Tesla Powerwall Kept The Lights On During Australia’s Blackout


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During the last week of September, 1.7 million residents in South Australia lost power following a severe storm (details here).

But for one Tesla owner, the blackout would’ve gone unnoticed had it not been for him seeing a news reports on TV, which prompted him to test out the oven that’s on a separate circuit from his Tesla Powerwall unit.

73-year-old Brian Gillespie of South Australia says that he had the Powerwall unit installed in early September and recounts the recent blackout situation as follows:

“It was lovely, the power went out everywhere and then we bounced back and in fact it was quite funny because we couldn’t work out if the power had actually gone out or not because all of our lights are on one circuit, so we realized when we tried the oven light.”

This is precisely how units such as this are designed to work, as backup power in times of need and/or to eliminate/reduce the amount of energy required form the grid by using solar instead.

Source: Financial Review

Categories: Tesla


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20 Comments on "Tesla Powerwall Kept The Lights On During Australia’s Blackout"

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I would be interested in hearing reports from Powerwall owners in FL, who just went through the hurricane just recently, were thousands lost power for days.

Good luck finding one of those.

Wait a minute, as a Floridian not all Florida residents are anti EV or anti-renewables…our Governor and his cabinet are anti-renewable Trumpsters. Vote NO on 1.

The Floridians get the governor they vote themselves:-) but of course a large minority can be future looking people with a key eye on the survival of our planet for the next generations! But let’s leave politics aside.

It was in some limited areas in East Florida only.
However I know people who didn’t have power for 5-6 days in North Carolina because of falling trees during this hurricane. No silly 1 day backup batteries would had helped them, just some cheap generator from Homedepot that doesn’t have running time limitation.

Coal reigns supreme by the Aussi Government.

It’s great to see the people voting for sustainable technology with their wallets. 🙂

Couldnt Australia benefit from huge solar arrays, that would be located both in eastern and in western australia? Then they would be able to utilize the sun during most hours of the day. Although, I guess there would be a huge cost for the cables across the continent, plus a not so small energy loss.

They could, but one of the benefits of solar is that it can be produced locally.

The outage was in South Australia, which gets 40% of its electricity from renewables. Wind farms cutting out as wind speeds picked up during the storm is cited as a major contributor to the blackout, though clean energy proponents say it was entirely due to some downed transmission lines.

$3000 buys a 10 kW standby generator that will run for many days (including your oven, lol) instead of a 3 kW battery that dies in a few hours.

That is not true.

AEOM, the independent grid market operator have said it’s not true. 75% of SA’s 275 kV high voltage lines were rendered inoperable. That event overloaded some wind farms that shutdown. The grid interconnecter to Victoria was also overloaded forcing it to shut down. In both instances the poles and wires were insufficient. There was ample generation.

IMO both sides of this argument are full of s**t . Every interest group in the country is pushing their agenda after this event.

Whatever side you are on, this event shows that relying on cross-continent power lines for the whole grid to be operational is as reliable as building house of cards.

Yep, need Power walls and local generation.

AEOM’s preliminary report of October 5 says (sec 3.3): “Additional analysis is required to determine the reasons for the reduction in generation and observed voltage levels before any conclusions can be drawn.”

Reduction in generation refers to six wind farms that reduced output in the seconds before the blackout. Note that no thermal plants reduced output. Also note that some wind farms (e.g. Snowton, Hallett) were cutting in and out in the hours prior to the event. That was obviously not a response to line faults.

I agree both sides are full of it. The analysis is still incomplete. We know wind played a role. Whether that was due to some inherent weakness of wind power, a particular feature of the way these farms connect to the grid or an unavoidable response to the loss of the 275 kV lines is not yet known. Another report is due out the 19th. The final report will take many months.

you could probably put solar arrays in the desert and do high voltage dc transmission and then place your inverters at the point(s) of interconnection into the power grid.

Not really. While solar insolation density and population density for Australia are basically inverted (except for Perth), you really don’t have to go more than a couple hundred miles to set up sufficient solar powerplants to power an entire city. The practical limit of long distance, high tension power lines is somewhere in the order of a thousand miles.

There could be more everyday independence from the grid.
I’d love to have a 230V/400V AC power socket on a BEV. With this you could use all the electric machines that normally need grid power e.g. electric chain saw, brushcutter, pole pruner or you name it.
Just imagine driving your Tesla Model X with a trailer and inside a mobile saw mill into the forest. First cut a tree with the electric chainsaw, and then cut it to boards with the all electric mobile saw mill. And driving everything home again. And not one single drop of gas needed (only some oil for the chain saws) or any emission.


I wish they gave the list of equipment used.

The dimensions and voltage of this power wall ~ALMOST~ looks like it could be used to augment your battery pack for additional range………hmmmmmm

Given wide availability on natural gas in my area along with the millions of users who will stop using it during an outage, ie higher pressures, and the lack of nighttime rates in OH, it made perfect sense to install a 22kW gas generator to keep my house and Model S going.