Capturing energy from the sun is one thing, but storing power to make use of it when the sun is gone is the most important part of the equation.
That’s where the Tesla Powerwall comes in. Introduced in 2016, the Powerwall was designed to store excess solar energy generated by your home solar system, to be utilised when its needed, like in the evenings, power outages and natural disasters.
Now with the recent launch of Powerwall 2 – you get all the benefits of the first generation Powerwall, but more.
It has similar physical features to the first one in that it’s still a rechargeable, rectangular, compact battery designed to be mounted to a wall or floor, but the biggest difference is that it has more than double the capacity of the original version. With twice the energy storage capacity at 13.5 kWh capacity and a 7-kilowatt power output means a home can use power all day, every day guilt-free.
The Powerwall 2 can also be integrated with the local power grid to harness excess power thus decreasing the amount of electricity you need to receive and buy from the grid. It also gives you more control over energy costs as the Powerwall 2 stores energy during low-price times for use when prices are high.
Other enhanced features and benefits of the Powerwall 2 include:
- flatter and more angular design
- built-in inverter
- liquid thermal control system
- software that receives dispatch commands from a solar inverter
- installation flexibility so it can be mounted indoors or outdoors
I know all about the importance of solar battery storage: my home is entirely off-grid. This means that our rooftop solar panels generates all our own solar energy.
But earlier in the year, our solar battery had a meltdown earlier and that meant our home was unable to store the solar energy captured by the rooftop solar panels. It was a huge problem. Our household had no power supply in the evenings and no backup electricity power on cloudy days. We were left with no other option but to power up the manual diesel generator (a very intimidating-looking machine made of steel) to generate power during these times.
We lived like this for a couple of months and it was a frustrating experience to say the least, made worse by the fact that the manual generator requires upper body strength to be able to power up, strength that five foot two, 43-kilogram ol’ me just doesn’t have. Every night and each overcast day, I had to swallow my feminist pride and call on my partner Ben or future father-in-law Paul to start the generator. For a committed sustainable living advocate, this ‘workaround’ was a completely unsustainable solution.
We eventually replaced the solar battery and its positive impact was felt that same evening when we flicked the light switch and had power again. To this day, I am grateful for electricity and never take it for granted. The whole experience taught me a valuable lesson in the crucial role that solar batteries play in our home’s solar system and our off-grid lifestyle.
Perhaps next time I should invest in a Tesla Powerwall 2. It wasn’t released at the time but it would definitely have been a part of our considerations had it been.
Plus, Tesla’s new home energy storage product comes with a 10 year warranty. Peace of mind for an entire decade? I say hell yes to that!
The Tesla Powerwall 2 will shortly be available in Australia. Visit their website for more info.