Clean energy storage technology is on the rise with increasing investments and incentives for green technology. In more recent years, the Powervault 3 and Tesla Powerwall 2 have emerged as the top contenders for the best battery systems you can install in modern smart homes.
The Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2 are marketed to UK and U.S. households, respectively. There are minimal differences in performance, durability, and warranty policy. The Powerwall 2 is comparatively better in outdoor environments, whereas some Powervault 3 models have a larger storage capacity.
Depending on the energy demands of your home, the Powervault 3 or Powerwall 2 could both be viable options as sustainable, clean-energy batteries. In this article, we will compare the Powervault 3 to the Powerwall 2, and examine the similarities and differences between these two battery systems.
Powervault 3 Vs Powerwall 2
There is no clean comparison for the Powervault 3 when placed up against the Powerwall 2. There are five battery unit models for the Powervault 3, whereas the Powerwall 2 is marketed with only one battery unit model. On top of this, both battery systems are built and optimized for specific national audiences.
- The Powervault 3 is built to supply enough energy for the average household in the UK (10kWh/day)
- The Powerwall 2 meets the energy needs of the average U.S. household (28kWh/day)
Due to this targeted marketing, it is difficult to argue that one battery system is objectively better compared to the other. There are areas where one battery surpasses the other, but this is overwritten by the fact that both batteries are intended to meet the energy needs of specific households rather than a global audience.
For this reason, the following sections will not try to prove that the Powervault 3 or Powerwall 2 is superior. Instead, both batteries will be thoroughly evaluated and unbiasedly compared so that you can arrive at your own conclusions.
Comparing Product Features: Powervault 3 Vs Powerwall 2
The Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2 share some similarities, but also have some noticeable differences in their design and the way they are marketed to the general public.
Here are the important product features for the Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2:
- Battery storage capacity and performance
- Price structure
- Mechanical and environmental specifications
- Battery durability
- Warranty policy
By comparing both battery systems across all of these product features, this will give a comprehensive overview of what you can expect when purchasing a Powervault 3 or Powerwall 2 battery.
Battery Storage Capacity and Performance
Battery Storage capacity is an important feature that can help you judge whether a battery is sufficient to meet your energy demands. Regarding the Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2, the more energy your battery can store, the longer your battery can power your home in the case of a power outage.
The Powerwall 2 can store up to 13.5 kWh, whereas the Powervault 3 comes in five different battery storage configurations: 4 kWh, 8 kWh, 12 kWh, 16 kWh, and 20 kWh.
This makes storage capacity and performance comparisons between the Powerwall and Powervault difficult, since you are comparing one battery to five different versions of the same battery.
Nonetheless, the Powerwall measures up well against most storage configurations of the Powervault, but falls short when compared to the 16 kWh and 20 kWh configurations.
Powervault 3 Storage Capacity and Performance
The five battery configurations for the Powervault 3 share the same general features, but differ with regard to their maximum energy inputs and outputs. Depending on your energy needs, you may want a battery configuration that is able to store and output more energy in a shorter amount of time.
|Battery Configuration||Peak Power Input||Peak Power Output||Max Continuous Power Input||Max Continuous Power Output|
|4 kWh||6.6kW; 1 sec||7kW; 1 sec||2kW-2.2kW||2kW-2.2kW|
|8 kWh||6.6kW; 1 sec||11kW; 1 sec||3.3kW||4kW-4.4kW|
|12 kWh||6.6kW; 1 sec||11kW; 1 sec||3.3kW||4kW-4.4kW|
|16 kWh||6.6kW; 1 sec||11kW; 1 sec||3.3kW||4kW-4.4kW|
|20 kWh||6.6kW; 1 sec||11kW; 1 sec||3.3kW||4kW-4.4kW|
The table above shows the specs for each battery configuration. Most of the batteries have the same energy inputs and outputs, excluding the 4 kWh battery. If the maximum energy inputs and outputs of the battery is important to you, then you should stick to the 8 kWh battery or better.
Nevertheless, the main difference between these batteries narrows down to the amount of energy each battery can store.
Powerwall 2 Storage Capacity and Performance
Compared to the Powervault 3, the maximum storage capacity of the Powerwall 2 is not the best. However, the Powerwall 2 compensates by excelling performance-wise when compared to Powervault 3 batteries.
Here are the performance specifications for the Tesla Powerwall 2:
- Peak Power Input: 7kW; 10 sec; off-grid/backup
- Peak Power Output: 7kW; 10 sec; off-grid/backup
- Max Continuous Power Input: 5kW
- Max Continuous Power Output: 5kW
The peak power input of the Powerwall 3 is slightly higher than the Powervault 3, but the peak power output of the 8kWh-20kWh Powervault 3 batteries have a higher peak power output.
The most noticeable gap in performance between the Powerwall 2 and the Powervault 3 involves the max continuous power inputs and outputs. With a max continuous power input and output of 5kW, the Powerwall exceeds the Powervault 3 that only has a max continuous power input and output of 3.3kW and 4kW-4.4kW, respectively.
The pricing structure of the Powervault 3 greatly differs from the Powerwall 2. Compared to the Powerwall, the Powervault is a more affordable domestic battery system when purchasing their smaller battery units. This is because the Powervault was built to provide enough energy for the average UK home (10kWh/day).
Instead of primarily serving UK homes, the Tesla Powerwall is built to provide 24 hours of power to meet the energy demands of the average U.S. household (28 kWh/day). These data make price comparisons between these two battery systems even more complicated, since these batteries were built to serve specific audiences.
The following table shows the potential costs for the Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2 from least to most expensive:
|Battery System||Cost ($, £)|
|Powervault 3 (4kWh)||$6,586, £4,740|
|Powervault 3 (8kWh)||$9,754, £7,020|
|Powerwall 2 (13.5kWh)||$12,500, £8997|
|Powervault 3 (12kWh)||$13,088, £9,420|
|Powervault 3 (16kWh)||$17,590, £12,660|
|Powervault 3 (20kWh)||$20,591, £14,820|
Despite the affordability of the smaller Powervault battery units, the larger units are much more expensive. The Powerwall costs less than the 12kWh unit, but more than the 8kWh unit, placing the Powerwall near the middle price range for this collection of battery systems.
An important feature of every battery is durability, so Tesla Powerwall and Powervault 3 batteries are built to last for years before needing a replacement. Both batteries are warranted to have at least 70% energy capacity by the end of the 10 year warranty period.
However, there are many factors that influence the durability of your battery:
- The number of charge cycles you put the battery through
- Whether you use the battery as a main power source or only as an emergency power source
- Whether you use the battery as an overnight energy source when solar panels have no energy output
When it comes to the subject of battery durability, there are a lot of nuances surrounding the particular circumstances and energy demands of the household these battery systems are installed in.
To make things simple, battery durability will be determined in the following sections by strictly referring to the company websites and warranty policies for each battery.
How Long Will a Tesla Powerwall Battery Last?
According to the Tesla Powerwall warranty policy, there are two main factors that determine how long a Powerwall battery will last:
- Whether there is a solar energy system installed in the home used for solar self-consumption or other applications used for energy generation and consumption
- The number of charge cycles the battery is put through during the 10-year warranty period
If there is a solar panel array used in combination with the Powerwall for daily power consumption and backup power, then Tesla warrants that the Powerwall battery will last 10 years while retaining 70% energy capacity.
Alternatively, if the home relies on a different energy system setup, then 37.8 MWh of aggregate throughput is the limit for the battery that should be reached by the end of the 10-year warranty period. In a situation like this, there is a higher likelihood that the battery performance will deteriorate faster and may need a warranty replacement.
To get the maximum value and output from your battery before expiration, you should use the Powerwall as a backup or emergency energy source to decrease the number of aggregate charge cycles on the battery.
How Long Will a Powervault 3 Battery Last?
Similar to the Tesla Powerwall 2, the Powervault 3 battery is warranted to last 10 years. The same factors that determine how long a Powerwall battery will last also apply to Powervault 3 batteries.
Even so, one noticeable difference between the Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2 is that the Powervault batteries are warranted to last for 6000 cycles. If you recall, the Powerwall is warranted to go through unlimited cycles assuming there is a solar panel array used for the home and the battery is used as a backup energy source.
If the Powervault batteries are expected to only last 6000 cycles, then this could be one shortcoming when compared to the Tesla Powerwall. Even so, if a Powervault battery is only used as a backup energy source like a Powerwall would be, then this decrease in the number of aggregate charge cycles may overwrite this shortcoming.
For more information on this topic, you can visit the Powervault warranty page directly by clicking on this link or continue reading to learn more.
When you buy any energy storage system like the Powervault 3 or Powerwall 2, you want your battery to last. Luckily, both battery systems come with a 10-year warranty that can cover any replacements you need for broken or malfunctioning parts.
The warranties for the Powervault and Powerwall slightly differ with regard to the specific conditions they lay out for customers. Even so, both warranties promise to cover any expenses associated with their respective products if there are unexpected defects or problems with individual parts of the batteries.
Powerwall 2 Warranty
After purchasing a Powerwall 2, Tesla lays out specific warranty conditions that will apply during the 10-year warranty period. If these warranty conditions are not upheld for any reason, then Tesla will either repair your Powerwall, send you a new product, or give you a refund.
There are two warranty conditions that Tesla outlines to customers after purchasing a Powerwall 2:
- Tesla warrants that your Powerwall 2 will not experience any defects during the 10-year warranty period after the initial installation date
- Tesla warrants that your Powerwall will have an energy capacity of 13.5 kWh after the initial installation date and will retain 70% energy capacity after 10 years
To reiterate, Tesla will either replace, fix, or provide you a refund if any of these warranty conditions are violated. These warranty conditions do not apply in the case of abuse, misuse, negligence, or accidents on the part of the customer. You can access the entire warranty policy for the Powerwall here.
Powervault 3 Warranty
The Powervault 3 provides a more detailed warranty for their batteries compared to the Powerwall 2. Rather than a unidimensional warranty policy, there are two parts of the warranty that apply to the base product and battery pack.
Before viewing the warranty of these components, the terms base product and battery pack should be defined. According to Powervault, the base product is defined as “all components and parts that constitute the Powervault Product other than the battery pack.” The battery pack is the lithium-ion battery powering the entire battery system.
Now that you are familiar with the terminology, here are the two parts of the Powervault warranty policy you should know about:
- Base Product Warranty: Powervault warrants that the base product will be free from any defects during the warranty period. In the case that there are any defects in the base product, then Powervault will decide whether the base product needs replacing or can be repaired and needs new parts. Customers will be responsible for paying the shipping cost of the new parts.
- Battery Pack Warranty: Powervault promises to replace battery packs for customers if the energy capacity or “state of health” is below 70% and if the MWh throughput is below 50MWh after the 10-year warranty period. For more details on this, you can view the Powervault warranty policy pdf here.
Powervault’s warranty policy does not cover any damages or accidents inflicted by the customer. If you are unclear about anything, make sure to check out the warranty policy pdf to find out more about warranty exclusions and a more in depth look at the warranty conditions.
Mechanical and Environmental Specifications
Before installing a Powerwall 2 or Powervault 3, it is important to know the weight, dimensions, and best conditions to store the battery system. The table below outlines the mechanical and environmental specifications for each battery.
|Battery System||Weight||Dimensions||Operating Temperature||Operating Humidity (RH)|
|Powerwall 2||114 kg (251.3 lbs)||1150 mm x 753 mm x 147 mm||–20°C – 50°C||Up to 100%|
|Powervault 3 (4 kWh)||129 kg (284.4 lbs)||970 mm x 1000 mm x 250 mm||0°C – 35°C, well ventilated||40% – 60%|
|Powervault 3 (8 kWh)||179 kg (394.6 lbs)||1270mm x 1000 mm x 250 mm||0°C – 35°C, well ventilated||40% – 60%|
|Powervault 3 (12 kWh)||229 kg (504.9 lbs)||1560 mm x 1000 mm x 250 mm||0°C – 35°C, well ventilated||40% – 60%|
|Powervault 3 (16 kWh)||279 kg (615.1 lbs)||1840 mm x 1000 mm x 250 mm||0°C – 35°C, well ventilated||40% – 60%|
|Powervault 3 (20 kWh)||329 kg (725.3 lbs)||2120 mm x 1000 mm x 250 mm||0°C – 35°C, well ventilated||40% – 60%|
As the above table shows, the Powerwall 2 only comes in one variation with the same weight and dimensions, whereas the Powervault 3 comes in five different variations with different weights and dimensions. Surprisingly, the Powerwall battery is lighter than all five configurations of the Powervault battery.
One advantage of the Powerwall is that the battery can withstand a broader range of temperatures and higher levels of relative humidity (RH) compared to the Powervault, making the Powerwall much more outdoor friendly. Powervault batteries are best placed in garages, kitchen, or other indoor locations with plenty of ventilation.
Overall, the Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2 have minor differences performance-wise and mechanically, but some Powervault battery models admittedly have a larger energy storage capacity. The Powerwall 2 is much lighter and can be placed in more extreme environments compared to the Powervault 3.
Regardless of these data points, the Powervault 3 and Powerwall 2 are impressive battery systems that alleviate energy demands on the grid while saving you money on electricity during peak hours. Depending on where you live and your household’s daily energy consumption, both batteries might be practical options for your home.