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Time Based Control - What Do You Think of The Functionality Offered?

LanscolvaA

New Member
Mar 26, 2018
3
0
Horsham
As the ToU software is at last becoming available I thought it would be useful to get some feedback on the functionality offered.

My biggest issue is that control of grid charging is only offered in an automatic mode controlled by an algorithm. That algorithm has no view on the weather or the users demand the next day. There is no ability to manually select the amount of overnight charge required.

I see that some users are using the Backup facility to force a grid charge but this is not available in the UK.

For me the lack of a 'manual' option is a key issue in ToU and could significantly impact the payback of the Powerwall.

I'd be interested in others thoughts on this.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,486
6,239
Los Altos, CA
As always, communication is Tesla's weak point. There needs to be clear documentation on the behavior of each mode. I don't have Time Based Control enabled on my system yet. Until I see how the system behaves, I'm not going to pass judgement on whether it's adequate for my needs.
 

Dborn

Confirmed
Aug 26, 2011
2,715
358
Sydney, Australia
From what I've read the functionality isn't going to be that extensive. For instance charging from the grid during off-peak times isn't going to be available - the only thing in the app looks to be usage time shifting. Looks like the functionality needed is only available through user1253's new program: https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2684893&p=23
Problem with this one is you need a windows computer. Also, you need quite a bit of computer knowledge to set up. So it is a no go for me.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,896
Suffolk, UK
My datapoint: I'm not buying PowerWall until the promised TOU software is available, and people here are raving about it :)

I bought AP1 at probably optimum time - well developed, and past the long-wait period. Also early enough not to have got a silent-upgrade to AP2 and the long wait that came with that. I just need that sweet-spot for PowerWall to materialise ...

I want:

Regular PowerWall, store any surplus Solar so I don't export. Also charge from E7 (UK ToU approx 50% discount midnight-7AM)

Install additional PowerWall(s) to specifically store from additional Solar Panels (that I will install). Those Solar Panels would take me over my permitted grid-export limit, so want them dedicated to PowerWall use only.

(We use a fair bit of electricity during the day, not just evenings "when home from work", so I have ability to use most of what I produce, and all of it by following day, and even more of it if I charge the car overnight ...)

I'd like to also install Wind Turbine ...

At work we have 3-Phase, with various server-rooms supplied off different phases (pity the Sparky didn't discuss that with me ... yes, we could alter it). Need 3-Phase ability there, also tied into Solar, and any ToU rate we can get (not sure we have that ability at that commercial property).
 

abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
Oct 21, 2012
1,653
3,501
San Bernardino Mountains, California
For the last couple of weeks since our PWs were turned on, I've been manually using the app to put them in Self Generation mode all day and in Backup mode during the "super off peak" nighttime hours when we charge our EVs. This accomplishes the great majority of what we want the Powerwalls for, namely, avoiding the use of the grid during "peak" hours and providing home backup. While it's not ideal that I have to remember to use the app a couple of times per day, with an expected time lag of about 15 minutes before each change in settings takes effect, it's workable enough that I'm not particularly anxious about the timing of further software features becoming available.

That said, here's the additional functionality/control I'd like to see:

1. No need to manually change modes twice per day, obviously. If I get tired of doing this and Tesla delays further, I might go with an automated approach, but it's okay for now.

2. Ability to export all TOU "peak" solar generation instead of using it to charge the PWs and/or power our home. Basically, I'd like to get maximum NEM credit for every kWh that our PV system generates during peak hours, while running the home on the PWs. In practice, this is not a huge issue for us because our particular PV system happens to be heavily impacted by shading during peak hours; most of our PV generation is during "mid peak" aka. "off peak" hours. Also, on most days, our PWs reach full charge before peak hours.

3. Ability to specify the hours during which to charge the PWs with excess solar, rather than blindly starting to charge as soon as our PV starts producing. (This partly overlaps with 2.) That said, any early-morning PV production occurring during "super off peak" hours should go straight into the PWs, which is already the case in Backup mode. Besides that, I'd try to do most PW charging during the midday hours (10am to 2pm) when there's more likely to be a surplus of PV generation on the grid. Before 10am, it's probably more beneficial to the grid to export our PV.

While I truly like the idea of Tesla creating "smart" software that tries to make these decisions automatically, there should be an "advanced" mode for "power users" who want as much control as possible. Otherwise, we end up with a system like our old Prius (no longer with us) which forced me to run the gasoline engine even if I knew I didn't need it because I was about to drive 0.5 mile downhill within the same neighborhood!
 
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miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,486
6,239
Los Altos, CA
2. Ability to export all TOU "peak" solar generation instead of using it to charge the PWs and/or power our home. Basically, I'd like to get maximum NEM credit for every kWh that our PV system generates during peak hours, while running the home on the PWs. In practice, this is not a huge issue for us because our particular PV system happens to be heavily impacted by shading during peak hours; most of our PV generation is during "mid peak" aka. "off peak" hours. Also, on most days, our PWs reach full charge before peak hours.

This is a feature of the Time Based Control release. The image below was posted on the Tesla Energy Facebook Group by a user who has access to the functionality. Don't mind the rendering bug with the flow line between Solar and Home, the flow in that direction is inconsequential.

Powerwall Power Flow Nick Le.jpg
 

cwied

Member
Jan 13, 2015
887
641
San Mateo, CA
1. No need to manually change modes twice per day, obviously. If I get tired of doing this and Tesla delays further, I might go with an automated approach, but it's okay for now.
I wrote a little node server that responds to http requests and sends commands directly to the powerwall over the LAN (using the interface used by the setup wizard). This has the advantage of eliminating the 15 minute lag. I also automate it using IFTTT to switch the reserve percentage for TOU and OhmHours. If you have the level of technical expertise and the equipment to set something like this up, I'd be happy to share my code.
 

abasile

TSLA shareholder
Supporting Member
Oct 21, 2012
1,653
3,501
San Bernardino Mountains, California
I wrote a little node server that responds to http requests and sends commands directly to the powerwall over the LAN (using the interface used by the setup wizard). This has the advantage of eliminating the 15 minute lag. I also automate it using IFTTT to switch the reserve percentage for TOU and OhmHours. If you have the level of technical expertise and the equipment to set something like this up, I'd be happy to share my code.
Thanks! I suppose I could eliminate that lag by sending those http requests directly, via a command line, when I'm at home. But to have a node server running, I'd need a persistent server machine on my LAN, and I'm not sure I feel like bothering with that. If I had another reason to maintain such a server, though, then I'd be inclined to follow your lead. Or I might get sick of waiting for the TOU feature and do it anyway!
 

NuShrike

Member
Nov 13, 2017
461
193
SoCal
Thanks! I suppose I could eliminate that lag by sending those http requests directly, via a command line, when I'm at home. But to have a node server running, I'd need a persistent server machine on my LAN, and I'm not sure I feel like bothering with that. If I had another reason to maintain such a server, though, then I'd be inclined to follow your lead. Or I might get sick of waiting for the TOU feature and do it anyway!
Hopefully there's an easy to do RaspPi setup for this.

I'm already doing data-logging (via unofficial APIs) to grab my SunPower Monitor generation data, so adding something else to this 2.5W machine for the PW is almost an easy given.

It is disappointing to see how limited Telsa TOU software is compared to Sonnen's given how old this area is. Sonnen has predictive next-day charging (include weather, temperatures, previous history, etc), and adaptive battery charging to reduce early-day charging pull, etc ...

Well, we have to go with what we have .. Telsa does have the reputation of ramping up instead of standing still, so maybe one day.
 

BJReplay

Member
Oct 13, 2017
87
60
St Kilda West
2. Ability to export all TOU "peak" solar generation instead of using it to charge the PWs
I want this too, and will consider adding it to my program, but the only way I can see to do that now is to turn off the powerwall - which stops logging (I guess I can live with that) - but also risks drawing from the grid if load exceeds PV during peak hours. This is beyond the ability for simple hacking to work around - we'd need to change the way the PW handles PV > site load (now it charges, we want it to not charge), but we want it (or at least I do) to discharge when site load > PV to avoid paying peak rates from grid
3. Ability to specify the hours during which to charge the PWs with excess solar
Agreed - next year, we have a super peak feed in tariff from 3pm to 9pm - I don't want the PW to charge during this time, but to export to the grid (but still match house load)
there should be an "advanced" mode for "power users" who want as much control as possible.
As the author author of the service mentioned here - (this just links to post #7 above Time Based Control - What Do You Think of The Functionality Offered?) - this is hard. I've only got one other person actively testing, and although we have similar tariffs and economic drivers, what we happen to want is quite different. I've discovered that the algorithm that I thought was perfect is very far from what my tester would like.

So, while I'm unhappy I'm burning hours writing my own TOU control because Tesla hasn't released theirs, I do see the scale of their problem - deal with a very wide range of permitted scenarios from UK to US with different rules in different states, ITCs and SGIPs, differing feed in rules (NEM vs Gross) and different feed in rates at different times of days - and then combine that with a widely different set of wishes from end users with different priorities - avoid peak, vs maximise feed in vs. minimise all grid vs always have a buffer for grid outages.

I'm optimisting my service will be redundant soon - which is why it is hard to invest lots of time into making it easy for everyone to run and suitable for everyone. It runs on windows as a service because that's what I know how to develop quickly and reliably.
 

cwied

Member
Jan 13, 2015
887
641
San Mateo, CA
I want this too, and will consider adding it to my program, but the only way I can see to do that now is to turn off the powerwall - which stops logging (I guess I can live with that) - but also risks drawing from the grid if load exceeds PV during peak hours.

Actually it's a little more than turning off the Powerwall. The idea is for the Powerwall to offset the house load so all the solar power goes to the grid, not just the excess solar. This is what the Time Based Control will enable. This only makes sense if you have a generous NEM program, though. If you're exporting at wholesale rates, it probably doesn't make sense.
 

CA-Gbm84

Member
Oct 22, 2017
39
34
Bay Area
Actually it's a little more than turning off the Powerwall. The idea is for the Powerwall to offset the house load so all the solar power goes to the grid, not just the excess solar. This is what the Time Based Control will enable. This only makes sense if you have a generous NEM program, though. If you're exporting at wholesale rates, it probably doesn't make sense.

This is exactly how Time-Based control will maximise value in 'cost savings' mode.

Time-Based Control | Tesla

Powerwall Modes of Operation with Solar
 

frownbreaker

New Member
May 12, 2018
2
0
London
I wrote a little node server that responds to http requests and sends commands directly to the powerwall over the LAN (using the interface used by the setup wizard). This has the advantage of eliminating the 15 minute lag. I also automate it using IFTTT to switch the reserve percentage for TOU and OhmHours. If you have the level of technical expertise and the equipment to set something like this up, I'd be happy to share my code.

That sounds great - Can you upload the code to a Github Repo?

I've looked and some of the API calls on the Nurio gateway I assume you are calling these.
To date I've just egreped the output of a wget using no credentials over HTTP

What are the commands you are sending and do I need to authenticate?

I'm in the UK and my supplier has not given me any credentials I have a dual PW2 setup and its set to self-powered mode.
 

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