Tesla Branches Out With Powerwall Batteries for Homes, Businesses

1 - Tesla Branches Out With Powerwall Batteries for Homes, Businesses
2 - Two Options From Which to Choose
3 - The Key Feature: Utility Grid Compatibility
4 - Tesla Guarantees 10 Years of Usability
5 - It's All About the Sun
6 - Peak Rate Pricing Can Be Sidestepped
7 - Tesla Promises Support During Power Outages
8 - Multiple Batteries Can Be Installed
9 - The Powerwall Is Surprisingly Small
10 - What Exactly Can it Power?
11 - When Can You Get Powerwall?
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Tesla Branches Out With Powerwall Batteries for Homes, Businesses

by Don Reisinger

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Two Options From Which to Choose

The Powerwall comes in two versions: a 10kWh option that's big enough to power a home at night and a 7kWh version that can handle what Tesla calls "daily cycle applications." Tesla said both versions are capable of powering a home during peak evening hours.

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The Key Feature: Utility Grid Compatibility

Central to the Powerwall's appeal is that it has full compatibility with the grid. That means that anything currently plugged into the commercial power grid will be fully supported by the Powerwall. Perhaps more importantly, that also means that the Powerwall can be used by electric companies to offload some energy and handle heavy loads. Look for Tesla to partner with electric companies as time goes on.

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Tesla Guarantees 10 Years of Usability

Tesla is promising that its Powerwall will be able to hold up for 10 years. That's a lengthy period when one considers that the technology is affordable at a starting price of $3,000. Since it could save customers hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year, that's a decent return on the investment.

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It's All About the Sun

At the center of the Powerwall offering is solar power. During the day, the Powerwall collects energy from the sun to charge the battery so it is available to power a house early in the morning and at night, which are the periods of peak usage when solar power generation is at its minimum. The batteries collect power during peak sunlight hours. This is excess power that is usually sold to the power grid because it can neither be used nor stored at the home.

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Peak Rate Pricing Can Be Sidestepped

One of the more surprising things about electric companies is that they charge more for electricity during peak evening hours to help bolster their revenue. By transitioning to Powerwall during those periods, Tesla's technology is able to save users a significant amount of cash and offload energy usage to the electric company when needs aren't so great.

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Tesla Promises Support During Power Outages

Like a generator, the Powerwall should be able to handle a home or office's power needs during an outage. After a professional electrician installs the Powerwall and an outage occurs, the technology can automatically default to the Tesla device to ensure all the products in a home continue to operate. That's a major distinction that shouldn't be overlooked for people operating home businesses and small business that need to maintain business continuity.

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Multiple Batteries Can Be Installed

Powerwall is a modular technology that can be extended with more battery packs. In fact, Tesla says that multiple batteries can be installed together to provide even more energy availability during the day. Up to 90kWh can be installed simultaneously on the 10kWh option, and 63kWh can be bundled together on the smaller version.

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The Powerwall Is Surprisingly Small

When people look at generators that sit outside the home, they're shocked by how big they are. However, because the Powerwall is running on lithium-ion batteries, Tesla was able to make it surprisingly small. The device can be mounted to a wall and is just 34 inches wide and 51.2 inches tall. Its depth is only 7 inches. If placed in a garage, it'll hardly be noticed, Tesla said. In the office, it could be placed in a server room out of sight among the other network and electrical equipment.

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What Exactly Can it Power?

So, what can the Tesla Powerwall power? Well, the simple answer is that it can handle just about any product that runs on electricity. However, Tesla listed out its capabilities, saying that it can handle everything from all the lights in a room to a flat-screen television, laptop, refrigerator, and washer and dryer. A refrigerator is the biggest power hog, requiring 4.8kWh per day, on average. Tesla said the 10kWh battery pack will easily handle all of that and more.

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When Can You Get Powerwall?

Now, for the million-dollar question: When will Powerwall actually be available? When Tesla announced the technology in April, the company said that it would be available this summer. However, due to higher-than-expected demand for Powerwall, it's unclear whether the company will have enough capacity to fill all those orders. That could mean that some customers who have already preordered the $3,500 10kWh version or the $3,000 7kWh option may need to wait longer than expected. People looking to buy it now might need to wait even longer. For now, Tesla is simply saying that deliveries will "begin this summer."

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