Monday, January 20, 2020

The Power Wall

Many were asking about the Power Wall we are having installed. This is the Tesla Power Wall, more like a large cabinet than a wall.

It's a solar-powered, battery backup. It will charge from the solar panels on the roof. In the event of a power outage, the battery will kick on automatically like a generator. The well (yay! no more filling buckets to flush the toilet), the boiler, the refrigerator, and outlets in the kitchen will have power during an outage. We'll be able to use the microwave (most important for a cuppa) and the toaster oven.

Since the sump pump has it's own battery backup, the sump pump wasn't included on the load panel, but I think its battery backup will be able to be recharged from the power wall.

Installation begins today and then we'll nervously await a visit from the Electrical Inspector.

30 comments:

  1. Oh, that looks interesting! Have a lovely week☺

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  2. Fantastic idea, it will save you a lot of work and trouble! Valerie

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  3. This looks and sounds good. But then you mentioned the dreaded Electrical Inspector. Hopefully he/she won't gig you for anything, and will bless it off.

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    1. I hope so. He was real fussy when the solar panels were installed and made them re-do all sorts of wiring before he blessed the project.

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  4. I have never heard of this generator-sounds much better than those big generators that are hooked into the electric to go on during an outage. Its probably been at least 10 years ago now that we had a horrible ice storm at the woods house that took down almost all of the poles in the county we were out for 19 days and it was bitter cold. we only heated with wood back then which was a good thing-but no water was not so good good luck with this I great idea

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    1. The Power Wall is relatively new, within the past few years. Our garage is under part of the house, so we didn’t want to store flammables to keep a traditional generator going. The longest we were out during an ice storm was 2 1/2 days. We don’t have a fireplace or wood stove, so ended up at Himself’s brother’s. The power wall will keep us going an extra day or so. And longer if we can remove some snow off one of the solar panels.

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  5. Crazy. In my whole life here in Germany we never had a case of no electricity.
    And now I read that on your places so often, how come?
    So many people here complain about how bad Germany is, but then... not so bad after all? I have a torch (somewhere).
    We travelled the (Australian) Outback and know how to live without electricity.. being on holiday, that is!
    You do know how to manage things, I adore that. Guess here panic would brake loose!

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    1. I suspect in Germany all your power lines are below ground. Here, large wood poles along the streets carry power lines, phone lines, and cable. Heavy snow or wind will knock down poles and take the power lines with them. Suddenly no electricity! Depending on how widespread the area, it can take several hours to several days before power is installed. We are heavily dependent on electricity. We own our own well for water so without electricity there is no power to the pump to get water to the house. No flushing a toilet unless you fill up buckets of water ahead of time. I’m getting (too old) tired of that. We don’t have a fireplace or woodstove. So without electricity no source for heat. Not bad during the warm months, but temperatures can get well below zero here so without heat not only is it cold, but plumbing pipes can burst if they freeze. Hopefully, now that we’ve spent the money, we’ll never lose electricity and have to use the power wall 😺

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    2. Yes, most lines are below ground.
      Hours to days? Oh, my and yes, sure freezing and bursting hence is yet another problem. Not to forget about flushing, help!
      Media so often suggest Germany is so much behind and America is super modern.
      Glad to hear you found your own solution then!

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  6. That will be great to have! I was wondering what this was and so it is good to get the scoop. Hugs-Erika

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    1. The unit sounded like it was going to be the size of a house! Coupled with the solar panels there were tax incentives so that is why we decided to do this now

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  7. Looks great! And small compared to others. (And be glad for the inspector, even if he is a nit picker....I've seen the outcome of bad electrical wiring.....nit picking saves lives.)

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  8. Perfect! Those big generators are so horribly loud and do much less than your power wall will. I'm impressed :) Y'all win the internet today :)

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  9. That is awesome! We live in an old 1910 farm house with a well, too. We hear with a wood stove. We have also had the buckets filling things when water pipes freeze or electricity goes out. We, too, are getting too old for that. Was this very expensive to do for you? We don’t get the snow you do; more incessant rains and winds. Xxoo tati

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    1. This was a 2 step project for us. A couple of years ago, we had a 20 panel solar array installed on the roof. Yes, it was expensive, but: the cost will be determined by how many panels are in your array. What made this worth it for us, and by the way we bought the system, was an interest free loan through a MassSave, a collaborative of the Massachusetts utilities, and federal and state tax incentives, and refinancing the house. The solar panels were installed 4 years ago.

      At the time, the Power Wall wasn’t available. This time around, we tried to get the interest free loan, but that was a one shot deal. We refinanced the house again, and there were tax incentives. Also a program through the electric company during the Summer months when the risk for losing power is small, they will “buy” electricity from the Power Wall when electric demand is very high (e.g. heatwave and everyone running AC full blast). We will get money back from the electric company at the end of the year.

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  10. This is so exciting. Good for you, CJ.

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    1. It was exciting when the electrician conducted the house test. I was with him by the circuit breakers. Himself was upstairs. The electrician shut off the main circuit breakers. There was a blip, the garage light went out, a click, and the light came back on. It happened before I could blink my eyes. Upstairs, Himself didn't even notice the power went out. So seamless!

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  11. Wow, very cool and very interesting! I think a wise investment!

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  12. This sounds amazing. My electric is always going out, but it was out for six days in 2005. Luckily my friend Joseph was in town and we house sat for a dear friend of ours. My electric bill that month was so much cheaper, too (grin). However, often my pipes freeze, even though I've installed heat tape. Twice my basement has flooded as a result. I need to look into ways to save my water from freezing, so I applaud you for this really good investment. ESPECIALLY if the electric company will buy your power from you. Now let's hope the inspection goes smoothly, too.

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    1. Yes, fingers crossed for a smooth inspection.

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  13. wow, what a great thing to have !! hope it all goes well.

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    1. We'll find out when the electrical inspector shows up

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