Best Practices During Power Outages

Powerwall brings you energy independence and security, so life in your home can carry on during a power outage. During an outage, Powerwall discharges its stored energy to provide power to your home. Power outages are unpredictable and can last for hours or even days at a time. Understanding how your Powerwall provides backup power and familiarising yourself with best practices for your home can help extend the backup duration of your system during an outage.

How Powerwall Provides Backup Power

When a power outage does occur, your Powerwall disconnects from the grid and restores backup power to your home.

Depending on your system configuration, your Powerwall can recharge from your solar system to run your home from solar and Powerwall even when the grid is down. A traditional solar system without a Powerwall does not function during a grid outage.

If more solar energy is produced than can be used or stored during an outage, Powerwall will signal your solar inverter to reduce or turn off to protect your home from excessive power produced. This typically occurs when Powerwall is approaching 100% charge. Once Powerwall can accept power again, your solar inverter will be signaled to turn back on.

Backup Power Notifications

If the grid has been unavailable for at least five minutes, the Tesla app will alert you so you can manage energy usage accordingly. A second notification is sent when power is restored. To ensure you receive this alert, go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Notifications’ in the Tesla app. You can set preferences for receiving all notifications, including power outages. Ensure that your device settings allow notifications from the Tesla app. Learn more about various off-grid and grid outage events and the expected push notifications.

Managing Your Power During an Outage

During an outage, you can back up any number of appliances, so long as their combined power usage does not exceed the total power rating of your Powerwalls. The best way to extend your use of Powerwall during a grid outage is to reduce the use of energy-intensive appliances like air conditioners, vehicle charging, electric heaters and dishwashers. During a power outage, Powerwall can also coordinate with Tesla vehicles to charge without exceeding the power and energy needs of your home.

Preparing for a Power Outage

Weather events causing power outages may bring grid uncertainty where your outage could last days, not hours, with lower solar production. Before a potential outage, consider doing energy-intensive activities to minimise usage during the outage. If your area is prone to more outages, consider setting a higher Backup Reserve in the Tesla app. In the event of an extreme weather event, Storm Watch will automatically prepare your Powerwall system for the possibility of a grid outage during some extreme weather events. Some weather conditions may cause a reduction in your solar panel production, like depositing leaves or snow on your panels. Consider checking your panels daily during poor weather conditions to safely clear obstructions.

Overloading Your Powerwall

Starting more energy intensive loads during a power outage may overload Powerwall and cause it to stop providing power to your home. If this occurs, turn off these loads, and Powerwall will attempt to restart within a minute. Otherwise, consider manually restarting Powerwall.

Running Low on Energy

If Powerwall has less than 10% energy remaining, it will enter a standby state and stop providing power to your home. If your system is connected to the internet, you'll receive a push notification in the Tesla mobile app when Powerwall enters standby.

When in standby, and paired with a solar energy system, Powerwall will automatically attempt to recharge from solar every hour between 8 AM and 4 PM local time. If enough solar is available to charge Powerwall while still powering your home, this automatic charging will continue. Should the remaining energy decrease by more than 2.5%, Powerwall will become inactive and wait for the next hour to attempt charging again.

How to Restart Your Powerwall

If your Powerwall system stops powering your home, it may be in a standby state after running low on energy or after repeated overloads. If your system is connected to the internet, you'll receive a push notification when Powerwall enters standby, or encounters overloads.

To restart your Powerwall, turn off any energy-intensive loads to reduce the amount of power needed. You can initiate a restart with a quick toggle of the on/off switch on the Powerwall. If your phone is paired to your Powerwall and has an internet connection, you may also initiate a restart through the following steps:

  1. Select ‘Powerwall Inactive’ in your Tesla app.
  1. Review the given prompt to ensure a successful restart and tap ‘Restart Powerwall.’

Note: Only attempt to restart Powerwall when there is enough clear, sunny sky to power your home and charge Powerwall.

Resetting Gateway

If the manual restart is not successful in bringing Powerwall back online, you can reset the entire system by power cycling your Gateway by using the reset button.

Note: This only reboots the Gateway and does not reset any settings.

If power cycling also fails, there is likely insufficient energy remaining to start the Powerwall, and you will need to wait for a grid connection to return in order to bring your Powerwall back online.

Local Monitoring

The Tesla app may not have the latest data if your internet and cellular go down. You can always see your Powerwall power flow and charge level by connecting to your Gateway to monitor your system locally from a web browser on your local network.

Note: In order to maintain a connection to the Gateway for monitoring, you must leave the Powerwall switch in the ON position.