His home features a 10-kilowatt solar system and two Tesla Powerwall batteries. During a grid outage, the Powerwalls automatically take over, and the lights barely flicker. Though Brian needed to monitor his energy consumption and battery charge status, that was easy to do on Tesla's mobile app.
"I realized we needed to store more power to keep us running overnight, so I adjusted my battery settings to store up to 20%," he explains.
When the grid is on, they don't have to closely monitor the battery level or their energy consumption, though sometimes Brian chooses to anyway, just for fun.
"We have changed some of our energy habits to optimize the system," he says. "For example, our electric car is the largest load, so we try to charge it when the sun is out, if possible," he says.
As the days get longer and the sun gets higher, solar production will increase, though the air conditioner will work harder, too. The Gilberts expect their home's self-power performance to remain around 75%. And, if there is another power outage, the Gilberts will stay cool. Their HVAC system is backed up using a soft starter which greatly reduces startup current and allows the Powerwall battery to cover the AC load in an outage.
"I am really happy with my solar and battery system," Brian says. "I am grateful that it was active after the tornado so we could help out our neighbors," he adds.