Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • We just completed a significant update, but we still have some fixes and adjustments to make. Please see this thread for more details and to find out how to revert to the old design. Cheers!

Whole house power filtering

Boatguy

Active Member
Apr 3, 2014
1,000
668
SF Bay Area
Even when PG&E has the grid on, the quality of the power to my home has always been very dodgy with lots of spikes and dips. The problem is chronic enough to have destroyed the power supplies in a variety of AV units and appliances over the last four years. Tesla tells me that the system is not architected to run the house through the PW when the grid is up, it's strictly a backup.

Has anyone introduced a whole house power filtering product into their system design?

Thanks!
 
Upvote 0

boaterva

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,589
3,829
Northern Virginia, USA
Surge protectors are for real spikes like power strips and the like. If you need sag and surge conditioning you need something like a whole house UPS to condition the power back to normal. I have no idea what that would cost but it’s a major deal.

I’d have an electrician that specializes in such monitor your power to see what’s needed and recommend something. Note that it might to be specially configured to allow power to be transferred to the PWs if power drops too far. No idea how that would be done as a pass through. Or how Tesla would like it.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,571
13,510
Riverside Co. CA
I am no expert by any means at all, but this sounds to me like the utility needs to upgrade the transformer because too much is being pulled from it. OP wouldnt you want to start with PGE, telling them you have power surges and dips (mini brown outs) and let them evaluate the infrastructure first?

I have a power conditioner for my AV equipment, but where I live So. Cal Edison power is fairly stable from a voltage and delivery standpoint.
 
  • Like
Reactions: electracity

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,734
2,943
Several years ago, we had grid power problems that prevented Tesla vehicles from charging (in a several square mile area). Evidently there was enough noise on the line to prevent EV charging - but didn't disrupt other 220V devices (ovens, …), which went away when some grid equipment was replaced for our area.

After having several outages that resulted in hardware failures in subsequent months, we've added surge protectors to each of our breaker panels - and that appears to have helped.

We have had several instances when the grid power was in "blink mode" - over a short period getting quick on-off cycles. And even with the surge protectors, we've had a few devices fail over the recent months - and hopefully our new solar/PowerWall installation will shield us from this class of problems.
 

Boatguy

Active Member
Apr 3, 2014
1,000
668
SF Bay Area
@AuPanda - Yes, that's what I'm asking about.

@jjrandorin - I've contacted PG&E. I also worked extensively with them when rebuilding the house four years ago. They are hopelessly incompetent. It's no surprise that they can't figure out how to provide reliable power, and then can't figure out how to even communicate when/what they will supply when they shut it down. Without question the worst run company in the United States.

@bob_p - Could you please give me some details about what you installed?
 

jeep1979

Member
Apr 6, 2017
93
154
Crestline
My combined solar + Powerwall system is enough to allow me to run in self-powered mode almost all the time. This has the same effect as power filtering as you are not using grid power. This assumes that you size your system to meet 100% of your needs. Like AuPanda, I also have a whole house surge protector installed, but this only provides protection basically against lightning strikes. Good luck.
 

Boatguy

Active Member
Apr 3, 2014
1,000
668
SF Bay Area
My combined solar + Powerwall system is enough to allow me to run in self-powered mode almost all the time. This has the same effect as power filtering as you are not using grid power. This assumes that you size your system to meet 100% of your needs. Like AuPanda, I also have a whole house surge protector installed, but this only provides protection basically against lightning strikes. Good luck.
@jeep1979 I have a two story house and small yard which reduces the available PV space. If I can run off the PWs most of the time that will be great. That said, while opening up the panels I'd like to install the surge protectors. Can you please tell me what product you installed? Thanks!.
 

jeep1979

Member
Apr 6, 2017
93
154
Crestline

Skipdd

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
776
1,330
Silver Spring, MD
EDE34D4E-1907-45DB-9F5B-238C54207462.jpeg I have a surge protector on the main 200 amp circuit coming into the house - pictured above. It’s been in place for 23 years. I had the same issues as you. Lights flickering, blew 3 HVAC inside circuit boards. Power company brought out meter, proclaimed all was well (that was after 1st circuit board blew). It gets better. I replaced the entire HVAC system 7 years into ownership (yep we have lived here 30 years). Installer noticed that the original system had been wired around the HVAC breaker on the unit. Fixed it for the new unit. 2 weeks after new unit installed, boards blew again. Then I called the electrician and put the unit pictured above in. And a corresponding one on the power feed outside that serves the compressor. No more issues.

10 years ago the power utility (PEPCO) replaced underground power cables. I looked in the trench in my front yard and saw red cloth tape on the cable and asked about it. “Looks they spliced your cable - NOT VERY WELL.” No s***.

I also have experience with backup generators courtesy of PEPCO’s previous poor maintenance of their lines. Doesn’t sound like you need that at the moment, but if you do, I’m happy to share it. We have all electric at my house and lots of electronics besides the Tesla, that don’t have such sophisticated protection.

Good luck.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
3,458
60606
You may be looking for is a voltage regulator. While technically it is possible to do a whole house, I've never heard of it being done. So I would at least put small voltage regulator on sensitive devices.
Everyone should have a whole house surge suppressor. This is just a simple sacrificial device that sits on the main panel and dies when a big surge happens.

"Voltage Regulator" has a specific meaning and will be accompanied by specs. "Power conditioning" is a poor mans voltage regulator and usually does not have specs. A voltage regulator essentially separates attached devices from mains power.

Common computer UPS devices do voltage regulation by engaging the battery when under or over voltage is detected. But these are not true voltage regulators that separate mains power from output. One way to track under and over voltage is to see how often the app says a computer attached UPS is activated.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,734
2,943
@bob_p - Could you please give me some details about what you installed?

We're early in the design phase for our solar/PowerWall system - so I don't have many details.

We have some surge protectors similar to the Eaton referenced above installed in each of our 3 150A breaker panels. We were warned that they will likely have to be replaced in the future, and as I recall, we were told they should handle multiple surge events.

We're going with a 3rd party Tesla-approved installers for our solar/PW system. We're getting LG 350W panels and 4 PowerWalls with two Tesla Backup Gateways that will replace the outside main breaker on the two 150A panels powering the house (the 3rd 150A panel is used only for the two Tesla Wall Connectors (100A and 60A circuits) charging our S and X).

While the initial proposal was to split the solar/PWs between the two panels, the final plan is to share the solar panels/PWs between both of the 150A panels. And based on the smart readings last year, 4 PW should be sufficient to handle the peak load we had last year (excluding EV charging).

Will know more when I see the final designs - and hopefully see the installation in the next 4-6 weeks... While we won't be able to simulate grid power issues (surges, bad power), I am planning to test switching between solar/PowerWall/grid after installation is completed and before we make the final payment to ensure everything inside the house maintains power - and keeps running after the power source is switched - and how many places we'll need to continue to provide UPS (and that the UPS will work correctly when on solar/PowerWall power when offline from the grid).
 

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