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Tesla Powerwall

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LAST UPDATED: October 18th, 2022

Tesla has built up a reputation within the solar manufacturing world with its battery storage solutions. Tesla as a company was established in 2003 looking for alternative solutions within the sustainable energy realm. Originally, the company tackled electric vehicles but has since expanded into other energy-saving products like solar panels and energy storage systems. 

In 2015, Tesla launched its first battery product — the Tesla Powerwall. The system quickly garnered attention of homeowners and its popularity has only grown. Today, Tesla offers two different battery solutions to residential clients: the Tesla Powerwall and the Tesla Powerwall+. There are features and technologies available through the Powerwall+ model that are not present in the original Tesla Powerwall, like the integrated inverter. 

Each Tesla Powerwall product encompasses a sleek design that is modular in its build and not as overbearing size-wise as other competitor products. There are commercial applications for those who want to utilize the Tesla Powerwall for commercial purposes; however, a majority of these systems are installed in residential properties. 

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The Good

  • Monitoring and Optimization Abilities
  • Integrated Inverter
  • Operating Modes
  • Stackable Power Solutions

Monitoring and Optimization Abilities

With both the Tesla Powerwall and Tesla Powerwall+, homeowners can take advantage of monitoring and optimization capabilities. Not all battery systems come with their own mobile app, but with the Tesla app homeowners can monitor all of their solar energy avenues in real time.

Through the app, Tesla Powerwall users can set preferences which allows for the system to optimize energy output, increase overall energy independence, and protect against potential outages. From anywhere in the world, homeowners can control their Tesla Powerwall system with remote access complete with real-time notifications. 

Integrated Inverter

The Tesla Powerwall+ comes complete with an integrated inverter. It should be noted that only the Powerwall+ model comes with this technology, and the traditional Tesla Powerwall does not. This inverter makes it easy to connect to existing solar systems. It also means that if a solar system is to go down for any reason and the solar inverters themselves stop working, the battery will continue to operate as expected. Not all batteries are equipped with an integrated inverter, but the premier version of the Tesla battery products is. 

Operating Modes

Each Tesla Powerwall is equipped with multiple operating modes. These modes will dictate storage capacity limits and run time depending on a number of varying factors. The three operating modes available with the Tesla Powerwall include:

  • Solar Self-Consumption
  • Backup Only
  • Time-Based Control Mode

These operating modes can be set in the Tesla app. While other battery solutions provide similar operating functions, they are not as easily set or accessed with competitor products like the Tesla Powerwall is. 

Stackable Power Solutions

For increased storage capacity or power needs, homeowners can have multiple Powerwall products “stacked” and seamlessly connected together. Depending on the size of the home and the energy needs, clients can have up to 10 Tesla Powerwalls stacked together in an effort to meet these needs.

Many solar storage solutions offer modular components, but few offer the range that the Tesla Powerwall product does. With the ability to have 10 full-fledged systems installed, homeowners can ensure that all power and backup needs are met. 

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The Bad

  • Long Wait Time
  • Solar Panel Needs

Long Wait Time

Due to its increasing popularity among homeowners, the waitlist to have a Tesla Powerwall installed is the longest in the industry. As the demand for solar batteries in general continues to increase, Tesla holds a significant part of the market share. It was reported that in early 2022, Tesla had over 80,000 Powerwall orders that had not yet been fulfilled due to supply and manufacturing delays. 

Currently, those interested in having a Tesla Powerwall installed have to wait several months to over a year for the product to be delivered and professional installation to take place. This wait time can be reduced to some extent if a homeowner goes directly through a Tesla dealer directly instead of a partner installer. 

Solar Panel Needs

Even though the Tesla Powerwall is designed to power a home as a backup solution by storing energy from the grid, the company will no longer install systems where a solar system is not installed on the property. Despite highlighting this feature as a key selling point, it is somewhat deceptive in nature as a solar system will need to be purchased or an existing system needs to be installed and operational. 

Now that Tesla no longer sells individual Tesla Powerwalls, homeowners wanting to purchase the Powerwall system directly through a Tesla dealer will also have to purchase the Tesla solar panel or solar roof system. Most battery systems do not require panels to be purchased through the same manufacturer, but direct Tesla sales require this. 

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The Bottom Line

As one of the more popular brands within the solar storage space, it makes sense that there are a number of reasons homeowners are turning to Tesla for backup and energy storage purposes. Each Tesla Powerwall product comes with monitoring and optimization abilities not commonly found in other comparable systems.

The Tesla Powerwall+ also incorporates its own integrated inverter. There are a number of operating modes to choose from, allowing more control and energy power to be placed in the hands of the homeowner. For increased energy needs or capacity requirements, both Tesla Powerwall models are stackable with up to 10 units being able to function together to satisfy storage and battery limits. 

Before going all in on a Tesla Powerwall product, buyers should be aware of a number of concerns that affect the Tesla Powerwall experience. First, the wait times to actually secure a Tesla Powerwall are very long. With other suppliers, a battery can be installed relatively quickly. With Tesla, homeowners are looking at several months to over a year. If a buyer goes directly through Tesla, Tesla solar panels or a full system will be required for purchase with no exceptions. 

If you already have a solar system and are looking for a backup solution that can handle power needs even when the grid goes down, you will likely benefit from what the Tesla Powerwall can provide. However, clients without a current solar system will want to look elsewhere as Tesla will require the additional purchase of Tesla solar panels or a system. 

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