Sustainable energy has been an ongoing point of global discussion for quite some time. Various manufacturers, energy companies, and even consumers are trying to find ways to save money. These same groups also want to help the environment by using renewable and solar energy to power their homes and vehicles. The Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack are great examples of battery systems that can help save money and contribute to green energy efforts.
The Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack are worthwhile investments when it comes to energy use. These systems allow you to save money on energy costs and become more efficient with your energy consumption at home or in your business. They also help to lower your carbon footprint.
We have compiled a comprehensive guide to the Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack to help you understand these systems’ benefits. So, if you have ever wondered about these battery systems, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve also included plenty of links to additional information if you want to do some more research.
First, let’s discuss what a Powerwall is and why you might be interested in purchasing one for your home or business.
What is the Tesla Powerwall?
The Tesla Powerwall is a battery system for your home that you can use in various situations. The most notable use of a Powerwall is to power your home’s lights, appliances, and electricity when there is an outage on the grid. Outages can occur due to natural disasters such as storms or lightning strikes, and when transformers blow or other malfunctions occur.
The Powerwall is a DC (direct current) energy system that converts stored DC energy into AC energy to power everything in your home. Each wall provides 13.5 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of energy. If you want more than 13.5 KWh, you can install multiple powerwalls in your home and link them together.
The system resembles a large metal breaker box or oversized battery. It is sleek and minimalistic in design and is installed directly onto a wall inside or outside of your home. Each Powerwall includes a monitoring system called the Backup Gateway, which lets you monitor your energy consumption and manage the system from a computer or mobile app.
What Does the Powerwall Power?
The powerwall hooks into your main electrical panel and can power a variety of things in your home. It can run all of the following items and more:
- Basic electrical outlets
You can power some electrical pumps and electric vehicle charging stations, as well. If you have multiple electric vehicles, you should install more than one Powerwall to ensure plenty of power. Each vehicle will require at least two Powerwalls to fully power the car’s battery in the absence of grid power.
The Tesla Powerwall can also power air conditioners under certain conditions. In most cases, you will need a minimum of two Powerwalls in order to power your air conditioner. There are certain specs that are necessary for this to happen, so it’s important to discuss them with a qualified technician before you make a purchase.
If you prefer to do the research yourself, Tesla has published its owner’s manual and welcome guide. Both of these documents provide tons of additional information that is both interesting and informative.
What’s the Difference Between a Powerwall and a Powerpack?
The size of the unit is the primary difference between these two products. The Powerwall is smaller and is best for residential use. The Tesla Powerpack is much bigger, has a higher capacity, and functions best in commercial and industrial applications.
Businesses and industrial companies can significantly impact their bottom line by installing solar panels and backup battery systems provided by Tesla. These systems are much larger than those intended for residential homes and are highly efficient in producing and storing energy.
Powerpacks are scalable based on the size of the business, building, and equipment that they need to power. They can be used to:
- Power the operation during times of peak energy demand
- Automatically shift the energy load during high and low consumption
- Backup the power when the grid goes down
- Assist when the grid is overloaded.
Powerpacks can even form micro-grids that allow a company to bypass the electric company grid and be completely self-sufficient.
For the purpose of this discussion, we will talk mainly about the Powerwall and how you can use it in your home. If you own or run a business that is interested in a Powerpack, you will reap all of the same benefits as those of a Powerwall in a private home. In fact, you might have even more benefits in the way of incentives, tax deductions, and more.
What are the Benefits of the Tesla Powerwall?
The powerwall has tons of benefits and features to consider. It is a really great solution if you’re interested in saving money, having a backup power system for your home, or being more eco-friendly. While this is not an exhaustive list of benefits, these are some of the most notable.
It is an Automatic Backup System
There are a variety of options on the market when it comes to backup power systems. Some systems require pouring gasoline into an external generator, turning it on, and plugging your appliances into it. Others are more sophisticated but still need natural gas or other sources of energy. Some are automatic, and some have to be turned on manually.
With a Tesla Powerwall, your battery system will automatically take over and continue to power your home if the grid goes down. In a nutshell, it saves energy in the battery cell until you need it. When the grid goes down, the battery automatically starts to discharge energy to keep things running.
Child and Pet Friendly
A huge concern for many homeowners is the potential for injury with a backup power system. You want to be sure the system is entirely off-limits to curious little fingers and noses. The Tesla Powerwall is fully enclosed with no exposed wires or coils.
This is a critical feature if you have children or pets. Regardless of where you install the Powerwall, you can be confident that it will not be hot to the touch or cause injuries of any kind.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
For environmentally-conscious consumers, this is an excellent benefit of the Tesla powerwall system. Your carbon footprint is a measure of how much CO2 you contribute to the environment around you. It’s basically how much you damage the environment through the energy you use.
CO2 is emitted through the burning of fossil fuels and contributes directly to global warming. If this is something you’re passionate about, then backup power and powerwalls are a great option for you.
Powerwalls are built for indoor or outdoor installation. They are weather-resistant and able to withstand a variety of conditions, including snow.
Many consumers opt to have them installed in a garage or under a shelter for protection, but this is unnecessary if you don’t have the space to do so.
Tesla is known for its ability to build batteries that are second-to-none. It should come as no surprise that they are also highly efficient. The Tesla Powerwall has one of the highest efficiency ratings of any backup power system on the market.
A system’s efficiency is measured by how much power is lost when converting energy back and forth between DC (stored) and AC (discharged/usable). The powerwall only loses about 10% of its power during this exchange. This accounts for the 90% efficiency rating. Not only are you losing less power with this system, but you’re also saving yourself some money in the process.
Wireless Monitoring and Management
It’s also no surprise that the Tesla Powerwall comes with a mobile application for monitoring and management. You know how the saying goes – “there’s an app for that!”.
The Backup Gateway is Tesla’s mobile app for the simple management of your powerwall system. It is available for both Android and iOS systems. Since the powerwall itself is also connected to the internet, you can manage it, track usage, see the remaining battery power and get alerts for incoming storms all inside the app. It has tons of other features, as well, but these are the most notable.
Depending on what state you live in and who your energy company is, you might qualify for some incentives and kickbacks from your system. Since the global warming and energy conservation discussion is so widespread, many states and countries have programs in place to incentivize consumers to opt-in and help. The purchase of a Powerwall is an excellent way to do this.
We won’t dig into all of the possibilities here, but you should definitely do some research on your specific state and the area in which you live. Chances are, there are tax breaks, rebates, and all sorts of other opportunities for you to make a little money from your system. Some companies will even pay you directly for the additional energy that your home creates.
The Tesla website provides some great information about the incentive programs in various states.
It Can Enhance an Existing Systems
If you already have a solar panel system or a backup generator system, the Powerwall can be integrated. For example, if you have a backup generator already installed, you can install the powerwall and program it to kick in first. In the event that the grid goes down, your powerwall will kick in automatically, often before the generator evens detects a power outage.
The home will then operate from the Powerwall energy until it is almost depleted. Once the stored energy in the Powerwall is low, the generator will kick in to continue powering the home.
You Can Use a Powerwall with or Without a Solar Energy System
You can use a Tesla Powerwall with or without a solar panel system. You can benefit from the system in all of the ways listed above, regardless of whether you currently have solar panels installed. If you don’t have solar panels installed, the system will discharge energy at the most expensive times of the day, which helps you save money on energy costs.
For example, if energy costs are really low during the day, your Powerwall will not discharge energy for use in your home because it is inexpensive to operate on the grid. In the evening, when people are getting home from work or school, turning on lights and stoves, etc., the energy cost usually goes up. At this time, the Powerwall will kick in and discharge energy to your home, so you don’t have to pay for it.
If you do have solar panels installed in your home, you can connect the two systems for more efficient energy storage and usage. In this setup, your energy production will be even greater, as will your ability to sell it back to the grid and make some money back on your investment.
How Does the Tesla Powerwall Integrate with Solar Panels?
When you combine a solar panel system with a Tesla Powerwall system, your home essentially becomes independent of the grid. Suppose you are producing enough energy through solar panels and storing enough energy through your Powerwall. In that case, you could very easily get off the grid and never need your electric company again.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
In a nutshell, when the sun comes out and hits the solar panels, it activates them. The cells inside those panels produce an electrical current from the sun’s energy. This energy is then converted from DC power to AC power, so the gadgets inside your home can operate.
Throughout the day, if the solar panels don’t produce enough energy, the home will pull from the grid. This means that your home will use energy from the electric company unless you have a backup battery system. If you have a backup system installed, it will pull the additional energy from that instead.
How Does the Powerwall Affect the Solar Panel System?
When your solar panels are charging during the day, they are directly powering everything in your home. If you are not consuming all of the energy they produce, the rest will be stored in the Powerwall. This is essentially charging the powerwall all day long, much like you charge your phone or laptop with a charging cable.
In the evening, when the sun goes down, your home will consume the rest of the solar energy and then automatically switch to using the Powerwall energy. If the amount of stored energy in your Powerwall is greater than the amount you consume that evening, your home will never touch the grid. In this case, you are completely independent of the grid, and your home is powering itself with sustainable energy.
How Many Powerwalls Do I Need?
The number of Powerwalls and solar panels you need will vary depending on your home’s size, the number of appliances you have, and whether or not you need to power electric vehicles. If you are installing only Powerwalls and not solar panels, you can install up to 10 in a single home. This will give you 135KWh of power to run your home during an outage.
We recommend speaking with a technician or consultant to help you choose the right number of Powerwalls for your home. You will need to consider not only the number of appliances and such, but also your normal energy consumption. If you have a large family or use a lot of power throughout the day, you will need more than a family who uses less power.
How Much Does a Tesla Powerwall cost?
A single Powerwall can cost approximately $10,000 or more, including installation, hardware, and the like. If you purchase multiple powerwalls, the cost is obviously higher than that. They can only be installed by technicians who are approved by Tesla, so that number could fluctuate a little bit based on where you live and how much the installers in your area charge.
Remember to do some research on rebates and incentives in your area, as well. Although the initial installation costs of the powerwall might seem excessive, you might be able to make the money back on your investment fairly quickly. When making these types of decisions, it’s important to consider not only the cost of purchase and installation but also the benefits on the back end, as well.
The Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack are both excellent choices for consumers who are interested in saving money on energy costs and running their homes or businesses from sustainable energy. They are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment from the effects of global warming. Whether you’re interested in just the backup energy system, or you want to install both solar and backup systems, Tesla has you covered.
Check out their website to learn more about all of the options available to you in Powerwall, Powerpack, and solar products. Sustainable energy is one of the best ways to save money, save the environment, and save the headache of power outages. Being informed about your options before you purchase is key to achieving the goals of your investment.