A guide to
Tesla’s Powerwall 2
battery

Tesla is set to start shipping its solar Powerwall 2 battery to Australia in late March 2017. The 14kWh battery is double the capacity of the first Powerwall, yet is comparable on price. It will enable solar panel owners to store the excess solar power produced by their systems, instead of transporting it back to the grid. It is a viable solar storage solution for many households. The Powerwall 2 comes with a 10 year warranty, is compact and can be combined with up to 9 battery units. The storage solution also supports applications like power back up and smart technologies that sell excess power to the grid at opportune times.

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How it Works

Tesla’s Powerwall 2 can either be installed with an existing solar system or combined with an entirely new system purchase. The battery stores any excess solar power that is generated by your solar system. This power can then be used at a later time when your panels are not producing electricity, ie. During the evening.

The Powerwall 2 battery operates as most solar batteries do; it requires a solar panel array, a home battery, and an inverter to operate: though the AC-coupled Powerwall 2 comes with an inverter built in. The solar panel array will be installed on the roof of your home, converting the solar energy into usable electricity. The Powerwall 2 unit stores excess electricity that your panel array generates throughout the day. The Powerwall battery, and any panels, can be purchased through Tesla’s certified installer partners, many of which can be accessed when you request three quotes through our website.

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Ability to take advantage of market prices

The Powerwall 2 allows homeowners to utilise “smart” technology to take direct control of their energy storage and consumption. Traditional grid-tied solar power systems often require you to sell back surplus electricity, only to have you buy it back at a higher rate in the evening, when your panels are not generating solar energy. By storing electricity in the Powerwall 2 battery, you’re able to minimise your electricity costs, but also potentially sell power back to the grid when spot prices are at very high levels..

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Powerwall System Specs

The Australian Powerwall 2 is a lithium ion battery that comes in different versions, an AC-coupled version with a built in inverter, and a DC-coupled model. As with the first Powerwall, up to 9 units can be combined to create one super battery. However, most homes will find that just one 14kWh battery is sufficient to power the home when the solar panels are not directly doing so.

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System Design

Inside the Battery

The new Powerwall battery operates at 90% efficiency and is capable of producing 7kW continuous or 5kW peak power, a marked improvement on the first phase of the battery. The Tesla Powerwall 2 is also more compatible with existing solar panel systems.

Weight and Dimensions of the Powerwall

The entire system weighs 120kg. It measures 1,150mm x 755mm x 155mm. This makes for a slim, attractive design that is compact enough to install in most households. The Powerwall can be mounted inside or outside, on a wall or floor.

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How much is the
Powerwall going to
cost in Australia?

According to Tesla, the 14kWh battery unit can be installed in Australian homes for between $11,000 – $12,000. When combined with solar panels in a hybrid system, the costs of solar panels needs to be added to this price, however, there is no need to purchase an inverter when acquiring the AC-coupled model. As a guide, budget for:

  • between $11,000 – $12,000

The economics and
potential savings
of the battery

Calculating the savings effect of the Powerwall 2 battery can be complex. It depends on your specific household circumstances and how much electricity you can generate from your solar panels and in turn how much of that electricity you use during the day as opposed to the evening. If you are looking to purchase an entirely new hybrid solar system (solar panels and Tesla battery), you can use this calculator to determine what impact the Tesla Battery will have to your solar power use and annual electricity savings.

If you already have a solar array installed, you need to perform a different calculation, as you purely want to assess the merit of adding a storage solution to your existing system. The solar battery calculator will allow you to weigh up the effectiveness of the Powerwall unit.

Installation

As a minimum, the Powerwall battery should be installed by a certified electrician. However, we recommend you have a Clean Energy Council certified installer install and configure your Tesla solar battery. We can recommend expert solar installers, to make your installation seamless.

Availability

Tesla has announced that the Powerwall Battery will be available for purchase in Australia in late March 2017. A realistic timeframe to have one installed may be May to June 2017.