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Community and Q&A

Noise with Tesla Power Walls

bdillard | Posted in General Questions on

Chances are I’ll put a couple of power walls in the basement.    I could hear the sound of our circuit breaker from upstairs.   I really don’t know if the power walls, any required connectors or if modern ciruit breakers make any noise.  I’ll probably be going with some sort of “smart” circuit breaker if that matters.

I’m wondering if I should enclose them in a a small room to reduce noise leak or if that is totally unecessary.   This is in no way meant to be offensive but this is probably only a good question for people under 30 as it is a scientific fact that certain frequencies are no longer heard after a certain age – and while I may be over 30 not all the other people dwelling in the home will be.   I doubt my father heard our circuit breaker when I was a kid but it seemed loud to me at the time.

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  1. Expert Member
    Zephyr7 | | #1

    Circuit breakers should NOT NOT NOT be making noise. If you are getting noise from a circuit breaker, REPLACE IT IMMEDIATELY.

    I'm not familiar with the powerwalls specifically, so I can't speak to any noise they may make. If they do make noise, it's like to be high-frequency noise from switching power supply electronics (actually the magnetics), which is likely well above human hearing range. That doesn't mean there wouldn't be harmonics or resonances that you could hear though. Luckily, high frequency sound is usually easier to block than low frequency rumbles, so that's a plus. If indoors, mount the power walls on a masonry wall, if possible, otherwise mount them on a seperate set of studs from those supporting the wall. This limits sound transmission. Build the wall with 5/8" type X drywall, which will cut down sound more than the regular 1/2" stuff commonly used for residential construction. If you want more sound attenuation, use a double layer of 5/8" drywall. I doubt you'd need to go further than that, which is good since more exotic sound control assemblys (hat channel, etc.) get more expensive to build.

    Note that I strongly recommend NOT installing these powerwalls in the basement. I don't recommend installing any type of battery storage inside, or under, the living spaces of a home. It is much safer to install them in a garage. I recommend installing them in fire rated rooms too, which are built using as least one layer of 5/8" drywall on both sides of the studs (and don't forget the ceiling). Fire rated rooms help with sound attenuation too. The reason for the fire rated room is that these battery storage devices have been known to fail, and while rare, the resulting fires are VERY intense. A fire rated room is cheap insurance that will help gain you time to get out of the house quickly if there is ever a problem. I recommend installing a heat sensor in the room with the powerwalls, and connect the heat sensor to a remote annunciator inside the home to give you early warning of the problem.


  2. bdillard | | #2

    Thanks - I was going to put them in fire rated rooms but I'll add a watchdog for the temp - I hadn't thought of that. I was putting soundboard on one side - I'll have to check if that has the same rating as standard drywall. The garage is connected to the house so I don't think it will be any more or less fire protection. Between the studs, I'll have mineral wool that should help keep fires in check.

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