Tesla was founded in 2003 with a mission to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicle and energy storage products.” Today, Tesla specialises in electric vehicle manufacturing, battery energy storage – from home to grid-scale – and solar tile manufacturing. The company’s headquarters are in California.
When the Tesla’s battery storage product, the Powerwall was first launched in 2015 it helped bring home energy storage into the mainstream. The first Powerwall had a much smaller 6.4kWh capacity and was a high voltage DC-coupled battery, while the second generation Powerwall 2 has over double the storage capacity at almost the same price, including an in-built battery inverter. It is one of the most popular home battery storage systems in Australia and, indeed, the world.
Tesla batteries for the Powerwall and its electric vehicles are made in a massive manufacturing facility in Nevada, USA, called Gigafactory 1. Tesla also has other manufacturing facilities throughout the world.
In July 2017, Tesla won a contract to install the world’s biggest grid-scale lithium battery in South Australia. The Hornsdale Power Reserve with total power capacity of 100 MW was connected to the grid on December 1, 2017.
As of February 2020, Tesla has a market capitalization of US$160 billion. It has a network of offices in Australia for its electric vehicles and home energy storage products, including a dedicated Powerwall customer support office.
Tesla Powerwall 2
The Tesla Powerwall 2 is a rechargeable home battery system that stores energy from your solar power system or from the grid. With 13.5 kilowatt hours of usable battery storage, the Powerwall can power a good-size family home through the night and into the early morning.
Unlike many other batteries, the Powerwall 2 provide comprehensive and seamless protection in the event of a power outage. You won’t even notice if the power goes out. Your Powerwall will simply take over the supply of power to your home.
The Powerwall 2 can be fitted to any existing solar power system. It can also be part of a brand new solar and battery system. The reason for this flexibility is because the Powerwall is an AC battery system with a built-in battery inverter. AC power stands for alternating current; this is the type of power that is used in the home (as opposed to DC power – direct current – which is what your solar panels produce).
Because the Powerwall 2 is an AC battery, it requires a separate solar inverter to work together with a solar array. One big advantage of this is that the solar inverter can be almost any model since it operates independently from the Powerwall. This means:
- For homes without solar – you don’t need to buy an expensive hybrid solar and battery inverter. You can choose any solar inverter you like.
- For homes with existing solar – You don’t need to replace your existing inverter; you can keep using it. You can also add more solar panels at any time.
Benefits of the Powerwall 2
Self-power your home – store the solar power you don’t use during the daytime and use it when the sun goes down.
- Reduce your reliance on the grid – the Powerwall will roughly double the amount of solar energy that directly powers your home.
- Cut your electricity bills – with a well-sized solar system and Powerwall battery, your reliance on grid power will drop significantly.
- Provide full blackout protection – the Powerwall provides backup power if there’s a power outage. For longer power outages, Powerwall can recharge from your solar power system (providing you have a solar inverter that supports this functionality) allowing you to run your home from solar and Powerwall almost indefinitely.
- Puts you in control – with the Tesla app you can monitor your solar generation, electricity consumption, the amount of power in your battery and how much power you are drawing from the grid (if any).
- Works smart for you – if you pay different rates for electricity at different times of day, the Powerwall can learn your usage patterns and charge/discharge the battery based on the time and price of electricity from the grid.
Key features of the Powerwall 2
- Powers your home through the night – 13.5kWh of usable battery storage
- Full power outage protection – your appliances will continue uninterrupted
- Real-time visibility into your home energy usage.
- No ongoing maintenance
- Child and pet friendly – no wires, no hot vents
- Quiet operation
- Weatherproof – can be mounted on the wall or floor inside or outside
- Can handle the heat – up to 50 deg Celsius (and down to -20 deg Celsius)
- Automatic system updates via an Internet connection
- Charges your electric vehicles – provides stored solar energy to your EV through your home electrical panel.
- Compatibility: Single phase or 3-phase connection to the grid
- Well-proven lithium ion battery chemistry: 100% depth of discharge
- Lithium-ion batteries are up to 99% recyclable.
- Stylish appearance
- Dimensions L x W x D: 1150 mm x 753 mm x 147 mm
- Weight 114 kg
What do you need to run the Powerwall 2?
- A reliable internet connection (over wired Ethernet or your home Wi-Fi) or a cellular connection to receive software updates and to communicate with the Tesla app for energy monitoring.
- Smart phone (iphone or Android) – At this time, you can only monitor your system via the Tesla app and this can only be done using a smart phone (not a laptop).
- At least 5kW solar power system to power the battery
The Powerwall 2 comes with a 10-year product warranty, backed up by an Australia customer service office and network of accredited installers throughout Australia.