Is the Tesla Powerwall battery the future for backup power storage?

Just in the first quarter of 2015 (April 30), Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX (a rocket manufacturing company) announced the introduction of Tesla Powerwall –a new wall mounted batteries that can power a home and office, especially during blackout. This backup battery device called the Tesla Powerwall generated much excitement both in the media and the real world because of the hopes it raised on the future of electric power storage.

When Elon Musk debuted this product for the first time, he began by raising important issues on climate change that amplifies the need for the world to go clean and choose renewable energy resources. Elon beamed to the public the horrid pictures of the effects of nuclear waste in the visible sky alone and the horrible look of the fogs generated by our continuous use of fossil fuels.

Watch Elon Musk debut the Tesla Powerwall below:

 

Battery technology has been here for over a hundred years, what is in the new one?

Apart from the vast environmental effect of our fossil fuel use on the climate, the truth is that there is still a great room for further innovation and improvement in the batteries available in the market. The technology behind the Lead-Acid battery mostly in use today has been little changed for the past hundred years. The improvements that are yet to be made on them include:

  1. Design and portability
  2. High cost
  3. Size
  4. Low efficiency
  5. Poor lifetime

Some of these points have been already highlighted by Elon Musk in the embedded video above. The last three points appear to be the most urgent problem in home power storage devices, that needs to be solved, especially the last one: Poor lifetime.

Efficient batteries should be at least portable; they are obviously not modern if they still take up large space like Mainframe computers. As the world look forward to completely switching to clean energy, it is paramount that the storage facility that can power a city as dense and big as Lagos in Nigeria shouldn’t take up a huge land mass that otherwise could have been used for agriculture or other infrastructures.

Tesla Powerwall battery
Tesla Powerwall battery

Poor lifetime stands in as the most urgent problem that needs to be solved because till date no cost effective battery has been developed that can completely take a home, office or industry off grid. Even Tesla Powerwall batteries are best used as backup batteries and nothing else, as long as one put into consideration the cost.

Although the cost of Tesla Powerwall batteries is still a major concern, the huge excitement that came from their introduction is worth it as it marked a great leap in the development of Nickel ion batteries and the further application of non-Lead-Acid batteries in renewable energy projects.

The design of the battery is great. It is wall mounted which does not only save space but adds to the beautification of the wall.

The Tesla Powerwall batteries come in 2 variants:

  1. The 7kWh battery which can be cycled 5,000 times and uses nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry
  2. The 10kWh battery with 1,000 – 1,500 cycles and made of a nickel-cobalt-aluminum cathode.

The two batteries can be preordered from PSC Solar (UK) in Nigeria and West African region. Click on any of the links to order and view the technical specifications.

Order TESLA 10kWh POWERWALL from PSC Solar

Order TESLA 7kWh POWERWALL from PSC Solar.

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