Tesla confirmed an interesting data point: It had 400,000 Storm Watch activations on Powerwall battery packs in 2021. The feature helps homeowners avoid power outages in extreme weather.
Back in 2018, Tesla started integrating features for Powerwall and solar customers to its mobile for vehicle owners. A year later, the company introduced a new ‘Storm Watch’ to detect storms and prepare by storing energy for use in case of power outages.
Tesla described the new feature at the time:
When a storm or severe weather is on the horizon, increasing the likelihood of a utility power outage, Powerwall triggers Storm Watch. This mode automatically charges Powerwall to maximum capacity so it can provide backup power.
The Tesla app notifies customers that Powerwall has activated Storm Watch. The mode remains active until the weather event ends, at which time the system returns to its previously selected mode. It is possible to disable this mode by going to the Tesla app, selecting ‘Customize’ and then ‘Storm Watch.’
The feature quickly proved useful as homeowners with the Tesla Powerwall in Queensland, Australia have reported that Tesla activated the feature ahead of a cyclone coming. Tesla later also used the feature for ‘hundreds’ of Powerwall owners over California wildfires.
Now a few years after Storm Watch being enabled, Tesla has increased its weather-based features and expanded Storm Watch to many more weather events:
- Hurricane (watch or warning)
- Tropical storm (watch or warning)
- Red flag (warning)
- Thunderstorm or severe thunderstorm (warning)
- Tornado (warning)
- Winter storm (warning)
- Blizzard (warning)
- High wind (warning)
- Ice storm (warning)
- Snow squall (warning)
- Wind chill (warning)
- Wind (advisory)
This week, Tesla Solar announced that its fleet of Powerwalls had 400,000 Storm Watch activations in 2021:
That large number is also partly due to the increase in the number of Powerwalls deployed over the last year. Last year, Tesla announced that it deployed over 250,000 Powerwalls around the world.
This is pretty cool. I myself just got two Powerwalls installed at my place in Quebec:
I plan to add independent energy production at this property at some point, and the Powerwalls will be useful to take full advantage of that, but they are mainly for backup power.
Therefore, Storm Watch is certainly one of the most interesting features to me.
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