Tesla will release version 2 of its Powerwall home battery storage system soon. In the automobile business, Tesla is the only company producing an all electric premium sedan. But there is quite a lot of competition in the battery storage business. That has prompted Tesla to make its system better and more affordable.
Tesla says the second generation Powerwall will be on the market “in a few weeks.” The most significant change is that it will now compatible with inverters manufactured by SMA, the global residential PV inverter company. SMA is the world’s largest inverter manufacturer by revenue and second largest by shipments, according to GTM Research.
When it was first introduced, the Powerwall was designed to work with inverters from Solar Edge. Its SE7600A-USS Powerwall compatible 7.6 kilowatt StorEdge inverter currently retails on WholesaleSolar.com for $2,944. By comparison, the Powerwall compatible SMA Sunny Boy Storage 2.5 retails in the European market for $1,240.
The version 2 Powerwall also features simplified handling and wiring requirements. That means customers should be able to get their units installed for less, saving them even more money.
By now, most people should realize that when they buy a Tesla product, they are serving as beta testers for the company. Tesla closely monitors feedback from its customers and uses it to improve their products. Constant development and improvement is a hallmark of the company, but that means early adopters sometimes get products that are not quite ready for prime time.
Some Powerwall customers have complained about the noise made by their units. While Tesla maintains such sounds are “normal” — the Powerwall has a built-in cooling system — a company representative conceded to Green Tech Media that the noise in “the very first version was higher than what we should have let out the door.” It says it has implemented a permanent fix for the issue.
Tesla expects the extraordinary interest in its upcoming Model 3 will drive increased sales of its Powerwall. “It should be noted that these folks are not interested only in Tesla Motors, but also in Tesla Energy,” says Jonathan McNeill, Tesla’s president of global sales and service. “The price point of the Tesla Powerwall is an accessible price point for many of these folks, and so they’re expressing interest in both.”
The Tesla Gigafactory will be capable of producing 50 gigawatt-hours of storage batteries annually when completed. Elon Musk says it will take about 20 Gigafactories to make all the batteries the world will need to get all of its electrical power from renewable sources. That is a big part of Musk’s plan to lead the world away from burning fossil fuels entirely.
Photo credit: Tesla Motors