Tesla Powerwall


When Tesla announced the Powerwall lithium-ion battery storage system it was a loud shot across the bow of the utility companies. The Powerwall positions the Silicon Valley company to be as big a disrupter to the electrical utilities as its vehicles have been to the automotive industry.

The company offers consumers 7kWh and 10 kWH versions of the Powerwall. The two differ in cell chemistry. The smaller battery is a nickel-manganese battery that is intended for daily cycling meaning it is suited to be used with solar systems. The larger battery uses a nickel-cobalt mix and can only be used for backup energy storage since its chemistry doesn't permit frequent cycling.

Tesla expects to ramp up production of the Powerwall after the launch of their Gigafactory, which will start to come online in 2016. With the economies of scale the Gigafactory will employ, the price of batteries is expected to come down even further in the future. This could mean that the combination of batteries and solar can be used to even out the costs of peak/off-peak residential utility billing in areas where net metering isn't offered.

Whether looking for backup power, a way to even out peak/off-peak pricing or as a way to go off-grid, the Powerwall could be a component of a modern electrical system.

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