Tesla Powerwall Buyer’s Guide

by | Last updated Mar 9, 2020 | Smart Home, Technology

Tesla Powerwall Buyer's Guide 1
Tesla Powerwall 2 | Source: Tesla

Tesla Powerwall Overview

The Tesla Powerwall is Tesla’s residential stationary energy storage product designed for homeowners to store energy utilizing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The idea behind the Powerwall is to provide homeowners a way to store energy generated from solar, optimize electricity use for time-of-use electric plans, provide backup power during periods of brown-outs and blackouts, and provide power for off-grid use.

Tesla Powerwall Specs

Tesla has two versions of the Powerwall. The Tesla Powerwall 1 was first introduced in 2015, but was quickly replaced in 2016 with the Powerwall 2.

The Tesla Powerwall 2 is far superior compared to the first version providing improved battery capacity, output power, a wider range of operating temperatures, and a far better warranty. A Powerwall 3 has not yet been announced at this time however, given Tesla’s recent push for home energy and storage, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a Powerwall 3 in the works.

ModelPowerwall 1Powerwall 2
Battery TypeLi-IonLi-Ion
Capacity6.4 (kWh)13.5 (kWh)
Power2kW continuous7kW peak / 5kW continuous
Operating Temperature−4 to 110 °F (−20 to 43 °C)−4 to 122 °F (−20 to 50 °C)
Size51.3 in × 34 in × 7.2 in (1303 mm x 864 mm x 183 mm)45.3 in × 29.6 in × 5.75 in (1150 mm x 753 mm x 147 mm)
Weight214 lb (97 kg) 251.3 lb (114.0 kg)
Warranty10 Years (5,000 cycles)10 Years (Unlimited cycles for solar self-consumption / backup only or 37.80 MWh of aggregate throughput for any other application or combination of applications)

Tesla Powerwall Installation

Installation for the Tesla Powerwall is relatively simple. There are two main components that need to be installed in a home for the Powerwall system. This includes the Powerwall itself as well as the Backup Gateway.

In the essential loads backup configuration which we’ll get into in a little bit, a new electric sub-panel will also be installed. These are all typically installed wall-mounted. The Powerwall can also be installed floor mounted.

Tesla Powerwall Configurations

There are two different wiring configurations for the Tesla Powerwall, whole home backup and essential loads backup which are detailed in the Tesla Powerwall Welcome Guide. Let’s take a look at what this means.

Whole Home Backup Configuration

The whole home backup configuration is the simpler of the configurations. In this configuration, the Powerwall will provide complete battery backup to the entire home and simply involves installation of the Powerwall directly into the main electrical panel of the home.

Tesla Powerwall Buyer's Guide 2

Essential Load Backup Configuration

The essential load backup configuration is slightly more complex in that it involves the installation of a new electric sub-panel into the home where essential loads will be installed. The Powerwall will then be installed into the sub-panel and provide backup power for those loads. This can help substantially lower the cost of a Powerwall installation or provide substantially longer runtime as non-critical equipment such as a pool heater for example can be excluded while circuits for critical equipment such as medical devices can be included.

Tesla Powerwall Buyer's Guide 3

Tesla Powerwall Cost

The Tesla Powerwall costs $6,500 for a single Powerwall (13.5 kWh) and an additional $1,100 for supporting hardware which includes the inverter and Backup Gateway making the price of the entry level Tesla Powerwall around $7,600. Additional Powerwalls can be added at a cost of an additional $6,500 each (up to 10 Powerwalls total) and can be linked together to provide additional battery capacity (up to 1,350 kWh total). Additional supporting hardware for each additional Powerwall is not required.

Be aware, this is just the cost of the Tesla Powerwall system. It does not include installation costs which can depend on your location, the type of electrical wiring in your house, and other factors.

Depending on your location, some states provide incentives for the purchase and installation of a Powerwall or similar residential battery systems. California for example provides incentives through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) which can provide incentives up to $400 per kWh ($0.40 per Wh).

How to Buy the Tesla Powerwall

The Tesla Powerwall can be purchased at the Tesla website here. A reservation fee of $99 is required to reserve a system.

<a href="https://www.gearprimer.com/sam-chen-biography/" target="_blank">Sam Chen</a>

Sam Chen

Sam is a Southern California native and an avid tool and gear enthusiast. When he's not working his day job, he enjoys spending his time working on remodeling projects, cars, and the outdoors. Follow him on Twitter @realsamchen


Leave a Comment