Tesla’s real-life Tony Stark wants energy to be too cheap to meter.

May 1, 2015 | By | Reply More

Elon Musk, the real life Tony Stark, is having a crack at proving the main missing part of the current solar revolution – the energy storage bit when the sun isn’t shining (like, you know, at night).

His firm Tesla – best known for its nifty electric cars – has just launched its Tesla Energy arm to offer a suite of batteries for homes and businesses, with the aim of fostering a clean energy ecosystem and helping wean the world off dirty fossil fuels.

Their first product is the Tesla Powerwall, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to store energy at a residential level for load shifting, backup power and self-consumption of solar power generation. The Powerwall consists of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery pack, liquid thermal control system and software that receives dispatch commands from a solar inverter. The unit mounts on a wall and is integrated with the local grid to harness excess power and allow owners to draw energy from their own reserve.

Tesla's real-life Tony Stark wants energy to be too cheap to meter.

Tesla’s real-life Tony Stark wants energy to be too cheap to meter.

The battery helps provide . . .

Load shifting – The battery can charge during low rate periods when demand for electricity is lower and discharge during more expensive rate periods when electricity demand is higher.

Increasing self-consumption of solar power generation – The battery stores surplus solar energy not used at the time it is generated and use that energy later when the sun is not shining.

Back-up power – Assures power during grid outages.

The Powerwall is available in 10kWh, optimized for backup applications or 7kWh optimized for daily use applications. Both can be connected with solar or grid and both can provide backup power.

Tesla’s selling price to installers is $3500 for 10kWh and $3000 for 7kWh. (Price excludes inverter and installation.) Deliveries are to begin in late Summer.

Our chums at Wired magazine have just done the maths to let you know if you should get one or not. That’s kind of them.

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Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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