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Tesla Powerwall vs Generator | Performance in a Power Outage

Tesla Powerwall 2

A New Solution to Power Outages

In the midst of hurricane season and with power outages occurring with regular frequency throughout North Carolina, we are accumulating more case studies that help to illustrate how the Tesla Powerwall performs during an outage compared to a backup generator and how users can best utilize its power.  Here is a quote from one of our customers who used a recent power outage to learn how to get the best value from the system Yes Solar installed for him (10kW of solar PV, a solar hot water system, and two Tesla Powerwalls).

Playing With the Tesla Powerwalls

From our customer:

“Just wanted to give you some feedback from our experience with the Powerwall during our recent 72-hour power outage. We are happy with the Powerwalls! What we learned:

  • During the outage, you have to keep track of the weather and manage your electricity use.  This was fun (for me).
  • During overcast periods the walls wouldn’t charge up completely.  This meant a kind of electrical use triage.  Again, fun…
  • I was a little sad when the power came back on.  My wife, not so much.
  • We were lucky the weather was cool during the outage.  Were it hot, running the AC would’ve been tricky.

The best part was that we had silent reliable power that was not a noisy generator.  My neighbor’s generator was going all day and night. “

Tesla Powerwall App During a Power Outage

Tesla Powerwall vs. Generator

How it works. The Powerwall automatically and seamlessly takes over in an outage–you likely won’t even notice you lost power.

Unless it is powered by natural gas, getting fuel for a generator can be a challenge during a power outage. This fuel is also finite and costs can accrue quickly, making this a potentially expensive option.

Conversely, when the sun comes out, the Powerwall charges itself.

Additionally, the Powerwall is eligible for the 26% federal tax credit when combined with solar panels, making it comparable to a whole house generator investment.

It’s quiet. It’s beautiful.

Our Takeaway

With the most recent experience under our belts, our Co-Founder and President, Stew Miller, offered some advice to our team and our customers:

“Running the HVAC during an extended outage is most likely something a customer will not want to do.  I think it is also a good idea to recommend people experiment with disconnecting from the grid once they get their batteries. That way they see what they can run and for how long. It will also get people comfortable with all of the switches and general mechanics of operating their solar + storage system during a grid outage.”


One PowerwallLights
Electrical outlets
120V small appliances
No large appliances

Two PowerwallsLights
Electrical outlets
120V small appliances
1x Compatible central air conditioner
1x Electrical range/stove/oven
1x Compatible well pump
1x Tesla EV charging

Thank you to Stew and to our latest Powerwall experts: our very own Yes Solar customers! If you would like to become a Powerwall expert customer, call Yes at 919-459-4155 or contact us below.

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