Tesla's Powerwall

Tech Talker explains the advantages and inner workings of Tesla’s Powerwall, a big battery made by the car company Tesla that can help you use electricity more efficiently at home.

Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #173

Hey, everyone! This week, I’m going to talk about Tesla’s Powerwall. This device is a big battery made by the car company Tesla, that’s used for a home or business..

Okay, so what’s the big deal with the whole Tesla Powerwall? It's just a big battery that you can use for your house, right? That’s the misconception most people have with the Powerwall. So what’s actually so great about it? Well, for the first time ever, there is now a way to store electricity at your home, using extremely efficient batteries.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Alright, but so what, Eric? Why would I want to store electricity at home?” Well, I’m glad you asked!

The Powerwall Advantage

Picture how you use electricity throughout your day at home. You wake up, make breakfast, make coffee, get ready for work, and then leave for the day. Then you come home after work and cook dinner, watch TV, spend time with the family, etc…

Going by this common schedule, there are really only two times when people use the most electricity: in the morning and late afternoon, when people typically come home from work. During the mid-day and night, there is no large use of electricity, on average. Now, I realize that this isn’t the case for everyone, but stick with me for the sake of the example.

Electricity costs more during the daytime than it does at night, due to the demand of the "peak usage times," like I just mentioned. The Powerwall allows you to charge your batteries at night when electricity is cheap, and use it during the peak times, when electricity costs more. Now you’re not going to get rich, or even pay off your Powerwall from the electricity that you save here - but there’s more!

If you have solar panels, then you know that your solar panels produce the most electricity mid-day, when they have the most sun. Typically, though, this is when home electricity use is pretty minimal, because most people are at work. So with the Powerwall, you can charge your batteries during the day time with your solar panels, and use that electricity during peak times - or any other time.

Currently, when utility companies produce electricity, they have to exactly meet demand, because there is little-to-no storage in the system. With enough people buying these batteries, there will be a leveling out effect where not as much electricity will be needed to during peak hours, because that is when the batteries will be discharged.


About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.