Moments ago, Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] concluded a live presentation at a special gala event at its Hawthorne design studio in Hawthorne, California at which it unveiled a new range of storage products designed to help the world switch to renewable energy.
The first is a domestic-grade lithium-ion battery pack called the Tesla PowerWall, measuring six inches by four feet by three feet, which is designed to be wall-mounted on the wall of someone’s home. Modular in design, the Tesla PowerWall comes in either 7 kilowatt-hour daily cycle or 10 kilowatt-hour weekly cycle models, and can be daisy-chained together with up to eight other Tesla PowerWalls to give a total of 90 kilowatt-hours of off-grid or grid-connected storage.
Each unit is self-contained, containing everything needed to take power from a renewable source of electricity such as photovoltaic solar panels, store it, and then feed it back to the electrical system when needed, and is available to order from today for $3,000 for the 7-kilowatt-hour daily cycle and $3,500 for the weekly cycle units. An AC to DC inverter — which is what you’d need to use the system to charge the battery pack from the utility grid — is not included, although it appears a DC-AC inverter is included, allowing you to run mains electricity items from the unit.
We note that the 7 kilowatt-hour unit is listed on Tesla’s website as being ‘for daily cycle applications,’ presumably meaning for use as a off-grid storage system for a photovoltaic solar array. The 10 kilowatt-hour battery pack is listed as being ‘for backup applications.’
Each unit is rated at 2 kilowatts of continuous power output, with a 3.3 kilowatt peak power output.
“It looks like a beautiful sculpture on the wall,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk as he unveiled the unit. “A normal household can mount this on their garage or outside wall of their home.”
There’s a nod to Apple aesthetics too: the Tesla PowerWall is available in a range of colours to enable customers to mix and match units to their home decor.
Tesla says the battery packs are guaranteed for ten years with an optional ten-year extension, and will begin shipping later this spring.
You can order the unit today at TeslaEnergy.com, but initially production volumes are expected to be low (volumes weren’t mentioned by number) as Tesla will produce the units at its Fremont facility until such a point where the Tesla Gigafactory is complete. At that point, production will dramatically ramp up.
Also unveiled at the event was a much larger, utility-scale battery pack called the Tesla PowerPack: a 100-kilowatt-hour modular battery pack that is intended for use by large utility companies, offices and large generators. Capable of being combined in gigawatt-hour size battery banks, the Tesla PowerPack already has its first customer: an unnamed utility company wanting a 250 Megawatt-hour installation to help it cope with peak power demand and help it store renewable energy generated during the day until it is needed at night.
As a demonstration, Musk gave the assembled audience some basic figures: a 1 Gigawatt-hour PowerPack installation could power a city the size of Boulder, CO. on solar power alone, while 2 billion PowerPacks would be enough to transition the entire world onto renewable electricity — including enough power to support the transition from fossil-fuelled transportation to electric vehicles.
To prove the units’ capabilities, Musk disclosed something the audience didn’t yet know: the Hawthorne design studio has its own PowerPack installation, which Tesla used to ensure the night-time event was entirely powered by power generated by the solar panels mounted on the roof of the venue.
We’ll bring you more information as we have it, but we’re keen to know what you think of these two new non-automotive Tesla products.
Will you be ordering a Tesla PowerWall? Will you be looking into a PowerPack for your business? Or is Elon Musk’s vision of a society powered entirely on renewable energy an impossible pipe dream?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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