If you haven’t heard of Elon Musk yet, well, he’s the CEO and co-founder of Tesla, Inc., and he’s on a mission to power the entire planet with batteries. And that’s not an exaggeration.
Just a couple of years ago, Tesla Inc., which specializes in electronic automotive, officially introduced the Elon Musk’s Powerwall. It’s designed to power homes, with the ability to store electricity for off-the-grid use.
We all know Tesla’s reputation of being able to come up with exceptional electric vehicles. And we also know that the company has garnered praise for being able to successfully reimagine and rebrand technologies that have been around for quite some time. You read that right. While it was Tesla that resuscitated the electric vehicle market in our generation, they were not the first to come up with the idea of electric cars, which have first been invented more than a century ago.
Nevertheless, we are seeing once again the genius of the company by totally rebranding solar batteries for home use. And with their Tesla Powerwall, it may be the first time in all of history that residents are electrified (pun intended) about the idea of storing energy at home.What Is The Tesla Powerwall?
What Is The Tesla Powerwall?
The Powerwall is not your ordinary residential-use battery. It’s described as a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, but what makes it special is that it features a liquid thermal control. The Powerwall 1 was first launched in 2015, followed by the Powerwall 2 in October the next year.
This battery pack offered by Tesla is ideal for off-grid use and is perfect for pairing with solar panel systems. It’s a solution to many homeowners who want to maintain a sustained supply of energy at home not only during the day when the sun is up but also at night. In short, it’s the best way for homeowners to be fully independent in terms of home utility.
Now, the question is, “does the Tesla Powerwall measure up against other home renewable energy options?”
The Cost: How Much Should I Invest?
Like most home energy storage options, the Powerwall comes with a price, and it’s not cheap. The Powerwall 1 costs 3,000 USD, not including installation and supporting hardware, which adds another 6,000 USD to 8,000 USD in total. The new Powerwall 2, on the other hand, costs almost twice as much at 5,500 USD, but that’s because it also offers two times the storage capacity.
Depending on which model you want to install in your home, your final bill for availing yourself of the Powerwall would be somewhere around 8,000 USD. The reason is that there are other expenses to consider, such as connection charges, electrical upgrades, and permit fees.
Another thing you need to consider is when you’re planning to integrate the Powerwall to a home solar system. Depending on where you are located and the equipment you wish to install, the average system cost may run anywhere between 8,000 USD and 16,000 USD.
Now, that’s no small amount, but in reality, you will be saving more in the long run with this option as is with any other home solar solutions.
The Low-Down: How Does it Work?
While the Powerwall has its own unique features, it’s no different from other energy storage made to work with a solar panel system. It’s designed for day-to-day use and is no miracle worker. It works the same way other models do. Every time your solar panel generate more energy than your home can consume, the extra power is stored in the Powerwall.
When your panel system is not generating enough energy, you can rely on the Powerwall to provide the electricity you need for a given period. The process takes place over the course of the day. When the sun is up, your solar panels will happily absorb all the energy it can store from sunlight and store the excess energy in your battery, which, in this case, is the Powerwall.
When night time comes, and the sun has gone down, your house will start drawing electricity from your Powerwall since your solar panel production will gradually be decreasing at this time. In essence, the Powerwall gives you more control of your electricity throughout the day, which in turn will result in lower utility cost in the long run.
The Power: How Long Does it Last in an Outage?
The Powerwall 1 has a capacity of 6.4 kWh, while the Powerwall 2 can store 13.5 kWh of usable energy. When fully charged, the Powerwall 2 could last 9 hours keeping the entire house running. That should be enough to last you the entire night.
However, if you want your Powerwall to last longer, then the key is limiting your activities to what’s important. That said, you don’t want to be wasting precious energy watching TV or playing with your Xbox during an outage, and you need electricity the most.
The Lifespan: Is it Worth it?
We are all aware of Tesla’s reputation and how it has gained the respect of loyal customers over the years. But the question still remains: “Is the Powerwall worth it?” One of the first things you need to consider is that Tesla, just like other electric automotive and energy storage companies, has invested a remarkable amount of time and resources into developing high-quality battery technology.
The company has placed its reputation on the line with electric vehicles and has proven its capacity to deliver. It’s doing the same thing once again, but this time, by bringing its technology to power houses.
Tesla offers an unlimited 10-year warranty for the Powerwall, which covers daily battery charging and draining. What the company doesn’t guarantee, though, is how much of the battery’s capacity will be lost during the said period. The Powerwall works just like any other rechargeable battery would. This means that its ability to retain a charge will eventually decrease. (You may want to read this article if you are worried about losing battery powered).
It’s the same with any other battery-operated gadget or equipment that you use. When it’s new, it’s expected to hold a charge for long periods. As the years go by, the length of time it can hold a charge would wane. The Tesla Powerwall is no exemption to this rule, because all batteries, whether large or small, has this same characteristic.
How many years your Powerwall would last will depend on how you are going to use it. If you’re only going to use it as an emergency power source during an outage, you can expect it last forever, and that’s not an exaggeration. On the other hand, if you’re going to use it regularly for overnight power as a backup for your solar panels, it could last between 10 to 20 years.
Now, if you’re going to use it as your home’s main power source, then you can expect it to last only ten years, depending on the number and type of equipment you’re powering at home. It may even be less than that if you’re going to use the energy storage to power a large company. An important thing to keep in mind, though, is that 25 years from now, battery technology will be so much better, so there’s no point keeping your Powerwall on the wall for that long.
The presence of an energy storage solution like the Tesla Powerwall can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. This is especially true when you’re running a business. Being able to generate your own electricity during a power failure can be a huge plus for your company because it means your business won’t be affected by any power outage.
As a result, you will never have the problem of reduced productivity. And since the Powerwall can be charged overnight when energy prices are lower, you’ll be able to save big time on your energy bill.
Another advantage is of the Powerwall is that it gives you the opportunity to make money by selling excess power back to the grid. This, of course, can only be done if you can generate more power than what you use. You’ll need to have a professional conduct an audit of your home or business before installation if you want to find out how you can do this.
There’s no question, though, that there are downsides to using the product, too. For instance, since i’m talking about a battery, there’s an increased risk for fire and electrical problems. This means spending additional money on safety and security to contain such hazards. Moreover, battery degradation is real, which means you will have to consider the fact that your Powerwall won’t be as efficient later on as it was in the beginning.
Despite the drawbacks of investing in the Elon Musk’s Powerwall, it’s still safe to say that the advantages of using this solution outweighs the disadvantages. If you have questions that have not been answered by this article, please feel free to drop them in the comments section, and i’ll gladly get back to you as soon as possible.