Tesla activated its Storm Watch feature for its Tesla Powerwall 2 in north Queensland last week – the first time it has been activated outside of the US.
The Storm Watch feature automatically prioritises available power towards backup functions, making sure the battery is as close to 100% charged as possible. It was activated for Tesla Powerwall installations north of Townsville last weekend as Cyclone Owen approached.
The feature is usually activated when a storm or severe weather is on the horizon which increases the likelihood of a utility power outage. This mode automatically charges Powerwall to maximum capacity so it can provide backup power.
The decision is taken centrally, by Tesla, and customers are notified through their apps. 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 Tesla Powerwalls – and other batteries with back-up facilities – allow consumers to keep their lights on and appliances running in the case of a blackout, as many would have discovered this week with the repeated outages experienced from the thunderstorm activity in and around Sydney.
Was the Storm Watch activated ahead of those thunderstorms to make sure that each battery was fully charged? Apparently not. The Tesla Storm Watch has traditionally only been activated ahead of major national storms in the US, such as hurricanes.
But that may change.