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Homeowner Blog

Victor Kiam and the Tesla Powerwall: "So impressed I bought the company."

Erica Charles 12 Apr 2019

Yesterday I had my own modest version of a Victor Kiam moment.

If you are too young to remember Mr Kiam, spend 30 seconds watching this…. Mr Kiam's famous line ‘I loved the shaver so much I bought the company’ was the cornerstone of a hugely successful 1979 advertising campaign.

Mr Kiam was swept away by the joy of a sharp shave. For me it was Tesla and the sheer passion with which they are pursuing their mission ‘to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy’.

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

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

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

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

PylonTech, Powervault, Powerwall 2... What's In the Warranty?

Erica Charles 12 Jun 2018

Following our analysis of Powervault 3 vs Powerwall 2, we had a couple of requests for a review of the SoFar / Pylontech residential battery storage system.

On the face of it, the SoFar / Pylontech combination offers good value, flexible sizing, and LFP (Lithium Ferro Phosphate) chemistry… so well worth consideration.

And that's before you appreciate the fun to be had when trying to summarise the essence of the different warranties: Pylontech vs Powerwall vs Powervault.

Here goes…

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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

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

Solar PV Battery Storage: Marks out of 10 for the Powerwall 2

Erica Charles 08 Sep 2017

tesla_pw_certified_installer.png 

In the past 12 months, Tesla has generated unprecedented interest in home battery storage, and in particular solar PV battery storage, both in the US and in the UK.

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall