Powerwalls would never discharge during off-peak. but I think 1.37.1 allowed them to start discharging if they have a high enough SoC and solar production is about to start up. In the past few months, we've noticed the Powerwalls will kick in for a brief period around 4 or 5 am and help power the house before they begin charging again when the sun comes up. During the day, the house is powered by solar and extra solar production goes to the Powerwalls until they are charged. Then the excess production goes back to the grid. During peak, the house is powered entirely by the Powerwalls and all solar production goes to the grid.

Currently the cars can't communicate with the Powerwalls to see if the grid is down. We tweeted Elon about this in May and he said that eventually they will communicate better. It should be pretty simple as the Powerwalls can set a flag on Tesla's servers indicating the grid is down and the cars could check for that flag before charging and ask the user to confirm before charging.

So in short, just extend your part-peak end time and the Powerwalls will continue to discharge. Also, until the cars can better determine grid/Powerwall status, be aware of severe weather and consider not plugging the car in if there's a chance of an outage.
Could you clarify "part-peak"? Tesla uses PEAK, OFF-PEAK and everything else is "SHOULDER". Also, when is your PEAK if your part-peak is 6pm-9pm?

Here is mine:

SCE TOU-D-B:

Highest Rates: Weekdays 2-8 p.m.

Daily Basic Charge: $0.50 per day
Minimum Daily Charge: None
Baseline Credit: None

Summer Rates
Summer rates apply June through September. Rates are per kWh.

Weekday Summer Rates
Off-Peak: 16 cents from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Super Off-Peak: 10 cents from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
On-Peak: 48 cents from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Weekend Summer Rates
Off-Peak: 16 cents from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Super Off-Peak: 10 cents from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Winter Rates
Winter rates apply October through May. Rates are per kWh.

Weekday Winter Rates
Off-Peak: 15 cents from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Super Off-Peak: 11 cents from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
On-Peak: 24 cents from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Weekend Winter Rates
Weekend Off-Peak: 15 cents from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Super Off-Peak: 11 cents from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,570
6,374
Los Altos, CA
"Part-Peak" is a term that is used by some utilities for the rate tier between Peak and Off-Peak. It is the same thing as "Shoulder".

In the rates above, there are also three rates, so:
On-Peak = Peak
Off-Peak = Shoulder
Super Off-Peak = Off-Peak.
 

MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2015
10,250
9,991
Colorado
Could you clarify "part-peak"? Tesla uses PEAK, OFF-PEAK and everything else is "SHOULDER". Also, when is your PEAK if your part-peak is 6pm-9pm?

As @miimura mentions, by part-peak, I was referring to the shoulder (medium priced) rate between peak (expensive) and off-peak (cheapest).

For my utility company, they are On-Peak, Shoulder and Off-Peak. Basically, the names can be different from utility to utility but most of them have an expensive rate (peak, on-peak), medium rate (shoulder, part-peak, off-peak?) or cheapest rate (off-peak, super off-peak). Some utility companies actually have even more rate schedules but Tesla only supports up to three currently: Peak, Shoulder and Off-Peak.

For my ToU plan:
Shoulder: 9 am to 2 pm
Peak: 2 pm to 6 pm
Shoulder: 6 pm to 9 pm
Off-peak: 9 pm to 9 am.

I program my Powerwalls like this in the Tesla app to have them power the house past the official evening shoulder period:
Shoulder: 9 am to 2 pm
Peak: 2 pm to 6 pm
Shoulder: 6 pm to 2 am
Off-peak: 2 am to 9 am.
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
I have the same 2-8 peak period, and I'm in the same boat in regard to wanting to charge our car overnight during off peak, and I have enough extra solar and PW capacity that I'm okay running the house beyond just peak when the battery is at a medium-to-high level of charge. I wish the PW let us do this via the app, as you say via a power user mode or something. However, without that, I accomplish essentially the same goals you have by using Darwins excellent Powerwall Manager app for SmartThings. (requires SmartThings hub, and there are various posts on TCM about Darwins app). I already had a smarthings hub to optimize and automate my house around peak/off-peak Utility periods.

So currently I have the system in "Balanced" mode, with Peak defined as 2-8pm, and I accomplish essentially your same goals and its worked every day for weeks with no issue (except when I had an inverter's failure recently - different story). The first few days it seemed wonky but once I stopped changing modes for a few days, it settled in and work as expected. My main difference from your scenario is I'm okay with the Powerwall running the home before peak during the day while it recharges the PW, so from Sunrise until peak (at least in the winter when I have much more solar and battery than my house needs to cover the peak period) I set a shoulder period from around 7am ending at the same time as Peak ends at 8pm. The final piece needed to make this work, in lueue of the Tesla App enabling this, is I use Darwins app to schedule the PW reserve to change in coordinations with my shoulder and peak times, so I use his app with the SmartThings hub to do the following:

Tesla App Powerwall Settings:
  1. Peak: 2pm to 8pm
  2. Shoulder: 7am to 8pm. (for your desired goal you'd probably set shoulder to 2pm to 3am)

Smarthings Powerwall Manager App Scheduling of Reserve (to change in coordination with my off/peak/shoulder schedule), and force certain PW usage behaviors:
  • At 8pm each day, when my peak ends, I scheduled reserve to go to 100%.
This has the effect of telling the PW to not power the house on battery, at the time I want my car to start charging from the grid on off-peak rate time, starting at 8pm. It's worked every time. One Noteable exception... it seems like there is a bug where if I turn off "Stormwatch" in the app the Balanced/Reserve mode settings and scheduling don't seem to work correctly, regardless of using the Powerwall Manager app or not. So I simply leave Stormwatch on now. It's not really needed where I live, so I'd prefer Tesla not to override my system with Stormwatch, but for now the Balanced/Shoulder schedule only seems to work correctly for me with Stormwatch turned on. My PW version is 1.40.2.
  1. At 7am I scheduled my reserve to go down to 50% (from 100% overnight). when my solar starts producing (and at the same start time as my defined Tesla App shoulder period),
This has the effect of allowing the battery to power my home during my defined shoulder period as long as reserve is over 50% (which in winter it always seems to be) but provides a safety net in case for some reason the PW SOC went very low. In addition, because this is a "Balanced/Shoulder" period, the house is powered first by Solar, with extra going to the battery, and any extra after that going to the Grid once the battery hits 100% (giving me a billed kWh offset). During this time more is going to the PW to charge it than my house uses by like a 3 to 1 ratio except for little blips like hair driers, microwave, etc. In the winter, with this scenario, my PW still ends up fully charged by the time my peak starts at 2pm. (As my AC usage ramps up next summer and starts to put a heaver load, I'll raise the morning reserve back to 75% or 90% as I had it early this month, forcing more solar to go to charge the PW up to at least the higher reserve to make sure the AC doesn't drain the PW before Peak rolls around, but still allowing extra solar to power the house, and possibly return to the grid for offset credit.)
  1. At 2pm (when my peak period starts), I schedule my reserve to go to 0%.
(again via Darwins PW Manager app as is the case in all four of these steps) to guarantee the house is powered by Solar and PW only during my 2-8pm peak.​
  1. At 8pm.. goes to step one above, where I set reserve to 100%, which forces the house to power from the grid, to charge my car.
A couple notes on changing modes and reserve levels. I do actually "schedule" the reserve to change about 30 minutes before (or after) the defined shoulder periods, just to make sure it's in affect by the time the PW Peak/Shoulder schedule activates. Power reserve changes seem to go into effect more quickly, and more consistently than "Balanced/Cost-Saving" mode changes - which seem to discombobulate the system for hours or more at time. If you change the the "Self-powered/Balanced/CostSaving/Bakcup" modes, I don't think you can just watch if for a few hours to truly know what it's going to do. You kind of have to let the "Balanced/Cost-Savings" modes to sit for 1-3 days before you'll see them behave consistently - at least that's been my experience on my system, but I've heard others report the same.
Thanks for this. I was wondering if there was an "app for that". I use TeslaFi. I wish it had support for Powerwalls as well as cars for the integration. I do not have a SmartThings Hub so I may let that go for now. But will review it.

See my post above where is should ON-PEAK, OFF-PEAK and Super OFF-PEAK. I think Tesla would consider my OFF-PEAK as the Shoulder.

I am confused what you say "Shoulder is 7am to 8pm" and why you would want me to set my shoulder to 2pm-3am. How can "ON-PEAK" and "Shoulder" be the same hours? AND.. I do my charging during my "Super OFF-PEAK". I am ok with running my house from the power wall any time other then from say 3am-7am (part of my Super OfFF-PEAK) where I normally schedule my cars to charge. I really just started this with only a couple days of testing but I believe I can easily charge my Power Walls to 100% daily (even mostly in the winter) "except" for my cars. I do not mind using my powers during the Shoulder which for me appears to be 8am-2pm and 8pm-10pm.
I think SHOULDER = Off-Peak: 15 cents from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Different on the Weekends.

Tesla App Powerwall Settings:
  1. Peak: 2pm to 8pm
  2. Shoulder: 7am to 8pm. (for your desired goal you'd probably set shoulder to 2pm to 3am)
 

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
As @miimura mentions, by part-peak, I was referring to the shoulder (medium priced) rate between peak (expensive) and off-peak (cheapest).

For my utility company, they are On-Peak, Shoulder and Off-Peak. Basically, the names can be different from utility to utility but most of them have an expensive rate (peak, on-peak), medium rate (shoulder, part-peak, off-peak?) or cheapest rate (off-peak, super off-peak). Some utility companies actually have even more rate schedules but Tesla only supports up to three currently: Peak, Shoulder and Off-Peak.

For my ToU plan:
Shoulder: 9 am to 2 pm
Peak: 2 pm to 6 pm
Shoulder: 6 pm to 9 pm
Off-peak: 9 pm to 9 am.

I program my Powerwalls like this in the Tesla app to have them power the house past the official evening shoulder period:
Shoulder: 9 am to 2 pm
Peak: 2 pm to 6 pm
Shoulder: 6 pm to 2 am
Off-peak: 2 am to 9 am.
Thanks for clarifying. What I am doing now is Self-powered with a high enough reserve that it should reach it (last night was 75% - no AC now) before starting the car chargers. This would not be much extra because my Super OFF-PEAK is only 10 or 11 cents. If there is some left in the battery (above 75%) it would charge from the battery a little. My goal thru experience would be to time it. I guess if I could set it up where it NEVER used the Powerwall durning Super OFF-PEAK that would probably be best since I could just set PEAK and SHOULDER to be all times except for 3am-6am (or close) then the house could start using the power walls at 6am before the Solar comes up.

My Solar System is down now because the City did not approve the BREAKERS used. Hope to be back up soon.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,570
6,374
Los Altos, CA
Thanks for clarifying. What I am doing now is Self-powered with a high enough reserve that it should reach it (last night was 75% - no AC now) before starting the car chargers. This would not be much extra because my Super OFF-PEAK is only 10 or 11 cents. If there is some left in the battery (above 75%) it would charge from the battery a little. My goal thru experience would be to time it. I guess if I could set it up where it NEVER used the Powerwall durning Super OFF-PEAK that would probably be best since I could just set PEAK and SHOULDER to be all times except for 3am-6am (or close) then the house could start using the power walls at 6am before the Solar comes up.

My Solar System is down now because the City did not approve the BREAKERS used. Hope to be back up soon.
When you solar is working and the Powerwalls have been commissioned for a couple days, Time Based Control should work for you. Just put in the schedule from the utility, or if you want it to continue to power the house further into the evening, do what @MorrisonHiker does and extend the shoulder past midnight. Normally the Powerwalls will not discharge during Off-Peak, the lowest priced time of the day. However, there have been glitches in the past when the SOC is high and they do let go of some energy when they shouldn't.

I am personally a big advocate for more advanced controls. I think a lot of people would like a truly Self-Powered system with discharge blocking during Off-Peak. The other things that is desperately needed for some customers is more than one Peak period. The Winter rate period is about to start for some Arizona customers and they have a Peak at both 5am-8am and 5pm-8pm. There is no good way to handle that in the current Powerwall settings.
 

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
When you solar is working and the Powerwalls have been commissioned for a couple days, Time Based Control should work for you. Just put in the schedule from the utility, or if you want it to continue to power the house further into the evening, do what @MorrisonHiker does and extend the shoulder past midnight. Normally the Powerwalls will not discharge during Off-Peak, the lowest priced time of the day. However, there have been glitches in the past when the SOC is high and they do let go of some energy when they shouldn't.

I am personally a big advocate for more advanced controls. I think a lot of people would like a truly Self-Powered system with discharge blocking during Off-Peak. The other things that is desperately needed for some customers is more than one Peak period. The Winter rate period is about to start for some Arizona customers and they have a Peak at both 5am-8am and 5pm-8pm. There is no good way to handle that in the current Powerwall settings.
Thanks. But clarify, you suggest I use "Balanced" and NOT "Cost Saving"? Also, I would if instead of increase the said of SHOULDER why not increase the time of PEAK without a SHOULD from 2pm-3am. Then it would for sure use the Power walls during that time. And then maybe a SHOULD only from 8am-10am and then OFF-PEAK from 10am - 2pm. Something like that?

I agree more advance controls would be nice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjrandorin

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,570
6,374
Los Altos, CA
Thanks. But clarify, you suggest I use "Balanced" and NOT "Cost Saving"? Also, I would if instead of increase the said of SHOULDER why not increase the time of PEAK without a SHOULD from 2pm-3am. Then it would for sure use the Power walls during that time. And then maybe a SHOULD only from 8am-10am and then OFF-PEAK from 10am - 2pm. Something like that?

I agree more advance controls would be nice.
Personally, I use Balanced. However, I don't have any solar generation during Off-Peak due to my PG&E rate schedule. Cost Saving mode was originally designed for Off-Peak charging. I have had my system for more than 18 months and the details of how the modes work has changed over time. At the beginning of Summer 2018 I tried Cost Saving and it always wanted to export solar during the Shoulder period to earn more NEM credits, but then I didn't have enough energy to make it through the Peak period. It still has that tendency, but it at least tries to charge enough to make it through the Peak. However, it's always hugging the lower end of the SOC while Balanced has a tendency to charge to full before it exports. For my small solar system, this works better for me and leaves more battery for backup.

How you deviate the PW schedule from the utility schedule is up to you if you want to skew the behavior. I just want to maximize the arbitrage, so I just leave it matching the actual utility schedule.
 

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
Personally, I use Balanced. However, I don't have any solar generation during Off-Peak due to my PG&E rate schedule. Cost Saving mode was originally designed for Off-Peak charging. I have had my system for more than 18 months and the details of how the modes work has changed over time. At the beginning of Summer 2018 I tried Cost Saving and it always wanted to export solar during the Shoulder period to earn more NEM credits, but then I didn't have enough energy to make it through the Peak period. It still has that tendency, but it at least tries to charge enough to make it through the Peak. However, it's always hugging the lower end of the SOC while Balanced has a tendency to charge to full before it exports. For my small solar system, this works better for me and leaves more battery for backup.

How you deviate the PW schedule from the utility schedule is up to you if you want to skew the behavior. I just want to maximize the arbitrage, so I just leave it matching the actual utility schedule.
Thanks for all the help. I will try to use my actual rate schedule and see what it does after it gains some history. Then adjust as is required from there.
 

JayClark

Member
Aug 6, 2019
226
189
Arizona
I guess if I could set it up where it NEVER used the Powerwall durning Super OFF-PEAK that would probably be best since I could just set PEAK and SHOULDER to be all times except for 3am-6am (or close) then the house could start using the power walls at 6am before the Solar comes up.

This is what I had been doing and it was working pretty well. The thing I've been playing around with lately though is the losses due to the round trip form Solar - > PW -> Back-to-Power-House. Definitely not using my PW to charge my EV any more, or anything during off peak, it doesn't seem to make sense.

Last week, each day, my house was only "pulling" from the PW about 10-12kWhrs during my peak period (due to winter, no AC),but I also had extended the shoulder to start around when my solar production started to get more "use" out of the PWs maybe to handle power spikes the solar couldn't handle even during off-peak since I seem to have lots of extra PW capacity this time of year. However, the last few days I've experimented with turning the PWs off during all of the off peak hours, but also leaving them off after my solar ramps up and can cover the house, only turning them on right before the Peak period or sometimes after peak if solar was covering the house, like until maybe 3-3:30pm. - and even though I'm now producing less solar than last week (when I left the PWs on 24/7 and only used 2-8 peak) my house usage is less, and I'm sending more back to the grid for credits.

It seems like compared to this week, last week I was losing about 4-6 kWh's of my solar production to round trip PW losses with sporadic all day charging/pulling from solar & PW, plus what ever overnight "maintenance" the PW has to do for itself, as compared to the last few days when I've been manually powering the PWs down during off-peak (just as an experiment around the loses), and leaving them powering them down until I need them sometime around my peak period, or shortly after. Of course this is all manual, given we have no advanced controls.

So it seem like it might be close to 40% or more is going to the grid this week each day for offset credits vs what I can get back out from the PW after charging it, at least when I'm only using about 10-12kWrs during peak a day and producing about 23kW of solar - based on comparing this week to last week with similar usage and solar production. One contributing factor is I have 4 PWs, so this time of year they probably have relatively high overhead ratio compared to my usage.

So I'd be interested if the losses outweigh your utilities "off-peak" (or shoulder?) rate for grid usage - but have no idea how to calculate that in the real world. I only have peak periods (my Off-Peak is like your super off-peak I think), and my peak is much most costly so any losses there area easily paid for.
 
Last edited:

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
This is what I had been doing and it was working pretty well. The thing I've been playing around with lately though is the losses due to the round trip form Solar - > PW -> Back-to-Power-House. Definitely not using my PW to charge my EV any more, or anything during off peak, it doesn't seem to make sense.

Last week, each day, my house was only "pulling" from the PW about 10-12kWhrs during my peak period (due to winter, no AC),but I also had extended the shoulder to start around when my solar production started to get more "use" out of the PWs maybe to handle power spikes the solar couldn't handle even during off-peak since I seem to have lots of extra PW capacity this time of year. However, the last few days I've experimented with turning the PWs off during all of the off peak hours, but also leaving them off after my solar ramps up and can cover the house, only turning them on right before the Peak period or sometimes after peak if solar was covering the house, like until maybe 3-3:30pm. - and even though I'm now producing less solar than last week (when I left the PWs on 24/7 and only used 2-8 peak) my house usage is less, and I'm sending more back to the grid for credits.

It seems like compared to this week, last week I was losing about 4-6 kWh's of my solar production to round trip PW losses with sporadic all day charging/pulling from solar & PW, plus what ever overnight "maintenance" the PW has to do for itself, as compared to the last few days when I've been manually powering the PWs down during off-peak (just as an experiment around the loses), and leaving them powering them down until I need them sometime around my peak period, or shortly after. Of course this is all manual, given we have no advanced controls.

So it seem like it might be close to 40% or more is going to the grid this week each day for offset credits vs what I can get back out from the PW after charging it, at least when I'm only using about 10-12kWrs during peak a day and producing about 23kW of solar - based on comparing this week to last week with similar usage and solar production. One contributing factor is I have 4 PWs, so this time of year they probably have relatively high overhead ratio compared to my usage.

So I'd be interested if the losses outweigh your utilities "off-peak" (or shoulder?) rate for grid usage - but have no idea how to calculate that in the real world. I only have peak periods (my Off-Peak is like your super off-peak I think), and my peak is much most costly so any losses there area easily paid for.
In your "Advanced TBC options" are you using "Balanced" or "Cost Saving" mode?
 

JayClark

Member
Aug 6, 2019
226
189
Arizona
In your Advanced TBC options" are you using Balanced or Cost Saving mode?

I've usually been in "Balanced" mode. When I'm in balanced, during the shoulder period (which was for me basically set to sunrise until 2pm, when I made that last post) it will run the house off of solar, and then send the extra solar to recharging the battery through the day until the time it hits my scheduled peak, and then use only solar & battery for powering the house during peak.

On my system, when I switch to "Cost Saving" mode, it tries to charge the battery all the way up to 100 and seems to send all solar to the PW until it's 100%, or until the system hits the scheduled Peak period. I thought it was behaving differently, but my utility recently switched on Nov 1 to two daily Peak TOU periods (5-9am and 5-9pm)... and there is no good setting I've found to make sure I'm only on PW during both periods with out moving the Peak between the two 5-9 periods twice a day. I've tried using a shoulder on both Balanced and Cost-Saving, and I've had it now go to all PW during the shoulder period each time I've tried, which incurred demand charges.

Some advanced rules settings are badly needed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GenSao

d21mike

Active Member
Aug 28, 2017
1,123
758
Torrance, CA 90503
I've usually been in "Balanced" mode. When I'm in balanced, during the shoulder period (which was for me basically set to sunrise until 2pm, when I made that last post) it will run the house off of solar, and then send the extra solar to recharging the battery through the day until the time it hits my scheduled peak, and then use only solar & battery for powering the house during peak.

On my system, when I switch to "Cost Saving" mode, it tries to charge the battery all the way up to 100 and seems to send all solar to the PW until it's 100%, or until the system hits the scheduled Peak period. I thought it was behaving differently, but my utility recently switched on Nov 1 to two daily Peak TOU periods (5-9am and 5-9pm)... and there is no good setting I've found to make sure I'm only on PW during both periods with out moving the Peak between the two 5-9 periods twice a day. I've tried using a shoulder on both Balanced and Cost-Saving, and I've had it now go to all PW during the shoulder period each time I've tried, which incurred demand charges.

Some advanced rules settings are badly needed.
Thanks for that. I agree advanced rules would be extremely helpful and solve a lot of problems.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top