Later this year, Australians will be the first ones to get their hands on Tesla’s new Powerwall battery.
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The company most known for its Model S electric car will soon launch Tesla Energy in Australia, which also includes its industrial scaled Powerpack in addition to the residential Powerwall. The energy giant’s $1 billion grid battery business already has over 100,000 orders.
Tesla Energy is an extension of Tesla Motor’s goal of getting rid of Australia’s dependence on fossil fuels, as the release of its Powerwall technology may provoke a rise in the number of Aussie households using solar power.
Much like the battery in the Model S, the Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The only difference is this one can be mounted on the wall of homes. For residences already equipped with solar panels, the Powerwall battery can store the energy being collected to use during night time.
Instead of having to deal with the current electricity rates and a feed-in-tariff system, the new Powerwall will allow homes to disconnect from the grid completely.
As was reported in our sister site Business Review Australia, Tesla Energy will supply most households with the 7 kilowatt-hour Powerwall. In addition, there are also 10kWh Powerwalls with commercial and utility scale Powerpacks that will combine powerfull 100kWh battery blocks for anywhere from 500kWh to as much as 10 megawatt-hour.
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Previously, Tesla said 80 percent of its orders were for the Powerpack, which is the larger of the two and created for commercial and industrial customers. But with surprisingly strong interest in the Powerwall as well, the number of orders for the Powerpack dropped to about 70 percent.
So far, Tesla’s largest order has been 250 of its 100kWh Powerpacks.
In the future, Tesla will be the first company to have equipment needed to make the grid batteries in the Gigafactory, which the company began construction on last year and production expected to begin in 2017. Once that happens, Tesla will be able to increase its business substantially.
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But at the moment, the Powerwall is only a backup energy source, and not much different than a generator you can purchase at any hardware store. While it will provide your home with power during a blackout or another emergency, it won’t run devices that use a lot of power such as air conditioners.
With the cost of the battery plus installation hovering around $7,000, the need for the new technology may be outweighed by its financial implications.