With going green becoming a big trend in home ownership, there are many ways to generate power for your home from natural resources. The Tesla Powerwall is one of the next big steps in creating a green home. But what exactly is it?
The Tesla Powerwall is marketed as a “rechargeable lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control” and is aimed at the residential energy storage market. So is a battery designed for day to day usage for a home and a great way to help take control of your energy bill? The Tesla Powerwall is ideally designed to be paired with a solar array. It can be powered when the solar panels produce more than your usage and can be drawn from at night when the solar panels are off.
Living Off The Grid?
Does this mean you can ditch the grid altogether? Not with your standard system. A single Tesla Powerwall 2.0, which runs around $5,500, is only meant to store enough power for a few hours, ideally on cloudy days or at night. So it would take a significantly larger investment to have enough power to live off the grid for several days or weeks. In addition, solar panels would only recharge the battery on clear days when the sun is at its apex.
Another consideration is the diminishing capacity of the Powerwall. Over time, just like all batteries, the Powerwall loses its capacity as it charges and drains over and over again. Therefore, the battery has a limited lifespan and will eventually lose its ability to hold a charge. Tesla offers an unlimited 10-year warranty, but it is a costly proposition to have to replace the unit every 10 years.
The Price Tag
Finally, the $5,500 price tag does not include installation. Tesla claims installation costs should run between $800 and $2,000, depending on market location and labor rates. Plus, remember the Powerwall is designed to be installed in combination with a 5,000 kWh solar panel array, which will run between $8,500 and $16,000 depending location, according to the website Energy Sage.
So let’s do the math. The installation of a single Tesla Powerwall 2.0 with a solar array can cost as little as $14,800 and as much as $23,500, with a seemingly 10-year lifespan for the battery portion, meaning an incremental $7,000 cost each decade (if you plan to live in your home that long).
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Replacing the battery in 10 years will likely cost much less than they do today. Also, the battery can last much longer than “a few hours”–14 kwh is almost half the average daily electricity of a typical US home, so could provide power for 8 to 12 hours unless you use a lot of electricity.