Tesla Powerwall Review, Cost, and Specs

After cutting teeth on the development of electric cars, Tesla jumped onto the commercial and home battery storage bandwagon. The company took the energy storage industry by storm when it announced its first-generation home battery product—the Tesla Powerwall battery system in 2015.  

The DC-coupled storage battery was the first high-voltage home storage system with a smaller capacity of 6.5kWh. In 2016, the second-generation Tesla Powerwall 2.0 was unveiled, delivering up to twice the energy intensity (13.5 kilowatt hours), more than double the storage capacity, and a built-in battery charger/inverter that ensures more flexibility and power compared to the first module. This innovation marked a great milestone in CEO Elon Musk’s vision of sustainable energy for the future.

In this Tesla powerwall review, we will focus on the latest updates, facts, costs, Tesla powerwall specs and benefits of investing in the second generation storage battery. 

Latest News On The Tesla Powerwall 2.0

Since April 2021, Tesla stopped selling Powerwalls for individual purchases. Instead, people interested in a Tesla Powerwall would now be required to install a brand new Tesla solar roof system or solar panel. In essence, there are no more retrofits for existing solar panels, a huge bummer for most folks.

Towards the end of April same month, Tesla took their move a notch higher when CEO Elon Musk announced via a tweet that all Tesla solar panels and solar roof systems would henceforth be bundled with the Powerwall. That means you have to buy a Powerwall whenever you acquire a solar PV system through Tesla.

What is a Tesla Powerwall?

The Tesla Powerwall is a lithium solar battery storage system and a revolutionary home battery with one of the largest energy capacities available on the market today.

When integrated with solar, the Tesla Powerwall 2.0 stores excess solar energy generated at daytime and avails it when needed. This keeps the home self-powered through outages while minimizing reliance on the grid.    

Combined with solar panels and the Tesla Solar Roof, it provides an incredible energy storage solution capable of storing energy at home, detecting outages and automatically supplying a home’s energy when the grid is down.

How much does a Tesla Powerwall cost?

As of May 2021, Tesla lists the cost of one battery pack at $7,500 excluding $1,000 for the Gateway, a device that acts as the engine of the installation; and actual installation charges of about $3,500.

However, since Tesla Powerwalls must now be fitted with Tesla solar systems, you will be eligible for the “Solar + Powerwall discount”. If the discount will be considered, then the total installation cost of a Tesla Powerwall will be $10,500 as illustrated below:

Installation component

1 Powerwall

2 Powerwalls

3 Powerwalls

4 Powerwalls

Powerwall battery

$7,500

$15,000

$22,500

$30,000

Gateway

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

Installation

$3,500

$3,000

$2,500

$2,000

Solar + Powerwall Discount

($1,500)

($2,000)

($2,500)

($3,000)

Total cost

$10,500

$17,000

$23,500

$30,000

Ideally, the cost of installing a complete Tesla Powerwall system ranges between $12,000 and $15,600 (before incentives in your state). The figure includes the Powerwall battery, an inverter, other component costs, and estimated installation costs.

A state like California provides strong financial incentives through its Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) which gives rebates of up $5,800 for every residential energy storage battery installed. This has seen significant increase in demand than Tesla can handle right now.

When it comes to installing a Tesla powerwall for self-consumption, off-the-grid use and backup power, the cost of the storage battery is just a fraction of the overall cost.

Depending on where you live and your electrical setup, installation costs vary. Hence, whether the Tesla Powerwall 2.0 is a cost-effective solution for your home will depend on your electricity needs and the reasons for installing a home energy storage battery.

The ultimate cost is also largely influenced by the number of Tesla Powerwalls one chooses to install.

Notably, with the strong demand having surpassed production for quite a while, the Tesla Powerwall price is set to increase even further.

The company’s market value is expected to climb further considering the present crazy demand for its Powerwall. In 2020, the automaker promised to ramp up production of its energy storage products following tens of thousands of reservations for its Powerwall.

Tesla Powerwall specs

The Tesla Powerwall boasts some of the best performance specifications in the residential battery market; in addition to the Gateway management system which ensures smart monitoring and control.

Tesla Powerwall Key Features

Feature

Specification

Total energy capacity

14 kWh

Usable energy capacity

13.5 kWh

Real power rating

7 kW peak / 5 kW continuous (charge & discharge)

Round trip efficiency

90%

Depth of discharge

100%

Dimensions

45.3 in x 29.6 in x 5.75 in

Weight

251.3 lbs/114kg

Operating modes

Solar Self-Consumption, Time-Based Control, Backup Power

AC Voltage

230V

Feed in Type

Single-phase

Grid Frequency

50 Hz

Power Factor Output Range

+/- 1.0 (adjustable)

Internal battery DC Voltage

50V

Warranty

10 Years

Installation Floor or wall mounted Indoor or outdoor

Up to 10 Powerwalls-4°F to 122°F / -20°C to 50°C Water & dust resistance to IP67

Certifications

Meets US and international safety and EMI standards

Given its ability to store up to 13.5kWh of energy capacity, the Powerwall 2.0 has one of the leading capacity ratings for home solar batteries on the market. This is enough energy to power nearly half of the average United States’ households’ daily energy usage.

The Tesla Powerwall 2.0 is integrated with an inverter and a reasonably standard electricity output of 5KW that enable it to power lighting, electrical outlets and appliances of up to 120 volts. Any larger appliance with more volts will demand extra Powerwalls to run it. 

So, what makes the Tesla Powerwall specs stand out?

Tesla has developed an innovative mobile app that enables users to check the real-time system operations and performance history of their Powerwall as well as their Tesla Electric Vehicle, where applicable. App users can switch the storage battery between three modes:

  • Solar Self-Consumption
  • Backup Only Power
  • Time-Based Control

These three modes enable the user to choose when and how to discharge and store energy in their home solar battery.  

For example, when in Solar Self-Consumption Mode, the Powerwall can power your home by storing solar energy for use later on, or it can serve as an emergency home battery backup during a power outage. This allows homeowners to maximize the financial utility of their solar storage battery, enabling them to capitalize on the abundant free energy on their rooftops before drawing from the main grid at a cost.

The Backup Only Mode switches the battery to enable it to store as much energy as possible and ensure the battery remains full. This ensures a continued supply of power even during blackouts and when coupled with the right size of solar panels, then the backup power can sustain a household for weeks.

When a homeowner has a time-based control to charge electricity from their utility retailer, then the Tesla Powerwall 2.0 activates its smarts to use only “off-peak’ rates then discharge the energy at peak rates. Essentially, the actual financial benefits gained depend on the electricity retailer’s tariffs but are not adequate to warrant buying a storage battery system only.

The Tesla Powerwall has a standard warranty for its lithium-ion batteries which operate at about 70% of its original capacity after its warranty period of 10 years expires.

The operating mode you select affects the duration your Powerwall 2.0 will battery lasts. For more information on how your usage affects the Powerwall battery see Tesla’s warranty.

Is the Tesla Powerwall a Worthwhile Investment?

Combine the Tesla Powerwall with solar panels or other Tesla solutions to save money, safeguard your home against power outages and reduce your carbon footprint.

Energy Independence—Powers Everything

Energy independence is the topmost reason why the Tesla Powerwall has grown in popularity. If you’re looking for complete peace of mind during blackouts and natural disasters that disrupt the power supply, the Tesla Powerwall is a viable investment.

Energy dependence means your home is always hooked into the main national grid for power; hence you fully rely on it even when you install solar panels. (Unless your solar system keeps you off-grid by generating enough energy to meet all your energy needs.)

Even after installing solar panels, it’s impossible to be independent of the grid without installing a battery storage system. A residential solar battery such as the Tesla Powerwall enables you to minimize reliance on the main grid by storing excess solar energy for use later.

Security—Backup protection

The Tesla Powerwall is designed in a way that enables the battery to store energy, detect outages and automatically supply energy to your home during outages. Unlike generators, the Powerwall sustains your lighting, powers appliances and keeps your phones charged without noise or gasoline. When paired with solar and recharged with sunlight, the Tesla Powerwall will keep your appliances up and running for days.

Cut Your Electricity Bill

Another key reason why homeowners have been switching to solar power is the high electricity prices. The past decade has seen a rapid increase in electricity prices, while households that made the switch to solar energy recorded a sharp decrease in their monthly electricity bill.

If this is one of your reasons for going solar, be sure to assess your solar battery needs for your household with a professional. This is simply because energy prices generally increase during peak hours (during the night), but when your solar system generates more electricity than you need to use in your home, you are able to store the excess solar energy during the daytime in the Powerwall battery instead of exporting it to the grid. Later, when your solar panels aren’t generating enough energy to power your home’s needs, you can consume the electricity stored in your battery instead of buying from your utility company.

Reduces your Carbon Footprint

Adding the Tesla Powerwall to your solar panels will certainly give your home a power-up for protecting the environment.

The idea is simple; the more energy you draw from the main grid, the more non-renewable energy sources you’ll have to consume. You can reduce that by installing a solar battery. 

Control—Monitor and Optimize

Using the Tesla app, you can conveniently track your home’s energy production and usage in real-time. With instant alerts and remote access, you can monitor and control your Tesla Powerwall anytime from anywhere.

Can you go off-grid with the Tesla Powerwall?

Installing a solar plus home storage system is a fantastic way to take control of your power bills, but this does not mean you will be completely disconnected from your utility company. Going “off-the-grid” with solar storage batteries can be a costly and complex proposition than you can imagine. Most residential batteries including the Tesla Powerwall only provide enough capacity to store just a few hours of power. In order to maintain energy to your property without interruption for days, then you will have to install several Powerwalls to increase your storage capacity.

Can the Powerwall 2.0 charge a Tesla EV?

Tesla is now synonymous with electric vehicles and the Tesla Powerwall 2.0 home solar battery storage system is designed to charge a Tesla EV. Unfortunately, for now, there is no direct connection from the Tesla Powerwall to the EV connector.

Is a Tesla Powerwall Right for Your Home?

The Powerwall is, without doubt, one of the most expensive storage batteries on the market right now and given its high capacity, it’s possible that one smaller Powerwall battery can sufficiently power your energy needs. For most households in the United States, 5–10kWh of storage capacity is more than enough for evening/overnight use.

Despite its high capacity, the Powerwall 2.0 won’t allow you to disconnect from the grid just yet. You’ll always need to beef up your energy levels through your utility company though that’s currently true of most solar storage systems.

If this Tesla Powerwall review has been helpful and you would like to speak to a reliable solar installer in your area to provide customized advice about the Tesla Powerwall specs and a free Powerwall installation quote, click here and get connected to a certified installer go solar today.

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