Add a Tesla Powerwall to Your Solar System This Holiday Season
It’s time to reveal our third technology in Aragon’s 12 Technologies of Christmas! Read on to learn why a Tesla Powerwall is the perfect gift this holiday season.
by Betsy Burton
I am nominating the Tesla Powerwall for the Aragon Research 12 Technologies of Christmas due to its capability to support power for days, even though there are well-known issues in terms of customer service.
After doing a lot of research about getting solar power (e.g., how many panels, what type of panels and inverters, etc.), I was so disappointed to learn that we couldn’t use our solar power in a power outage. It is understandable that that the electric company wouldn’t want power online while workers are trying to fix it. But the realization that the system wouldn’t switch over to our power was a disappointment.
The most straightforward fix is to add a Tesla Powerwall or another battery option to your solar system. Here’s why.
New Climate Reality Challenges Access to Power
For most families and businesses, access to power has been pretty much a given. Even those in rural areas that may need to use a generator occasionally are still largely depending on reliable power availability.
The challenge is, we are living in a new climate reality; there are more—and increasingly significant—storms, droughts, floods, and fires. Infrastructure providers are often woefully behind in terms of updates, technology adoption, usage demand, and responding to new climate realities. The result is increased remediation costs, incident risk, and legal exposure.
Utility providers and governments are trying to find the balance between risk, costs, benefits, and responsibility, while individual businesses and families are discovering that utilities that were once considered a given are less than reliable. And, certainly in the US, this is the new reality for some time to come.
Tesla Powerwall: On The Grid and Off
The Tesla Powerwall is designed to switch on within “a fraction of a second” after detecting a power outage (according to the company). This switch blocks the supported building off from the utility line, enabling it to use solar power during the day and the Tesla batteries at night without affecting the safety of the line during repairs, outages, or high-risk events (fire, flood, wind, etc.). According to Tesla, a normal house could run off two Tesla batteries for about 7 days when used with a solar panel.
The cost for two batteries is about $15k plus installation and may be subject to some tax incentives. The ROI from purchasing a Powerwall alone (not including solar) is well beyond its existing warranty of ten years. In most cases, purchasers are adding a Powerwall onto their solar system based on operating costs if power outages are going to be the norm—or if they increase altogether.
The promise of Tesla Powerwall is attractive for people and businesses that need to be up and running; these include medical needs, emergency response, business operations, etc. Particularly for families and businesses that have or are investing in solar, the Tesla Powerwall can provide the ability to leverage solar power and battery to keep power running during an outage for days.
In addition to cost, one of the biggest hurdles to adopting a Tesla Powerwall is navigating the customer service. The company has not invested enough in its own customer service infrastructure to enable it to respond appropriately to requests for information, install, quotes, or service. This is not a new issue for Tesla and they will have to respond as other options enter the market and leave some customers questioning their ability to execute.