Tesla’s new ‘PowerWall’ might just change the world, one house at a time.
If you haven’t heard of Elon Musk – you’re going to be hearing about him a whole lot in the coming months and years.
A man of many skills – he’s equal parts inventor, entrepreneur and engineer. He is the co-founder of PayPal, the current CEO and chief designer of ‘SpaceX‘ – the company most likely to make travel to Mars possible, Chairman of the USA’s largest solar installer ‘SolarCity’ and he’s also the co-founder, CEO and architect at Tesla Motors, a company making the world’s most advanced (and expensive) all-electric vehicles.
Now you would think a man spread between this many incredible companies would be quite content with his current workload – but Mr. Musk has set himself a new challenge – to produce battery storage good enough and cheap enough to be in every suburban home.
Tesla’s announcement last week of their PowerWall – a wall mounted, self-contained Lithium-Ion battery pack, has the solar and energy world buzzing. Whilst it won’t take you off of the power grid altogether (or at least not yet) – the PowerWall is designed to give your home the best of both worlds; solar power with storage, plus the grid available as a backup when you need it. As many homes’ power demand is biggest in the mornings and then again in the early evenings, this has meant that peak solar power produced during the middle of the day is not always fully utilised. The PowerWall allows you to store excess solar power, and use it later on in the evening, only drawing from the grid when your battery storage is diminished. What’s more, the PowerWalls have been designed so that up to 9 of the units can be linked together.
Tesla have announced two models, a 7 kWh unit designed for daily usage, and a 10 kWh model designed more as a weekly backup unit. Initial reports suggest the 7 kWh unit will be the most popular – and Tesla have reported that 38,000 have already been pre-ordered in the first week alone.
Whilst there are still more details about the PowerWall to be announced, we would think that when available in Australia (hopefully in the next 12 months) we could see the unit available at a fully installed price of less than $10,000 – which is less than half the price of other models currently on the market. (Tesla have listed prices as low as $3000 – but keep in mind this appears to be the US wholesale price) We are already seeing other large global companies pushing to produce and release solar battery storage systems, such as Samsung, Bosch, LG, Sony, General Electric, and even AGL.
Tesla are currently building a $5 Billion dollar ‘Gigafactory’ in Nevada, USA, which will be by far the world’s largest battery production facility and where the PowerWall will be mass produced.
One way or the other, Tesla’s PowerWall development is going to push down the price of home battery storage systems, and make going off of the power grid closer to becoming a reality.
In Adelaide we’re already nearing 1 in every 3 homes having solar power, and once battery storage comes into the mix, the way in which we generate, store and use electricity will change forever.
We look forward to more details as they become available in the coming months.
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Founder & Owner of Greenlife Solar Energy