Tesla has unveiled a new battery system for homes and businesses called Powerwall, which it says is the missing piece in breaking the dependence on the conventional power grid and fossil fuels.
Powerwall forms part of a new suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities, which the company calls Tesla Energy.
“Tesla is not just an automotive company, it’s an energy innovation company,” it said. “Tesla Energy is a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation.”
The aim of Tesla Energy products is to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels to a “sustainable energy future”.
Homes, business, and utilities can use Tesla batteries to store energy to manage power demand, provide backup power, and increase grid resilience.
“Tesla is already working with utilities and other renewable power partners around the world to deploy storage.”
SolarCity, where Musk is a major shareholder and chairman, has already installed a number of such systems, with The Guardian reporting that investment analyst Trip Chowdry pegged the number at 300 customers.
|Mounting||Wall mounted indoor/outdoor|
|Inverter||Pairs with growing list of inverters|
|Energy||7kWh or 10kWh|
|Round Trip Efficiency||>92%|
|Operating Temperature Range||-20C (-4F) to 43C (110F)|
|Dimensions||H: 1300mm W: 860mm D:180mm|
Tesla said the Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to store energy at a residential level for load shifting, backup power, and self-consumption of solar power generation.
“Load shifting” means charging the battery during periods when electricity is cheapest. You can then use the stored energy during peak times, when many US utilities charge more for electricity.
Taking the stage at Tesla’s Design Studio in California, South African-born Elon Musk revealed that the Powerwall will sell to installers for $3,500 for 10kWh, and $3,000 for 7kWh, excluding inverters and installation.
Musk said the Powerwall can be ordered from the Tesla website, and that deliveries will begin “in late Summer” (June – September 2015).
Tesla Energy for businesses and utilities
Tesla said it will also launch solutions aimed at businesses and power utilities.
While up to 9 Powerwalls may be stacked together for those who have high power needs, businesses and utilities need to store even more energy to make a move to solar power a reality.
For utility-scale systems, 100kWh battery blocks are grouped to scale from 500kWh to 10MWh or more. These systems are capable of 2 or 4 hours of continuous net discharge power using grid tied bi-directional inverters.
According to Tesla, its Utility Storage is designed to:
- Firm up renewable generation by reconciling the intermittency of power from these sources and storing excess capacity to dispatch when it’s needed.
- Increase resource capacity. Utility Storage acts as on-demand distributed power generation, contributing to the overall generating capacity while adding resiliency to the grid.
- Ramp Control. Utility Storage can act as a buffer while the power output from a large generation source is ramping up or down, delivering power instantly to smoothly transition output to the required level.
- Improve power quality by preventing fluctuations from propagating to downstream loads.
- Defer infrastructure upgrades which are costly and time-consuming.
- Manage peak demand by deploying power within seconds or milliseconds.
US companies Amazon, Target, Jackson Family Wines, and EnerNoc are already using the Tesla Energy systems.