Is the new Tesla battery something to get excited about?

At the moment I’m pretty excited, but I don’t know squat about this type of technology. It seems very reasonably priced. I’m really wondering if this is something that could be a reliable alternative to getting energy from the grid.

you’re excited about something when you don’t even know what it is?

only if you couple it with something like solar panels or wind turbine. Otherwise the power is still coming from the grid (batteries only store energy, not create it.)

Yes, I submit it is entirely possible to be excited about something without fully knowing everything there is to know about it.

If you read the link, you will see that there is more to it than that.

I’m more excited by “flow” batteries, apparently an old idea with new incentives for development.

“Can Tesla Compete with This Flow Battery?”

I don’t get what Tesla is offering that other battery manufacturers don’t already offer.

AFAIK most existing large battery installations (think large UPS systems) use valve-regulated lead-acid batteries, which can deliver huge amounts of current but have low energy density. Tesla is most likely using some form of LiIon chemistry.

This is the Future. The Infrastructure Integrated Power and Storage Era.

Imagine the end game here, many years down the line. 100 million storage batteries and/or solar collectors spread over the entire country. If each battery has just 10kwh of storage (and longer term it will be much higher), this would be 1 billion KwH of storage (1 Terawatt hour of storage).

Now since annual electric production in the US is @ 4,000 Terawatt hours, this is only about 2 hours of storage -* for the entire nation*, but that alone would be a HUGE buffer on smoothing out power fluctuations, shortages, over production moments and disasters.

Eventually, we reach the point where power outages will never be anything more than extremely localized, as the diffused storage and power generation capabilities will effectively make the grid far more stable and robust than we can imagine.

I said many years ago that I thought the real future was in advances in energy storage - and this is the beginning of that revolution. We can’t go to the stars, we can’t do all sorts of wonderful science fiction stuff until we have the technology and capacity to store immense amounts of power that will be needed for such things.

This is the first step.

I’m also excited and looking forward to their entry into home battery tech. Once we have our solar evaluation done, I think it’s the logical next step.

I’m not convinced that Tesla’s battery is something to get excited about yet, although in a decade, if prices continue to drop, it could be really interesting.

The value of Lithium batteries is that they have high energy density per weight. That makes them the best solution for things like cars and phones and laptops. Stuff you want to move around all the time. Powering those things off of lead acid batteries would make them 5 times as heavy.

But for a home or business power-shifting/power-storage solution, it doesn’t matter nearly as much how much the batteries weigh. So it seems like other battery technologies are more competitive.

According to this comparison, Li-ion batteries are cost competitive in some circumstances, and they handle warmer climates better than lead acid.

So maybe we’re near the tipping point, and economies of scale will make Li-ion batteries the best choice for most uses in the near future.

I’m waiting to find out what the full cost will be and the expected lifetime of the batteries. It is $3,500 for the 10kWh variant to the installer. Then the mark up and installation costs have to be added obviously.

My understanding is the Li-Ion have a short life compare to lead-acid and flow batteries.

A 10kw whole house generator run $7000-$13000 full cost. So as I already have the panels, the Tesla battery may be ideal for me if the lifetime of the batteries is reasonable.

St. Elon has a point about that, though. Assuming he was referring to lead-acid cells as “stinky,” heavily worked lead acid batteries can give off a sulfurous odor.

I’m optimistic about what this means, and it’s a huge step in the right direction.

That said, this particular battery doesn’t seem attractive to me. Here’s why:

First, energy doesn’t just create itself. It has to come from somewhere. If it’s coming from the grid, there’s no simply no difference in price between what I get from the electric company right now, and what I get from the electric company at night after it’s been stored in my Tesla battery. So the only advantage I get owning a battery here is during brown or blackouts, where it would provide a nice buffer. But at $3,000, the cost doesn’t match up to the frequency of this occurring.

So no, I need another source of energy. Wind? Solar? Water? All are possible, and all cost money to install.

Let’s just take solar. Average use in Missouri is 1,060 kWh/month. As an aside, that’s 106 recharges of this Tesla Battery, or one recharge every 7 hours, if we wanted the battery to be our sole source of energy. Anyway, let’s say we wanted to try to get 100% off the grid, getting all electricity from solar and converting any excess during the day to the battery for usage during the night.

Let’s throw out a number of $15,000 for installation of the panels. That sounds about right. It’s probably more, but with state and federal rebates we could probably get it down to that.
And add in another $3000 for the Tesla battery gives you an approximate number of $18,000 to go off the grid.

That 1,060 kWh/month converts to around $110 per month for your electrical bill.

That’s 164 months or almost 14 years before you’ve zeroed out your investment in the system and that DOESN’T factor in the degradation in efficiency over time for solar panels.
So yeah. Obviously people have to be early adopters and I wholeheartedly support them. But I won’t be one of them. Financially, mathematically, it doesn’t make sense. Not now.

This battery is aimed at people with Solar panels installed already or planning such an install. Wind being a minor possibility.

The population of panels owners is surprisingly high these days vs the amount of Powerwalls they hope to sell in the next year. I believe the number of homes is over 500,000 now.

That depends on where you live. Some places have demand metering for residential customers now. You can charge your battery cheaply overnight and use it during the day.

I just read an article that the $3500 price tag accounts for only about half the cost with installation and an inverter accounting for the rest. Another article deemed the the $3500 to be a bit high and, within, 2-5 years, the price could drop by 50% making it feasible/economical. But it failed to take in account the additional costs. In five years battery technology may have advanced enough that the Tesla battery will already be obsolete. I think I’ll wait a bit.

After several decades of new battery technology is the lead-acid battery now obsolete? Not at all. Instead it is just that for certain situations a different technology is better/cheaper for new installations. So the Tesla battery you buy now will still be working in 5 years.

maybe. secondary (rechargeable) cells have a finite lifetime, regardless of charge cycles. I have had laptop batteries which were worthless after 3 years.

What they’re offering is a (nearly) complete system that costs ~$350/kW-h.

Lead-acid cells are the traditional type. They’re heavy, so you need sturdy shelving and floor space for them. They vent hydrogen gas, so they need ventilation. Their lifetime is dramatically reduced with elevated temperature, so you either use climate control or live with the reduced lifetime. You need some kind of separate battery control system. And it’s really all kind of janky; no one wants big shelves of batteries in their garage.

On this other hand, this battery is light enough to be installed by an electrician in 20 minutes, and goes on your garage wall (it sticks out several inches). All of the control circuitry and thermal systems are built in. It’s cheap. You’ll be able to get complete turnkey solar systems for $6k or so. Depending on where you live, they could easily recoup the investment in several years. And the grid independence (for emergencies) is also nice.

This is definitely the usual viewpoint, but I think it’s false. Installation costs are a major factor these days.

We can compare to solar. People used to think that you didn’t need high-efficiency panels for rooftop solar, because you weren’t space-limited. Why bother with 20% efficiency cells when you can have twice as many 10% cells for under half the cost? Well, that ignores every other component of the system. Panels are so cheap now that installation is a dominant cost, and half the panels require half the installation. So it’s worth paying more for efficient panels (up to a point).

It looks like we’re at the point now where the same is true of batteries. A giant rack-mount system of lead-acid batteries might well cost thousands to install. It’s worth paying extra for a system that one guy can install in minutes. Never mind that it doesn’t require clearing out the corner if your garage, and that it actually looks nice.

Is it confirmed that these are lithium-ion batteries?