Tesla, the US electric car maker, will start shipping Powerwall home batteries to installers this summer. A Powerwall battery will provide home owners with cheaper electricity and also acts as a buffer for when there are power outages. It could even be used to gain independence from 'the grid'.
The Powerwall device is said to work in an automated fashion and be simple to install. Its key features, according to Tesla, are as follows:
- Load shifting – The battery can provide ﬁnancial savings to its owner by charging during low rate periods when demand for electricity is lower and discharging during more expensive rate periods when electricity demand is higher
- Increasing self-consumption of solar power generation – The battery can store surplus solar energy not used at the time it is generated and use that energy later when the sun is not shining
- Back-up power – Assures power in the event of an outage
As you might guess the Powerwall battery is closely related to the power plant used in Tesla's electric cars. It is said to be both much more compact and cheaper than alternative home battery systems. The 1300mm x 860mm x 180mm Powerwall offers proven safety in operation and is automated, maintenance free and comes with a ten year guarantee.
This summer people will be able to start to buy (you can reserve one now) Powerwall batteries and will be given the choice of 10 kWh weekly cycle and 7 kWh daily cycle models. These units cost $3,500 and $3,000 respectively and you will also have to pay for fitting and a DC-to-AC inverter if you don't have one in your home power system already. If you wish you can choose to have multiple Powerwalls in your home.
The new product could be very important for Tesla. It will diversify its product range, from just a few expensive cars, and boost revenues by as much as $4.5 billion, according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Looking at the Powerwall for its potential environmental impact Friends of the Earth said that "Cheaper and more efficient energy storage means individuals and businesses could save renewable energy until they need it, hugely reducing the need for climate-changing fossil fuels". With Powerwalls installed, saving renewable energy from the likes of solar panels and wind turbines until it is needed, it could bring a big change to the energy industry.
Joining these end-user storage systems the State of California wants public utility companies to start storing 1,325 megawatts of energy by 2024 to minimise waste of the excess energy which is generated.