This afternoon Elon Musk announced Tesla Energy, a company that is attempting to change the way the world uses power. A massive, global ambition that we just confirmed will reach Australia in the first quarter of 2016. After the announcement of the Powerwall battery for homes and businesses, many people were understandably excited by the opportunity to get off the grid and fortunately Australia won’t have to wait long.
With more than 1.3 Million homes with Solar on their roof, having the ability to store and use the electricity that you capture with PV cells is a massive opportunity. This will fundamentally change the cost equation of solar. Being able to store the energy created throughout the day, for use during the night is an obvious benefit to the current diminishing feed-in tariffs offered by power companies. The payment for energy you create can be as little as 8c per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Tesla Energy are selling the PowerWall for US$3,500 for the 10kWh model and US$3,000 for the 7kWh. This doesn’t include the cost of an inverter and installation, which currently translates to A$4,435.45 + GST or A$3,801.74 + GST. Given most houses are running solar systems between 3 and 5kW at a cost of around $8,000, adding another $5-7,000 to that price seems like a high price to pay, but for some will finally achieve their long standing goals of being completely off the grid. For those with a Tesla in the driveway, this won’t be a problem.
If you can eliminate your power bill, instead of just reducing it, it’s possible this will help to pay off the entire system faster. The PowerWall won’t be perfect for everywhere in Australia with a temperature limit of 43 degrees Celsius. If it does work for you, they can be placed inside or outside and are importantly wall-mounted and look great, so you don’t need a battery room to store them. For homes and businesses with larger power requirements, you can connect up to 9 together.
Musk says the company isn’t just building a single Gigafactory (which will have 6,500 employees), its building lots of them, with the help of partners. Production will start slowly, but ramp up quickly and if successful, Musk expects we can flatten the curve of worldwide energy consumption from fossil fuels in just a few short years. He says to provide enough power to all of America, you’d actually need a surprisingly small amount of solar (a little less than 1 of their 50 states) and a far smaller area of batteries. We’d love to see the same space calculations done for Australia as the diverse population spread would no doubt create unique, but solvable challenges here.
- Technology – Wall mounted, rechargeable lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control.
- Models – 10 kWh for backup applications, 7 kWh for daily cycle applications
- Warranty – Ten year warranty with an optional ten year extension.
- Efficiency – 92% round-trip DC efficiency
- Power – 2.0 kW continuous, 3.3 kW peak
- Voltage – 350 – 450 volts
- Current – 5 amp nominal, 8.5 amp peak output
Compatibility – Single phase and three phase utility grid compatible.
- Operating Temperature – 4°F to 110°F / -20°C to 43°C
- Enclosure – Rated for indoor and outdoor installation.
- Installation – Requires installation by a trained electrician. AC-DC inverter not included.
- Weight 220 lbs / 100 kg
- Dimensions – 52.1″ x 33.9″ x 7.1″ 130 cm x 86 cm x 18 cm
- Colours – Black, Grey, White, Red
In the US, Tesla have already established a number of partners and will need to do the same in Australia, a company with a very diverse range of installers.
TreeHouse, a sustainable home improvement store, is collaborating with Tesla to sell the Powerwall home battery. “For the first time, running your home on a battery will be affordable and easy,” says TreeHouse co-founder and president Jason Ballard. “I think in the near future, having a battery in your home will be as normal as having a water heater or a dishwasher.” Ballard added, “This just takes us one step closer to being able to power homes completely without the use of fossil fuels.”
SolarEdge, a leader in the global PV inverter market, and Tesla partnered for the joint development of a PV storage and backup power solution for the worldwide residential solar market. Building on SolarEdge’s proven DC optimized inverter proven and Tesla’s leading automotive-grade battery technology, the solution will require only a single SolarEdge inverter to manage both PV and storage functions. The system is designed for efficient, outdoor installation and includes remote monitoring and troubleshooting to keep operations and maintenance costs low.
Founded in 2006, SolarEdge provides an intelligent inverter solution that has changed the way power is harvested and managed in solar photovoltaic systems. The SolarEdge DC optimized inverter system maximizes power generation at the individual PV module-level while lowering the cost of energy produced by the solar PV system. Since beginning commercial shipments in 2010, SolarEdge has shipped more than 1.3 Gigawatt (‘‘GW’’) of its DC optimized inverter systems, including over 220,000 inverters, its products have been installed in PV systems in more than 73 countries, and more than 100,000 systems are monitored in its cloud-based monitoring portal.
Green Mountain Power
At Green Mountain Power we are thrilled to bring Tesla’s innovative home battery storage to Vermont as part of a radical transformation of how energy is generated and used to empower customers to save money and increase reliability and resiliency. As Vermont’s energy company of the future, we are turning the old utility model on its head, and offering products and services to help Vermonters use less energy and one day rely on the grid as a backup system. GMP is focused on a future that moves away from dirty inefficient sources of energy to a clean, sustainable and cost effective energy future. The Tesla home battery storage option will speed up the pace of change and keep Vermont on the cutting edge of innovation.”
If you missed the announcement, you can watch it in full below.