Tesla Powerwall 2: All you need to know about Elon Musk’s home battery

The Powerwall 2 is the second iteration of Tesla’s home battery. CEO Elon Musk unveiled it 2016, in collaboration with SolarCity – another Musk company – and he wants it to form part of an all-encompassing home energy storage solution. That’s a bold statement, but if anyone’s going to be able to do it, it’s Tesla.

After a huge 100-megawatt battery array, made of dozens of Powerwall 2s connected together, was switched on alongside the Neoen Hornsdale windfarm near Jamestown recently, a follow-up project was announced for Adelaide in April. 

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The $23 million project will give Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries to 1,200 Adelaide households “representing 6 MW of residential energy storage.” A further 2 MW of “demand response capacity” will be given to 10 businesses. The goal is to have it up and running by the end of 2019.

The original array was installed following a online bet in which Musk promised to solve the regions energy shortages.    

To explain more about the Powerwall 2, we’ve collected everything you need to know about the new home battery, and put it into one article.

Tesla Powerwall 2: Everything you need to knowtesla_powerwall_2_release_date_specs_uk_price_1

Tesla Powerwall 2: What is it?

As with the original Tesla Powerwall, the Tesla Powerwall 2 solves one of the biggest problems of sustainable energy: while solar panels are great for collecting energy during the day, they’re not so good at night. Ironically, that’s when we tend to use electricity the most.

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Home battery systems such as the Tesla Powerwall or the forthcoming Nissan xStorage – arguably the biggest rival to Musk’s Tesla Powerwall 2 – solve the problem by storing excess energy produced during the day and making it available for use at night. While that’s the Tesla Powerwall 2’s main use, it can also be used as an emergency power source in the event of a power cut. This is what it is being used for Jamestown, for example.

Tesla’s new home battery looks a little different from its predecessor. The Powerwall 2 is slightly more rectangular and should fit into your existing home or garage decor slightly easier.

Production for the Powerwall 2 began a few weeks after it was announced, with the first orders taking place in around December. At a Q&A after the event, Musk said he expected to sell more Powerwall 2 batteries than cars, and although that sounds like a tall order, he’s probably right.

What’s more, Musk has additionally launched a range of solar roof tiles. The Solar Roof is a Tesla-made, solar-powered roof consisting of glass tiles embedded with photovoltaic cells (the technology that converts photons to electricity). 

By comparison, Nissan recently launched Nissan Energy Solar – a spin-off firm that will sell solar panels in the UK, alongside its xStorage batteries. Nissan Energy Solar’s solar panels capture energy and its xStorage home battery helps customers store and use it. 

READ NEXT: What is solar energy?

Tesla Powerwall 2: How does it work?

The Tesla Powerwall 2 works like most other house battery systems. That means it uses a high-capacity Lithium-ion battery to store energy produced from solar panels.

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The Tesla Powerwall 2 will similarly use Lithium-ion batteries, just like those used in everything from laptops to electric cars. Interestingly, Nissan is committed to using old, second-life or reconditioned batteries in its home batteries, while Tesla is focused on using new batteries for its Powerwall systems.2120x920-powerwall2-indoors

Tesla Powerwall 2: UK Price

The Powerwall 2 is larger and more expensive than the original Powerwall, but it can store more energy as a result. The Powerwall 2 additionally ties in nicely with the launch of the recent Industrial Strategy, designed to make the UK a world leader in battery technology.

During an event on 24 July 2017, the government and Ofgem unveiled its so-called ‘flexible energy’ plan designed to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use. This is likely to take the form of home batteries, similar to those proposed by Musk.

The UK price for the Powerwall 2 is listed as £5,400 for a single 14 kWh Powerwall battery. The supporting hardware costs £500 (including VAT.) Additionally, each Powerwall 2 requires a £400 deposit and typical installation costs range from £800 to £2,000. This does not include solar installation, electrical upgrades (if necessary), permit fees, or any connection charges that may apply. 

To put that in layman’s terms, Musk said the new Powerwall can store enough electricity to power lights, plug sockets and a fridge in a four-bedroom house for a whole day. 

Musk may also have some competition. Ikea recently partnered with UK-based Solarcentury on a range of solar panels and home batteries designed to capture and harness solar energy. 

Tesla Powerwall 2: Should I buy one?

On the order screen for the Tesla Powerwall 2 is an interactive calculator. It asks you how large your house is (from one bedroom up to six bedrooms and more), and whether you have

How popular will it be? 

Unlike Tesla cars which are focused on a specific market, the Tesla Powerwall 2 should have more widespread appeal. In addition to richer households who will pair it with the company’s new solar tiles, the Powerwall 2 would also be beneficial in developing countries as an easier way to store solar energy.

Once the Powerwall 2 is in enough homes, Musk will be able to capitalise on the technology to promote his Solar Roof, another initiative from SolarCity. Solar Roof makes “attractive” solar panels that look more like roof tiles than the ugly photovoltaic cells that are synonymous with solar power. The first installations of which were made on Tesla employee homes at the start of the August.

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