Solar is the wave of the future and Tesla is leading the way. Transforming the way energy storage systems work, Tesla has given hope to many people seeking to move from traditional power to solar energy. However, understanding exactly how Powerwall works and what you need to know before you buy it can be a bit of a challenge.
Here are the top 5 facts about Tesla Powerwall.
Fact # 1 – The Efficiency Rating is NOT 92%
The Powerwall battery runs at about 48VDC and includes a DC-DC converter up to 350V-450V. What does this mean? The convertor causes a shift in the DC input match, which can actually cause an efficiency drain and usually comes in around 94%. Now, the AC-DC inverter has a 97% efficiency in each direction, but the AC-AC efficiency is around 87%.
Fact # 2 – The Battery is Meant for Long Durations
Tesla has a great battery storage system, but it is meant to last for long durations, which ends up meaning you have low power. To receive the 92% efficiency, you must run the battery at an extremely low current. It is important to remember the system is designed for energy output, not power output.
Fact # 3 – Hidden Performance Costs
When you run at a low energy current, you do not have the extra waste heat during charging or discharging. Thermal issues are the main concern as it needs cooling during hot days to maintain its lifespan and it needs heating in the winter to keep the cells from freezing. Electric heating of the cells is a concern that will drop the efficiency rating.
Fact # 4 – The Batteries Can Last Hundreds of Cycles
One of the major benefits to the Tesla Powerwall system is the batteries. The right design allows the batteries to last longer, preventing the need to invest in new batteries.
Fact # 5 – Leaving the Grid is Difficult
It is impossible to completely “leave the grid” as many homeowners find it is needed for backup when there is excessive energy consumption. There is an average of 1.2 kW electricity usage in most homes, but when a home is running at its peak energy consumption, the cost normally ends up around 3.3kW. A single Powerwall will not be enough to completely unhook from the grid. A single system will only supply enough power for a few hours, not nearly enough to completely remove your home from the grid.
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