There are two ways to charge Powerwall 2: using electricity generated from solar panels OR from the grid. This is why Powerwall 2 can include an integrated inverter.
When drawing from solar panels, the inverter’s job is to convert Direct Current (DC) electricity from solar into the alternating current (AC) used for lights, appliances, devices, and EVs. If drawing from the grid which delivers AC power, Powerwall 2 will convert AC to DC for storage, then back to AC for use in the home.
Once conversion is complete, electricity from the inverter is sent to an electrical circuitboard for use in the home. For applications without solar, at night time, electricity generated by the utility is sent from the electrical panel to the inverter to charge the Powerwall 2 when energy is cheap to be used in peak times when energy is more expensive. This TOU automatic application is now available.
This whole process is invisible to the customer which is what makes Powerwall 2 such a simple, compelling, and comprehensive solution.
Powerwall 2 is built on 10+ years of proven battery and electronics technology. Tesla home batteries maximise the usefulness of solar panels and offer a variety of additional electricity supply and backup solutions.
Watch the below video to learn about the product and features of Powerwall 2.
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• Integrated: an integrated inverter converts DC from solar and battery to AC to power home appliances, and converts AC grid energy to DC to be stored in Powerwall 2
• High-capacity: Stores 13.5 kWh of energy
• Flexible design: Mount on the wall or stack on the ground for indoor and outdoor use
• Activity status signals: LED lights to display charging status
• Anytime access: Monitor energy usage and track energy independence in our simple, elegant MyTesla app
• Affordable: Unparalleled value at the lowest price per kWh
• Safe design: Does not vent any toxic gasses, is safe to touch at any moment, and is actively cooled for maximum lifetime of the batteries
The cost benefits of sustainable power generation have increased beyond the financial. The shift to using sustainable energy for homes en masse because it is better for the environment and better for our health. It’s literally that simple!
Powerwall 2 is a home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels, or the grid when utility rates are low. It also has the ability to protect homes against power outages by providing a backup electricity supply. Automated, compact and simple to install, Powerwall 2 reduces dependence on the electricity grid. Our customers love it!
Solar electricity at night
Powerwall 2 stores electricity generated by solar panels during the day and makes it available to your home in the evening. This bridges the gap between peak solar and peak demand.
Go net zero
Combine solar panels and one or more Powerwall 2 home batteries to power a home independently from the utility grid. A net zero energy rating means that a home produces as much energy as it consumes, but is still connected to the utility grid for periods of high demand.
In the event of a utility outage, Powerwall 2 can power an entire home or select appliances with an uninterrupted supply of electricity. When installed along with solar panels, Powerwall 2 will allow a home to use solar generated electricity during a utility outage.
What is Time-Based Control?
Time-Based Control is an exciting feature that allows Powerwall the ability to charge during the non-peak times, when electricity is less expensive so that it can power the home during peak times, when electricity is more expensive.
But exactly how does it work?
Tesla’s Time-Based Control (Tesla’s name for Time of Use Load Shifting) allows owners to control Powerwall’s charge and discharge times via the Tesla app. Powerwall’s energy forecasting can learn the home’s production and consumption over time, allowing Powerwall to get smarter in how it charges and discharges.
According to their preference and goals, customers will be able to choose between three cycling modes:
• Self-Powered Mode
• Advanced Time-Based Control – Balanced mode
• Advanced Time-Based Control – Cost Savings mode
What’s in it for the customer?
In a nutshell, Time-Based Control allows customers with a Time of Use (TOU) rate plan to maximize the value of their solar production and Powerwall by smartly charging and discharging based on the time and price of energy.
Let’s take a look at how Time-Based Control works in detail.
Time-Based Control mode is created for customers that are on a Time of Use rate plan.
But what is a Time of Use rate plan?
Australian electricity networks are moving towards TOU metering. Currently the ACT and Victoria have switched, and the remaining states are introducing new digital “Smart meters” to allow the capacity for TOU. Once enough meters have been installed then the country will be on TOU. There are many advantages to the power grid as the aim is to reduce peak demand but the end result is more expensive electricity for anyone using power when they need it.
The times of day when energy usage is highest is referred to as peak energy hours, these are the most expensive times to consume energy. These will typically occur when most people are home using appliances to power their home. The times of day where energy usage is low is called off-peak, this is typically in the night or early morning when people are asleep.
A TOU rate plan is structured around peak and off-peak times of day. Higher rates are charged at peak hours and lower rates are charged at off-peak hours. Under such a plan, a customer’s energy bill will be determined by not only how much energy they use, but when they use it.
Prices vary from distribution network and power retailer but hte main times the powerwall will feed your home is during the peak times when power prices can be as high as 40 cents per Kwh.
Off Peak 10pm to 6am
Shoulder 6am to 4pm
Peak 4pm to 8pm
So how can Powerwall help the customer? If the Powerwall knows the time of day that are considered peak and off-peak hours, it can be programmed to save the customer money. The Powerwall can be purposely charged with cheaper energy and then use it during peak hours, when energy costs the most.
Customers don’t need to compromise their lifestyle to use the cheapest and cleanest energy!
With Time-Based Control, Powerwall uses an algorithm known as Energy Forecasting to learn the customers usage and supply power to the home when the customer wants it. Powerwall will then use this smart technology to determine when to charge and discharge. Powerwall becomes smarter over time as it learns the energy habits of the customer and adapts accordingly.
Let’s take a deeper look into the two different Time-Based Control modes
Cost Saving Mode
As we saw in the introduction, Powerwall has two modes for which Time-Based Control is enabled. The customer can set up whichever mode they desire based on their needs and energy use. The Cost Saving mode is the preferred selection for customers who are attempting to save the most money on their utility bill with a TOU rate plan.
Balanced mode allows customer to maintain a good level of Self-Power for their home through Powerwall, while using stored solar to off-set their peak utility usage.
What’s the Difference?
Let’s recap the difference between the two Time-Based Control modes for a customer:
Cost Saving mode
• Prioritises saving as much as possible
• Can charge from cheap grid energy and excess solar
• Will only discharge to off-peak periods if there is a financial incentive (ensuring capacity for expected solar production)
• Prioritises savings and Self-Powered percentage
• Does not charge from grid energy
• Will discharge to off-peak periods if it will increase the customer’s Self-Powered percentage
A simple way to explain this is that Cost Saving mode will use solar and the grid to charge Powerwall whereas Balanced mode will only use solar to charge Powerwall.
Check out this graphic below to understand the relationship between self-powered percentage, savings and customer motives.
When to choose which mode:
The Tesla BackUp Gateway.
Installed near to the powerwall is the Tesla gateway. Is a smaller but similar looking box which contains the electronics to manage the system. The battery needs to be controlled, and to know when to release and store energy. The Gateway does all the thinking.
The Backup Gateway is used to isolate Powerwall from the grid and facilitate the powering of backed up loads. The Gateway is the brains of the system. The Backup Gateway is a separate piece of equipment from the Powerwall, and is not directly connected to Powerwall via power cables. The Gateway is connected to the Powerwall via communication cables and thus functions together with the Powerwall as a complete system. Within the Backup Gateway enclosure is a microprocessor controlled power contactor, inclusive of line- and load- side voltage sensing and current measurement.
To secure the full 10-year warranty for Powerwall, it must be reliably connected to the Internet to allow remote firmware upgrades from Tesla. The ability to receive firmware upgrades allows the Powerwall to be kept up to date with the latest innovations, which will allow great efficiencies and keep ahead of the latest software features.
UV Power is excited about our partnership with Tesla. Two companies that share a common goal of reducing emissions via new technology. We love the safety features, smooth design and the innovations Tesla brings to the market. Our customers that have installed the Tesla powerwall have all been exceptionally happy. Not only does it look great, has an informative App, and is the safest battery on the market, the powerwall is your portal to 24 hour renewable energy. The first phase of going renewable was installing solar panels, now with a drop in prices home batteries are the new frontier of home based renewable energy.