Green power is becoming more and more popular around the world. Tesla is one company that can help you to harness your inner environmentalist with its Powerwall, a battery for your home which can be charged by solar panels or off of the main power grid if you do not have solar panels. It is a great resource and will save you money in the long run.
The Tesla Powerwall can power your whole home. It has many functions and will come through for you no matter what your power goals are. It can help to power lights, appliances, heating and cooling, and even charge your car.
The Tesla Powerwall has many functions, but it does come with some limitations as well. Read on to see what the Powerwall can help you with and where you might need some upgrades. Overall, it is a great resource for you to use to be able to harness green energy for your home.
What is a Tesla Powerwall?
The Powerwall is essentially a large lithium-ion battery that can be used to power your home. Ideally, it is recharged by solar panels. If you’re concerned about having enough power, the company also sells a version called the Powerpack, which has a much higher capacity for commercial use.
When is the Powerwall Battery Needed the Most?
The most important time to have one of these batteries is when there is a power outage in your area. We all know these happen from time to time. It can be dangerous to go without power, and therefore, without your temperature control systems for an extended time in extreme weather that is either very hot or cold. You can also lose food in your fridge or freezer. Your devices may lose power, which may be dangerous in case of an emergency.
Besides the threats you may face during an extended power outage, most peoples’ lives also rely heavily on power for everyday activities or getting important work done. Having a Tesla Powerwall system in your home will help you mitigate any disturbances and help keep your family safe, too.
What Can the Tesla Powerwall be Used For?
The Powerwall is supposed to be a backup for your whole home. Therefore, it can be used to power a variety of things. However, during an emergency, keep in mind that it has limitations regarding how much power it can hold, so it is a good idea only to use appliances and lights that are necessary to stretch out the reserves if possible.
You can keep the lights on with the Tesla Powerwall. Lights are not a huge drain on the power system, as long as you use them appropriately. It is not recommended to leave them all on all the time, as more energy would be used. But feel free to use lights in your house as you normally would at night or during a power outage.
Yes, the Powerwall system can keep your fridge and freezer cool for much longer than they would be without it. If you have no backup system, your fridge will only stay at food-safe temperatures for four hours, and the freezer will stay at temp for 24-48 hours, depending on how full it is.
If you can keep these appliances running with the Powerwall, you have a lot more time to keep your food safe and wait out the power outage. The exact amount of extra time you will have depends on whether you are running other things off the battery and how many batteries you have installed. If necessary, you could also power a stove, microwave, dishwasher, and your clothes washer and drier.
Heating and Cooling
If you are living in an area with an extreme climate, it would be important to know that your Tesla Powerwall could keep your heater or air conditioning running. It can become dangerous if it is very hot or cold out, particularly for children and the elderly.
The Powerwall can provide energy for heating and cooling systems during a power outage. Still, if this is a distinct concern for your family, you should bring it up with the technicians when you set up your appointment so you can be sure you are receiving the correct number of batteries to keep your systems operational.
Yes, the Powerwall can even help with heating your pool or hot tub. Although these things are not necessary for safety during a power outage, they do use up a lot of energy when they are kept up to temperature each day. Having a Powerwall and solar panels can greatly decrease your energy bill regarding any resource that uses energy outside your home as well as inside.
Charging the Car
Lastly, if you own a hybrid or electric car, the Tesla Powerwall can charge it overnight. The system works best with the Tesla model cars. Since the same company makes them, they are very compatible together. However, you can charge cars from other companies as well.
The Tesla Powerwall Can be Controlled and Monitored with an App
You can download an app along with your Powerwall system. You can monitor how much energy is being stored and how that energy is being used. You can also easily change the battery’s power mode setting.
The app will also automatically change its power mode setting when there is a weather advisory in your area. When that happens, the battery will rapidly charge up to 100% to prepare for a power outage. This function can be turned on or off.
You May Need More Than One Powerwall
You will need to talk to the product specialist team to determine whether you need to have more than one Powerwall installed. They will help you look at how much power you historically use and whether you want to have full coverage or if partial will be OK. This depends on your energy needs and your reasons for wanting to install the Powerwall. Here are a few circumstances to think about before you call:
- Small home with energy-efficient windows and appliances– If you only have general power usages like lights and appliances and only want to use the Powerwall to decrease your energy bill, you might be fine with only one hookup. This will have enough reserve to last overnight after the sun goes down and the solar panels are not in play. Depending on how careful you are with your power usage, a single Powerwall battery will last you a short time on a complete power outage as well.
- Larger home or older windows and appliances- If you have a larger home, leaky windows, or appliances that use up more energy, you may need 2-3 Powerwall batteries for your coverage.
- High energy use systems- You can link up to six Powerwall batteries together safely. If your power usage puts you in the 4-6 battery range, they will take up a little more space in your home, but you will have maximum power capacity for a residential home. You can determine if this is necessary by consulting with trained Tesla operators.
- Commercial use- There is a commercial product that should be mentioned. It is called the Powerpack. It contains a set of batteries that bring up to 232 kWh. Compare that to a single Powerwall, which has 13.5 kWh. It is highly unlikely a residential household would need a Powerpack, so they are generally reserved for industrial or commercial installation.
The Powerwall Can be Installed Indoors or Outside
The Powerwall has a design that is pleasing to the eye. It is a large battery that will be visible on whichever wall it is installed. Further, you can install it on the wall or the ground. If you have multiple batteries, they can be stacked or close together, just as long as there is a little space for proper ventilation.
According to Tesla’s site, the size of one Powerwall is 45.3 in × 29.6 in × 5.75 in (115.1 cm × 75.2 cm × 14.6 cm).
When you pick a place for the installation, be sure to put it somewhere that will not hinder its power capabilities. It is recommended that it not be put outside if you live in extreme temperatures, nor should it be placed in direct sunlight.
Perhaps a garage or basement would be good places with stable environments. Some rain or humidity should not affect the performance but beware of putting it low to the ground in areas where severe flooding may occur.
Can all Tesla products be powered with the Powerwall?
Tesla is an Eco power company, which has a few fully electric car models on the market. The Powerwall system is equipped to be able to charge any version of their cars. They also carry power banks, which are desktop chargers that can definitely be charged up with Powerwall reserves. They even carry a battery-powered mini Model S Tesla for kids!
How to Save Money with a Tesla Powerwall System
There are a few different parts to the whole system, and they can be grouped in different ways to meet your needs. Let’s explore how the system works and where it can save you money
What is the Grid?
It is important to understand how the grid works and what it is because generally, there are three parts to the full Powerwall system.
- The grid
- The Powerwall Battery
- Solar Panels
It is best to have all three of these because they will all work together to maximize the energy you get for your money. But, as you will see, you can pick and choose which systems to combine. It depends on your energy needs and goals.
The grid is what powers your home when you pay the electric company for your energy usage.
Every new home in a city is originally connected to the “grid” when it is built. Going off-grid means that you are completely disconnecting your home from the city’s power grid and utilities. You will no longer have a monthly power bill, but then you must figure out where to get 100% of the energy you use.
Grid + Powerwall + Solar Panels: The Whole System
You have a lot more options and versatility if you run power to your home through the solar-Powerwall system but still leave the grid hookups in place as well.
Note: If installed with solar panels, your Powerwall will only charge from the solar panels and not at all from the grid.
Benefits of using all three as part of your system:
- If the solar panels become damaged, you can use grid power as a backup
- Your power bill is reduced
- Keeping the grid intact gives you a little more option on financing. If your goal is to have multiple batteries for increased or total coverage, you can work your way up and take time to save money by adding new batteries over time. Your power bill can be reduced with each addition, and you do not have to buy the whole system at once.
Include a Solar Inverter
If you have the system set up with solar panels, you will also need a solar inverter. You can buy these from any company, and they should work with the Powerwall, but you need one that can charge the battery with the solar panels.
How the Powerwall Works Without the Grid
If you decide to go off-grid and disconnect from the city power system, then all your energy will be coming from the solar panel outputs, and you will not be able to use the grid for backup. If you go this route, it might be useful to have extra Powerwall batteries installed so that you can store more energy on sunny days, and it will last longer if you have multiple cloudy days or a power outage.
Of course, if you go this route, you will be kicking your power utility bill to the curb!
How it Works Without Solar Panels
You can still install the Powerwall without the use of solar panels. In this instance, it will be getting charged by the grid, so being “off-grid” is not an option. That said, you really maximize savings and use of the Powerwall if you have solar as well. Even so, it can still have a positive function in your home by being hooked up to the grid.
Can the Powerwall Run with a Generator?
You can have a Powerwall and a generator on your home. It would be beneficial mostly in very extended power outages. However, the Powerwall would not be powered by the generator. Instead, the energy saved in the Powerwall would be used up first, then the generator would only kick on when the Powerwall energy ran out.
Limitation of the Tesla Powerwall
Although the Powerwall can be used to power everything in your home, it may not be able to do everything at once. Depending on your needs and capacity, it might be best to run appliances at different times to avoid overloading the system or running out of power too quickly.
Are the Batteries Safe?
There is always some risk involved with electrical systems. It is possible that they could overheat and cause a fire. Since the Powerwall utilizes technology with lithium-ion batteries, the main concern is that they could go into a state of thermal runaway.
Thermal runaway happens when a loop of increasing heat is created. A high increase in temperature starts it. The Tesla Powerwall batteries have a safety feature where sections can be cut off from the system if thermal danger is detected. This feature makes the Tesla product safer than other batteries of its class.
The System is Expensive to Buy and Install
Overall, the price of buying the system could amount to quite a lot. The system could be $9,000- $15,000 each for the solar and the Powerwall. It could be more than that if you want extra batteries for your system as well.
Although the initial price tag could be a shock, remember that you will be saving that money over time because your power bill will be greatly reduced, possibly by 100%. Here is a review video that breaks down some of the cost-benefit and gives a few helpful tips on installation.
Keep in mind that you can also get some benefits and breaks depending on where you live for installing green energy systems. Look up information on tax breaks for this type of system in your state or city.
Now we have fully explored what the Tesla Powerwall is and what it can do for you. Here are some common questions and answers regarding the Tesla Powerwall system if you would like to look any further.
Overall, the Tesla batteries are highly rated and safe for your home. They can help you reduce your power bill and are designed to power all the systems in your home. Call a technician and talk to them about your needs and what a Tesla Powerwall system can do for your home.