With Tesla having quite a reputation for electric vehicles and moving people towards clean energy, it’s no surprise that they offer home battery options as well. The Tesla Powerwall is very often confused as part of the solar system they offer, but there is a bit more to learn about this system. In our Tesla Powerwall Review, we will dive into the costs of the Powerwall, how much capacity it has, if you need solar power to run it and whether or not the Tesla Powerwall is worth it.
What is the Tesla Powerwall
The Tesla Powerwall is a battery that will allow homeowners to have energy storage. The Powerwall can collect solar energy or energy off the grid and store it for later use. Some homeowners will use the Tesla Powerwall as part of their solar panel system; others will look for this as a backup power source in the case of a power outage.
For people that have Tesla vehicles, a power outage can be a significant problem as there is no way to charge the battery system of the car. However, with the Powerwall, you will be able to use the stored energy to help charge and power the car.
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The storage capacity of the Tesla Powerwall is strong, and it is an excellent addition to the different solar energy solutions that Tesla is pushing out. However, there are both positives and negatives to the Tesla Powerwall, and it’s important to understand them both before you make the investment.
In addition, Tesla has changed some things in recent years with how you can purchase one of these solar batteries and whether or not you have to work with Tesla directly to get them.
Tesla Powerwall Pros and Cons
Renewable energy is still a growing industry, and there are certainly plenty of issues that still need to be worked out. Here are a few of the positives and negatives of the Tesla Powerwall to help you decide if this is the right choice for you.
Pros & Cons
- Good storage capacityt
- Strong features and benefitst
- Fair pricing for the storage capacityt
- Three modes of operationt
- Relatively quick and easy install after receiving the productt
- Customer service isn’t great
- Long wait times
- Must order solar system in addition to the Powerwall if going through Tesla directly
Tesla Powerwall Pros
When you look at the review of the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the Tesla Powerwall +, it is easy to see that many homeowners find these to be the best solar batteries on the market. Others have a hard time working with Tesla. However, when it comes to the actual product and the functionality, most of the reviews are quite positive.
The storage capacity of the Tesla Powerwall is 13.5 kWh. For many homeowners, it’s hard to know exactly how this will help with their home energy needs. With 13.5 kilowatt hours, an average home can function at just over half capacity for about 24 hours.
This means that if you had a power outage, you would be able to experience very high standards of living for at least 24 hours. If you have solar panels and a solar inverter, the Tesla lithium-ion battery could supply your home with energy for considerably longer.
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Federal Rebates and Tax Credit Incentives
One of the great features of the Tesla Powerwall is that you will qualify for incentives from the Federal government that could save you more than 25%. However, these savings are not applied directly to the cost of the Powerwall; instead, they are something that will come back in the form of a rebate on your tax return.
Knowing that the cost of the Tesla Powerwall is currently $11,500, you can also look into other incentives at the state and local levels that could help you save even more money on your way to energy independence.
Three Modes of Operation
The three modes of operation that the Tesla Powerwall offers will help you improve overall energy capacity, keep your electricity bill down, and stay prepared in the event of a power outage. Having different features from one unit certainly makes this investment a bit easier and will work for a wider range of people.
The Tesla Powerwall is reasonably priced, considering the battery capacity. Many homeowners find similar options from other companies like LG, but the price tag can be a little higher.
Works Well With Tesla Solar Installation
The Tesla Solar Roof and Tesla Solar Panels are becoming more and more popular. Many people with Tesla vehicles use all of the Tesla power system options and solutions to completely change their homes.
The Powerwall system works quite well as battery storage for these other Tesla solar solutions, and it is nice to have compatibility between different products, all from the same brand.
Tesla Powerwall Cons
Unfortunately, with things like the Tesla Powerwalls and other battery solutions being new to the market, there are still quite a few negatives involved in this process. Although the Tesla app and the clean and professional look of this battery set it apart from others on the market, there are still some negatives you should be aware of before making your final decision.
Must Get Through Tesla Directly for Fast Shipping
The shipping and wait times on these Tesla Powerwalls are quite high. Depending on exactly where you are located and your time of order, you can wait several months to a year to get your system. This is a long time, and the unfortunate part of this is that with some incentives and rebates, you may not be able to lock them in on time.
In addition, many people don’t want to invest that kind of money into a product that providers can’t even install for a year or more. Expect that your storage system will be a few months away.
However, you can purchase outside of Tesla, and sometimes if a local installer has one in stock, you can get it. The problem is that these certified installers have to wait to get the product from Tesla as well, and it could be even longer before you get your actual product. You may also pay more when going through a company other than Tesla.
Requires Purchase of Tesla Solar Panels
Just recently, Tesla changed their requirements for purchasing a Powerwall. They now require that you are buying a full Tesla Solar system to get the Powerwall. This takes the price from $11,500 into a territory that is typically well above $20,000.
If you are not ready to invest in something like this, you may have to look at another provider. Tesla Powerwalls are sold through individual installers that may or may not require a full solar installation, but you will probably pay more and wait a long time.
This is a negative, but with the backorder of the Tesla Powerwall, it was likely a consideration when Tesla made the decision.
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Will Lose Some Capacity After 10 Years
The Tesla Powerwall is guaranteed to perform at 70% capacity at the 10-year mark, and this is what it states in their 10-year warranty. A 10-year warranty is good, but you may struggle with power output as the battery ages, so you have to consider the depreciation in the total cost of the product.
The time of use and the depth of discharge will likely impact the lifespan of your battery, but you can follow guidelines and tips from Tesla to ensure battery longevity.
Tesla Powerwall Specs
In order to know if the Tesla Powerwall is for you, it’s important to understand some of the specifications and how they will impact you in real-time.
Tesla Powerwall Specs
|Usable Capacity||13.5 kWh|
|Continuous power||5.8 kW: no sun, 7.6 kW: full sun|
|Peak power||10 kW: no sun, 22 kW: full sun|
|Size||62.8 in x 29.7 in x 6.3 in|
|Operating temperature range||-4°F to 122°F|
Battery Makeup and Chemistry
The Tesla Powerwall batteries are just lithium-ion batteries. You may see that the battery is listed as an NMC battery which means lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide. This is just the type of Lithium battery, but the overall functionality is the same as other Lithium batteries on the market.
For home energy storage, Lithium batteries have become very popular. These batteries don’t have to be overly large or heavy to be able to hold a good amount of power. In addition, this type of battery can last for quite some time. The way the Tesla batteries work, you also won’t have to worry about extreme temperatures as the batteries function even in cold and warm temperatures, an essential concept in the case of a blackout.
Storage Capacity Of The Battery
Truly one of the most important specifications of a Tesla Powerwall is the storage capacity of the battery. On the Tesla website, you can see that the battery will work and be able to charge with full sun or while being plugged into the grid.
The storage capacity is 13.5-kilowatt-hours. One thing that some homeowners will do is they will add another Tesla Powerwall so that they can have continuous power off the grid, even in cloudy conditions or when there is a blackout. If you have a very large home and find that the Tesla Powerwall solution is the best for you, you can have up to 10 Powerwall batteries connected in your home. Of course, this is a much larger investment and something that could truly help you move off the grid at some point.
The inverter is the necessary technology to help you move towards a self-powered home. The Tesla Powerwall does not need solar power to work, but if you are tired of seeing a monthly statement from your utility company, chances are you will want to see what an entire solar system can do for you.
The Tesla Powerwall will work with your existing solar power system, or it can connect to a Tesla system. The fact that this comes with the inverter only helps to increase the value of this product and lets you tap into your existing solar system.
Tesla Powerwall Performance
As important as specifications are, most homeowners and business owners that are installing a Powerwall are most concerned with the performance. It’s one thing to spend $11,500 and have it truly help you, another to spend this money and not notice much of a benefit. Here are a few of the most critical performance specifications of the Tesla Powerwall.
In any alternative power situation, the power output is incredibly important. For some people, the Tesla Powerwall is going to seem much more efficient as these people do not use much power, to begin with. For others, the Powerwall won’t really put a dent in what they need it to do.
Essentially the power output on the Tesla Powerwall is 5.8kW of continuous power and 10km of peak power. During a power outage, you will want to stay away from peak power to conserve the power output and longevity.
If you are using the Powerwall in the sun, you will get up to 7.6kW of continuous power and 22kW of peak power. There are certainly benefits to using solar power in connection with the Tesla Powerwall, and this is when you see the most significant benefit.
Lifespan and Depth of Discharge
As great as Lithium Ion batteries are, they have a lifespan. If you are using the battery a certain way, the lifespan is going to be impacted considerably. One of the more impressive technological advantages of a Tesla battery is that it can completely drain its power, and there is no impact on the lifespan of the battery. This means you won’t have to worry quite as much about the battery charging and the way that it discharges.
Efficiency in a Tesla Powerwall is measured with the terminology Round Trip Efficiency. This means that as you are charging up your battery and storing the energy, how much of it are you actually going to get out of it? The round trip efficiency of Tesla batteries is around 90% which is considerably higher than other options on the market. This will help you feel as though you are getting a better value for the energy you collect and store.
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One of our favorite features of the Tesla Powerwall is the ability to operate in three different modes. Each of these modes has unique features that will make it a good fit for many different situations that homeowners can come across. The three modes are self-consumption, time-based control, and backup only. Each individual Tesla Powerwall can be set to the mode that you need it.
The self-consumption mode allows you to store energy in the solar battery. This means that you will simply use this as a storage unit, and then it can be used if needed. For some homeowners, self-consumption means using the battery daily, and for others, it’s just as required.
Time-Based Control Mode
In some areas of the country homeowners are charged more for energy depending on when they use it. This means that during peak times, the energy costs are much higher. With the time-based control mode, you can use your stored energy when you need it the most to see a major impact on your electrical bills. This is also a great feature to have when heating costs or cooling costs get high and you want to help with that extra boost at night.
The last of the three Tesla Powerwall modes is the backup-only option. This is most useful when connected to a solar system. What happens here is that as solar energy from the system is depleted and needs to be used again, the Powerwall kicks in. Customers can choose the mode they want for their Tesla Powerwall utilizing the app. Almost all adjustments you make for your Powerwall system are done wirelessly, making it really user-friendly.
Tesla Powerwall Cost
The current Tesla Powerwall cost is $11,500. There are talks about how solar energy solutions will be more cost-effective. However, since the Tesla Powerwall is not necessarily a solar energy solution and can work just to grab excess energy off the grid and store it, you will notice that the Powerwall cost is a bit stagnant.
We have seen this pricing go up a few times through the years, but with the current Federal incentives, you can save quite a bit on your taxes. The Tesla Powerwall has a fair price considering the features like time-based control, high round trip efficiency, and overall ease of use. The problem is the wait time and dealing with Tesla long-term. If you have a favorable opinion of the Tesla brand and customer service, you may be just fine with this product.
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Tesla Powerwall Warranty
The Tesla Powerwall warranty is a 10-year warranty. At the 10-year mark, you will be guaranteed that your Powerwall will work at 70 percent capacity. This is a strong warranty, and it is easy to check the performance of your Powerwall on the Tesla app. If you have any issues with the battery, we highly recommend talking to Tesla prior to the 10-year mark so that you don’t miss this warranty period.
Where and How to Buy a Tesla Powerwall
You can purchase a Tesla Powerwall directly from Tesla, or you can find a Tesla-certified installer close to your location to purchase a Powerwall. Either of these options is acceptable, but the fastest shipping and typically the best pricing come directly from Tesla.
Of course, with the recent change to requirements in purchasing a Tesla Powerwall, you have to be certain that you are ready to make a significant investment. Tesla now requires the purchase of a complete power system in addition to the Powerwall just to be able to make this purchase.
Tesla also offers a Solar Roof, and you can purchase the entire solar roof and get the Powerwall, but this is an investment that likely starts at over $80,000.
Conclusion: Is the Tesla Powerwall Worth it?
Although there are some great things about the Tesla Powerwall, Tesla made it a bit more complicated when they decided to require the purchase of the solar power system when buying it. If you are interested in the Solar roof or the Tesla Solar Panels, it is well worth putting in a Tesla Powerwall. In addition, the Tesla Powerwall will also be a good decision for many homeowners if they want a highly efficient unit with a strong warranty.