Going off grid has a wide appeal, from preppers to environmentalists to people who just don’t like the idea of paying for dirty energy. On April 30th, Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled a new product that could help individuals, businesses, and utilities scale up renewable energy and scale down dirty, polluting coal and gas power.
Tesla’s new product, Powerwall, is a home battery that charges by using solar panels on the home or can be tied into the grid. When grid tied, it stores energy when rates are low and then powers your home with it when rates are high, thus slashing your total electric bill. It can also provide about 5 hours of backup power in case of grid insecurity or power outages.
Powerwall comes in two models, a 10kWh weekly cycle or a 7 kWh daily cycle. Both are guaranteed to last ten years and can power most homes during peak evening hours. If you have a higher energy need, you can install more batteries. The bigger 10kWh model will keep your home powered for 2 days without any kind of energy coming in. That doesn’t seem like much, but it could keep your home powered for a couple days during an emergency or until you get your energy source repaired.
To test the effectiveness of Powerwall, Tesla has teamed up with its sister company, SolarCity. SolarCity is running a pilot program with 500 homes in California. So far they’ve found installing the battery to lower your electric bill by 20-30%.