In 2016, a Welsh homeowner became the first person in the United Kingdom to have a Tesla Powerwall installed for his house. Since then, the market for solar energy has only grown. If you live in Yorkshire and have been considering investing in a Tesla Powerwall, you likely have a lot of questions about purchase and installation.
The Tesla Powerwall is readily available in Yorkshire. Tesla has certified numerous companies in the United Kingdom to install and service Powerwalls.
Whether or not your home already generates solar energy, the Tesla Powerwall might be the right move to help your family save money on utility bills and contribute to the environment by producing and using clean, renewable energy. You can do your part for the world and keep some of the green in your wallet, too.
What Is A Tesla Powerwall?
Essentially, a Tesla Powerwall functions as a giant battery for your household. For many people who are out at work or school each day, there isn’t anyone home during the peak sunlight hours. If you have already invested in solar panels, you have probably noticed that a lot of the energy you are producing is going to waste since there is no one around to use it.
The Tesla Powerwall eliminates that waste by storing the solar energy in its battery pack so that you and your family can make use of that energy later in the day when you all get home. That way, even in the middle of the night, you can use the solar energy that you produced and save money on expensive electrical bills.
Another significant aspect of the Tesla Powerwall is how it senses your home’s electrical needs. Besides supplementing you with renewable, cheap energy in your everyday life, it automatically detects when you lose power from the local electrical grid and springs into action—no more wandering outside during a storm to fiddle with a generator.
Also, the Powerwall comes with the Gateway. The Gateway measures your energy levels throughout the day to give you an idea of when you use the most energy and how the Powerwall saves you money by kicking in exactly when needed. It learns your habits and adapts to them as time goes on to optimize your energy efficiency.
How It Works
The Tesla Powerwall is a solar battery, not a generator. It is important to remember that you will need different equipment to produce the solar power that the Tesla Powerwall stores. The Powerwall functions by storing any excess energy created by solar panels while the sun is up. Your solar panels first route that energy to your home, then to the Tesla Powerwall.
If you, like many people, are simply not home during the day and are not running any appliances remotely, the energy will be stored in the battery. That battery can be tapped into whenever you come home, whether that be at nighttime, in the middle of a power-cut, or if you would like to rely on your own energy instead of the local electrical grid.
For anyone who has ever owned a generator of any type before, you might be expecting something extremely noisy. The Powerwall is actually relatively quiet in comparison to a fuel-powered generator and will not wake you up in the middle of the night or scare your pets if it suddenly activates.
You also do not need to wander outside and turn it on manually. The Powerwall automatically senses the lack of grid power and immediately kicks into action, keeping a steady stream of energy coming into your house. The Powerwall also monitors your energy usage and how much energy it is storing or using at any given time.
Unlike other types of solar energy batteries, the Tesla Powerwall is specifically made to withstand temperatures below freezing and above blisteringly hot. It is a durable device that can be attached to the outside of your house without needing to worry that a particularly bad downpour will ruin the delicate mechanisms inside.
In addition to being so robust, the Tesla Powerwall also fits everything into a surprisingly diminutive package. Although the Gateway is a separate device that mounts next to the Tesla Powerwall, neither device is huge, and they are in sleek white boxes that are hardly obtrusive on the side of your house.
When completely charged, the Tesla Powerwall can hold 13.5 kWh of electricity, which means that you get a lot of energy for your money. The initial cost may be expensive, but the ability to store so much energy means that you can recoup those costs in the savings from your local utility company’s energy grid.
How The Tesla Powerwall Can Work For You
Depending on your household’s energy needs, your installer will do an assessment of your house and your desired capabilities in the event of a power-cut. The evaluation will lead to a recommendation of how many Powerwalls your home needs to function solely from solar power coming from the Powerwall.
The majority of houses with multiple occupants require a minimum of two Tesla Powerwalls, although you may be able to get away with one if you live in a tiny house or are the sole occupant. As a comparison of the number of Powerwalls will show, you may be able to fuel different electrical requirements in your home.
|1 Powerwall||2 Powerwalls||3 Powerwalls|
|Electrical Outlets||Electrical Outlets||Electrical Outlets|
|Small Appliances||Small Appliances||Small Appliances|
|1 Aircon||2 Aircons|
|1 Electrical Oven/Range/Stove||1 Electrical Oven/Range/Stove|
|1 Well Pump||1 Well Pump|
|1 Tesla EV Charging||1 Tesla/Non-Tesla EV Charging|
|1 Electric Dryer|
|1 Electric Water Heater|
|1 Set of Pool Equipment|
As a note, if you are planning to charge multiple electric cars at your house, you may need additional Powerwalls to support the charging since electric vehicles require a large amount of energy to fully charge when not in use. If you have electric cars not made by Tesla, you will need even more Powerwalls to charge them completely.
The Solar Roof Integration
For those of you who really want to be on the cutting-edge of technology, Elon Musk recently announced the creation of the solar roof. Designed to be more aesthetically pleasing for those who would like to install solar panels on their roof, the solar roof comprises a combination of solar roof tiles and non-solar roof tiles.
These tiles are installed by professionals who will come and remove your old roofing and then install the new one. The solar roof looks exactly like a regular roof, so you will not have ugly, unsightly solar panels showing. If you are planning to install the Powerwall at the same time, they can use that time to integrate the Powerwall with the solar roof for maximum efficiency.
Not every tile is a solar tile, which is how they achieve the look and feel of an average home’s roof. The mixture of solar and non-solar tiles gives it a dark but otherwise unremarkable aesthetic that can match virtually any house style. The tempered glass components are flexible and robust, strengthening your roof against foul weather of all kinds.
The Powerwall can work with any kind of solar panels, but the solar roof has a specific style that many homeowners can appreciate. Although Tesla’s solar roofs are not yet available in the United Kingdom, Tesla has already begun accepting pre-orders for people who want to reserve their solar roofs for only 800 pounds. However, they have not announced a firm date.
Tesla requires that a company that has been certified by Tesla perform the assessment and installation of the Powerwall in order to maintain its warranty—considering how comprehensive that warranty is and the fact that it lasts for a whopping ten years, you will want to find a company who does not invalidate it.
Tesla’s website offers a helpful tool where you can enter your address, and they will show you the closest certified installers of their products. This is a great way to ensure that the installers will not invalidate your warranty and can weed out installation companies with false claims of Tesla certification.
Depending on which installation company you go through and where your house is located, this might be much more time-intensive than you would expect. Waiting for numerous permits to come through can be too tedious, and paying for those permits can also quickly add up. If you are planning on installing a Powerwall, you need to be able to lay out a lot for initial costs.
Tesla goes to great lengths to ensure that their certified installers are the best of the best. Between the ongoing training courses, the routine inspections, and follow-ups, a Tesla certification is not something to be taken lightly. If a company has earned one, you can put your faith and trust in them without hesitation because Tesla has put them through the wringer.
Between the Tesla Powerwall itself and the installation from a certified installer, you are looking at an initial outlay of about 7,500 pounds plus VAT. That may end up coming out to roughly 9,000 pounds. That price also includes the Gateway that we have mentioned a few times. The new VAT laws of 2019, however, may get you a break on that price.
If you plan to install a solar PV system simultaneously as your Tesla Powerwall, you can look into the new regulations to see if you are eligible to have your VAT reduced to 5% instead of the average 20%. In order to qualify, less than 61% of the total price is the materials used to generate solar energy. Talk to your installer about achieving that.
As for the addition of the Gateway, most people prefer to have both it and the Powerwall because the Gateway is what allows you to monitor your energy production and usage habits. In addition, the Gateway lets your solar inverter continue to function during a power-cut as if you were still connected to the grid.
This allows you to bypass the law that you have to turn off your solar inverter during a power-cut for the safety of maintenance workers trying to get the powerlines up and running again.
The Installation Process
As the Powerwall implies, you are relying on solar energy. That means you need to be able to connect your Powerwall to pre-existing solar panels. However, you do not necessarily need to have already installed your solar panels before purchasing the Powerwall. In a typical installation, you will see a process similar to the one we lay out below:
- Two people will need to move the Tesla Powerwall because it is quite heavy.
- One of them will install a mounting bracket on the wall you designate.
- They put the Powerwall on the mounting bracket and secure it.
- They connect the Powerwall and the Gateway to your house’s electrical lines.
- They wire your solar panels into both the Powerwall and the Gateway.
- You can download the Tesla App to stay in constant communication with the Gateway and get real-time updates about your energy production, usage, and storage.
- Voila! The installation is finished, and you can get started using your own electrical energy to power your life.
In addition, if anything malfunctions with your Tesla Powerwall or Gateway, either a Tesla or your installers can come back and take a look to determine the problem. Remember, the Tesla Powerwall warranty lasts for ten years, so you will never have to worry that it will only function for a few years and then quit when you need it.
Is A Tesla Powerwall Worth It?
The Tesla Powerwall is a luxury item, no doubt about it. Despite that, in the growing awareness of climate change and the expansion of electric cars on the market, more and more people are turning to solar energy as a clean, renewable source that is also a lot cheaper than continuing to purchase power from local utility company grids.
As more homes are built, and more people buy energy, grids can quickly become overwhelmed, and their energy prices skyrocket. Although you need to have a fair amount of money to initially put out for the purchase and installation of a Tesla Powerwall, it is perfect for people who are able to patiently recoup their costs over time as they produce their own energy.
Also, some of your decision about a Tesla Powerwall may depend on your household’s typical energy usage. For example, many people who are switching to the new tiny home living trend consider Tesla Powerwalls to be extremely beneficial since they are not using as much energy as a larger house and can entirely rely on solar power.
Tesla Powerwalls are also great for people who want to live off of the grid or who live in rural or remote areas. If you are far enough away from an electrical grid or live in an area that suffers from frequent power-cuts, having a system in place to keep your lights on in the darkest of storms is nothing to sneeze at.
Does A Tesla Powerwall Need Solar Energy?
Tesla’s Powerwall was designed to hold excess solar energy generated by your solar panels or solar roof. However, it does not expressly need solar power. The Powerwall can store energy that it siphons from your local energy grid. If you install the Powerwall without any capacity to generate solar power, your Powerwall will buy energy from your local utility company.
As you may be aware, buying energy from the energy companies during off-peak hours is much cheaper. Usually, the early evening is when most people tend to use a lot of energy because that is when folks return home from work or school and want to accomplish tasks like doing the laundry and cooking dinner.
However, if you buy energy during the middle of the night or the middle of the day, it will be far less expensive. By having a storage unit that only purchases energy during these hours, you can still save money, even if you are not yet currently producing your solar power. The Tesla Powerwall does better with solar, but savings are savings.
There are specific modes that you can set, which will only allow the Powerwall to purchase fuel at certain times of day to save you money. That way, if the weather is stopping your solar panels from efficiently generating enough energy for your household, you still won’t have to worry in the event of a power-cut that your Powerwall will fail you.
If you have been considering joining in on the solar energy bandwagon, the Tesla Powerwall makes it easy to get the most out of your energy production. Between the reliable installers and the savings you will see from your utility bills, it is not hard to imagine why Tesla Powerwalls have been so popular ever since their introduction to the market a few years ago.