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 in 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.
As a highly-advanced home energy solution, the Powerwall 2 stores solar energy for use later on and in various applications. Practicality and innovation make this energy system something from the future, only in the present.
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 know
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.
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.
Tesla’s second-generation 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 of 2016. 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).
What is it used for?
Some of the more frequently asked questions are what is Tesla’s Powerwall and what does it do? So we’ll start with that.
The Powerwall is a battery bank essentially (but much more technical) that can store energy for use later on. Paired with Solar Panels, this battery bank can act as a traditional generator when the power grid fails. However, traditional generators run on fuel, they’re noisy, and they require quite a bit of upkeep.
Tesla’s solution is the Powerwall. It is a quiet, permanent fixture that runs on batteries meaning less upkeep with an arguably longer lifespan.
Aside from power grid failures, the Powerwall can also supplement your home’s energy making it more environmentally friendly and over time, more budget-friendly too.
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.
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.
Tesla Powerwall 2: 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 costs on average $5,500 per unit. According to Tesla, an average size home will require at least two, but possibly three units and these costs do not include the installation price.
The Powerwall holds 12.2 kWh of usable energy, 10% of which it will reserve for emergencies such as power outages.
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.
You can also set your Powerwall to one of four modes: Backup Only (it stores power for when you need it), Self-Powered (power your home after the sun sets), Balenced time-based control (uses Powerwall energy after sun down during peak hours), and Cost-Saving Time-Based control (uses Powerwall energy during the highest cost period of energy usage).
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 capitalize 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.