Introducing the Tesla Powerwall - solving the battery problem – once and for all.
People thought he would be selling about 10,000 Tesla cars a year at the maximum as they were quite expensive. But Elon being Elon was out thinking everybody and leaping ahead into building the fuel-storage-blocks of tomorrow. He will be building batteries not only for cars but also every damn thing that consumes power – from things like street lights, home power banks, community power banks, factory power banks, for schools, for markets, shopping malls etc. His customers could include rival car manufacturing companies, power plants, Solar/Wind home users, malls, multiplexes, schools, on-grid and off-grid communities, etc. These places could use multiple type of paid or free-clean energy to charge these power-banks.
Even for cars/buses/trucks if customers want to change to a new set of battery perhaps people could switch over to the Tesla powerwall.
The Tesla Powerwall is a big home battery made of lithium-ion and charges on solar energy. The batteries come in two variants, costing $3500 and $3,000, and are capable of storing 10 kwh and 7 kwh of energy respectively. To put this in perspective, a 1-kilowatt heater can run for ten hours with 10kWh of energy. These batteries are housed in a well-designed package and you can hang them on a wall. It’s about 4 feet by 7 feet and has a width of series are housed in a well-designed package and you can hang them on a wall. It’s about 4 feet by 7 feet and has a width of about 7 inches. The price, is also a third of such batteries available in the market.
What problem does it solve?
The batteries are primed for home use, where typically more electricity is consumed during peak hours in the morning and evening. By storing the electricity generated during the day, the peak hour demand can be met with ease. Tesla has also announced a scalable Powerpack which it intends to sell to power utilities and corporations.
Solar power works if panels and batteries are affordable. Cost of panels are already falling, thanks largely to China. If battery prices are also on the way down, one can expect a lot of action in the domain. India has an ambitious solar energy plan, which will generate huge orders that will lead to economies of scale, helping solar energy reach ‘grid parity’ or the point where it costs the same as thermal power.
Powerwall begins shipping this summer in the USA. It comes in 10 kWh weekly cycle and 7 kWh daily cycle models. Both are guaranteed for ten years and are sufficient to power most homes during peak evening hours. Multiple batteries may be installed together for homes with greater energy need, up to 90 kWh total for the 10 kWh battery and 63 kWh total for the 7 kWh battery..
If successful, the battery will be a game changer in India’s standby power sector, which burns diesel. Diesel generators add up to an estimated 60,000 mw, or the combined capacity of 15 ultra-mega power plants. These are essential for malls, telecom towers, hospitals etc because a power cut can cripple operations. For residential areas, reliable low-cost storage can help consumers get off the grid, as is already happening in some western countries. In far-flung areas, such batteries will support setting up of microgrids in hamlets. In hilly areas, where one needs light more than fans, such technology, along with use of energy-efficient LED bulbs can power homes at a small cost.
The Tesla Powerwall opens up a huge range of opportunities. Earlier battery purchasing was a big headache. The good sources or companies were limited and the quality depended upon the source. It would be less headache for Solar Panel manufacturers and installers if they were sure about the quality of battery they use. Home solar installers were always quite unsure whether or not to invest a huge amount of money in a battery, the quality of which, they were not sure about but with Elon Musk’s name and quality behind the brand Tesla Powerwall might end up in every home, office and car.
Watch the Tesla event.