Using Tesla Powerwall Without Solar Panels

Using Tesla Powerwall Without Solar Panels

Tesla is known for its technology especially its use of renewable energy with solar panels and electric cars. Their goal is to make power in your home more efficient so that you get the most for your money. One way to do this is using a Powerwall.

Tesla Powerwall is normally used with solar panels, but it can still function without. The Powerwall can be used with other sources, including generators or charging stations. Tesla Powerwall can also connect to the grid as a source of power.

To know how to best use a Powerwall without a solar panel, you will need to first understand what the Powerwall is and what it does.

How to Use Tesla Powerwall Without Solar Panels

The Powerwall is like a large battery in a sense. It stores energy from a power source and then provides energy to your house or other electronics when you need it. This makes it quite useful when you have power outages or if a natural disaster were to effect you.

There are many systems that are compatible with your Tesla Powerwall that aren’t solar panels. This includes:

  • The grid
  • Generators
  • Charging station

Each one can be used with the Powerwall if you do not want to or cannot invest in a solar panel system.

Using Tesla Powerwall with the Grid

The grid is what all houses and buildings normally get their power. Tesla Powerwalls are put in your home to store energy from the grid. Once it is charged, it can provide power to your home during black outs, natural disasters, or just provide energy to your home during peak hours to help reduce your electric bill.

With the advanced technology, the great thing is, you don’t have to switch your system to draw energy from the Powerwall if the grid goes out. Your system will automatically start pulling electricity from your Powerwall. You don’t have to do anything.

Using Tesla Powerwall with Generators

You can use a Powerwall with backup generators which is useful if you don’t have power for a long period of time. You can hook your generator up to it and charge that Powerwall. That way you don’t have the generator running for long periods of time.

You will need to get a specific switch to use the generator with the Powerwall. These switches are called Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) or a Manual Transfer Switch (MTS). The Powerwall doesn’t directly get energy from the generator. This is why the switches are necessary to implement this type of system with a Powerwall.

Using Tesla Powerwall with Charging Station

You can use the Powerwall as a charging station for your electric car or other devices. You won’t be able to connect these devices directly to your devices but you can charge them through your home’s electric panel.

How Not to Use Tesla Powerwall Without Solar Panels

The Tesla Powerwall was originally created to be used with a solar panel system. Because of this, there are some limitations to what systems a Powerwall is compatible with. This means that there are quite a few systems that the Powerwall is not compatible with.

These systems of incompatibility include other battery systems similar to the Powerwall and other renewable sources where the energy doesn’t come from solar panels.

Other Battery Systems

Whether it is Tesla’s way to try and bring in more clients to buy their system or another reason, this Powerwall does not work with other battery systems.

Renewable Resources Besides Solar

As of right now, the Tesla Powerwall does not work with other renewable resource systems. These systems include geothermal, wind, and hydro renewable energy.

Why Tesla Power Wall Works Best with Solar Panels

The best way to utilize a Powerwall is with solar panels. It is what Tesla created it for but this does not mean you cannot utilize it without a solar panel system.

Electricity rates vary through the day. Many electric companies have “peak hours” (usually between 3pm and 7pm) where their electricity costs more because so many people are using more energy at that time. This can cause stress on the system and so electric companies charge more during this time.

You can utilize your Powerwall to avoid those higher costs. Before, you had to turn off your breakers during those peak hours to allow power to be directly drawn from the Powerwall but now, with the new technology, you can use the mobile app.

Use the mobile app to switch to the “time-based” control. You can choose when your electricity will be drawn from the Powerwall instead of the grid. You Powerwall then will recharge are lower cost hours. This can save you $0.30/kW which can add up over time! That’s a lot of savings.

Tesla Powerwall Updates

The Powerwall has a warranty that lasts 10 years at 70% capacity. This means that if you are only 5 years into owning the Powerwall and your batteries are only storing 50% of what it used to, you can get a new Powerwall.

Other updates that are involved with the Powerwall is software update. Since it is an integrated system with software and firmware, it needs to be updated regularly. Good news though. You don’t have to do anything. With an internet connection, you can easily get these updates including updates on your mobile app.

Why Use a Tesla Powerwall

The Powerwall has so many useful things. Like what was said before, it provides power when your other power sources are unavailable. But there are other reasons.

Tesla is quite the advanced company and makes sure to integrate smart technology into anything it creates. This technology only makes you an improved conscious consumer.

The Powerwall can monitor your power usage that can help you figure better ways to use your power like installing better bulbs and such. This is a great solution to better your carbon footprint and make you aware of how you expend your energy.

You also won’t need to put as much effort into being consciously aware of the amount of power you are consuming because the Powerwall does it for you. It can adjust so not only you use less power but be more efficient with your power. This can add to your wallet instead of take from your bank.

Tesla’s technology also provides different modes you can set your Powerwall in. There are three different modes:

  • Self-powered
  • Back-up
  • Time-based control

Each option provides a great way for your to counteract different obstacles when dealing with electrical issues.


This mode is best used to reduce your carbon footprint on the world. Sadly this one is used primarily with solar panels.


This mode is great for outages. It provides energy to your house when the grid goes out. But there is better ways to utilize your Powerwall instead of just using it as “back up”.

Time-Based Control

This is best used to reduce your energy bill. It provides electricity to your home when energy is more expensive and allows you to bring down that electric bill.

The great thing about these three modes is you can decide the option through your smart phone or phone app. It is available right at your fingertips!

Final Thoughts

Powerwalls are great not only with solar panels but with other systems. It can save you money and provide power when you are unable to access the grid or if the grid is down. You will definitely appreciate this addition to your home.

Solar Discounts:


The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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