For many Canadian consumers, energy costs for our homes tend to travel in one direction; upward to pricier plateaus as illustrated on power bills. Smart meters, time of use rates have done nothing to provide us with a Simple logic would suggest we lower our consumption. Despite seeking low wattage lights and energy-saving appliances, we still seem to be paying more. In this modern world where connectivity and smartphones neglect any possibly for most of us to live off the power grid, it appears we are held at our mercy every time we turn on a light switch or plug in a device.
Last week, Tesla introduced a novel solution of a chargeable Powerwall battery providing a variety of opportunities to liberate consumers and small businesses from inflexible energy distribution. Today, it was announced the first 38,000 Powerwall units have already been sold in the United States through pre-orders. Less than a week after Elon Musk presented the new energy storage solution to the world, plans for releasing the Powerwall in Canada has been solidified.
In a partnership between Toronto's energy storage project developer NRSor Inc. and smart grid software engineering company Opus One, the Tesla Powerwall will began installation north of the 49th parallel border by the end of the year. "This energy storage system will provide Canadians with the opportunity to find demonstrable efficiencies in their daily energy usage as well as ensuring access to energy when it is really needed." said Chair and CEO of NRStor Annette Verschuren.
Expected for release statewide for the summer, the Canadian roll-out of the intelligent lithium-ion based energy storage unit will be available in limited markets for 2015. Widespread availability of the Tesla Powerwall in Canada is scheduled for the early part of 2016. The sale price for the Powerwall units have not been announced nor is there any announcement if the technology will ever qualify for government incentives.
What is the Tesla Powerwall?
Comprising as a large rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the Tesla Powerwall weighs around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and measures 1,300 millimeters by 860 millimeters by 180 millimeters (51.2 x 33.9 x 7.1 inches) in dimension. Introduced in storage capacities of 7 kWh and 10 kWh (priced at $3,000 and $3,500 respectively), the Powerwall can be installed in a collection of up to 9 units for a total battery storage capacity of 90 kWh. As a reference for the necessary capacity needed by a home or business, Tesla offered the following examples:
Refrigerator: 4.8 kWh/hour
Flat Screen TV: 0.1 kWh/hour
Lighting for a Room: 0.1 kWh/hour
Laptop Computer: 0.05 kWh/hour
Out of curiosity, a single Tesla Powerwall will not be able to fully charge a Model S. The Tesla Model S 70D fitted with a 70 kWh battery would require seven-battery home system using 10 kWh units to be completely charged from empty. Single and multiple battery setups must be installed by a trained electrician.
There are two primary ways the Tesla Powerwall can operate. The first way the Powerwall works is as energy storage for generated power from a solar panel setup. The Tesla Powerwall will also function as a backup power source for a home's existing conventional system. Under the second scenario, smart technology is employed to draw power for charging during off-peak hours for storage. During peak power periods, the Tesla Powerwall supplies energy to the connected home or building. Using numbers from Ontario Hydro as an example, on-peak cost for power per kWh is 16.1 cents while off-peak is 8.0 cents. Using a 10 kWh Tesla Powerwall, the savings will equate to 81 cents per day. While it seems meager in one day, the savings over a year is over $295.
The Tesla Powerwall is also equipped with an emergency system that will automatically switch on when utility-supplied power is lost in the event of a storm or other outage.