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Tesla Powerwall: Get off the Grid and Join the Revolution!

The road to the future cannot be built without tapping into energy sources which abide by the rule of abundance. The more years we depend on ancient plants and animal dead bodies, the sooner we will realize that it’s quite literally, a dead-end. This is especially true when considering the immense amount of advancement that has been predicted in the near future with regards to the technological singularity. If we are still going to be dependent on the sticky black substance that we call oil, the singularity will very well be another dream that was only reserved for sci-fi fantasy movies.

The Tesla Powerwall is the latest development in the renewable energy revolution. This device may not yet be a dinner party topic, but can still change the way in which we consume energy. The Powerwall is a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery product manufactured by Tesla Motors for domestic use. It stores electricity for domestic consumption, load shifting, and backup power. It is basically a 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide and 7 inches deep battery that can power an average household. The Tesla Powerwall has the distinct advantage of it being able to be connected to solar panels as well as the electric, where it can be charged through both sources.

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The Tesla Powerwall basically comes in two varieties, one being the battery which has a capacity for 10 kWh and costs USD 3500 while the other has a capacity of 7 kWh and costs about USD 3000. The one with the 7kWh capacity is used for daily cyclic applications and hence, has to be utilized, depleted and charged on a daily basis by ensuring it goes through the cycle each day. The model with 10 kWh capacity is essentially used as a backup battery, which can be utilized during cases of blackouts and power outages. For larger families and households, which are big on energy consumption, multiple Powerwalls can be connected to expand the capacity and ensure that the large energy requirements are met.

Tripped Out Fact The daily cycle 7kWh battery uses nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry and can be cycled 5000 times. The 10kWh battery uses a nickel-cobalt-aluminium cathode and has a cycle life of 1000-1500 cycles.

It was announced at the launch of this product i.e. 30th April 2015, that the Powerwall would retain $3,000 for a 7kWh model and $3,500 for the 10kWh model. But illegally, before the product launch, solar customers were charged $13,000 for a 10-15 kWh Tesla Battery.

Tripped Out Fact: A bigger battery called Powerback, that could store 100kWh electricity, would be able for industrial consumers, reaching at a price point of $250 per 1kWh. This would be a boon for industries which would want to capitalize on the immense power that can be harnessed from the sun.

You might be thinking about what exactly makes these Powerwall Batteries so special? Here is what Elon Musk has to say-“Today’s normal batteries actually suck. They are expensive, unreliable, have poor integration and their lifelines can be scaled as indelible. But the Powerwall will do to the conventional grid system what mobile phones did to the landlines, eliminating the need for cables and enormous infrastructure.”

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One of the most important uses for the Tesla Powerwall for domestic consumers is that you can actually use these batteries to go completely off the grid. This means that you would not even have to pay for your electricity bills anymore. All you have to do is ensure that you have your own set-up of solar panels which can power the Tesla Powerwall. Then you can retreat off into the Bahamas and let go of your ordinary life, without having to pay a single dime in terms of electricity costs. Tesla has improved the Lithium Ion technology and integrated huge power capacities- up to 6 times the capacity of a common lead battery in a single Powerwall-in a small space. The Powerwalls also have the ability to store DC power which is then converted into AC current for use at home. This will essentially lead to more investment in the form of a converter.

Tripped Out Fact: The Tesla Powerwall has some ingenious uses which can help you considerably lower one’s dependence on the electric grid. For instance, the Powerwall can be charged during the non-peak hours when electricity is the cheapest while it can be utilized during the peak hours. On the other hand, while using solar panels, the inherent dependence of your household on the grid vanishes!

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But yet there is a bottom line for India as the Powerwalls have only just started shipping and at current costs, a scenario in which they are able to replace current infrastructures appears still quite time-consuming. The US energy market is growing particularly fast, and this is the major player in the same. The nation installed 40.7 Megawatts of energy store projects in homes, businesses and utilities in the Second quarter this year, which is approximately equivalent to nine times more than the last quarter. Many researchers estimate that the amount of energy storage, discounting the electric car market, could reach 240 Gigawatt by 2030.

So, I ask you, would you like to see a revolution kickstarted by a battery that can power households through the sun’s energy, and can potentially help people live off the grid in a world that is slowly getting more and more congested and paranoid. Would you like to be part of this revolution where the new age of technology is powered not by large machines oozing out toxic pollutants but by machines which are inherently powered by one of the cleanest and most powerful sources of energy that we know of! Well, if you realize it or not, you are already a part of this revolution which has been set in motion. So, plug in, charge up and get energized!

Image Sources: [1], [2], [3]

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About Harshit Chhablani

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