1. The Powerwall is a lithium-ion home battery that is charged by energy from home solar panels. The battery stores the electricity generated during the day, with an inverter converting the electricity into the alternating current used for the home’s lights and appliances.
2. It can be used for load shifting – providing energy at peak times when electricity rates are high; for increasing self-consumption of solar power, storing surplus energy when it isn’t needed; and for back-up power in case of outages.
3. Having been launched in April 2015, it is now available for order, with deliveries starting in the summer. Powerwall comes in 10kWh, priced at $3500, or 7kWh at $3000. Two options can be connected to solar power or grid. Tesla says both are sufficient to power most homes during peak evening hours.
4. Powerwall is part of the new Tesla Energy range, which provides renewable solutions for homes and businesses “helping to wean the world off fossil fuels”. These include Powerpacks that are designed to scale infinitely, with potential for gigawatt-class installations that could power whole cities.
5. It solves the problem of energy mismatches caused by the fact that peak solar power is in the middle of the day, but homes use most energy in the morning and evening. Tesla explains: “Without a home battery, excess solar energy is often sold to the power company and purchased back in the evening. This mismatch adds demand on power plants and increases carbon emissions.” Powerwall stores solar energy and makes it available to the home whenever it’s needed.
6. They are wall-mounted and therefore space-efficient, eradicating the need for a battery room. Powerwall batteries can be mounted on the inside or outside of a house, and are designed so they can be stacked on top of each other for increased power.
7. Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes Powerwall provides a transformative tool for people in countries and areas where energy is unreliable. Speaking at the product’s launch, he said: “Very importantly this is going to be a great solution for people in remote parts of the world where there are no electricity wires or where electricity is extremely intermittent or expensive”.
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Photo Credit: Ivan Dervisevic from flickr