With sustainability and global warming, a hot topic of conversation, companies are constantly competing to find the best solution before everyone else. One of those companies is Tesla.
Tesla prides itself on producing high-quality products aimed at bettering the world. They offer a wide range of products with the most popular being their incredible electric cars. However, there is also another massively popular product that’s hit the market.
That product is the Tesla Powerwall. The Tesla Powerwall is the first mass-produced individual electric storage solution. The Powerwall can store your solar energy for backup protection in the event of any outages.
Like most products produced by Tesla we can expect to find a high-performing, environmentally friendly product that works super efficiently, but just how much does it offer?
Is it worth your money? In this article, we take an in-depth look into the Tesla Powerwall to find out just how good it is and if it’s worth the hefty price tag.
If you’re considering purchasing a Powerwall or simply want to learn more, then you’ve come to the right place. In this review, we will go through everything you need to know about this one-of-a-kind product to help you make the right decision.
Without any further ado, let’s dive into the review.
What Is The Tesla Powerwall?
The Tesla Powerwall is arguably the best-known solar battery for homes. It is a lithium-ion battery that stores your solar energy for backup protection.
The compact stationary home battery reduces your reliance on the grid by storing your solar energy for use when the sun has set or the grid has gone down.
Owning a Tesla Powerwall reduces your carbon footprint whilst also conveniently preparing your home for power outages. Cleverly the Powerwall system detects when a power outage has occurred, automatically using stored energy to power your home when you need it most.
During the day the system recharges with sunlight, keeping all of your appliances running for days.
This unique solar energy product is usually associated with storing energy generated by Tesla solar panels, however, you can actually charge the battery with any source of electricity. This comes in handy for those of us that can’t afford the Powerwall and the solar panels. .
Impressively you can also connect up to 10 Powerwall units to one single energy storage system, making them a great option for small and medium-sized businesses as well as homes.
There are currently two models of Powerwall available on the market. They are the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the Powerwall+. The Powerwall 1 was once available but it was discontinued in 2016.
Don’t worry though, this isn’t a problem because the newer models are much better products, offering higher power output and a larger storage capability. This means they can provide more electricity for more devices or appliances all at once.
Read More: Best Solar Batteries
Who Is Tesla?
Tesla is one of the biggest and most popular companies in the world. The American vehicle and clean energy company design and manufacture electric cars, battery energy storage products, and solar panels.
Tesla even has billions of dollars invested in the mission to make space travel accessible to all. Tesla was founded by the incredibly intelligent Elon Musk. Elon Musk has worked hard to build the company into one that strives to reduce everybody’s carbon emissions.
They do this by producing high-quality electrical products, often produced from recycled materials.
It is good to know about Tesla and what they do because by using their products you can rest assured that you have something that has been produced to the highest standards with the environment in mind which is exactly why you will be looking to buy the Powerwall.
Tesla is a trusted company with a great reputation so we can already assume that the Powerwall will more than likely be a tremendous product.
Who Is The Tesla Powerwall For?
It can be said there are three main types of individuals that the Powerwall is suited to. These people are those who want more energy independence, those who want to reduce their energy bills, and those who are looking to reduce and minimize their carbon footprint.
People Who Want Energy Independence
A single Powerwall battery can give you huge energy independence. Your home is connected to your utility company’s power grid with your property drawing the electricity 24/7. This can lead to big bills and problems when the grid goes down.
The grid can go down as a result of harsh weather or extreme usage. By owning a Powerwall you don’t have this problem. You can rely on your own energy supply to get you through it, saving you money and making your house more eco-friendly.
People Who Want Electricity Bill Savings
If you want to save money then the Powerwall is definitely for you. The Tesla Powerwall lets you use free solar energy at night saving you a huge amount of money in the long run.
With the price of kilowatts on the rise, the Powerwall could be a good way of combating rising bills.
People Who Want To Minimize Their Carbon Footprint
Switching to the Tesla home battery lets you decrease the use of fossil fuels in your home, reducing your carbon footprint so you can do your bit in helping to win the war against global warming.
How Does The Tesla Powerwall Work?
All batteries store direct current (DC) power, with solar panels producing DC power. However, home appliances use alternating current (AC) power. This is where inverters and rectifiers step in.
When solar panels produce the DC power it runs through an inverter where it is converted into AC. It then flows through your home.
If you don’t have a backup power system the excess energy is wasted. If you do have a backup power system excess energy will keep flowing to charge your battery.
In order to be converted back to DC power that can be stored in the battery, the power needs to run through a rectifier.
Both Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ have an internal inverter and rectifier to convert electricity between AC and DC. They do differ slightly with the Powerwall 2 containing an inverter that is only for the battery. An external inverter is required for the solar panels.
Powerwall+ on the other hand includes a solar inverter. Despite this difference, both models can charge from the grid when your solar panels aren’t producing electricity.
We will touch on other differences between each model further on in this review.
The energy the Tesla Powerwall stores can be used at any time, however, this incredible product comes with a neat feature that makes the most of when the power is used.
When we reviewed the Powerwall we were amazed to discover that the power stored will be used when electricity rates are high.
Many electricity providers charge expensive peak tariffs once the sun has gone down because this is when your home uses more power. To combat this problem the Powerwall amazingly discharges when the costs are high, taking you off the grid, generating automatic savings.
If you don’t have solar panels the Powerwall will even charge when electricity costs are lower throughout the day.
Read More: What Is A Solar Inverter?
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed?
The number of solar panels you require to fully charge a Tesla Powerwall will vary depending on how much sunshine you get.
The Powerwall has a 90% round-trip efficiency when charging and discharging, therefore to get the usable capacity of 13.5 kWh you need 15 kWh available from your solar panels.
Assuming a solar panel capacity of 330 to 360 watts, you will require around 10 to 14 panels to generate 15 kWh of energy per day.
We must stress this varies massively depending on the model and your local sunshine conditions. It is also worth noting that your home uses solar electricity during the day whilst the Powerwall is charging.
You need enough solar panels to cover your daytime consumption and charge the battery at the same time.
Tesla Powerwall Specifications
The Powerwall has some of the best specifications and features in the stationary home battery market. In fact, they are arguably the best.
There are many high-performing energy storage systems out there, but the Powerwall stands out at the top in terms of its storage capacity and power output.
One of the main reasons for this is because the batteries consist of lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide chemistry (NMC). Lithium-ion batteries with NMC technology are set apart by their storage capacity and high power relative to their size.
To get a good impression of each Powerwall model available today in the next part of this review we have taken a look at both models individually.
Although they are both very similar it is important you know the slightest differences, so that you can make the right decision when making a purchase.
The Powerwall+ is the latest Tesla Powerwall model released. Released in 2021 this model has a variety of interesting and unique features that make it one of the most powerful home batteries.
The Powerwall+ was brought out after the first models of Powerwall offering better performance and increased storage capacity.
The solar inverter on the Powerwall+ has an efficiency of 98% and four Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) circuits. As a result of this, you can group solar panels in up to four different orientations and connect each group to a different MPPT circuit to maximize power generation.
Below you will find most of the important specifications you need to know about.
- Energy storage capacity- 13.5 kWh
- Continuous power without sun– 5.8 kW
- Peak power without sun– 10 kW
- Inverter– AC coupled battery with an integrated inverter and a solar inverter.
- Continuous power with the sun– 7.6 kW
- Peak power with full sun– 22 kW
- Size– 62.8 in x 29.7 in x 6.3 in
- Weight– 343.9lbs
- Operating temperature– -4°F to 122°F
- Warranty– 10 years
The Powerwall 2 is still one of the best energy storage products available on the market. Originally being produced in 2016 there are later models that have been developed and released since. The latest model of the Powerwall 2 was released in 2020.
This later model is similar to the Powerwall+, also offering high-quality performance. Earlier models of this unit do vary with the peak power and continuous power being less than the 2020 model.
Below are the specifications for the 2020 model of Powerwall 2.
- Energy storage capacity– 13.5 kWh
- Continuous power– 5.8 kW (5 kW on earlier Powerwall 2 models)
- Peak power– 10 kW (7 kW on earlier Powerwall 2 models)
- Size– 45.3 in x 29.6 in x 5.75 in
- Weight– 251.3lbs
- Operating temperature range– -4°F to 122°F
- Warranty– 10 years
The Main Differences Between Each Tesla Powerwall Model
As you can see from the specifications above there aren’t too many differences between each model of Powerwall. The main difference between the two is the solar inverter in the Powerwall+.
The Powerwall+ has a solar inverter whilst the Powerwall 2 only has an inverter for the battery. An additional inverter is required for solar panels if you purchase the Powerwall 2 model.
As a result of this additional inverter, the Powerwall+ is a little larger than the Powerwall 2 and also weighs a lot more. The Powerwall+ actually weighs nearly 100lbs more than the other models as the inverter adds a lot of extra weight.
In our opinion, the size and weight of this model don’t impact your decision over which model you choose in any way whatsoever. We believe this because we find the weight of both products to be a slight disadvantage.
Both models are extremely heavy but luckily they don’t look it. Thankfully the design is neat and streamlined to give the batteries an attractive appearance.
If you have a Powerwall+ connected to solar panels it can achieve higher output than the Powerwall 2. With full sunshine, you can expect a peak power of 22 kW whereas with Powerwall 2 you can only expect a maximum of 10 kW.
Aside from these differences both of these models offer the same functions and performance. Both models perform incredibly well.
Other Powerwall Features
We have already looked at what the Powerwall can do and how it works but there is still so much more to look at. We have also reviewed many of the key features that come with the Powerwall.
The features we have explored in more detail only enhance the performance of this already high-performing battery, making it well worth purchasing.
When we reviewed the Powerwall we found that its design gave it strong durability. The Powerwall is protected with the same high-quality paint as all of Tesla’s vehicles.
This paint helps the product easily endure outdoor temperatures ranging from -4°F to 122°F. If the Powerwall is exposed to temperatures outside of its optimal range (50°F to 86°F) it may limit charge or discharge power to improve battery lifespan but overall you won’t encounter any problems.
The weight of both models of Powerwall makes installing them a little tricky. With the lightest model still weighing 250lbs, the Powerwall has to be mounted correctly and safely.
When mounted side-by-side, each Powerwall must have enough space on either side for electrical connections and proper ventilation.
When stacked front-to-back in groups of 3 or smaller, the Powerwalls are mounted to the floor and anchored to an adjacent wall before being joined together with special hardware.
The installation process is difficult but Tesla helps us out. Tesla works with certified installers who are trained to install your Powerwall for you. This is a great advantage of buying the Powerwall because other brands make you install the products yourself.
Simply put, the Tesla Powerwall can store more energy than any other solar battery on the market today. We found that you can easily run some lights, your refrigerator, and watch TV using only power from your Powerwall for 12 to 15 hours.
This level of performance is way above anything else on the market and it is quite unbelievable to think that you can increase the amount of energy you receive by adding more Powerwalls.
Having a battery that weighs over 250lbs should cause problems and look pretty bad, but surprisingly you would never think this product weighs as much as it does. Not only does the Powerwall look streamlined and slim, it also has a stylish look.
The white, modern design fits in wonderfully well with most properties and if anything adds to the aesthetics of the home.
The Tesla App
One of our favorite things about owning a Powerwall is the user-friendly Tesla App that comes with it. The Power Flow screen provides you with a real-time situation, showing you where your energy is coming from and where it is going.
Using the app you can choose between three operation modes. These modes are backup only, self-powered, and advanced.
The backup-only mode lets the Powerwall know you want to use 100% of its energy for backup in case of a power outage. The self-powered mode lets the Powerwall power your home at night. With this feature, you can choose what percentage to reserve for unexpected outages.
Finally, the advanced feature allows you to set up time-based controls to maximize savings. You can set the Powerwall to not take any charge from the grid during times when electricity costs more.
Lifespan and Warranty
Tesla provides a 10-year warranty for the Powerwall. The warranty states that the product will be free from any defects for 10 years following its installation. They also guarantee 10 years of unlimited charge cycles with a capacity retention of 70%.
The energy capacity may start to drop eventually but there is no reason why your Powerwall shouldn’t last well beyond the 10-year warranty period.
Tesla’s lithium-ion batteries are made from recycled materials. They work with a variety of different partners to recycle spent cells, modules, and battery packs so they can reprocess the materials to use for new products.
The lithium-ion batteries can actually be found in all of Tesla’s Powerwalls, electric vehicles, and charging stations. When the batteries reach the end of their life, they are recycled once more and used again.
Is The Tesla Powerwall Better Than Competitor Products?
There is no doubt about it. Tesla’s Powerwall is ahead of the competition in terms of its market share, and customer satisfaction. Tesla receives consistently good reviews regarding its batteries.
When you compare the Powerwall’s technical specifications with competitor products we still believe the Powerwall comes out on top.
Enphase Encharge 10 and Generac PWRcell are two of the other big-hitting products on the market. When you look at what these products provide and how much they cost you start to see just how much better the Powerwall is.
Enphase Encharge 10
The Encharge 10 costs almost twice as much as the Powerwall. Though it performs excellently well it has a smaller storage capacity, offers less continuous power, and weighs more.
Bearing all of this in mind we can’t see why you would want to buy this product over the Powerwall. It costs much more and isn’t as powerful.
The Generac PWRcell is a more affordable product that costs slightly more than the Powerwall and weighs less than the Powerwall+. Having said that again this product has a much smaller storage capacity, offers less continuous power, and simply isn’t as powerful.
The one advantage this product has is its size. It is a lot smaller than Powerwall so if you want a smaller model maybe this could be a better option. Overall though we believe there is no better option than the Powerwall if you want the most effective battery.
Is The Powerwall Worth It?
From our research we can confidently say that the Powerwall is totally worth it, in fact, it is fantastic value for money when compared to other more expensive models.
The Powerwall offers you a great opportunity to start using more environmentally friendly methods to power your home, which in turn saves you money and reduces your carbon footprint.
This great investment will save you plenty of money and pay for itself in what it saves you.
Like any product, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider but we believe this product is the best on the market. A quick look at customer reviews and some pros and cons demonstrates this well.
According to Phillip:
“We were so impressed by the original that we upgraded to a second.”
According to Tharindu:
“Tesla Powerwalls are the best value for money”
According to Gary:
“The Tesla Powerwall 2 battery is great at smoothing out power production/consumption, in particular seeing us through the night. It is also configured to provide backup for grid outage.”
According to Robin:
“Surprised at the attractive design of the battery and the backup bridge which is set up for our three-phase power – battery backup can run our kitchen and house lighting during a total power failure.”
- Lower energy bills– By owning a Powerwall you will make lots of savings on your energy bills.
- Cleaner energy usage– The energy produced by the Powerwall is 100% clean energy.
- Less impact on the environment– By going off-grid you can reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of fossil fuels you use.
- Power your home at all times– Your home will still have power during outages thanks to the Powerwall backup supply.
- Increased property value– Believe it or not your property will increase in value if fitted with a Powerwall.
- Price– The cost of the Powerwall may seem high but when compared to other products it is actually pretty reasonable for what you get in return.
- Big investment– Though the Powerwall is good value for money when compared to similar products, it still requires a big investment. You have to pay a big unit cost, installation fees, and potentially solar panel fees too.
- Takes up space– You need plenty of space if you want to install a Powerwall that will not get in your way, especially if you plan on installing multiple Powerwalls.
When deciding what type of solar battery system to buy it is important you consider some of the most important factors so that you don’t make a purchase you will regret. Consider the following factors when deciding which product suits your needs.
Some solar battery home systems only work when they are connected to solar panels while others can also be charged using the grid.
When looking for the perfect product you need to think about whether or not you are going to have solar panels. If you do have solar panels you need to look at buying the Powerwall+ because this model has a solar inverter included.
The Powerwall 2 model doesn’t so if you bought this model you would also need to buy an additional inverter. If you don’t have any solar panels you can potentially save yourself some money by buying a smaller battery that doesn’t have the additional inverter.
Products available on the market all have different energy capacities. The general rule of thumb is the larger the energy capacity the unit has the more expensive it is with the odd exception. Powerwall units have a capacity of 13.5 kWh.
This is one of the largest on the market with other units having a capacity of anything from 5 to 13 kWh. If it is in your budget you should always consider buying the unit with the biggest capacity. You will then be able to store more energy.
Understanding who you are buying from is something you should always consider. There is a wide range of brands selling home battery systems so it is important you choose one you can trust and rely on.
A good brand will produce high-quality products that have a large number of positive reviews and a great reputation.
You can buy home battery systems in all shapes and sizes. Some are bulky and heavy whilst others are slim and relatively light. Before looking for a unit, work out how much space you have in your home.
This will impact the choice you make because you can’t buy a unit if it simply doesn’t fit in your home. Thinking carefully about this will help you narrow down your options straight away.
Is The Tesla Powerwall Weatherproof?
Yes, the Tesla Powerwall is weatherproof. It has a high rating of protection against water and dust. Having said that we still highly recommend you install your Powerwall in a sheltered location just to ensure it doesn’t get damaged unnecessarily.
Can a Tesla Powerwall Power a Home?
Yes, a Tesla Powerwall can power your home during a short-term blackout or overnight, but you will achieve a better return on your investment if you stay connected to the grid. An on-grid unit with solar panels can greatly reduce your electricity bills by covering your energy consumption during the day and night.
If you’re planning on going completely off-grid you will need at least two (most likely more) Powerwalls to power your home.
Will a Tesla Powerwall Save Me Money?
A single Powerwall unit is all it takes to save you money on your electricity bill. This works best when your electricity provider charges time-of-use prices. You can charge your Powerwall when the grid electricity is cheap and then use it when the electricity is more expensive.
A Powerwall with solar panels and roof shingles can save you even more. This is a result of the Powerwall charging using local solar power. Instead of exporting your surplus generation to the grid, you can store the energy in your Powerwall for use when the value is higher.
The Tesla Powerwall is an impressive piece of engineering that sits right at the top of the market. Packed with the best features and available at an affordable price when compared to other brands it’s no surprise that it’s one of if not the most popular battery systems on the market.
With the biggest battery capacity on the market and three energy consumption modes, this Tesla product will take some beating.
The Powerwall allows you to store energy in the event of an outage, power your home at night when electricity costs the most, or even power your entire home if you have enough units.
Like every product on the market the Tesla Powerwall does have some disadvantages such as the amount of space it takes up in your home and the cost to set it all up, however, the many advantages far outweigh these downsides.
If you’re looking to become more independent or wish to completely cut your ties with the grid then the Tesla Powerwall will be well worth your investment. The solar batteries allow you to become truly independent from the grid, saving you plenty of money in the long run.
The initial expenses you pay to purchase and install the Powerwall will be recuperated over time thanks to the money you save on energy, so if you have room in your property why not consider going for the Tesla Powerwall. You won’t be disappointed.