Tesla Powerwall Review: The Best Solar Battery

Power outages are on the rise, and electricity prices are continuing to increase in the United States. As a result, many homeowners are turning to solar energy to save money and become less dependent on the power grid. With a residential solar system and solar battery, homeowners can lower or eliminate their electricity bills while having a reliable source of energy, even during a blackout. The Tesla Powerwall is one such battery that has gained much attention around the nation.

The Powerwall was first released by Tesla in 2015 and quickly became one of the most popular solar batteries on the market. But is the Powerwall a good investment, and does it stand up to the competition? In this review, we’ll give an in-depth look at the Tesla Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+.

What is a Powerwall?

A Powerwall is an integrated AC battery system that stores excess energy produced by your solar system for later use. The stored energy can be used later when there is less sunlight, such as during cloudy days or at night. It also allows the user to charge the battery with any source of electricity to use as a backup during a power outage, thus reducing your reliance on the power grid in your community. What’s more, the Powerwall is a modular system, meaning you can stack multiple batteries to meet your specific energy needs.

The Powerwall is optimized for daily cycling, such as load shifting. If your utility’s electricity rates change throughout the day, a Powerwall can charge while rates are low and discharge when rates are high. As a result, you’ll be able to maximize your savings on electricity.

Since its release in 2015, Tesla has continued to update the Powerwall with new capabilities and improved benefits. Each power wall system comes with a liquid thermal management system, remote monitoring capabilities, and intelligent controls.

Tesla Powerwall 2 vs. Powerwall+

The original model—the Powerwall 1—was discontinued in 2016, and the Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ are the current models available. These new solar battery systems have improved greatly and are much more functional than the original model. While the Powerwall 1 had only 6.4 kilowatt-hours of usable energy, the newer models feature 13.5 kWh of power.

The Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ both offer the same capacity, but the Powerwall+ comes with an inverter, making it simple to integrate with a solar system. The Powerwall+ also features a higher maximum power output at 9.6 kWh, versus the Powerwall 2’s 5kW continuous and 7kW peak output.

If your home solar system already has an inverter, the Powerwall 2 might be the best option; however, the Powerwall+ is an excellent choice for new solar systems installations that do not yet have a solar inverter.

How Does a Powerwall Work?

Solar batteries store direct current (DC) power, while solar panels generate DC power. The problem is that home appliances typically use alternating current (AC) power. Therefore, an inverter is necessary to convert the energy produced by the solar system into usable power for the home.

When solar photovoltaic (PV) panels generate DC power from the sun, the energy is sent through an inverter and converted to AC energy. After being converted into AC energy, it then flows through your home and powers your appliances.

If you have a solar battery, excess energy not used in the home will be used to charge your battery. But because solar batteries can only store DC power, the energy must run through a rectifier to be converted back to DC power to be stored.

Both the Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ come with a rectifier and internal inverter to convert electricity between AC and DC; however, the inverter in the Powerwall 2 is only for the battery, thus requiring an external inverter to integrate with a solar system. In contrast, the Powerwall+ comes with a solar inverter, making connecting to a solar system much easier.

Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ Specifications

Although there are many solar batteries on the market, the Powerwall has some of the best features of any energy storage system currently available. Its energy storage capacity and power output are much higher than most solar batteries, due in part to the fact that the Powerwall uses a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) chemistry. NMC lithium-ion batteries are known for having higher power and storage capacity than many other types of batteries.

In addition to its higher storage capacity and power output, the Powerwall has many notable features that make it stand out from other energy storage systems.

Here’s an overview of Tesla’s Powerwall 2 specs:

  • Energy capacity: 13.5 kWh
  • On-grid power: 5.8 kVA continuous
  • Peak power: 10 kW
  • Size: 45.3 in x 29.6 in x 5.75 in
  • Weight: 251.3 pounds
  • Temperature range: -4°F to 122°F
  • Warranty: 10 years

And here are the specs for the Powerwall+:

  • Energy capacity: 13.5 kWh
  • On-grid power: 7.6kVA/5.8kVA continuous
  • Peak power with full sun: 22 kW
  • Size: 62.8 in x 29.7 in x 6.3 in
  • Weight: 343.9 pounds
  • Temperature range: -4°F to 122°F
  • Warranty: 10 years

How Much Is a Powerwall and Is It Worth the Investment?

Total cost of solar system

Although the Powerwall is more expensive than many other solar batteries available, it comes with numerous features that others don’t offer. With more storage capacity and power output than nearly every energy storage system on the market, the Powerwall is a worthy investment that will pay off in the long run.

The Powerwall currently retails for $12,950, and the supporting hardware costs $1,700, for a total price of $14,650; however, if you use solar panels to charge the battery, you may qualify for the federal solar tax credit of 30%. This would lower the price of the system, including supporting hardware, to $10,255.

For Florida homeowners, there are also other tax exemptions, local utility rebates, and other solar incentives that may further reduce the price of a Powerwall. An experienced Florida solar contractor can help you make the most of the available incentives to maximize your savings on a new Powerwall.

Tesla Powerwall Review: Final Thoughts

Overall, Tesla Powerwall is one of the best solar battery systems on the market. With its sleek looks, high output and storage capacity, remote monitoring capabilities, and other enticing features, the Powerwall is a great investment for any solar consumer.

At Lake Mary Solar, our Florida solar contractor can help you get the best price on a new Tesla Powerwall solar battery. If you’re ready to join the solar energy revolution, get an instant quote today.

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