Tesla Energy’s Powerwall 2 stands out as a top-tier energy storage system in today’s market. Yet, with a price tag hovering around $15,000, it’s more than just a casual purchase. Many homeowners ask themselves, “Are Tesla Powerwalls worth the investment?” before diving into their hard-earned savings.
While the answer isn’t straightforward, the Powerwall 2 comes with benefits that can justify its initial cost. However, determining its value for your home depends on a few factors, including your unique energy consumption and financial situation.
Plus, as the shift from fossil fuels continues to gain momentum United States, the Tesla Powerwall has emerged as a standout energy product. But while this home battery storage system has caught the eye of many, is it worth the hype and the price? Let’s dive deep into what the Powerwall offers.
What is a Tesla Powerwall?
Created by the same company that’s created ground-breaking electric vehicles, the Tesla Powerwall is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion home battery that stores energy harvested from solar power panels.
The Tesla Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ are currently available on the market. While the Powerwall 1 ceased production in 2016, its successors have significantly upped the ante. Both the Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ have an impressive storage capacity of 13.5 kilowatt-hours, dwarfing the original’s 6.4 kWh.
What sets the newer models apart is their enhanced power output, clocking in at 5.6 kW, enabling them to energize multiple devices at once. With the capability to link up to 10 Powerwall units, they emerge as a formidable battery for both residences and businesses to store solar energy.
What’s the Difference Between a Tesla Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+?
Tesla Powerwall 2: Sporting a more refined design than its predecessor, the Powerwall 2 is aesthetically pleasing and user-centric. It delivers a steady 5.8 kW of continuous power, peaking at 7 kW, sufficient to run the majority of household appliances. However, for power-hungry systems like air conditioning or charging your electric vehicle, multiple Powerwalls would create a better power source.
If you’re already harnessing solar energy with a dedicated inverter (like SunPower solar panels), the Powerwall 2 seamlessly integrates into your setup, enhancing energy storage without any major overhauls. But for homeowners who haven’t installed a solar panel system yet, the Powerwall+ might be a more streamlined choice, eliminating the need for a separate inverter.
Tesla Powerwall+: The distinction between the Powerwall and its “+” counterpart lies in its power metrics. The Powerwall+ can consistently churn out 5.8 kW, with peak outputs reaching 7.6 kW, making it adept at powering a range of household devices.
While both the Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ share the same 13.5 kWh storage prowess, the latter comes equipped with an inbuilt inverter. This facilitates a smoother connection with solar PV panels. Moreover, the Powerwall+ delivers higher kilowatts during optimal solar conditions, whereas the Powerwall 2 maintains a consistent output, regardless of solar yield.
How Does the Tesla Powerwall Work?
Home batteries, at their core, store energy in the form of DC (direct current). Similarly, solar panels generate DC power. However, the twist lies in the fact that our household appliances run on AC (alternating current) power. This is where the magic of inverters and rectifiers unfolds.
Solar panels, upon generating DC power, channel it through an inverter. This inverter transforms the DC into AC, which then powers your home. If you’re equipped with a backup battery, any excess energy not used by your home gets redirected to charge your battery. But, before it’s stored in the battery, it needs to revert to DC power through a rectifier.
Both the Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ are engineered with an in-built inverter and rectifier, facilitating seamless AC-DC conversions. While the inverter in the Powerwall 2 exclusively serves the battery, necessitating an external inverter for solar panels, the Powerwall+ comes with an integrated solar inverter. Both models can draw power from the grid, however, during periods when solar panels don’t generate electricity (at night, for example).
The energy stored in a Powerwall is ready to use at any given moment. Yet, there are specific times when tapping into this stored energy is more economical. Many utility companies charge more during peak evening hours. Sourcing power from your Powerwall during these peak times can help you save money and energy.
The quantity of solar panels needed to charge a Tesla Powerwall depends on how much sunlight your roof and solar panels get. It’s worth noting that the Powerwall boasts a 90% round-trip efficiency during its charge and discharge cycles. To harness its 13.5 kWh of usable energy, your solar panels should be capable of supplying 15 kWh.
Here’s a breakdown of this for an average solar panel system:
- Given a solar panel’s output ranging from 330 to 360 watts, you’d require approximately 10 to 14 panels to generate 15 kWh of energy daily.
- The precise count of solar panels needed to fuel a Tesla Powerwall varies based on the panel model and local sunlight conditions.
Remember that your home is powered by the energy your solar panels generate during the day, even as the Powerwall charges. That’s why it’s important to have the right number of solar panels to cater to both your daytime usage and battery charging needs.
Does the Tesla Powerwall Come with Financial Incentives?
The Tesla Powerwall, along with other battery storage systems, is eligible for the 30% Solar ITC Credit. This substantial incentive reduces the price of a single battery to $9,940, down from its original $14,200. However, to tap into this benefit, the following criteria must be met:
- The Powerwall should be paired with solar panels or another renewable energy setup to qualify for the credit. A standalone unit drawing power exclusively from the grid won’t qualify.
- For homeowners, your Powerwall should derive its entire charge from solar panels.
- For businessowners, your Powerwalls must source at least 75% of their charge from solar panels.
There may be additional tax credits or financial incentives from your utility company or state government, depending on where you live. Various states, and even specific utility companies, offer solar tax exemptions and other enticing incentives.
Are Tesla Powerwalls Worth the Investment?
Beyond the immediate savings, the Tesla Powerwall 2 has many advantages that make it a compelling choice for homeowners and businesses. Here’s a closer look at why:
- Financial Upsides: While the initial cost of a Tesla Powerwall might seem steep, it’s a long-term investment. The beauty of this system is that once it’s up and running, the energy it supplies is essentially free. Pair that with its low maintenance demands and you’ll find that over time, the Powerwall can significantly offset your electricity bills, ensuring a return on your investment.
- Emergency Readiness: In an era of extreme weather patterns and natural disasters, power outages are becoming commonplace, especially in California. These outages can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. With a Tesla Powerwall in place, you’re not just prepared; you’re protected. It ensures an uninterrupted power supply to your home or business, offering unparalleled peace of mind during blackouts.
- Environmental Benefits: Harnessing clean energy from sustainable sources like solar and wind, the Tesla Powerwall is a nod to our planet’s future. Significant amounts of energy still comes from non-renewable sources, most notably coal power plants. By integrating Powerwalls, we can reduce the strain on our national grid and cut back on the environmental impact linked to coal and other fossil fuels. In essence, it’s a step towards a cleaner, greener future.
Look Ahead to a Sustainable Future with the Tesla Powerwall
The Tesla Powerwall offers a modern solution for home and business owners who want energy independence and environmental sustainability. Its advanced features provide both long-term financial benefits and a reliable power source. Though the initial investment might seem steep, the long-term savings and peace of mind it offers make it an investment worth considering.
Powerwalls can be purchased directly from the company or from a Certified Powerwall Installer like Solar Technologies. If you’re ready to change the way you power your home and start saving more with solar, contact us today for a free customized quote.