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Tesla Powerwall: Is it the best solar battery for your home?

With name-brand recognition from one of the world’s most forward-thinking companies, the Tesla Powerwall is a popular battery used to add backup electricity to a home. 

Traditionally paired with solar panel system installations, a Tesla Powerwall is one of the best ways to add value to your residential renewable energy upgrade. 

In this complete guide for beginners, we’ll look at everything to know about the Tesla Powerwall to determine whether or not an installation is right for you and your home’s electricity.

Are there any incentives or rebates for the Tesla Powerwall?

Yes, the cost to install Tesla Powerwall batteries can be significantly reduced by taking advantage of several incentives and rebates for which you may be eligible. As labor, electrical upgrades, and equipment expenses can cause a Tesla Powerwall price to be out of range for many homeowners, there are several financial programs available to help reduce total project expenses at the federal, local, and utility levels. 

Available on a national scale, the U.S. storage investment tax credit (ITC) can be redeemed to reduce the costs of a Tesla Powerwall by up to 30% of total project expenses. Applied as a credit against your federal income tax liability, the storage ITC can be redeemed for an integrated solar battery as well as a standalone Tesla Powerwall. 
Locally, battery incentives vary heavily from state to state and even within cities and utility service districts. For example, if you’ve installed solar panels for home use in Florida by way of Jacksonville, you may be able to earn extra money for installing a Powerwall. Serving over 1 million people in the Sunshine State, JEA (Jacksonville Energy Authority) customers may be able to join the utility’s battery incentive program, which has limited availability each year.  

Key Specifications of Tesla Powerwall

Before we dive into the specific functionality of the Tesla Powerwall 2 (current model), here is a quick look at some of the most important product specifications to know about this highly capable battery.

Learn more specifications on our Tesla Powerwall product page

The Tesla Powerwall is an AC-coupled battery, meaning that it can safely store any electricity produced by solar panels but also can be recharged by the grid if needed. Electricity from the Solar panels is sent through an inverter before it reaches the battery. To see even more technical information about the product, you can visit the Tesla Powerwall datasheet, directly from the manufacturer. 

Lifespan and Warranty

More than anything else, the Tesla Powerwall’s lifespan and warranty allow it to claim its place as one of the most reliable solar batteries on the market today. Warrantied for 10 years of operation, with unlimited life cycles for home backup and self-consumption within that period, homeowners can use their Powerwall for an entire decade without worrying about any costly replacements from part malfunctions. 

After 10 years, the batteries within a Powerwall will still be able to provide at least 70% of their total storage capacity through Tesla’s degradation expectation schedule. Knowing this, the actual useful lifetime of a Powrwall can extend to a dozen years and more for significant amounts of electricity storage. Realistically, a small addition of batteries may be required at that time to assure the storage capacity. As storage prices are going down, it is expected that it will be cheaper at that date.  

Continuous & Peak Power Ratings

The power rating of a solar battery refers to the amount of electricity that it can handle at once, both in charging and discharging the energy to a home. With dramatic improvements from initial models, the modern Tesla Powerwall has a continuous power rating of 5 kW for charging and discharging and 7 kW of capacity during peak operation. 

Knowing this, the Powerall can temporarily supply up to 7kW of electricity to a home that is functioning completely off of the grid and continuously power the property with 5kW of energy at once. While this is usually more than enough energy to run life-sustaining needs like lights, kitchen appliances, and communication devices, it also leaves enough room to accommodate the initial power demand of high-capacity devices like sump pumps and air conditioners. Most homes with a single AC unit can achieve a whole-house backup with just 2 Powerwalls. 

Storage Capacity

Rated with a 14 kWh energy capacity, of which 13.5 kWh of electricity can be used, the Powerwall is small enough to be affordable yet large enough to store a significant amount of energy. Critically, multiple Tesla Powerwalls can be chained together in order to expand the total storage capacity of a residential or small-scale commercial system. 
So while many people ask us, “How much is a Tesla battery wall?” The answer will always vary based on the number of Powerall modules installed. Large-family homes may want to consider two or three Powewalls to guarantee more battery life. Depending on the configuration and site conditions, Powerwall backup can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 upfront, but the net cost is significantly lower after incentives and low-interest financing.

Installing Rechargeable Solar Battery System

Operating Modes & Settings

While constantly updated with new capabilities, there are several operating modes in which a Tesla Powerwall can be set to maximize the priorities of a property. Here is a quick look at the Tesla Powerwall’s key operating functionalities. 

Backup Reserve: No matter what operating mode your Powerwall is running in, users can set their “backup reserve” to always maintain a fixed amount of electricity stored in the event of an unforeseen power outage. 

Self-Powered: In Self-Powered mode, your Powerwall will prioritize self-consumption, using as much solar as possible to electrify your home before drawing any energy from the grid.  

Time-Based Control: Used to shift large electrical loads away from grid power, time-based control can automatically prioritize battery electricity to be consumed on the property when local energy rates are increased during high-demand hours. 
Storm Watch: When storm watch mode is engaged, your battery will operate normally while monitoring the chances of a blackout from severe weather announcements made in the area. If a blackout is predicted, the Powerwall will work to charge as much as possible to prepare for off-grid operation.

How does a Powerwall work?

In as simple of terms as possible, the Tesla Powerwall works by storing electricity for use whenever a home needs it most. With several operating modes, as outlined above, Powerwall operation can be automated to best fit the needs of a property, whether that is to save money on electricity costs or remain charged in the event of a potential power outage. 

WiFi-enabled, Powerwall settings can be controlled through the Tesla app. Within the app, users can also track their energy production, usage, and storage statistics in real time.

How long does it take to get a Tesla Powerwall?

Due to the high demand for lithium-ion batteries in solar energy systems and electric vehicles alike, Tesla Powerwall availability may be limited for some consumers. With that being said, most buyers can purchase a Powerwall and expect that the installation will be complete between six weeks and six months later. This large range in installation timelines is dependent from company to company and also may be impacted by whether or not a solar system is included at the time of purchase.

Do you need solar panels in order to use a Tesla Powerwall?

No, although the Tesla Powerwall was previously only sold as an included feature of a solar energy system, today the batteries can be purchased by themselves as a standalone storage battery. Without solar panels, the Powerwall can be recharged with grid energy and activated during times of high demand or an electrical blackout as an alternative to a traditional gas-powered generator.  
Today, the importance of clean, backup home electricity to balance the power grid and provide energy security is recognized by both utilities and governments. As such, Tesla solar wall costs can now be lowered with the 30% federal income tax credit (ITC) without the necessity of being connected to a renewable energy system.

Tesla solar storage system

Is the Tesla Powerwall worth it?

For energy security, increased solar self-consumption, and a handful of other great reasons, yes, we believe that the Tesla Powerwall is worth it for anyone interested in the technology.  While Tesla home battery prices may scare some window shoppers away, the ability to pivot off of the grid during electric blackouts is invaluable for those who need to run essential, life-sustaining appliances.

Are there any Tesla Powerwall alternatives?

Yes, although the Powerall may be the most recognized solar battery on the market today, there are several available alternatives with similar functionality. While compatibility varies between different homes and solar energy systems, comparable alternatives include batteries from manufacturers like Panasonic, Enphase, SolarEdge, and more.

Final Words

In summary, the Tesla Powerwall is one of the best ways to add energy storage for residential or commercial solar panels in Florida. With high-powered capacities, modular installations, and advanced operating modes, the Tesla Powerwall can help property owners lower their dependence on grid energy and always be prepared for a local electricity blackout. 
If you’re wondering “how much is a Tesla Powerwall installed?” it is important to remember that costs will vary based on the number of batteries, necessary home upgrades, and whether or not the installation also includes solar energy. For more information or a free quote on your own Tesla Powerwall system in Florida, please contact PPM Solar today.

When combined with Tesla EV, the Powerwall integrates into the same ecosystem, providing house electricity, battery storage, and car charging controls from one convenient app.

FAQ

What can you power with a Tesla Powerwall?​

Designed for small loads and full home backup alike with a large operating capacity, there is essentially no limit to what you can power residentially with a Tesla Powerwall. This is especially true knowing that you can install multiple Powerwalls together to meet the energy demands of your home, Tesla сar сharger, and more.

How long does a Powerwall battery last on one charge?

The duration of a Tesla Powerwall lifespan depends on the amount of energy you are drawing from the battery reserve. Knowing that each Powerwall has a usable energy capacity of 13.5 kWh, this is a significant amount of electricity that can last for many hours with smart power management. In the event of an electrical outage, homes using an average of 1 kilowatt per hour to run essential devices can tap into a Powerwall’s reserve energy for 12 hours and more.

Where should I install a Tesla Powerwall?

Tesla Powerwalls can be installed both indoors and outdoors, mounted on the ground or wall. For the best results, we recommend taking the advice of your installer to locate the optimal placement of your battery.

How long does installation take?

In terms of a total project timeline, most Powerwall buyers can expect anywhere between six weeks and six months between purchase and installation. On the day of the actual installation, experienced electricians typically require between four and eight hours of total work to add a Powerwall to your home. A short power shutdown is required to switch the primary power from the Utility to the Powerwall.

Can I use a Powerwall to go off-grid?

Yes, by adding a battery like the Tesla Powerwall to a solar energy system, your home can pivot off of the grid and run itself on renewable power. While there are many zoning restrictions that may prevent you from disconnecting from the grid entirely, a Powerwall will allow you to function as off of the grid as possible in an ordinary residential neighborhood. However, the home will remain connected to the utility as backup due to the above requirements.

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