daveo4EV

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https://www.wired.com/story/califor...3b34a6-1f54-4d46-8581-9ccf81d127b3_popular4-1

my home powerwall system was "allowed" to provide power to the grid for 3-4 hours every day for the past 8+ days - I've been delivering 18-24 kWh from my powerwalls each day during peak loads - Tesla claims I'm getting $2/kwh for the peak-grid events - I'll believe it when I see it...but between solar and my local batteries my home was net-positive impact to the grid - since the batteries both covered my usage and provided an additional 6 kW to the grid for the 3-4 hours of "peak demand".

normally I'm only allowed to send actual honest to good solar power to the grid - so I can send the grid any 'excess' solar at the moment - but can't send "stored" power to the grid - I can only use my batteries to power my home usage - the don't want me charging my batteries from the grid during low cost TOU and then selling their power back to them later at higher TOU prices

but during "grid emergencies" I'm allowed to send "stored power" to the grid but no more than my solar system would normally produce - my solar system max output is 6 kW - so I'm allowed to send 6 kW of battery power to the grid during grid-emergencies...

or 6 kWh per hour of stored capacity.

tesla calls this a vritual powerplant - and they used it 8+ times these past few days - during peak load the virtual powerplant was collectively producing 3-6 megawatts - it was interesting to watch and the Tesla app showed in real time the "output" of the virtual power plant "fleet" - ~3500 other Tesla victims were participating in providing power from their batteries to the grid.

if we could get these "idle" EV's to give back their power during "grid emergencies" it would interesting to see what it would do for/to the grid.

the "grid emergency" also allowed my batteries to charge from the grid earlier in the day for later use - normally I'm onlly allowed to use solar power to charge my batteries - but during grid emergencies they relax that policy and allow me to charge my batteries from the grid earlier in the day so that I have max battery power to donate to the grid during the anticipated "peak" load time window…

all in all - I find this very interesting and personally satisfying - duiring these time windows I lived my life and didn't change my power usage at all - but was a net-positive for the grid during the peak load time periods.

I'm optimistic about what could be done with a little more software and hardware for all EV's to allow co-ordinated vehicle-to-grid "give back" during periods of grid stress

even in it's infancy the potential for storage+renewables makes me optimistic that while our challenges are great - there are some solutions that we can deploy - and frankly some of this stuff isn't that hard if we just put our minds to it…we know it can be done and pushing the necssary changes into hardware/software could have a major impact…

overall it's been a very very interesting week…and an impossible week that would've gone very differently if it had happened even 3 years ago…

my Taycan for example could've provide 11 kW (48 amps) worth of power from it's 83.4 kWh worth of capacity during these grid emergencies…44 kWh is a significant amount of power and if you mutiply that by 1000's (the Taycan _IS_ a successful product) of idle Taycan's - the impact would be larger than the Diablo Nuclear powerplant's output - 3 to 4 hours of vehicle to grid "output" 10-30 times a years for a zero impact dynamic powerplant seems to be an interesting idea and one worth pursing - at least in my opinion.

frankly my Taycan's battery dwarfs my 4 powerwalls…and has higher output capability - seems like we should use it…

maybe we provide tax incentives for that EV your purchased only if it has V2G capabilities and you provide you've installed a V2G system in your home and register to be a participant…now there is some "net good" for EV's right there - less emissions, fewer ICE's and V2G applications when necessary to help the grid - win, win, win, win…

 
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daveo4EV

daveo4EV

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https://www.wired.com/story/califor...3b34a6-1f54-4d46-8581-9ccf81d127b3_popular4-1

my home powerwall system was "allowed" to provide power to the grid for 3-4 hours every day for the past 8+ days - I've been delivering 18-24 kWh from my powerwalls each day during peak loads - Tesla claims I'm getting $2/kwh for the peak-grid events - I'll believe it when I see it...but between solar and my local batteries my home was net-positive impact to the grid - since the batteries both covered my usage and provided an additional 6 kW to the grid for the 3-4 hours of "peak demand".

normally I'm only allowed to send actual honest to good solar power to the grid - so I can send the grid any 'excess' solar at the moment - but can't send "stored" power to the grid - I can only use my batteries to power my home usage - the don't want me charging my batteries from the grid during low cost TOU and then selling their power back to them later at higher TOU prices

but during "grid emergencies" I'm allowed to send "stored power" to the grid but no more than my solar system would normally produce - my solar system max output is 6 kW - so I'm allowed to send 6 kW of battery power to the grid during grid-emergencies...

or 6 kWh per hour of stored capacity.

tesla calls this a vritual powerplant - and they used it 8+ times these past few days - during peak load the virtual powerplant was collectively producing 3-6 megawatts - it was interesting to watch and the Tesla app showed in real time the "output" of the virtual power plant "fleet" - ~3500 other Tesla victims were participating in providing power from their batteries to the grid.

if we could get these "idle" EV's to give back their power during "grid emergencies" it would interesting to see what it would do for/to the grid.

the "grid emergency" also allowed my batteries to charge from the grid earlier in the day for later use - normally I'm onlly allowed to use solar power to charge my batteries - but during grid emergencies they relax that policy and allow me to charge my batteries from the grid earlier in the day so that I have max battery power to donate to the grid during the anticipated "peak" load time window…

all in all - I find this very interesting and personally satisfying - duiring these time windows I lived my life and didn't change my power usage at all - but was a net-positive for the grid during the peak load time periods.

I'm optimistic about what could be done with a little more software and hardware for all EV's to allow co-ordinated vehicle-to-grid "give back" during periods of grid stress

even in it's infancy the potential for storage+renewables makes me optimistic that while our challenges are great - there are some solutions that we can deploy - and frankly some of this stuff isn't that hard if we just put our minds to it…we know it can be done and pushing the necssary changes into hardware/software could have a major impact…

overall it's been a very very interesting week…and an impossible week that would've gone very differently if it had happened even 3 years ago…

my Taycan for example could've provide 11 kW (48 amps) worth of power from it's 83.4 kWh worth of capacity during these grid emergencies…44 kWh is a significant amount of power and if you mutiply that by 1000's (the Taycan _IS_ a successful product) of idle Taycan's - the impact would be larger than the Diablo Nuclear powerplant's output - 3 to 4 hours of vehicle to grid "output" 10-30 times a years for a zero impact dynamic powerplant seems to be an interesting idea and one worth pursing - at least in my opinion.

frankly my Taycan's battery dwarfs my 4 powerwalls…and has higher output capability - seems like we should use it…

maybe we provide tax incentives for that EV your purchased only if it has V2G capabilities and you provide you've installed a V2G system in your home and register to be a participant…now there is some "net good" for EV's right there - less emissions, fewer ICE's and V2G applications when necessary to help the grid - win, win, win, win…
batteries are to the grid what DVR's were to watching television - you can "time shift" your renewable production to when you need it the most…but like DVR's there is limited capacity so you can't store this stuff indefinately but you can move it around a bit and consume it when it is more beneficial…it would be interesting to combine the 3 large batteries I have in my home:
  • Taycan 83.4 kwh of stored capacity
  • Cayenne - 15 kwh of stored capacity
  • 4xPowerwall - 56 kwh of stored capacity
all on a 100 amp "service" breaker "to the grid" - say we allow the service breaker to run at 50% or 50 amps for "back feed" to the grid - that's our favorite number of 9.6 kW

4 hours of "peak" load grid-assistance @ 9.6 kW - is 40 kWh of "grid" capacity that can be brough online - or 25% of my available storage capacity for a few times a year - scale this to 100,000 thousand of EV's and homes - and the grid capacity is mind boggling…

we should V2G technology and make it a requirement for the EV tax incentives…you're welcome to purchase an EV - but to maximize the tax incentrives you also have to participate in V2G events - otherwise there are lesser incentives…
 

Torv

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Dave.

Like you, I also have a Tesla solar system but in my case only two Powerwalls. I do have 31 Solar panels which spec out at 12 KW. Also, I did not opt to join Tesla’s virtual powerplant; something about that seemed fishy and I don’t trust Tesla or PG&E (Polluters, Gougers & Extortionists as they’re known around here), to honor any commitments, which brings me to my question. Does the virtual powerplant work as advertised or should I leave my system as is?

We are effectively “off-the-grid” here in Marin as I am able to both power our home, run the AC (thank god) and charge our Taycan during this entire week without issue.

I do like the idea of the Taycan’s battery being used as an additional “Powerwall”, so hope that will someday come to fruition.
 

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Vehicle to Grid (V2G) is a really interesting concept for sure, but I do wonder if it's more economical for grid operators to focus on having large industrial battery installations rather than relying on consumers for it. It adds a good deal of complexity and risk that might still be manageable, but I don't know if it's really a home run.

I don't mean to be overly doom and gloom here, but when you talk about having our electric grid rely on what would effectively be public internet to communicate and tell EVs how much power to send to the grid, it's not hard to imagine a scenario where a bad actor might find a way to tell all cars to start sending power to the grid at off-peak times to cause a short spike that could cause immense damage to the grid and anything connected to it.

Yes, you could harden the hell out of it to try and prevent issues, but I've been in IT too long to believe that this wouldn't be seen as one of the biggest targets of state sponsored hacking of all time. It will be compromised at some point, and the results could be a disaster on the scale that I'd like to not imagine.
 

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Good write-up. I installed a 12.4kW Solar system this summer and may look to add batteries next year. Unfortunately, they don't exactly encourage Solar panel installation in my area. Strange considering I live in a state where you'd think Solar would be enormously advantageous.

While power is cheaper in my area the buyback rate is horrible. Right now my buyback rate would be $0.046 cents per kWH and is scheduled to decrease next year, quite a contrast from the $2 a kWh you were quoted for peak. The result in AZ is that unless you are using quite a bit of power, I do, the payback is so long many people opt to just not bother.

Now, if I can just get the utility company to do the final inspection, replace the meter, and turn my Solar system on I can see just how much it will actually save me. I'm a bit impatient since it was installed in June and has just been sitting there idle waiting since then.
 


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Good write-up. I installed a 12.4kW Solar system this summer and may look to add batteries next year. Unfortunately, they don't exactly encourage Solar panel installation in my area. Strange considering I live in a state where you'd think Solar would be enormously advantageous.

While power is cheaper in my area the buyback rate is horrible. Right now my buyback rate would be $0.046 cents per kWH and is scheduled to decrease next year, quite a contrast from the $2 a kWh you were quoted for peak. The result in AZ is that unless you are using quite a bit of power, I do, the payback is so long many people opt to just not bother.

Now, if I can just get the utility company to do the final inspection, replace the meter, and turn my Solar system on I can see just how much it will actually save me. I'm a bit impatient since it was installed in June and has just been sitting there idle waiting since then.
the $2/kWh is _ONLY_ for when Tesla is 'invoking' the Virtual powerplan - at other times Solar is prices in line with normal residential rates…the Virtual Powerplant thing is supposed to be an infrequent thing and only when requested/approved by the Grid operator - hence the high promised compensation rates.

if you figure I did 8 days of 24 kWh - that's 192 kWh I provided for the "grid events" - at $2/kwh that should be $384 of compensation - as I said I'll believe that when I see it (March of 2023 is what I'm told)

I did not get batteries for any ROI - I got teh batteries due to frequent outages in my more rural area of califonria - since install in Feb. of 2019 my batteries have bridged 106 times for a total of 3 days worth of "outage" - most are 1 min or less - but there have been some multi-hour outages where I'm quite please to keep living my life even though the grid is "out" including 2 thanksgivings (which made my wife LOVE the batteries)…
 
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Thanks for sharing your experience, Dave.

Like you, I also have a Tesla solar system but in my case only two Powerwalls. I do have 31 Solar panels which spec out at 12 KW. Also, I did not opt to join Tesla’s virtual powerplant; something about that seemed fishy and I don’t trust Tesla or PG&E (Polluters, Gougers & Extortionists as they’re known around here), to honor any commitments, which brings me to my question. Does the virtual powerplant work as advertised or should I leave my system as is?

We are effectively “off-the-grid” here in Marin as I am able to both power our home, run the AC (thank god) and charge our Taycan during this entire week without issue.

I do like the idea of the Taycan’s battery being used as an additional “Powerwall”, so hope that will someday come to fruition.
I'll believe the payment promise when I see it - I'm not holding my breath - I signed up to "test the waters" and so far it hasn't changed my life or impacted me - and you are given a push notification prior to the event and you can "opt-out" if you like for specific events

all in all I feel I have sufficient control over the system that I don't care if they "tap" my batteries occasionally…

we'll see if any compensation comes through in March of 2023 so I'm told - but that's not my reason for doing it - nor my pitch for anyone else to do it

I personally love my solar+batteries for the measure of self sufficiency it provides - I still use the grid but I have the solar/batteries to defend me against hte grid's most egregious costs and I use the solar/batteries to "defend" myself against peak rates - which means what ever power I do use form the grid is the cheapest "off-peak" power pricing tier from PG&E…my off-peak power rates on my EV-A/Monterey-CCC rate plan are $0.08/kWh - and at that cost I'm more than happy to pay them vs. using my batteries/solar…

but it's not the economics that drive me…although they help - it's the personal control I have and the defense against power outages that drove my investment.
 

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the $2/kWh is _ONLY_ for when Tesla is 'invoking' the Virtual powerplan - at other times Solar is prices in line with normal residential rates…the Virtual Powerplant thing is supposed to be an infrequent thing and only when requested/approved by the Grid operator - hence the high promised compensation rates.

if you figure I did 8 days of 24 kWh - that's 192 kWh I provided for the "grid events" - at $2/kwh that should be $384 of compensation - as I said I'll believe that when I see it (March of 2023 is what I'm told)

I did not get batteries for any ROI - I got teh batteries due to frequent outages in my more rural area of califonria - since install in Feb. of 2019 my batteries have bridged 106 times for a total of 3 days worth of "outage" - most are 1 min or less - but there have been some multi-hour outages where I'm quite please to keep living my life even though the grid is "out" including 2 thanksgivings (which made my wife LOVE the batteries)…
I'm hoping the batteries will smooth the occasional outages and brownouts we have in my area. I have a lot of computers and while most of them are on UPS the outages create temporary havoc with my smart home devices.
SSVEC is not “Anti-Solar”
We are “Pro-Member”
My power company is so hostile to customer Solar they felt it necessary to post the above on their website. Apparently Members that use Solar are not "good members" :CWL: Pretty much all of the AZ power providers have been agitating, successfully, to decrease the power buyback and other incentives for installing Solar for years. One can only hope that will start to change going forward.
 


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I'll believe the payment promise when I see it - I'm not holding my breath - I signed up to "test the waters" and so far it hasn't changed my life or impacted me - and you are given a push notification prior to the event and you can "opt-out" if you like for specific events

all in all I feel I have sufficient control over the system that I don't care if they "tap" my batteries occasionally…

we'll see if any compensation comes through in March of 2023 so I'm told - but that's not my reason for doing it - nor my pitch for anyone else to do it

I personally love my solar+batteries for the measure of self sufficiency it provides - I still use the grid but I have the solar/batteries to defend me against hte grid's most egregious costs and I use the solar/batteries to "defend" myself against peak rates - which means what ever power I do use form the grid is the cheapest "off-peak" power pricing tier from PG&E…my off-peak power rates on my EV-A/Monterey-CCC rate plan are $0.08/kWh - and at that cost I'm more than happy to pay them vs. using my batteries/solar…

but it's not the economics that drive me…although they help - it's the personal control I have and the defense against power outages that drove my investment.
“but it's not the economics that drive me…although they help - it's the personal control I have and the defense against power outages that drove my investment.” -100% agree as a NorCal fire prone homeowner.
 
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the $2/kWh is _ONLY_ for when Tesla is 'invoking' the Virtual powerplan - at other times Solar is prices in line with normal residential rates…the Virtual Powerplant thing is supposed to be an infrequent thing and only when requested/approved by the Grid operator - hence the high promised compensation rates.

if you figure I did 8 days of 24 kWh - that's 192 kWh I provided for the "grid events" - at $2/kwh that should be $384 of compensation - as I said I'll believe that when I see it (March of 2023 is what I'm told)

I did not get batteries for any ROI - I got teh batteries due to frequent outages in my more rural area of califonria - since install in Feb. of 2019 my batteries have bridged 106 times for a total of 3 days worth of "outage" - most are 1 min or less - but there have been some multi-hour outages where I'm quite please to keep living my life even though the grid is "out" including 2 thanksgivings (which made my wife LOVE the batteries)…
one outage in particular was 16 hours - that one was epic - I was providing power for neighbors and internet connectivity since after about hour 8 the cable companies infrastructure gave out - so while I had power for my home wifi/cable-modem - the cable modem itself had no signal - turns out comcast (my local internet provider in Santa Cruz area) only has UPS's for about 6-8 hours on their equipment - and my cell signal in the area is very very spotty (Santa Cruz/Monterey County does not believe in wireless coverage) - so when you lose your internet communcations become spotty

I've had 4 long duration outages - all of which my Solar and Batteries were my personal delight
16 hours, 8 hours twice, and a 6 hour outage - in all cases I continued to live my life and my home continued to function…which was the goal of the installation - again I have teh batteries to defend against power outages - NOT for any expected/anticipated economic advantages…there is no ROI that I've seen - but I'm more than happy to have power during 16 hour outages…

and now my wife works from home mostly on zoom calls - so having reliable power & interenet is essential to her business

after the power outage of 16 hours showed me the cable company has lesser infrastructure than I do - I now have a satellite internet connect as my "backup"…and invested in a dual-wan router

thursday of this past week - I lost power for 2 hours and comcast internet for about an hour (during the power outage) - my wife was on multiple zoom calls and _NEVER_ noticed - that is why I have the setup I have...

Grid - primary power source - solar and batteries "defend" against mid-peak/peak rates
Solar - 20-50 kWh daily sunny days year round - good ROI easy to justify
Batteries - outage defense for lifestyle and convenience
Primary Internet - 1.2 gbps cable
Satellite Internet - 0.3 - 0.5 gbps hot-spare seamless failover

given the rate of outages in my local area - some of which occur at night - my neighbors have taken notice when I have my lights on and they don't - there are now 5 additional solar/battery systems in my beach-hoa-complex that were not there 2 years ago - I think it's my fault.
 
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I'm hoping the batteries will smooth the occasional outages and brownouts we have in my area. I have a lot of computers and while most of them are on UPS the outages create temporary havoc with my smart home devices.
SSVEC is not “Anti-Solar”
We are “Pro-Member”
My power company is so hostile to customer Solar they felt it necessary to post the above on their website. Apparently Members that use Solar are not "good members" :CWL: Pretty much all of the AZ power providers have been agitating, successfully, to decrease the power buyback and other incentives for installing Solar for years. One can only hope that will start to change going forward.
I'm expecting more, not fewer, grid outages and hic-ups going forward - so I think it's just a good idea.
 
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one very subtle feature of batteries is that you get to keep using your Solar system during a grid outage

most people dont' realize that when there is a grid outage - your roof top solar is shutdown for safety and grid stablity - basically you can not have roof top solar generating power during and grid outage because the grid is unstable - and they don't want to electrocute the line workers working to 'fix' the outage

no grid = no roof top solar production - this blows most people's mind (and personally drive's me crazy - before batteries I would "suffer" through outages knowing that I could generate my own power but my solar inverters were offline because there was no grid)

this is silly

this is where the batteries come in…

when you are on battery power during an outage - the battery system isolates you from the greater grid - so you can power your home with out killing the line workers - the battery system then "lies" to your solar panels and says "i'm your grid" - so the panel inverters do not turn off - and your solar system keeps producing power which either powers your home or charges your batteries…

this means that if your outages are during the day you really aren't using your batteries…so you get to keep living your life, your solar still producing power and running you home, and your batteries seamlessly kick in as solar production drops in the afternoon/evening and powers your home into the night

it's super super super slick and a very very subtle feature

adding even a modest battery system to your solar - means you get to keep using your solar during a grid outage - which is HUGE

I recommend even a small 10 kWh battery system for all solar owners - because it's not about having enough battery power to "run your life" - it's about having a small battery system to "buffer" your solar system and keep it online during brief and what i believe to be potentially much more frequent power outages going foward.

solar does get shutdown if the batteries are full - just like there is not regen if your Taycan battery is full - the batteries are there to smooth out the solar production which is highly variable - and your home's consumption is also variable - sometimes needing less than solar is producing, and sometimes your home needs more than solar is producing at that moment - so the battereies either absorb the excess solar power _OR_ provide extra juice when the home's usage spikes (my electric dryer uses 7 kw, solar only does about 5.9 kW best case - battery will provide the extra 2 kW when I turn the dryer on)…

solar + battery is a very very very very slick solution and provides much more value beyond the obvious "black out" protectcion - it actually improves your solar system…
 
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it will be interesting to read/hear about any insights into this program - it was tested and seemed to perform these past 8 days - personally I was happy to "help"

3600'ish powerwall dumping power to the grid during a grid-crisis for peak demand - it's "a thing"…would be interesting to see it scale - add in some EV's - and could be very very interesting.

5F8D7E90-EF7C-453F-8A3F-76BA6D655A94.jpeg
 
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keep in mind you don't even need people with Solar/Batteries to "dump power back to the grid" for this to be interesting - simply "nullifying" a home's usage (zero power from the grid) during a crisis could help enormously

so in addition to a "virtual powerplant" - you could request a "virtual power outage" - i.e. everyone with batteries - just null out your usage between the hours of 4 pm and 10 pm - we're not asking you to "provide power" - just don't consume power during those hours…that is also very very effective - it's called "load shedding" and according to articles was also instrumental in avoiding massive blackouts these past several days…but the technique was very primative -they sent text message to everyone in california to use less power, and apprently it worked - shedding 2000 megawatts of power demand in like 20 minutes post text message - which kept the grid from going off line…

so for V2G applications - could be interesting even for people without solar - simply request that if you're EV is plugged in at home - that you use it to "load shed" and power your home during the crisis so that your home is using 'zero power' during the time period - do that at scale and it could be the equivalent of several power plants "coming online" in terms of dropping load from the grid.

so we could have
batteries + solar - both provide power to the grid and/or simply "load shed"
and non-solar but with EV's could do V2G and maybe only "load shed" residential loads but not provide power to the grid but you could have V2G also provide power, but it's not required to be beneficial - simple load shedding can make the difference…
 
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but it's not the economics that drive me…although they help - it's the personal control I have and the defense against power outages that drove my investment.
Amen, brother! My sentiments and reasons exactly on why I bought my solar array and batteries—I was simply fed up with PG&E’s so-called planned power outages that sometimes lasted for 2 or 3 days. Having these systems does give a measure of control that otherwise would subject one to the mercurial whims of PG&E and their 19th-century power grid.
 

 
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