Tesla Powerwall Explained – How Much is a Tesla Powerwall?
The Tesla Powerwall is a rechargeable battery that stores electricity for your home.
The Powerwall uses the same technology inside your phone: it’s a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Unlike your phone’s battery, however, the Powerwall can charge a Tesla, power your home during outages, and facilitate time-of-use load shifting, among other advantages.
Some homeowners also use the Tesla Powerwall to store energy from the Tesla Solar Roof. The Solar Roof produces energy throughout the day, and the Powerwall stores that energy for use at night or on cloudy days.
Today, every Tesla solar purchase includes a Powerwall, including a Tesla Solar Roof or solar panel purchase.
How does the Tesla Powerwall work? How much does a Tesla Powerwall cost? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the Tesla Powerwall.
What is the Powerwall?
The Tesla Powerwall is a lithium-ion battery designed for use in the home. You install the battery in your home, and it stores energy for use whenever you need it.
Your home can use the Powerwall to power your electronics during outages. If the grid fails, for example, then your Powerwall can continue powering your home for as long as there’s energy inside the battery.
Others use the Powerwall to store energy from their solar panels. Whether you have a Tesla Solar Roof or other solar panels, you can transfer electricity to your Powerwall for later use. Your solar panels produce energy all day long, and you can draw energy from the Powerwall at night when your solar panels cannot produce it.
You can also use the Powerwall for load cycling. Instead of using your home’s costly electricity during periods of high usage, for example, you can use your own Powerwall. Use your Powerwall to take electricity from the grid at cheaper rates, and then draw energy from your Powerwall during the evening when the price has increased. California, for example, recently made it more expensive to use electricity during heavy usage periods (like 5pm to 9pm). The Tesla Powerwall can help you avoid these higher costs.
You can install one or more Powerwalls in your home. If you have a Tesla Solar Roof, then you could use multiple Powerwalls to run your home off solar energy nearly 24/7.
As of 2021, Tesla offers two versions of the Powerwall, including the original Powerwall and the new Powerwall+.
The Tesla Powerwall App
You can use the Tesla app to control everything related to your Powerwall. You can monitor the charging status of your Powerwall, for example. You can also view the current efficiency of your home’s solar panels and your current home electricity usage.
The Tesla app also lets you setup remote access and instant alerts to control your home’s electricity on the go. Plus, you can set preferences to optimize your home’s electricity for energy independence, outage protection, or cost savings.
Powerwall Features & Benefits
Tesla’s Powerwall offers all of the following features and benefits:
Store your Energy: The biggest and most important benefit of the Tesla Powerwall is that you can store energy produced by your home. You can store solar energy from your solar panels or Tesla Solar Roof, for example. If your solar panels produce excess energy during the day, then you can store this energy in the battery for later use. Otherwise, you sell solar energy back to the grid.
Use Solar Energy Day or Night: If you have a solar panel array, then you need a battery to use your solar energy at night. Otherwise, your system sells the electricity back to the grid, and you draw electricity from the grid at night. The Tesla Powerwall lets you use stored energy day or night.
Avoid Power Outages: The Tesla Powerwall can continue to power appliances and other home electronics when the power is out. Whether it’s a temporary outage, a fallen line, or a collapsed grid, the Tesla Powerwall can help you avoid the impact of power outages.
Recharge Using Sunshine: After using electricity from your Powerwall all night, the device recharges with sunlight from your solar panels. With the right number of Powerwalls and an ample solar panel system, you could power your house with solar energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Backup Protection: The Tesla Powerwall system detects outages and automatically recharges with sunlight to keep your appliances running throughout the outage. If power is out at your neighbors’ houses, then your power could stay on thanks to your Tesla Powerwall.
Monitor & Optimize with the Tesla App: The Tesla app makes it easy to monitor and optimize your Powerwall. You can use the Tesla app to monitor your solar energy in real-time. You can also choose how you want to use your Powerwall. Some want energy independence, for example, while others want maximum cost savings or outage protection.
Remote Monitoring and 24/7 Alerts: You can use the Tesla app to remotely monitor your Powerwall, checking your solar energy production, home energy usage, and current Powerwall storage, among other information. You can also setup 24/7 instant alerts about your home’s energy usage.
Modern & Compact: The Tesla Powerwall has the same futuristic-looking, minimalistic design of other Tesla hardware. The Powerwall can complement your home’s aesthetics whether you place it in the garage or outside.
Time-Based Control: The Powerwall has time-based control, allowing you to use less expensive solar energy based on time-of-use rates from your utility company.
Available Indoors or Outdoors: Tesla offers a range of construction features and mounting options, making it easy to install the Powerwall indoors or outdoors.
Works With or Without Solar: Some people buy a Tesla Powerwall to capture and store their solar energy. Others use it without solar. Even if you have no solar panels in your home, you can use the Powerwall for outage protection, time usage cycling, and more.
Whole Home or Partial Home Backup: You can buy a whole home backup system with the Tesla Powerwall, which supports all appliances in your home during a power outage. Or, you can buy a partial home backup system, which allows you to only power essential loads – like lights and outlets – during an outage. Your Powerwall can detect when the grid is down, then change operation based on these outages.
Powerwall+ Tech Specs
According to Tesla.com, the Tesla Powerwall+ comes with the following tech specs:
- Energy Capacity: 13.5 kWh
- Inverter: 97.5% efficiency, maximum of 4 solar input power point trackers.
- On-Grid Power: 7.6kW / 5.8kW continuous
- Backup Power: 9.6kW / 7kW continuous, 22kW/10kW peak, 118A max LRA start, seamless backup transition
- Size & Dimensions: 62.8” x 29.7” x 6.3”
- Weight: 343.9lbs
- Warranty: 10 years
The original Powerwall, meanwhile, has the same energy capacity (13.5kWh) but lower efficiency and on-grid power / backup power ratings.
How Does the Powerwall Work?
The Powerwall works with or without solar. Although it’s popular for homeowners with solar panels, the Powerwall also provides advantages to homeowners with no solar energy systems.
Here’s how the Powerwall works with solar:
When the sun rises, your solar panels begin to power your home. If your home needs additional power, then it pulls power from the utility grid. If your home produces excess power, then that power is sent to the Powerwall.
The Powerwall stores that energy until the home needs it. Once the sun is down, or if the utility grid goes offline, the Powerwall begins powering your home.
Here’s how the Powerwall works without solar
The Powerwall can be useful even if you don’t use solar energy or have solar panels. You can set your Powerwall to cost savings mode automatically. The Powerwall charges itself from the utility grid when electricity costs are low (like at night or during low-usage periods). Then, the Powerwall discharges energy when rates are high (like during high-usage periods in the evening).
The Powerwall also keeps your home’s energy stable during power outages. Your Powerwall can pull energy from the utility grid and store it for later use. If the Powerwall detects a power outage, then the Powerwall becomes your home’s main power source.
To understand how the Powerwall works, it helps to understand the components within the Powerwall, including:
Powerwall or Powerwall+: The Powerwall is the original product, while the Powerwall+ is the new and improved version. Both are rechargeable home batteries that store energy.
Tesla Solar Inverter: The Tesla Solar Inverter converts energy from the home’s solar panels or Tesla Solar Roof, allowing your home to use this energy.
Backup Gateway: The Backup Gateway is the brains behind your Powerwall. It controls the operation of the Powerwall and your solar panel system. It detects utility grid outages, and it disconnects your power system from the grid. It can also function as a site meter.
Backup Switch: The Backup Switch works similarly to the Backup Gateway. It detects grid outages, then disconnects your solar panel system from the utility grid to allow you to use backup power from the battery. It also functions as a site meter. Depending on your utility and region, the Backup Switch may or may not be approved by your utility.
Other Electrical Hardware: Depending on your home and power needs and local electrical code, your Tesla Powerwall system may need additional electrical panels, conduits, and raceways.
Powerwall Versus Powerwall+
The Powerwall is a rechargeable home battery that can store energy from solar, while the Powerwall+ is also a rechargeable home battery that also includes an integrated Tesla Solar inverter and system controller, giving you better solar-specific advantages.
The Tesla Solar inverter converts energy from your home’s solar panels or Solar Roof, allowing you to use this energy in your home in additional ways. The Powerwall, meanwhile, is installed with solar. It works with your home’s solar energy, although the Powerwall+ has more solar integration features, allowing you to enjoy the same solar array with a cleaner installation and less equipment.
The Powerwall+ has integrated revenue-grade energy metering, for example, which allows you to accurately track your solar energy production and home energy consumption. This gives you better insight into your home energy usage. It also makes it easier to join virtual power plants in the future – something Tesla has planned.
Plus the direct solar integration improves solar recharging during power outages, leading to a better off-grid experience than ever before.
Powerwall+ is also able to intelligently power heavy equipment, something we don’t get with the original Powerwall.
A Powerwall system can include a combination of Powerwall units and Powerwall+ units. If you already have a Powerwall and want to expand capacity or features, then you can buy a Powerwall+.
How Much Does the Tesla Powerwall Cost?
The price of the Tesla Powerwall has varied over time. Today, the average cost of a Powerwall+ is around $8,500.
The original Powerwall, meanwhile, is priced at around $7,500.
Certain contractors and installers may provide discount offers, financing, and other arrangements to lower the cost of the Powerwall. Additionally, if you buy multiple Powerwalls with your Solar roof, you may receive a discount.
Final Word on Tesla’s Powerwall
Tesla’s Powerwall is a home battery that gives you greater control over your home’s power usage. If you have a solar panel system – like the Tesla Solar Roof – then the Powerwall allows you to store energy from that system for use at night or during outages. And, if you don’t have a solar panel system, the Powerwall can still protect you during outages or save money through time-of-use energy cycling.
To learn more about the Tesla Powerwall and how the unit works, visit Tesla.com today.