Elon Musk, the brains behind Tesla, wants to make his new Powerwall home battery available to everyone and to change how we use and store energy. Think about it, you no longer have to rely on utility companies for energy – even in the case of a power outage.
When news about the batteries first came out, Musk stayed mum about details, but now several months later, he has officially unveiled the new battery-storage units called the Powerwall for homes and the Powerpack for businesses. He wants to make these batteries available for everyone, and while it’s only mostly the affluent that can afford Tesla cars, the starting price of $3,000 for the Powerwall may be more manageable for the average consumer. Especially since, this green way of producing and using energy may end up saving you money in the long run. The batteries will even be manufactured in the US, in a “Gigafactory” battery production plant in Nevada. Because of Tesla’s experience with car batteries, they are now able to develop a similar battery for home use, but at a much cheaper price than their competitors. The wall-mounted home batteries will run on lithium-ion, software-equipped technology – the same kind that Tesla already uses and has experience with in their cars. Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla spokeswoman, said “We’ve obviously been working on building a world-class battery, a super-efficient and affordable way to store energy, it’s just that we’ve been putting that battery in cars most of the time.”
The Powerwall units will rely on cleaner, more renewable energy sources rather than the traditional fossil fuels. They come in two sizes, 10 kilowatt-hour pack and the 7 kilowatt-hour pack. While the Powerwall unit is made to look sleek and tiny, it certainly isn’t – weighing at about 220 pounds, 3-by-3 feet wide and 6 inches thick, it will take up a substantial amount of space. The Powerpack will be larger and made for industrial or business use, with Amazon and Target already in plans to be the first companies to use the energy-storage units. David Hughes, senior group manager for Energy Management for Target stated, “Tesla’s cutting-edge technology offers unique benefits to powering these stores, most importantly relieving stress from the electrical grid at peak times, furthering Target’s investment in designing and operating energy-efficient and sustainable buildings.” Yet, the most difficult part about clean energy is that we cannot make our own wind or sun, so we still have to partially rely on utility companies. We also aren’t able to store any of our own energy, meaning utility companies can charge much more during peak hours. The Powerwall plans to change this by being able to store enough energy, that even if utility goes out, you will still have power. Tesla doesn’t want to be known as just an automotive company, but rather an energy innovation company. With Musk reinforcing that he hopes to “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy – at an extreme scale.”
For more info on the Powerwall, you can check out – http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall
Article Written by Mila Medonaite for Design Engine on May 15, 2015