Friday, May 01, 2015

We have seen the future, and the future is stored energy — Part 1

Should You Get a Tesla Home Battery? Let Physics Explain

RHETT ALLAIN, WIRED

Tesla announced a battery for your house, the Powerwall. I think this is a great opportunity to talk about batteries and physics. Let me answer some questions you might have.

Why would you want a battery for your house?

This is perhaps the most important question and one that has likely been addressed many times. In short, a house battery will let you be more power independent. If you have solar panels or electricity generated from wind, they don’t always produce the same amount of power. With a battery, you can store this energy during the day (or during wind) and then use it at night.

A house battery will also let you get power from the electric company at night when the rates are lower and then use it during the day. Really, that’s win-win. You win with a lower power bill and the electric company wins with lower demand during the day.

How is the Powerwall different than other batteries?

You could always have a battery for your house. The most common way was to use lead acid batteries, like the one in your car. However, this was not so simple. You would need to have a whole bunch of the batteries and you would have to connect them together. When one battery goes out, you have to replace it. Oh, the traditional battery is also expensive and takes up lots of space.

The Powerwall seems to make a home battery more like an appliance. It mounts on the wall and you don’t have to maintain individual batteries, and the price seems reasonable at between $3,000 to $3,500.

(Continued here.)

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