Can a Tesla Powerwall power my whole home?

tesla power wall

What is a Tesla Powerwall?

The Tesla Powerwall is the industry-leading backup battery storage system for your entire home. It stores the electricity from solar panels and can supply your home with electricity at night or times of low sun, as well as during power outages. 

How does the Tesla Powerwall work during an outage?

The Tesla Powerwall has the ability to keep your home’s power running without interruptions during an outage. As soon as an outage is detected, it is able to turn on backup power, so, unlike a generator, you may not even notice the power went out.

How long can the Tesla Powerwall power my whole home?

The ability of the Powerwall to power your whole home depends on several factors, such as weather conditions and your home’s energy usage. In an outage that lasts more than a few hours, Powerwall has the ability to continue to run your home by charging from your home’s solar panels. This means that when the Tesla Powerwall is paired with solar and the weather conditions are right, it has the ability to power your whole home indefinitely, but only if your home’s power usage doesn’t exceed the Powerwall’s energy capability. 

What can the Tesla Powerwall power on its own?

Each Powerwall provides about 13.5 kWh of energy per day, while the average home uses an average of 30 kWh of energy. However, a single Powerwall can only run up to 5 kW of continuous power. This is enough to supply the startup power for about two large appliances, such as a heating system, refrigerator, or microwave oven. 

If your appliances exceed the total power rating of your Powerwall, it will shut off, just like your circuit breaker. If your Powerwall does shut off, you’ll have to turn off everything before turning it back on.

If you conserve your energy usage or install multiple Powerwalls, it is possible to power your home with Tesla Powerwall indefinitely.

How does Powerwall work with solar panels?

While traditional solar systems shut down during power outages to prevent power from going back into the grid, Powerwall is able to continue to power your home during outages because of its Backup Gateway. During a power outage, the Backup Gateway disconnects from the utility system and supplies power to your home, allowing the solar panels to continue to charge. 

During an outage, if the solar production is too much to be stored, solar power will temporarily not be taken in. When more solar is being produced than can be used or stored, Powerwall is able to turn off the solar system and turn it back on when the energy can be used again.

During times where your power is not out, the Powerwall will capture and store excess solar energy to be used when needed. If you are using more electricity than your Powerwall can provide, it will pull power from the electric grid, which you will pay your utility company for. However, if your Powerwall produces excess solar energy, you can also send the energy back into the grid and be paid for it by your utility company, if they support this feature.

How does Powerwall work with a backup generator?

The Tesla Powerwall can be used with solar panels and a backup generator connected with an external Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) or Manual Transfer Switch (MTS). Your Powerwall must be installed between the electrical service entrance and the transfer switch, so it can charge from your home’s solar panels while the grid is operational. 

The Powerwall can’t be directly connected to the generator, however, and is not able to charge from a generator. This means that if you decide on Powerwall as your home’s backup battery, you will need to have solar panels.

If your Powerwall is installed with a backup generator, the Powerwall will respond first during an outage and provide backup power until its charge is depleted or loads exceed its maximum output. At that point, the ATS will switch to your home generator. When the power turns back on, your generator will be automatically turned off and Powerwall will continue to charge from solar. 

Tesla Powerwall Installation

As of April of 2021, Tesla is not selling Powerwalls without an accompanying solar panel or solar roof system, so if you already have solar panels or don’t want to have them installed by Tesla, you won’t be able to purchase a Powerwall. If you would like to have Powerwall installed, you can order directly from Tesla’s website or from a certified Tesla installer.

Tesla Powerwall Cost

The price of one Tesla Powerwall, including installation, is around $10,000. However, the more Powerwalls you purchase, the better the price per Powerwall. Multiple Powerwalls can be installed side-by-side or up to three can be installed front to back. 

Two powerwalls will cost around $17,000, three around $24,000, and four around $30,000. However, if you install a Powerwall, you are also required to purchase a solar panel system from Tesla, so you will also need to factor in that cost.

Is the Tesla Powerwall worth it for whole home backup power?

The Tesla Powerwall home backup battery is the industry-leading home battery. It has the most advanced features and greatest capability for the lowest price. 

The downside is that, for now at least, Tesla won’t sell you a Powerwall unless you buy their solar panels. This means that if you already have solar panels or want to get them from another company, you won’t be able to purchase one. Your Powerwall also will not be able to charge from the grid when hooked up to solar, making it useful only if you want it to charge exclusively from a Tesla solar panel system.

While Tesla’s solar panels themselves are top-of-the-line, purchasing them from Tesla comes with its own set of problems. Tesla is not known for its maintenance services, and has been known to increase the prices of solar roof systems for customers who already have signed contracts, making them a less trustworthy candidate for your home solar system installation. Tesla solar roofs and panels also have very high wait times, so you may have to wait for up to a year for installation.

Overall, the Tesla Powerwall would be an amazing home backup battery, but with the requirement of being paired with Tesla’s solar roof, might not be worth it.  

Call AirPlus Today.

To learn more about your options for backup power, we invite you to contact us at AirPlus Heating, Cooling & Electrical today. Our team of experts can answer any question you have about selecting the perfect backup power source for your home.

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