The Tesla Powerwall is perhaps the most substantial innovation in home energy in the past decade. Last year, TreeHouse launched the Tesla Powerwall 1 into the Texas market and participated in a huge milestone on the journey to 100% renewable energy by becoming the first retailer of the Powerwall. With the announcement of Tesla’s redesigned and updated Powerwall 2, Tesla is taking it to the next level and TreeHouse is excited to bring this cutting edge technology into more homes.
Today at Home School, we’re breaking down what makes the Powerwall 2 revolutionary.
Let’s catch up on some basics: Tesla, the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world, realized that their battery technology could be used not only to accelerate the transition to a sustainable transportation system, but could do the same for buildings and the energy grid. Enter the Powerwall. Powerwall 1 was announced in May of 2015, and a year later, the battery became available for the first time at TreeHouse and other resellers. Powerwall is essentially a state-of-the art, intelligent energy storage system that can store solar, wind, or grid power for use at another time.
The reason TreeHouse is particularly excited about Powerwall is that energy generated from a residential solar array during the day can then be put to work at night — a major step forward in lessening our dependence on nonrenewable energy sources. Tesla (and TreeHouse) envisions a world in which we can meet all the energy needs of our buildings with fully renewable sources. At the time of its release, TreeHouse’s own CEO Jason Ballard was quoted saying “A home battery could make energy bills an archaic relic of a past system. You can now own your own production and storage of the energy you need. This takes us one step closer to completely powering homes without fossil fuels.”
With the new Powerwall 2, Tesla is once again taking strides toward a more sustainable future. Let’s look at the major innovations of the new version.
Energy Times 2
The most critical element of Tesla’s new Powerwall is the amount of energy that the battery can store. Powerwall 2 can hold 14 kWh — that more than doubles the capacity (energy) of the original model. Fully charged, the Powerwall could power an average two-bedroom home at full demand (5kW of power) for 4 to 5 hours.
Additionally, the Powerwall 2 is now AC-coupled, not DC-coupled like the original Powerwall. What this means is that the Powerwall does not need an inverter to connect to your home. Installing an inverter alongside a powerwall often ran as much as $3,000 extra, which is now avoided. Not only is this a major savings in upgrading an existing solar system, but material usage and waste drops significantly, as well.
Because it is AC, Powerwall 2 connects directly to the home’s electrical panel so you can easily use it to back up your home - whether you have solar or not. Of course, the majority of applications still pair best with solar, as you can store your excess solar energy and use it later. Not to mention, when installed with a new solar array, Powerwall systems are eligible for the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar - knocking 30% off the cost of the Powerwall. At TreeHouse, we give all our customer’s the best solar and battery technology in the world by pairing Tesla Powerwall with SunPower panels. Recently on Home School, we explained why SunPower makes the best panels in the world.
Modern, Sleek, Compact
With so much changing on the inside, Powerwall 2 also made some significant form factor upgrades. First, the new unit is smaller than the original Powerwall, while still doubling the storage capacity. Now Tesla’s battery will fit in tighter spaces, like a utility room, or outdoors with an easy install under the eaves of your home.
Tesla also opted for a cleaner design — the swooping edges from the original model are replaced with straight lines and a lower profile. Perpendicular edges makes Powerwall 2 easier to install, as well as open and service after it has been mounted.
Also easing the installation is the new ability to floor mount the Powerwall. Powerwall 1 had to be hung on the wall, which limited where it could be placed in and around the home. Powerwall 2 can be hung on the wall or mounted on the floor standing up vertically - potentially a much easier install in many homes.
Stack ‘em Up!
The Powerwall 2 is now fully expandable, meaning you can link multiple units together, adding 14kWh with every added Powerwall. Two units, can easily power an average sized home through the evening with no grid power. The best part? When the sun comes up the next day, the Powerwalls charge back up, potentially keeping the home off the grid for days at a time.
With the Powerwall 2, you can link up to 10 units together without the need for additional inverters and other equipment, opening the door for larger homes and small businesses to run on Tesla’s batteries, without the need for extensive, complicated installations. In fact, when floor mounted, the Powerwall can be lined up in a row, like slices of bread, to preserve space in higher capacity installations. It is effectively an energy server for your home.
The (Power) Line
Finally, the Powerwall 2 is fully automated and requires no maintenance. The unit conveniently connects to your home’s wifi and receives regular firmware updates and check-ups online. It’s safe to touch, durable and weatherproof for outdoor installation, and uses liquid cooling techniques to maximize its lifespan.
Whether you’re looking to get the most out of your solar panels, consume less fossil fuels, or free yourself from the grid, Tesla’s Powerwall 2 provides a best in class solution. Sign up for a free consult below to learn more about this innovative new battery and ways that we can optimize your home’s performance.