In the world of solar power, Tesla is a leading force and can completely transform your home’s energy usage and maintenance in a way that benefits your wallet and the environment. With impactful inventions such as the Tesla roof, Tesla solar panels, and the Tesla Powerwall, you can control nearly every facet of your home’s power supply. But what happens to their functionality if you don’t have Internet?
A Tesla solar system does not require an Internet connection in order to function and supply power to your home or business. However, some highly beneficial Tesla products, such as the Tesla Powerwall and the Tesla app, cannot function without an Internet connection.
Read on for a complete guide on Tesla solar without the Internet. This article will discuss why Tesla solar products can function without an Internet connection, in addition to the potential pros and cons of having an Internet-free system.
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Will Tesla Solar Work Without Internet?
Given its profound effect on modern-day technology, it is not out of the realm of reasonability to be concerned your Tesla solar system won’t work without a functioning Internet connection. In fact, many might even assume you need high-speed Internet from one of the best providers to support such a pricy investment as a solar roof.
Luckily, these are misconceptions, and your Tesla solar system’s functionality is not affected by Internet in the slightest. Ultimately, this system is dependent on its equipment, namely:
- Solar panels
- Solar system inverters
- Solar battery
- System mounting hardware
Without these components in optimal condition, the functionality of your system will suffer.
Solar systems work by the solar panels absorbing energy created by the sun and turning this energy into electricity.
Then, your system inverters take the AC energy created by the solar panels and turn it into DC energy that can be stored in the system battery and used to power your home. As you can see, the word “Internet” does not make an appearance at all in this process.
The only outside factor that could inhibit your solar system’s functionality, apart from damages to your equipment, would be if it is a grid-tied system. This means you have a grid-tied inverter that utilizes the solar PV system and is integrally connected to the power supplied by utility grids.
Therefore, if you notice the power has gone out, and your Internet, as well as your Tesla solar system, aren’t functioning, this relationship isn’t causational. It is most likely that your solar system is not working because of a grid-related power outage, and the system does not have a back-up battery, not because the Internet is down.
Cons of Using Your Tesla Solar System Without Internet
Although your Tesla solar system does not need the Internet to function properly, there are some drawbacks to using your system without this connection. Some of these include:
- Inability to use the Tesla Powerwall
- Inability to utilize the Tesla maintenance app
- Inability to monitor solar system panels
The ability to utilize these functions can be essential to the longevity of your solar power system and ensure the system investment is worthwhile economically/financially.
Inability to Use the Tesla Powerwall
The Tesla Powerwall is a battery that allows you to store solar energy, whether it is acquired through a grid-tie or solar sourced. This battery allows home and business owners to reduce their grid reliance and potentially go off-grid if they prefer.
The Tesla Powerwall also adds a sense of relief for owners because it ensures that your system will continue to function regardless of power outages or grid malfunctions. It can also support your system by allowing it to use stored energy when the sun isn’t shining enough to keep up with energy demands in the home.
Unfortunately, although this battery can be extremely beneficial to your solar system, especially if it’s grid-tied, it cannot function without an Internet connection. This is because the Tesla Powerwall is connectable to the Tesla app and also requires a connection for software updates.
If the Tesla Powerwall was initially connected to the Internet and then later disconnected, it can technically still function using its most recent settings. However, this will affect the system’s overall functionality as it cannot update when necessary or alert the owner to concerning system issues.
You also won’t reap the benefits of any new features Tesla adds to the system without some form of Internet connection, either through Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Inability to Use the Tesla App
As previously mentioned, the Tesla Powerwall can connect to the Tesla app, but not without an Internet connection. If you were on the fence about Internet connection before, you might be running to connect your system after learning what the Tesla app can do for you, particularly when it comes to power consumption.
The Tesla app allows Tesla solar system owners to monitor and manage their systems to their preferences. You can see how much energy you are creating with the system, how much your home typically consumes, and you can manage and optimize this consumption as you see fit.
By using the Tesla app to manage your system, you can ultimately reduce your power consumption and save more money to the point that you will pay off the investment of installing the system and potentially profit from the significant reduction in your energy bills.
Inability to Monitor Solar Panels
Your solar panels are one of the most essential and priciest elements of your solar system. Without them, you can’t acquire energy from the sun to be inverted into home/business energy.
Because your system relies so heavily on your solar panels, you’ll want to be able to monitor them for optimal functionality.
Because your solar panels are located on the roof of your home, they can be damaged by tree limbs or elemental forces, such as hail, especially if they are reaching the end of their lifetime. Additionally, a panel’s productivity can be affected by shade or obstructions that could inhibit the entire system.
In order to be aware of any potential solar panel damages, malfunctions, or drops in productivity, you’ll need to connect your system to the Internet. Arguably, you could see for yourself when a system is damaged by going up to the roof and visibly checking, but this is a hefty process you’re unlikely to perform daily.
By connecting the solar panels to the Internet, the system will alert you whenever there is an issue to be remedied in the timeliest manner possible.
Pros of Using Your Tesla Solar System Without Internet
There are some benefits to keeping your Tesla solar system offline, although it is ultimately a personal preference of whether these pros outweigh the cons. For the most part, the two benefits of not connecting your Tesla solar system to the Internet are:
- Mitigation of Security Risks
- Lack of Internet-based System Failures
It’s possible that you will never have to worry about either of these conditions, even if you are connected to the Internet. However, since the Tesla solar system is not a cheap investment, it might be worth your system’s safety to keep it offline.
Mitigation of Security Risks
As is the case with most electronics you connect to the Internet, there is an element of risk to connecting your Tesla solar system regarding system privacy and security.
Studies by Project Sonar and other organizations have found that leaving your Tesla solar system, particularly Tesla Backup Gateway, connected to Internet can leave your system vulnerable to infiltrators.
One reason this is possible is that the system login process requires very weak credentials. Acquiring or falsifying these credentials could potentially provide the wrong individuals with your system’s entire serial number in addition to other sensitive information they could later obtain from the interface. Some examples would include:
- How much power your home is using
- What your grid draw is
- What your battery percentage is
- Ownership information (ex. Powerwall online tags often include an element of its owner’s name)
In addition to obtaining this information, these infiltrators could also seriously damage your system. Some might target the system battery or the electrical grid; others might choose to change the system’s configuration altogether.
You can mitigate these risks with the proper precautions. Still, with equipment as influential and expensive as the Tesla solar system, you might not want to risk stranger infiltration by connecting it to the Internet.
Lack of Internet-Based System Failures
Another potential system issue for the Tesla solar system is that connecting it to the Internet could subject the system to potential failures. Typically, this is caused by too many individuals or technologies using the connection simultaneously, and the Internet cannot support them.
Overloading the Internet could potentially cause the Tesla solar system to shut down or fail if they are connected. Typically, if you have a back-up battery, this won’t affect your system, and you can take your time remedying the situation. However, if you don’t have a Tesla Powerwall or some alternative back-up, your whole home will be without power until the issue is resolved.
For better or worse, the Tesla solar system does not rely on an Internet connection to be fully operable. Connecting your system to the Internet will allow you to reap the benefits of other Tesla products and manage your system’s functionality and productivity.
However, this connection does put your system at risk of infiltrators and system failures.
Therefore, we recommend you strongly consider the pros and cons of connecting your Tesla system before putting it online.