Homeowner Blog

Power Cut? Not My Problem... Tesla Powerwall's Solar Panel Backup Is Finally On Its Way...

Erica Charles 01 Mar 2019

The long-awaited Powerwall 2 backup capability is ‘on the water’, with the first wave of deliveries expected in April.  There’s a two stage roll-out, based on the type of earthing system required. Stage 2 will be in August.

If you are familiar with the Powerwall system, you will know that the system consists of the Powerwall unit itself, which houses the battery and the inverter, along with a ‘gateway’ which provides remote connectivity.

The original gateway, ‘GW 1’, was a plastic fronted box providing remote connectivity to the system.

From April this will be upgraded to a new gateway, GW 2, a stylish frosted glass-fronted ‘mini’ version of Powerwall 2, measuring 380mm wide x 580mm tall x 127mm deep, and weighing 9.8kg.  It is IP55 rated, so suitable for outdoors, and can be padlocked to stop any unwanted access.

The main purpose of the gateway upgrade is to enable ‘backup’ capability so that the homeowner can still power their home in a power cut.

So confident is Tesla that all customers will want the new backup enabled system, that they are actually expecting to discontinue GW 1 altogether, even though GW 1 offers a lower cost entry point into the Powerwall 2 system.

Tesla has certainly done its research. According to the company, in the nine month period 18/6/18 – 18/2/19 there were 93,965 unique power cut incidents in the UK, typically lasting between 15 mins and 4 hours and impacting 2 million customers. Anyone with a solar panel backup system in place would be smiling now....

[Apparently there are 22,200  online searches for "Schadenfreude" every month in the UK.  I wonder if Mr Musk has checked that stat out ....]

 

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Topics: Battery storage, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

Spirit Energy’s New Toy: FREE Battery Storage Calculator

Erica Charles 08 Feb 2019

A few weeks ago we launched a Solar PV Calculator and wrote a blog about solar in a post subsidy world.

However, for many people looking at renewables, solar is only one part of the story. Increasingly, solar goes hand-in-hand with battery storage. And many of us are at least wondering whether we should switch to an electric car.

Finally, in 2019 we expect to see a proliferation of ‘time-of-use’ electricity tariffs from the utility companies, all aimed at transforming electricity demand and supply.

To handle all of this, we’ve been busy developing the all-singing-and-dancing calculator which looks at the package of solar, battery storage, electric car usage and choice of tariff. And of course if you are building your dream home, you'll probably be wanting a heat pump...

Soft Launch of Version 1 Today

Call me a nerd but I love a mathematical model…

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Topics: Battery storage, Calculator

Home Battery Storage Prepares for Blast Off in 2019

Erica Charles 14 Dec 2018

With 11 days to go until Christmas, Michelle Obama has launched her bid to join Christmas bestseller lists across the globe, Simon Cowell et al have launched their usual bid for the Christmas Number 1 song slot, and the nation prepares once more to vote in the Strictly Come Dancing final tomorrow.

A similar end-of-year flurry is taking place in the home battery storage market, all with a view to turbo-charging the market in 2019.

In the last few weeks:

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall, Powervault

Off-Grid Power: Is It Time to Ditch the Grid?

Erica Charles 23 Nov 2018

"Can I go off-grid with solar?" is a question we are asked at least once a week. When the Big 6 hike electricity prices, make that once a day.

It's a particularly enticing proposition, especially if you are 'self-building' your dream home and aiming for PassivHaus standards and Grand Design prizes.

The Short Answer is "Yes you can go off-grid with solar."

A Better Answer is "Don't do it unless your grid connection is REALLY expensive."  Instead, make the Grid work for you by taking full advantage of time-of-use tariffs (off-peak charging).

To illustrate our Better Answer, we've modelled an off-grid residential property with an annual electricity consumption of 5,000 kWh.

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Topics: Battery storage, Off grid, Solar PV

Spirit Moves the Market: Tesla Powerwall 2 and Powervault 3 Warranty Updates

Erica Charles 13 Jul 2018

Four weeks ago, we compared the warranties of Tesla’s Powerwall 2, Powervault 3 and Pylontech.

This week, both Powerwall 2 and Powervault 3 have updated – and improved – their warranties.

Powervault has in fact changed the underlying chemistry of its battery and launched GridFlexTM, but more on that next week…

For Powerwall 2 customers, the update is retrospective which is good news for our Powerwall 2 customers.

Now to the fine print….

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall, Powervault

Powervault 3 vs Tesla Powerwall 2: Back of Envelope Economics

Erica Charles 11 May 2018

When considering battery storage, the costs are vital. So let’s see how they stack up for two of the biggest brands, Powervault 3 and Tesla’s Powerwall 2. As a rough guide, for someone installing a battery as part of a solar system (thus with a VAT rate of 5%), the rough costs are as follows:

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall, Powervault

Powervault 3 vs Tesla Powerwall 2: It's All In The Chemistry

Erica Charles 30 Apr 2018

I have an abiding memory from secondary school of our chemistry teacher pressing ‘play’ on an old video cassette, and there, projected onto the screen at the front of the room, was a video made by what must have been a desperately struggling actor, dressed in yellow tights and a white coat, dancing on a lab bench and singing the 'Periodic Table song'.  

The video served two purposes:

  • it put us off chemistry;
  • it put us off acting.

At least it put me off acting. Kristin Scott Thomas attended the school a few years before I did, and clearly, it didn’t put her off acting (credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, The English Patient, and most recently Winston Churchill’s long suffering wife in Darkest Hour ). No dancing on lab benches for her just to pay the bills.

To the video’s credit, more than a couple of decades later, I can still remember the first two rows of the Periodic Table. Of course I’ve never used the knowledge, until the advent of home battery storage.

Today, as the second in our series of blogs on Powervault 3, we are studying Lithium Ferro Phosphate (Powervault 3) vs  Lithiated Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (Tesla Powerwall 2).

Don’t worry, ‘Studying’ is over-egging it. We’re looking at the differences from a home battery storage point of view...


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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall, Powervault

Introducing Powervault 3: The Smartest Home Battery Storage System?

Erica Charles 27 Apr 2018

UK-based Powervault has recently launched Powervault 3, a home battery storage system which is designed to take full advantage of the revolution taking place in the UK electricity market.

Powervault totally ‘gets’ the future of electricity generation and storage in the UK and has built a battery system that can do everything you could ever think a homeowner would want it to be able to do…

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Topics: Battery storage, Powervault

Tesla Time-of-Use goes live: is 2018 the year for time-of-use tariffs?

Henry Day 13 Apr 2018

Tesla recently confirmed that their eagerly anticipated Time-Based Control feature for Powerwall 2 is being rolled out to existing systems. 

We are now able to reveal the functionality available (and to confirm that as expected it's pretty comprehensive)...

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

Buy cheap, use peak - a game changer for the UK electricity market?

Erica Charles 30 Nov 2017

Our Tesla rep Jerry came to our office this week to update us on the latest Powerwall 2 developments.

The most exciting thing? Timed charging and discharging is due to go live in January or Feburary 2018.  

Why is this so exciting?

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall