Friday, May 01, 2015

Tesla Powerwall Home Battery

Wired reports: [edited]
Elon Musk unveiled his 'Tesla Energy' scheme to electrify the world on Thursday night. Tesla, which is in the middle of building a vast 'Gigafactory' battery production plant in the Nevada desert, plans to offer versions of the batteries it puts in its Model S car to residential, commercial, and utility customers.

The 220-pound Powerwall will, as its name suggests, be mounted on a wall, and is made for home use. It’s just six inches deep, comes in different colors, has a 10-year warranty, and is available in two versions: a 10-kWh setup for $3,500, and a 7-kWh unit for $3,000. It’s Internet-connected and has an integrated DC inverter. It’s available for order now and will be installed by distributors. Tesla expects deliveries to start late this summer.

There are plenty of advantages for consumers, Musk says. If the grid goes down, you can still have power. You can fill up the battery at night, when rate are lower. The typical household uses somewhere around 30kWH a day, says Stu Lipoff, an electronics industries consultant and IEEE fellow. So the Powerwall wouldn’t really be enough to keep your home going off-grid for long (depending on how much solar energy you’re putting in), but it’s a lot better than nothing.

In the US, Musk says, customers often have to sell energy back at wholesale prices, then pay for more at retail cost, so “it actually makes huge economic sense.” It should be even better overseas, where sell back prices are well below how much energy costs. “It’s gonna be huge in Germany.”

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