The Tesla Powerwall is a backup generator designed by Tesla to be compatible with Tesla Solar Panels or the Tesla Solar Roof. The idea behind the Tesla Powerwall is that it gathers energy created by the Solar Panels or Solar Roof and stores it to use and distribute power in the case of a power outage.
As you research the Tesla Powerwall, you may be wondering if the Powerwall can power your whole home in the event of a power outage?
Yes, the Tesla Powerwall can power your whole home temporarily, however it depends on which appliances are running simultaneously. The Powerwall has 13.5 kWh capacity and 10 kW peak power. If your home’s appliances remain under 10 kW at all times, no matter if they are 120 V or 240 V, a single Powerwall will be able to power your whole home with ease. Some large, inefficient, appliances, like older air conditioners, may require a second Powerwall to run.
The good thing about the Powerwall is it can be recharged automatically when the Solar Panels or Solar Roof are collecting energy again, or you can have it hooked up to the power grid and collect energy from there. The question then is, can it power an entire home, and if it can, how big a home can it power and for how long?
What It Does
So as mentioned the Powerwall collects energy produced by the Tesla Solar Roof or Tesla Solar Panels and stores it in the unfortunate event of a power cut or some other kind of power outage that prevents you from getting power from the grid, essentially allowing you to go off-grid temporarily.
It is also used for those times when the sun isn’t shining down full beam on your home producing energy for your solar panels, allowing you to use the extra solar power you stored during peak sun hours. The Powerwall can also connect to your phone via the Tesla app and allows you to have complete control over how your energy is used and distributed. So, now we know and have an idea of what the Powerwall does, what exactly is it?
The Powerwall is a large battery that gets installed in your home when you install a Solar Roof or Tesla Solar Panels. The battery acts as a backup generator, but the good thing about this one is that it’s super sleek and minimalist so it doesn’t look ridiculous at your home and fits in with the modern aesthetic.
What Is Needed for a Powerwall?
Firstly, in order to purchase a Powerwall, you’ll need to buy either Tesla Solar Panels or the Tesla Solar Roof. The Powerwall is not sold on it’s own.
Secondly, to use a Powerwall, you’ll have it installed during your Tesla Solar Panel or Solar Roof installation. It connects seamlessly into your solar system, and can be mounted on a wall inside your garage or outside near your electricity meter.
Tesla Powerwall Vs Normal Generator
Typically, a watt generator runs on fuels like gas or diesel compared with the solar energy of the Powerwall. These work as backup generators by activating a fuel source and kicking in when there’s a power outage.
These are certainly more common currently than options like the Powerwall as they’re very reliable and don’t have much issue as they’ve been around for so long. When it comes to initial cost, a normal watt generator is far cheaper, as the Powerwall requires an entire solar system be purchased alongside it.
However, they do have the maintenance cost which is estimated to be a few hundred dollars a year. Another pro of watt generators is that with the right amount of maintenance and fuel, they can run for a good while and provide your home with power for plenty of time.
So, we know this is the battery alternative to a watt generator, and with this, there are definitely a few pros to consider, first of all, this isn’t just a backup generator, it also helps to store extra solar power and distribute power seamlessly throughout your home.
Then the second advantage to the Tesla Powerwall is how sleek and seamless it blends into your home, it’s not a heavy block that sits in the basement or outside storage. Another thing to consider is once it is installed, there’s no extra cost of maintenance or fuel top-ups.
Finally, when a watt generator is running, they’re usually super loud and give off fumes from their exhausts, the Powerwall doesn’t require fuel so there’s no combustion to make an absolute racket and give off horrid, and dangerous, fumes. So, if the installation price isn’t an issue, or you plan to get Tesla Solar anyway then this wouldn’t be a problem.
Using More Than 1 Powerwall
After having a look at the comparison between the Powerwall and a watt generator, we can see that there are pros and cons to both, but what if you want a Powerwall to match or get near the power capability of a watt generator?
This is an expensive option, but if the price is no object, then it’s a very viable option to use. Installing more than one Powerwall is expensive but does mean you’ll get much higher power capacity and it’ll be able to run the power in your home for a much longer period of time.
Another important note is that a single Powerwall can provide a pretty respectable base level of peak power. This means it will be able to power all of your small and medium appliances with ease. However some appliances, like some older air conditioners, require a large peak power surge for the first couple seconds to get the unit started. Depending on the specific appliances’ power requirements, you may need a second Powerwall, which will increase the maximum peak power capabilities, to get those large appliances running.
However, when it comes to using multiple Powerwall devices it still isn’t made to run your home solo, it should still be considered as backup or emergency power.
When asking the question, can a Tesla Powerwall power my whole home, a few things need to be considered. What devices will be running and how long for, how long does the Powerwall need to support the power needs in your home, and how many Powerwall devices are supplying the power.
So when it comes to what devices or appliances are going to be needing power we must consider, it estimated that larger appliances wouldn’t be able to run together, this would cause the power to trip, but in reality, it’s not often that many large appliances are running together, or you could use them one after another for the sake of preserving the backup power, the longer you’ll be running the devices, however, will affect how much backup power you’ll be eating into.
Then consider the amount of Powerwall devices you have running, if you have more than one, then you’ll be able to use large devices together, but still be cautious, and the power will last much longer, this is relatively straightforward.
So, in the context of supplying power to your whole home temporarily in the case of an emergency, the Powerwall would be an adequate solution, but to run your home full time isn’t possible, but that is why they’re installed with Tesla Solar Panels or the Solar Roof.