SA alternative to Tesla Powerwall: prices, power details

Freedom Won, a local alternative energy company based in Krugersdorp, recently unveiled its home battery system: the FreedomCOR.

“South Africans do not have to wait for home battery solutions [like the Tesla Powerwall]”, Freedom Won said in its announcement.

Like Tesla’s Powerwall, the FreedomCOR is a wall-mounted battery system that uses lithium-ion cells. Freedom Won co-founder Antony English said they use Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) cells made by Sinopoly in China.

“FreedomCOR manufacturing is to be partially outsourced to suit demand, with final assembly and pre-commissioning by Freedom Won in Krugersdorp,” said English.

While not commercially available yet, English said 21 solar-powered systems commissioned in 2014 are using their LiFePo4 energy storage concept. These were installed in electrical boxes, or installed as an open battery.

“All are operating exceptionally well. We have sold a further six FreedomCOR systems for household backup power this year.”

English said the first FreedomCOR will be available for commercial sale in July 2015, despite their website stating a delivery forecast on orders of August 2015.

The table below summarises the sizes and prices of the FreedomCOR.

FreedomCOR Home and Business
Pack Capacity (Ah) Max usable kWh /
Max recommended daily cycling
Weight Dimensions (mm) Price (excl. VAT)
100 5 / 4 kWh 63 kg 670 x 490 x 130 R32,975
200 10 / 7 kWh 116 kg 850 x 630 x 143 R57,170
300 15 / 11 kWh 169 kg 1,250 x 490 x 190 R81,653
400 20 / 14 kWh 222 kg 1,550 x 630 x 143 R106,932
500 25 / 18 kWh 275 kg 1,330 x 1,000 x 150 R130,832
600 30 / 21 kWh 328 kg 1,550 x 630 x 215 R156,193
800 40 / 28 kWh 429 kg 370 x 560 x 1,450 R196,940
1,200 60 / 42 kWh 626 kg 370 x 836 x 1,450 R302,478
1,600 80 / 56 kWh 823 kg 370 x 1,115 x 1,450 R384,942

Any number of FreedomCOR units can be connected in parallel, though English said he doesn’t believe it will be necessary to link more than two initially.

“FreedomCOR is available in many size options to suit the application and therefore connecting more than one in parallel is not necessary, save for future expansion considerations.”

The units come with a 10-year guarantee for daily cycling, and Freedom Won offers a “second life option” by exchanging the cells for new ones, at a price.

Under this second life option, cells will be replaced using the the prevailing battery technology at the time.

“FreedomCOR is not the same as Powerwall. FreedomCOR is more suited to South African conditions where short-term load shedding backup is the first priority.”

He said their battery system can be integrated with several inverter and charge controller brands of various sizes, and can deliver significantly more power than Tesla’s product.

FreedomCor Battery illustration
FreedomCor Battery illustration

Freedom Won’s electric vehicle history

Wall-mounted home battery systems are not the only thing Freedom Won and Tesla have in common.

Freedom Won’s background is in electric vehicles, producing electric automobiles and boats for commercial applications.

Its main business has been eco-tourism products in the form of electric 4x4s and boats for silent game viewing in Botswana.

Other pursuits include hybrid truck systems to allow downhill power regeneration, solar-powered charging systems, and electric conversions of normal cars.

“Recently we have secured finance from Wesbank (Botswana) and Sasfin SA, for our clients, to assist them with purchasing electric vehicle conversions and alternative energy systems for their private use or their businesses,” said Freedom Won co-founder Lizette Kriel.

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SA alternative to Tesla Powerwall: prices, power details