Tesla Unveils Powerwall Battery For Homes
Tesla is calling the rechargeable lithium-ion battery the “Powerwall.” As the name suggests, the unit is designed to be mounted on a wall, and connected to the local power grid.
Yes, it’s not just cool cars that they are making these days. Tesla wants to start a revolution in the way the world stores energy.
CEO Elon Musk unveiled batteries on Thursday night that he said will help move homes, businesses and utilities away from the power grid and toward a more sustainable future with renewable energy. The battery, which will be installed by certified technicians, is being offered in two sizes at costs of $3,000 and $3,500, not including installation and in inverter. Any home with this sort of installation would start getting a return on investment almost immediately. It is well documented how an air condition system can consume huge amounts of electricity, even when properly maintained by professionals in residential air conditioning services. Many years ago, this ventilation, cooling and heating system was the main source of power consumption in any given home. As the years have gone by however, more and more devices consume more power, as they become more powerful, and capable of much more than their predecessors. Steps are always being made towards efficient power consumption, but more and more electronic devices are being added to homes that were not previously present in any way shape or form, like roombas or smart home devices, increasing power consumption even more.
“We’re talking about trying to change the fundamental energy infrastructure of the world,” Musk said during a presentation at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, California.
The big brother of the Powerwall is what Musk and his team are calling Powerpack — and it’s where things get interesting. They describe it as an “infinitely scalable system” that can work for businesses, in industrial applications, and even public utility companies, that comes in 100 kWh battery blocks that can scale from 500 kWH all the way up to 10 MWh and higher. “Our goal here is to change the way the world uses energy at an extreme scale.”
Musk’s ambitions with the battery are tremendous. He opened the press event by invoking climate change, and saying that it’s “within the power of humanity” to change the way we produce and use power. He went on to say that he sees the Gigafactory under construction in Nevada as a product, the first of many. With 160 million Powerpacks, we could power the United States, he said, and with 2 billion, the world. The entire presentation and party, Musk said, was powered by stored solar energy.
Just announced last night, Powerwall has been testing for a year, and has already been on sale to select customers. For the Powerpack system, Tesla will start taking orders later this year and then really ramp up production as Tesla’s battery-building Gigafactory comes online.
As more electricity is generated from renewable but intermittent sources like solar and wind, demand for storage is going to go up — batteries can absorb surplus power and flow it back into the grid when needed, evening out supply and demand. This is why states like California with aggressive renewable energy mandates are demanding utilities add storage capacity too.
While Musk has been known for pushing ideas that can seem very bleeding edge, in this case he underscored what a practical, immediate solution Tesla Energy can provide. “This is a feasible thing,” he said. “It’s very important to appreciate that.”
Could this just be another toy for rich green people?
Source: The Verge