Tesla Powerwall 2 – Is It Worth It?


The Powerwall 2 is Tesla’s latest rechargeable home battery. It is futuristic, convenient, and cool, but is it ideal for you? Knowing the Tesla Powerwall 2’s characteristics, cost efficiency, and earth-friendly factor will help you know if it is worth it for you.

The Tesla Powerwall 2 is expensive to buy and install, but in the long run, it can save you more money, so it is worth it. It increases the efficiency of solar panels; this actually helps with sustainable energy. Additionally, the durability, ease of use, and capabilities make the Tesla Powerwall 2 worthwhile.

Many factors come into play when deciding to buy something as big as the Powerwall 2. Can you afford it, will it help you save money, is it really environmentally-friendly, what do previous buyers think, and do you really even need it? Keep reading to learn if the Tesla Powerwall 2 will be a good fit for you and your home.

What Is Tesla Powerwall 2 and What Makes It Impressive?

The Tesla Powerwall 2, released in 2016, is the second version of Tesla’s home battery.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can keep your lights on and appliances running at night time, during grid outages, and during peak energy hours. The Powerwall 2 recharges itself from both solar panels and the grid.

The Key Features of The Powerwall 2

  • 13.5 kWh total usable capacity         
  • 5 kW (up to 7 kW) continuous Power
  • Round trip efficiency 90%
  • 100 % Depth of discharge (DoD)
  • Size:     45.3” L x 29.6” W x 5.75” D
  • Weight: 251.3 lbs

These features make the Powerwall 2 a better option than losing excess energy from your solar panels or relying on the heavier costly battery banks. There are plenty of benefits that the Powerwall 2 gives as well.

The Key Advantages of The Powerwall 2

Some of the key advantages of Powerwall 2 include using solar energy to power your home, store excess energy instead of losing it. But there are so many more beneficial characteristics: 

  • It can be used any time of the day
  • Charges itself during off-peak hours (this saves you money)
  • It can be installed indoors or outdoors
  • Provides backup energy when the grid is off
  • You can use the entire available energy (100% DoD) before recharging again
  • Easy to monitor using the Tesla smartphone app
  • Four main operating modes available:
  • Solar Self-Consumption (energy powers your home after sunset)
  • Balanced Time-Based Control (energy used after sunset during peak hours) 
  • Cost-Saving Time-Based Control (energy used when grid power is most costly)
  • Backup Power (stores energy only for when needed)
  • Little to no upkeep needed
  • Quiet
  • Water-resistant and dust resistant
  • Child friendly and pet friendly

Connected to solar panels, the Powerwall 2 works like a typical generator during grid outages. However, unlike a generator, the Powerwall 2 is quieter and does not use fuel or require upkeep.

The efficient energy backup of the Powerwall 2, along with the little maintenance and the simple mobile app monitoring, make this home battery a breeze to use. However, first, you must think of whether it will fit in nicely with your home or not.

Adding the Powerwall 2 to Your Home

The Powerwall 2, with its sleek and slender shape, simple design, and practical corners, is easy to install and fit into your home.

It looks deceivingly light, but like any battery, it is heavy. Though it is almost 252 pounds (122 kg), the Powerwall 2 can be mounted on the ground or on the wall. It can also be installed indoors or outdoors.

Should I Put a Powerwall 2 Inside or Outside?

Figuring out the best spot to put a Powerwall 2 in your home might take some time. Considering the Powerwall 2’s overall durability and optimal conditions should help you choose the best location.

When choosing the best location for the Powerwall 2, keep in mind that it touches safe. This means it does not have to be placed far away from other objects, nor does it have any particular safety setbacks.

The safe touch trait also makes the Powerwall 2 pet-friendly and child-friendly. It is also dustproof and water-resistant.

The Powerwall 2 can function between the temperatures -4°F to -122°F (-20°C to -50°C), but its optimal temperature range is from 32°F to 86°F (0°C to 30°C).

Of course, it is always better to place the Powerwall 2 somewhere cool, sheltered, and away from direct sunlight. Indoor options work well, and so do carpets and garages. This is because heat is never a good thing for batteries.

Along with the heat, water also does not pair well with the Powerwall 2. Water-resistance does not equate to waterproof. Excessive rain and floods can weaken the Powerwall 2. Hence it is a good idea to place the Powerwall 2 and its cables where water cannot affect it.

Speaking of cables, do not forget that there will be cables connecting the Powerwall 2 to your solar panels, the inverter, and a switchboard. Ensure the location you pick has the space for the extra cables and all,

Does the Powerwall 2 Make Any Noise?

When it comes to the noise of the Powerwall 2, it is specifically a small fan and the pump that creates any noise. These two parts are responsible for keeping the Powerwall  2 from getting too hot.

The Powerwall 2 produces around 50dB of sound. A whisper is about 30dB, and a running motorcycle engine is about 95dB. This makes the Powerwall 2 cooling system as loud as a quiet conversation or birds chirping in the background.

Do I Need Solar Panels Installed Before I Buy a Powerwall 2?

Solar panels, though highly recommended, are not essential for the Powerwall 2. The grid or a generator is enough to charge a Powerwall. Without solar panels, the Powerwall 2 can still be used as backup power. Keep in mind that you will not be able to use all the available modes without solar panels.

If you want, you can buy solar panels when ordering the Powerwall 2. The Tesla order page has a calculator that asks how many bedrooms you have and how big your house is overall. Based on this calculation, you will be given the recommended number of solar panels needed.

Are There Other Equipment Needed Along with The Powerwall 2?

A battery inverter, general conductors, and cables are needed along with the Powerwall 2. These will come with the purchase of the Powerwall 2. The battery inverter converts the DC power of the Powerwall into AC power; Home appliances run on AC power.

Is the Powerwall 2 Cost-Efficient?

The Powerwall 2 is expensive. The installation process can also be rather expensive. In the long run, however, the Powerwall 2 can save you money.

How Much Does a Powerwall 2 Cost?

The Tesla Powerwall 2 on average costs are listed below:

  • PowerWall 2 $7500 each
  • The assisting hardware, called the Gateway, costs $1000 to $2000
  • The installation can cost between $1300 to $4500

The Powerwall 2 costs begin from $9800 to $14000.

This does not include multiple Powerwalls or solar panels.

Purchase and installation of the Powerwall 2 can only be made through approved electricians. The installation cost depends on the professionals near your area. The installation price also varies according to where you live, and any installation needs specific to your home.

It’s a good idea to check if there are energy rebates in your location too. There are certain states and utilities that provide extra incentives and rebates. Depending on where you live, you can save up to 90% on both the Powerwall purchase and the installment.

Tesla says that most houses will need two or three Powerwall 2s. More Powerwalls bought also means a slight decrease in the cost of the gateway and installation.

How Can the Powerwall 2 Help Me Save Money In The Long-run?

The price of the batteries and installation together is a lot. That price itself can make many turn away from buying the Powerwall 2. But, over time, you’ll end up saving money in other areas.

There is promise in the time-of-use methods of the Powerwall 2. The Powerwall 2 will charge differently during different charges of electricity. For instance, periods when the electricity price is low, will enable your Powerwall 2 to recharge using the solar panels.

This way, your home will run on the grid energy when it is cheapest. When electricity price rises again, say later that day, your homes can run on the Powerwall 2 instead of the grid. This function helps you cut down your electricity bills.

Saving money on electric bills relies on several factors too. Where you live, what your electricity rate is, and so on all play a key role. Moreover, it can take a long time before these savings begin to make up for the initial cost of the Powerwall battery and its installation.

How Long Is the Tesla Powerwall 2 Warranty?

There is a ten-year warranty with the Powerwall 2. The warranty is 70% of the Powerwall’s original capacity after ten years.

Having this decade long warranty is good security for making this investment. The warranty itself also evinces the confidence Tesla has in its Powerwall 2 products.

How Energy Efficient is Tesla Powerwall 2?

The quality and cost efficiencies are the main concerns when purchasing the Powerwall 2. Many also put a lot of value on how green the Tesla Powerwall 2 is.

By maximizing the benefits of solar energy, the Tesla PowerWall 2 is a very Earth-friendly battery. It enables its owner to reduce Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.

How Solar Panels And The Tesla Powerwall 2 Work Together

The solar panels are installed on the rooftops of houses. These panels are situated to take in sunlight in the form of photons. This absorption forms direct currents or DC electricity.

The electricity used in homes and grids is called alternating current, or AC electricity. This is why the DC electricity from the solar panels needs an inverter to be converted into AC electricity.

The main drawback of solar panels is that they depend on the sun shining to provide energy. Darker weathers and night time means less energy for the home. This is unfortunate because people usually use more electricity after sunset.

The Powerwall 2 combats this drawback by saving the excess energy from the solar panels and letting you use it when the sun is away. The Powerwall 2 improves the abilities of sustainable energy this way. For this reason, it is considered environmentally-friendly.

Can You Go Off the Grid with The Powerwall 2?

The Powerwall 2 is not designed to substitute grid energy. It has been manufactured to function during off-grid periods for short durations. Just like how your smartphone or laptop can be used for hours, but then its battery dies, The Powerwall 2 as well can be used until its battery is depleted.

The average house takes up to 28 kWh daily. One Powerwall 2 can power up the average home for up to 12 hours. Two Powerwalls can power the home for 18 hours, and three Powerwalls can do 24 hours.

Even if you can use the Powerwall 2 continuously for 12 to 24 hours or more, you shouldn’t. Most rechargeable batteries, whether pocket-sized or wall-size, lose their lifespan the more and more they are recharged. The lifespan is especially shortened if the battery is discharged completely. For this reason, you should not use a 100% charge of the PowerWall in one go.

Tesla gives the 100% DoD feature for the Powerwall 2. Most newer lithium-ion batteries also market the same feature of 100% DoD. Just keep in mind that just because you can use up the entire battery at once does not mean you should.

The main objective of the Powerwall 2, as mentioned above, is to store excess energy during daylight hours so you can use it at darker hours or during grid outages. The Powerwall 2 is basically for backup electricity.

That being said, you will be less reliant on-grid energy, and outages should not affect you as much. Of course, sufficient energy from solar panels will make you even less dependent on grid energy.

With the Powerwall 2, you use more renewable, eco-friendly solar Power than grid electricity. The Powerwall 2 is considered environmentally-friendly in this sense too.

Can A Tesla Car Be Charged Through a Powerwall 2?

Yes, you can charge your Tesla car with the PowerWall 2. Those who have electric cars or plan to buy an electric car one day have the option of charging their cars through the PowerWall 2.

This is a great benefit, to be able to fight back the climate issues and go all out with clean green renewable energy.

Is It Better to Buy Now or Wait?

Technology these days is evolving so fast. You might think the PowerWall 2 will have newer and improved versions soon.

The Competitors of The Tesla Powerwall 2

There are many other home batteries on the market. A few are mentioned below.

  • Nissan xStorage
  • The LG Home Battery RESU
  • Sonnen’s SonnenCore
  • PIKA Energy Island
  • Generac PWRcell
  • Enphase Encharge

The Tesla PowerWall 2 stands out amongst its competitors. The Powerwall 2’s usable capacity is comparatively much higher. Moreover, the Powerwall 2’s larger energy capacity means it can keep your home running for longer.

Will There Be A Tesla Powerwall 3?

No official statements have been given about any third version of the Powerwall.

If a third version is released, many assume the Powerwall 3 will be one unit containing both the inverter and the battery. This guess is because many other home energy systems have already done this. One full unit, rather than a battery separate from the inverter, means easier installation and less space needed.

The making and release of the Powerwall 3 are only rumored to date. If you are ready to get a Tesla Powerwall, don’t hold your breath for the third version.

What Do Tesla Powerwall Owners Have to Say?

One of the best ways to know if a product will be worth it for you is too near the opinions of people who have bought and used the same product.

The first Tesla Powerwall owner in Australia is Nick Pfitzner. In terms of money, Pfitzner’s electricity bill was reduced by an amazing 90%! In brighter weather, his solar panels provide electricity and charge the Powerwall by noon. This is with the first Powerwall, which has a 7 kWh storage capacity.

Pfitzner is happy with his Powerwall purchase. At the same time, he gives the warning that as the Powerwall is costly, there is a chance you won’t get back the initial money spent within the ten year warranty period.

Another limitation Pfitzner points out is that the Powerwall does not know the future weather. It would be of great help if the Powerwall knew to charge itself during off-peak pricing before fewer sunny days came up.

Another Tesla Powerwall owner, Ben Sullins from California, gave his review. Here is the summary:

  • Electric cars take on a tonne of charge, and Powerwalls make this cheaper to do.
  • Solar panels reduce electricity costs greatly. Sullins made a $58 savings per month through solar panels.
  • A Powerwall reduces the cost further. Sullins made a $17 savings per month through the Powerwall.
  • In total, he saves $75 a month.
  • But, Sullins points out, the costs of the solar panels and Powerwall slows down the actual cashback investment

So, Is the Tesla Powerwall 2 Worth It in The End?

Consider the following questions to know if the Tesla Powerwall is worth it for you:

  1. Do you already have solar panels or plan to buy solar panels?
  2. Do you want stored backup energy?
  3. Is the Powerwall 2 available where you live?

If you answer yes to all three of those questions, then yes, the Tesla Powerwall 2 is worth it for you.

The price may be a turn off at first, but remember that The Tesla Powerwall 2 gives you advanced technical specifications, smart and easy monitoring, no headaches with keeping, and is designed to fit into your home (even with children and pets).

Compared to other home batteries, the Tesla Powerwall 2 has an inbuilt inverter and can run your home appliances for longer. These traits make the Powerwall 2 worth the high price tag.

Knowing the power within the Powerwall 2 shows you it is not merely an over-hyped technology “toy.” This impressive Powerwall 2 has enough traits to make it “worth it” that it may be as common as a home computer or TV soon.

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Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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