Tesla has launched a second version of its Powerwall battery in Australia with almost double the capacity of the original. Instead of 6.4 kWh of available storage with Powerwall 1, the new batteries have 13.2 kWh of storage.
Tesla founder Elon Musk’s cousin Lyndon Rive announced Australian availability of Powerwall 2 and its integrated Powerpack 2 system at an event in Melbourne today.
Unlike Powerwall 1, Powerwall 2 has an integrated inverter so customers don’t need to buy this separately.
Natural Solar which installs Tesla batteries told The Australian that it had already pre-sold almost 1000 units. Powerwall 2 batteries will cost roughly $10,000, as version 1 batteries did before.
Natural Solar says it will begin installing Powerwall 2 battery systems in 3 to 4 weeks time.
A Powerwall2 system with solar panels will cost about $15,000.
There are two versions of Powerwall 2: an AC version and DC version but The Australian has been told that only the AC version will sell in Australia.
The increased capacity of Powerwall 2 means that users will have less reliance on mains power during higher usage periods and can return more power to the grid when there is less demand.
Tesla also produces a Powerpack system for businesses and utilities which includes batteries, power electronics, thermal management and controls in a turnkey solution.
Natural Solar says it will begin installing Powerwall 2 battery systems in three to four weeks time.
The lithium-ion batteries in a Powerwall lose capacity over time so to counter this Tesla offers a 10-year warranty on both Powerwall 1 and 2. The warranty standard is 70pc battery retention at 10 years after initial installation. Tesla is hoping that doubling the battery capacity with Powerwall 2 also will help with addressing the long-term capacity issue.
The announcement comes at a time of concern about an increased reliance on renewable energy sources and a need for backup conventional energy systems.
However Tesla sees itself as part of the solution rather than the problem, last year rolling out a 20 mWh battery installation in Ontario, California that it says can power about 15,000 homes for 4 hours daily, or 2500 homes for a day. Some 20 Powerpacks are supplying 2mWh of power to the StubHub centre near Los Angeles, Tesla says.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that California utilities including PG&E Corp., Edison International and Sempra Energy were testing networking solar panels, battery storage, two-way communication devices and software to create “virtual power plants” that feed solar energy into the grid as needed.