What is the Tesla Home Powerwall?


tesla power wall

If you’ve been investigating solar battery storage you would have heard of the Tesla Home Powerwall, one of the first solar PV battery storage solutions to hit the market back in 2015. Tesla describes the Powerwall as a “rechargeable lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control”. For those who aren’t solar or battery installers you may have no clue what this means or what it can do when partnered with your solar panel system.

Overview of the Tesla Home Powerwall

In simple terms the Tesla Powerwall like other solar battery storage devices can be an additional component to a solar PV system. It acts as a storage unit for excess energy generated by a household’s solar panels. This excess energy is stored for use when solar panels are not generating enough energy, instead of relying of the electricity grid.

Tesla launched its original Powerwall back in 2015 with 6.4kW storage capacity and later released the Powerwall 2.0 in October 2016, offering more than double the storage capacity of the original at 13.5kW.

Unlike other solar battery units, the Tesla Powerwall can detect a power outage and disconnect from the grid, so it can restore electricity to a home instantly. It has a compact, sleek and simple design making it desirable for those who are looking for a discreet storage unit.

Amongst retailers prices can vary, however for the Tesla Powerwall 2 and it’s 10-year warranty you’ll be looking anywhere up from $11,700 not including the cost of installation or solar PV system.

For those located in South Australia, the Tesla Powerwall 2 is one of the few home battery systems approved under the South Australian Home Battery Scheme meaning you can claim a reduction up to $6,000 off the retail price when purchasing from an approved provider.

Find out more on the South Australian Home Battery Scheme here.

Tesla Powerwall 3

No official release date has been confirmed for the Tesla Powerwall 3 however there is already a large following in wait for the roll out. The Tesla Powerwall 3 is expected to have the storage capacity of 20 + kWh with a efficiency of over 90%. 

If you’re interested in adding battery storage to your solar PV system, request quotes to find out what storage units will be compatible with your solar PV System!


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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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