We don’t have to worry about losing power, the car is charging, most of the power is free, and the powerwall is over 80%.
Updated: February 24, 2023 in 10:23 a.m. Eastern Time
We installed solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall at our home in October 2021 and needless to say, we are very impressed. However, we have been lucky not to have had any major power outages in our area since installation, so this ice storm was really the first real test of the system.
Update: good day! At 10 am, the sun began to peek through the clouds. It was cloudy and dreary since we woke up at 7 am. Our house doesn’t have major power outlets when we sleep, so we don’t use much of the stored energy.
As you can see in the Tesla app, at 10am the Tesla Powerwall is already back to 100% despite the lack of sunlight and still few rays coming from the wrong side of the house. We now power the home with solar energy and send the excess energy back to the grid, earning credit to cover our usage.
After 10 minutes the clouds began to clear and the sun was shining. You can see that we are now sending even more power into the grid. For those interested in more details, I’ve answered a few messages and answered a few questions in the comments section. If you are serious about solar or home battery, please email me or Send me a message on Twitter For more information.
Due to the size of our solar panel and battery backup, most of our power is free most months. We added Tesla Powerwall to the equation primarily as a backup for power outages that, prior to installing the system, had become more common in our area.
We knew the PowerWall could help manage energy coming into the home, when it was used, and when it was stored, but we didn’t know exactly how it would work. For the past year and a half, we’ve been playing around with various settings in the Tesla app, trying to figure out how to make the system more useful and save more money.
Currently, our powerwall is in a mode called “time-based control,” which allows us to use predetermined amounts of power when needed. It is based on the time of use of energy rates at any time of the day. However, when the PowerWall “senses” that a storm is coming, it immediately charges to 100%, and unless there is a lot of sunlight at the time, it usually charges from the grid.
The last few times our Powerwall has been hit by a storm, it’s fully charged and stays charged for a day or two, but the power never goes out, so no power is needed. Powerwall has had three power outages for us, and none of them were during forecasted storm warnings, so the battery is always a little low.
With a partially dead powerwall and no sunlight, we had to turn off most things in the house to make sure only essential appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and ovens had power. Even after conserving power, we feared that a single wall of power would sustain us until dawn. Fortunately, however, two of the outages lasted only a few minutes, and one lasted over an hour.
As this week’s epic blizzard was about to begin, the Tesla Powerwall charged to 100% and has stayed at over 80% ever since. Meanwhile, despite cloudy skies and nearly a half-inch of snow on the panels, our house is mostly powered by the little sun hitting the panels.
There have been several power outages in the neighborhood and some of our neighborhood friends have been without power since yesterday. Our electricity has gone out on several occasions, but the solar panels and powerwall have taken over without a problem, so the only way we’ve noticed is by looking at the Tesla app.
The best part here is that the powerwall will be almost fully charged by the time we go to sleep tonight while the panels work to power the house. We run very little in our house while we sleep, and we’ve already done some “off-grid” tests that have shown that a full powerwall will definitely get us through the night.
We’re going to sleep easy tonight knowing that our Tesla Powerwall will save the day, even if the sun goes down and terrible weather knocks people out. When we wake up in the morning, the battery is low, but even the little sun shining through the snow and clouds should be enough to power our house, but we need to start charging the Powerwall to full capacity.
Even with the power outage tomorrow, my Chevrolet Volt should still be fully charged thanks to the solar panels and Tesla Powerwall.