Tesla Powerwall Home Battery FAQs

Most Commonly Asked Questions

All you need is a compatible inverter and you’re good to go!  The currently compatible inverters as of January 2016 are the SolarEdge StorEdge Inverter for single phase power properties and the Fronius Symo Hybrid for three phase power properties.

Natural Solar is able to provide and install all the parts you need to get up and running – The Tesla Powerwall, a compatible and appropriate inverter for your property and solar panels (if you already have some and have more space, these are still really cheap due to government rebates in Australia!).

If you’re interested in getting an instant automatic online quote, please click here to fill out our Tesla Energy Powerwall Quote form.

Currently SolarEdge StorEdge (for Single Phase properties) and Fronius Symo Hybrid (for Three Phase properties) are compatible with the Tesla Powerwall Home Battery.

Natural Solar is able to provide and install all the parts you need to get up and running – The Tesla Powerwall, a compatible and appropriate inverter for your property and solar panels (if you already have some and have more space, these are still really cheap due to government rebates in Australia!).

If you’re interested in getting an instant automatic online quote, please click here to fill out our Tesla Energy Powerwall Quote form.

After currency conversion, shipping costs from America to Australia, Australian import tax, warehouse storage costs, freight to the property, as well as the labor of installation and the required inverter and panels, it’s highly unlikely the cost is going to decrease anytime soon.

We are already offering the Tesla Powerwall and compatible inverter at the lowest costs we can find around Australia.

Additionally, we have intensely negotiated with several financial institutions and have been able to secure industry-lowest finance rates of 6.12% paid monthly over 1 to 5 years or 7.98% paid monthly over 1 to 7 years.   Depending on your home loan provider, you may also be able to refinance your home loan to cover this cost!

Find out how much you can get a new Tesla Powerwall solar system for using out instant online quote form here – The instant quote documents have pricing information (finance and outright), product spec sheet links, etc.  We will also be providing a quote form for customers who do not have any additional roof space for panels or do not want any additional panels by the 18th of January 2016, in the meantime please contact us at [email protected] if you just want the Tesla Powerwall and compatible inverter.

1

Natural Solar’s owner and director Chris Williams has been in the Solar Industry since 2008 and Natural Solar has been proudly providing solar solutions to customers Australia-wide since 2012.

We have offices in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and install and service all of Australia with our team of Tesla Energy Certified Installers.

We’ve worked on some huge projects here in Australia for big clients such as Sydney Trains (NSW Transport System) and The Australian Museum as well as numerous other commercial installations like Ainsworth Gaming Tech, Capital Coast Kitchens and the Canterbury Ice Rink as well as pubs, clubs and RSLs such as Wangi District Workers Club and the Muswellbrook District Workers Club.

Check out some of our residential installations here.

Check out some of our commercial installations here.

Currently, there are no inverters (the ‘brains’ behind the system) on the market which are compatible with the Tesla Powerwall AND specifically designed for Off Grid solutions.  The Tesla Powerwall IS able to be used in Off Grid solutions, once there are off-grid able AND Tesla Powerwall compatible inverters available.

If you have the money to do so, once the off grid compatible inverters are available, you can definitely go off grid using the Tesla Powerwall.  You will need a generator for last resort backup power and multiple Tesla Powerwalls.

If you CAN stay connected to the grid, save yourself around $10-25,000+ by staying connected to the grid which removes the need for a generator and extra Tesla Powerwalls to store the power needed to cover you for multiple cloudy and/or rainy days in a row (a requirement for off grid solutions).

Even if you stay connected to the grid you would only use grid power when your batteries are completely drained.  If you don’t end up using any grid power, you only need to pay the service fee from your energy provider.

Depending on your Feed-In Tariffs, once your house power needs are met and your Tesla Powerwall(s) are fully charged, you are able to sell your excess power back to the grid which in many cases will even cover your service fee and potentially even get a credit from your energy provider!

To expand on the selling power back to the grid concept, if you add Reposit Power to your system, you will be able to sell your stored power back to the grid in times where there is excessive demand on the grid (such as really hot days in Summer where everyone is running their air conditioners) and the grid supply can’t meet the demand at around $1 per kWh.  These specific events statistically happen around 77 times a year and adding Reposit Power to your system will help you become even more cash flow positive meaning your solar system is paid off quicker than those without Reposit Power.  More details to be made available in April 2016.

For the Tesla Powerwall, no.  For solar panels, yes.

Prices quoted by our team and our instant online quoting system are after government rebates are accounted for.

No, the Tesla Powerwall does not require regular maintenance, unlike many other batteries on the market, the Tesla Powerwall once installed does not require any monitoring or maintenance by the owner.

If any servicing or troubleshooting is required, Natural Solar will provide this service.

The Tesla Powerwall includes a 10 year limited warranty.

The limited warranty covers defects in parts and workmanship, as well as at least 60% energy retention after 10 years, provided it is registered and used as intended.

At the end of the warranty period, the Tesla Powerwall will retain at least 60% of its initial energy capacity. The duration of time it will keep working past the end of the warranty period depends on a number of factors including type of operation and environmental conditions.

Yes you are able to sell your stored excess power back to the grid whilst using the Tesla Powerwall.  Solar Bonus Scheme Feed-In Tariffs (60c and 20c per kWh) are ending on December 31 2016.  Retail feed-in tariffs will be available to sell excess power back to your energy retailer.

To counteract this to a degree is a hardware and software addition called Reposit Power.  If you add Reposit Power to your system, you will be able to sell your stored power back to the grid in times where there is excessive demand on the grid (such as really hot days in Summer where everyone is running their air conditioners) and the grid supply can’t meet the demand at around $1 per kWh.  These specific events have been statistically proven to happen around 77 times a year and adding Reposit Power to your system will help you generate cash from your existing and new solar installations which will also mean your solar installation has paid for itself even quicker!  More information on this will be available in February 2016.

Yes we do!  We’ve secured industry lowest rates of 6.12% over up to 5 years and 7.99% over up to 7 years!  Check out our Finance page for more information here.
The Daily Cycle Tesla Powerwall Home Battery has a 7 kWh energy storage capacity, sufficient to power most homes during the evening using electricity generated by solar panels during the day. Multiple batteries may be installed together for homes with greater energy needs.  They are developed to be charged during the day and discharged at night (as needed), daily, all year round.

A 10 kWh weekly cycle version was originally announced and going to be developed for backup applications but has had development discontinued due to lack of demand for the 10kWh backup Powerwall model.  It is not ideal for Daily Cycle use (where it’s charged during the day and discharged at night, daily, 365 days a year) and was only ideal for blackout coverage once a week.

Got a question we have not answered?

General

The Tesla Powerwall Home Battery is a state of the art Tesla battery system for residential and light commercial applications that enables the storage of energy such as Solar Power.  Commonly, the Tesla Powerwall can be used to store solar energy during the day for use at night time. It can also provide backup power in case of a grid outage. Depending on where one lives and the electricity rates in that area, Powerwall can potentially save homeowners money by shifting energy consumption from high to low rate periods. Lastly, it can also help people achieve total energy independence and go completely off-grid.
The Tesla Powerwall contains lithium ion batteries, a DC/DC converter, liquid thermal control system, and a battery management system (BMS) which receives dispatch commands from a compatible DC to AC inverter. The inverter is to be purchased separately and is not a part of the Tesla Powerwall.

Dimensions are 1300 mm (L) x 860 mm (W) x 180 mm (H). The Tesla Powerwall weighs about 100 kilograms.

Tesla Energy Powerwall

Tesla uses lithium ion batteries for the Tesla Powerwall Home Battery.
The Tesla Powerwall is nearly silent, however it does contain a small fan as part of the cooling system, and therefore does make noise whenever the fan turns on. When the fan turns on, the dB level is <50dB
All production Tesla Powerwalls will be manufactured in Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, USA.

There are finance options available to purchase the Tesla Powerwall (even your entire purchase from us!) with pay back periods ranging from 24 months to 84 months.

If you’re interested in getting a quote, our automatic online quoting system will instantly provide you a quote which also includes a monthly finance amount, so go ahead and get an automatic online quote now!

The savings that can be generated by using a Tesla Powerwall depends on the location, the electricity rate in that area, whether the homeowner has solar, and several other factors.  We are working on case studies and possibly calculators to help you determine these yourself in the near future!

The Tesla Powerwall provides direct current (DC) output power. Since most homes require alternating current (AC) to run appliances, an inverter is needed which converts DC to AC power. Power and communication conductors/cables are required to connect Powerwall to the inverter.

Natural Solar is able to provide and install all the parts you need to get up and running – The Tesla Powerwall, a compatible and appropriate inverter for your property and solar panels (if you already have some and have more space, these are still really cheap due to government rebates in Australia!).

If you’re interested in getting an instant automatic online quote, please click here to fill out our Tesla Energy Powerwall Quote form.

Currently SolarEdge StorEdge (for Single Phase properties) and Fronius Symo Hybrid (for Three Phase properties) are compatible with the Tesla Powerwall Home Battery.

Natural Solar is able to provide and install all the parts you need to get up and running – The Tesla Powerwall, a compatible and appropriate inverter for your property and solar panels (if you already have some and have more space, these are still really cheap due to government rebates in Australia!).

If you’re interested in getting an instant automatic online quote, please click here to fill out our Tesla Energy Powerwall Quote form.

Over the last 12 years, Tesla has developed great expertise around usage and safe deployment of lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles. That depth of knowledge is leveraged for the Tesla Powerwall. In addition, the Tesla Powerwall is wall mounted, great looking, low cost and Tesla provides limited warranty for up to 10 years.  The Powerwall is completely safe, offers high performance, and reliable operation for a homeowner. Unlike other battery systems in the market, Tesla Powerwall, when paired with a compatible inverter is easy to setup & install and will continue to work seamlessly without any intervention from the homeowner. Tesla aims to deliver a great user experience to the end customer and help make renewable energy accessible and easy to use for everyone.

Powerwall Usage

No. One does not need PV/Solar power to operate the Tesla Powerwall. The Tesla Powerwall can be charged using AC power from the grid or a generator. Without PV, the Tesla Powerwall can be used for load shifting or backup power.
Yes, if you have a PV system, the Tesla Powerwall can store excess solar energy for use at a later time.
Yes, the Tesla Powerwall can enable PV to continue operating during an outage as long as it paired with a compatible inverter capable of islanding. The PV will supply loads during day time and any excess energy will be stored in the Tesla Powerwall. When PV is not producing power, the Tesla Powerwall will provide power to the household loads.
Yes. The Tesla Powerwall can be used to go completely off-grid provided one has a power generation source (PV (solar), generator, or wind power) and a compatible inverter.  At this moment, SolarEdge does not support off-grid capability but Fronius does.
The number of Tesla Powerwalls needed to enable a site to go off-grid will depend on the site’s solar production and energy use. If you’re interested in going completely off-grid contact us and we can arrange our off-grid specialist to get in touch so that we can size the system accurately according to your needs.

If you’d like to get the ball rolling now, please complete the Natural Solar Off-Grid Questionnaire and return it to us to allow us to accurately size your system.

The Tesla Powerwall enables a homeowner to do this.  To build upon this, combining this with the Reposit Power system which sells your excess power back to the grid when there are periods of high demand (statistically proven to be around 77 events each year) and the grid can’t keep up with demand, you can sell your stored power back to the grid at high rates.
The Tesla Powerwall is designed for daily use applications like self-consumption of solar and load shifting. Assuming full daily cycles, Tesla Powerwall is designed to provide energy for 3650 full equivalent cycles which is equivalent to 10 years of use. Tesla uses number of cycles as an easy illustration of throughput capacity and does not penalize the user for depth of discharge or partial cycles. Two half cycles or four quarter cycles are equivalent to one full cycle, as energy throughput is the key metric affecting lifetime. The term “cycle life” or “number of cycles” should be carefully used given some companies use those terms while not necessarily referring to a full cycle (0 –> 100% –> 0%).
Yes, multiple Tesla Powerwalls can be connected to either increase energy, power, or both. A total of 8 Tesla Powerwalls can be connected together in parallel. However, at this moment, inverters are currently not able to support the integration of more than 2 Tesla Powerwalls per inverter. In addition, while integrating 2 Tesla Powerwalls in parallel, there is an increase only in Energy and not Power. In the future as Tesla’s inverter partners develop capabilities for integrating more than two Tesla Powerwalls per inverter for both energy & power, we will make this information available. A DC combiner box is the only additional hardware that may be needed for integrating multiple Tesla Powerwalls.
The switchover time and UPS functionality are reliant on the DC to AC inverter. The inverters that are currently Tesla Powerwall compatible do not support UPS functionality. The inverters currently have switchover time in the seconds. In the future as our inverter partners develop UPS functionality, Tesla will notify its channel partners.

Inverter/Additional Hardware

At the moment, the Tesla Powerwall is compatible with the SolarEdge StorEdge (Single Phase) and Fronius Symo Hybrid (Three Phase) inverters. Tesla continues to evaluate other inverter partners. When more inverters become compatible, Tesla will notify its channel partners.
No, the Tesla Powerwall is not compatible with inverters not approved by Tesla. Using a non-approved inverter will void the warranty provided by Tesla.
To maximize efficiency and ease of installation, the Tesla Powerwall is designed to connect to dual input port inverters at a DC output voltage of 350-450V. Most existing inverters in the market are only compatible with batteries up to 48V nominal voltage. At the moment only SolarEdge & Fronius have inverters compatible with high voltage DC battery output. Tesla has focused integration efforts with SolarEdge and Fronius but is evaluating several other inverters for compatibility in 2016.
Yes, the system can island to support backup loads. The SolarEdge solution requires establishing a back-up panel. The Fronius solution provides an option of either establishing a backup panel or supporting all the loads in the main panel. The amount of energy reserved for back-up can be any amount from zero to full available capacity.
If the PV installation is new, a Tesla Powerwall compatible inverter will serve both the PV array and Tesla Powerwall. The only other major consideration is a critical loads panel if backup power is desired. Tesla Powerwall itself does not require additional hardware, however local installation codes may dictate hardware such as a DC disconnect switch.

The Tesla Powerwallcan be integrated with existing PV installations as well as new installations.

To request a retrofit quote, please complete the automatic online quote form here to request a retrofit quote.

AC coupling for solar/battery installations typically means the PV connects to the critical loads panel, which in turn is AC coupled inside the battery inverter to the AC grid. This kind of AC coupling is not supported (yet) with either a SolarEdge or Fronius Inverter. Tesla continues to evaluate other inverter partners who will support AC coupled installations in the future to support complement existing PV installations.

Operation & Software Control

The inverter communicates with the Tesla Powerwall to determine when to charge and discharge. The Tesla Powerwall’s on-board Battery Management System (BMS) controls charging/discharging based on inputs from the inverter.
The Tesla Powerwall is designed to operate in a self-sufficient manner, but the Tesla Powerwall and its status will be visible in the monitoring software provided by the inverter company.
Programmability varies by inverter, and may also vary over time as we and our inverter partners upgrade firmware. For most inverters, basic control modes such as “Maximize self-consumption of PV”, or “Perform energy arbitrage according to a specified schedule” are easily programmed via the inverter.
The approved models of both SolarEdge (StorEdge) & Fronius (Symo Hybrid) inverters can be controlled remotely via an API.
Communication is only available to the inverter, not directly to the Tesla Powerwall, and takes place via an API. Protocols vary by inverter.
The system will report battery status, including electrical parameters such as power, AC voltage, state of energy (SOE), and error codes.
In the case of a communication outage, the system will revert to the most recent dispatch schedule.
Yes, the Tesla Powerwall can be sent updated software remotely using the inverter’s internet connection.

Safety and Environmental

Yes, the Tesla Powerwall architecture has been built from the ground up to deliver multiple levels of protection. In addition, a highly sophisticated Battery Management System and liquid thermal control system ensures the batteries will always function in a safe manner. The Tesla Powerwall is tested and certified to local market safety standards.
The safety of the battery cells within the Tesla Powerwall is maintained by the Tesla Powerwall. The Tesla Powerwall includes a highly sophisticated Battery Management System (BMS) that ensures the battery will always function in a safe manner. The BMS leverages the technology, lessons learned, and in-house expertise from the BMS used in the widely deployed Tesla car batteries.
Yes, the batteries inside are recyclable. At the end of life, Tesla will accept the Tesla Powerwalls for recycling at the Gigafactory
The Tesla Powerwall is designed to be extremely safe. There is no fire hazard during normal operation.

Maintenance & Reliability

The Tesla Powerwall does not require maintenance or servicing unlike lead-acid based batteries which require weekly monitoring and frequent maintenance.
If troubleshooting is needed, depending on the nature of servicing required, Natural Solar will provide the service.
The Tesla Powerwall will operate without maintenance for at least 10 years as long as recommended operation procedures are followed.
The Tesla Powerwall includes a 10 year limited warranty.
The limited warranty covers defects in parts and workmanship, as well as at least 60% energy retention after 10 years, provided it is registered and used as intended.
At the end of the warranty period, the Tesla Powerwall will retain at least 60% of its initial energy capacity. The duration of time it will keep working past the end of the warranty period depends on a number of factors including type of operation and environmental conditions.

Australia Specific Questions

The Tesla Powerwall is available now for installation starting as early as January 2016!
SolarEdge inverters (single phase) are expected to become available in Australia/New Zealand starting in Q4 2015. Fronius inverters (three phase) are expected to be available in Australia/New Zealand starting in Q1 2016.

In Australia/New Zealand the Tesla Powerwall will be tested to the following certifications:
– IEC 62619
– AS/NZS 3100
– UN 38.3
– IEC 1000-3-2 (EN 61000-3-2)

Got a question we have not answered?