Doing our part for the environment has always been important to our family, and it was that line of thinking that led to us getting solar panels installed a few years back. Since then, we’ve reaped the financial rewards of switching over to solar and recently began exploring ways to stretch our savings even further. A few friends of ours recently got solar batteries put in along with their solar installation and they have been raving about them.
After exploring the minefield of options online and getting feedback from friends who recently took the plunge, we finally decided on the Tesla Powerwall 2. Since the install, we’ve seen our reliance on the grid decline and the amount of cash left in our back pockets grow.
I’ll talk you through a review of Tesla Powerwall 2 and a few of the key benefits I’ve found since we got it installed.
Tesla Powerwall 2 Output
The Tesla Powerwall 2 was launched in Australia back in 2017 and came with a heap of improvements over the first iteration. It boasts greater storage capacity at 13.5kWh, which is over double the original with no substantial price hike. It also has an impressive 5kW continuous output with a 7kW peak, far superior to the 3.3kW of the last model.
The Powerwall 2 also uses liquid cooling and has a rated operating temperature range of -20 to 50 degrees. It means that the battery operates more efficiently in a broader range of temperatures. However, like with anything electrical, you will have reduced output at the extreme ends.
But what have all these improvements meant for us as a family? Well, the extra output has been able to handle everything we have thrown at it so far, and the increased capacity has been keeping our house powered for longer. It has decreased the amount of power we are drawing from the grid and has lowered our energy bills.
The Design of Tesla Powerwall
The design and appearance of our panels have never been something that has bothered us too much. That being said, they are on the roof and out of the way. One of our concerns with getting a solar battery was having it take up too much room somewhere at ground level.
However, the exterior design is stylish & modern, with neat cooling vents on either side. The battery measures just 1150mm x 755mm x 155mm, so it is relatively slim for the power you are getting from it and doesn’t take up much room.
Overall the design is sleek and styling and houses our new solar battery brilliantly.
Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation & Safety
We chose to mount our Tesla Powerwall 2 on the garage wall, but the 125kg battery can also be mounted on the ground. Due to Australian regulations, the Powerwall 2 must be installed in a non-liveable area of the home. It means your options are limited to enclosed or sheltered garages, or outdoors on the side of your house thanks to the IP56 weather rating.
Make sure to check out the guidelines with the Solaray Team before getting it installed as a couple we know tried to get it installed in their laundry area, but this is considered a non-permissible place. As a rule of thumb, if it’s inside and not the garage, it probably cannot be installed there.
Powerwall 2 Ease of Use
One of the things we’ve enjoyed most about our Tesla Powerwall 2 is the seamlessness of the experience. The technology behind the scenes is complicated but it’s easy to use and understand, essentially:
- The power generated by the solar panels goes to your house first, then to the battery, and to the grid last.
- If your system isn’t generating enough power, the Tesla Powerwall supplements your needs if it is charged. If it isn’t, your house draws power from the grid.
- In the event of no solar power and no battery charge, you begin drawing power from the grid.
That entire decision-making process is left to the battery and solar system and it all happens automatically. When the Powerwall 2 was first installed, the only thing we had to decide was how much storage capacity we wanted to reserve in the event of a blackout (you can keep the lights on when the grid’s down!). Typically this is set at around 20%, but we opted for 25% because we wanted to make sure the alarm clock would still go off in the morning and for there to be enough emergency power to get us off to work before the solar system turned on.
The Tesla Powerwall App
All of the functionality discussed above can be monitored using the Tesla app. It allows you to monitor your live electricity consumption, and control when you charge and discharge your Powerwall 2. I used the app on iOS, but Android users can get it too.
The app is simple to use and gives you great insight into the workings of your install. I found myself glued to the screen the first few days watching as the battery filled to capacity. Once that happened, we then had three straight days operating off-grid, which was an incredible feeling.
As well as individual metrics for stuff like solar production, battery use, and grid power, graphs overlay each other to give you a crystal clear view of what the day looks like.
A feature we haven’t had to use yet is Stormwatch. It uses the internet to monitor weather events that may cause power outages. When one is likely, the battery prioritises charging to capacity to ensure you have power in the event of a power outage.
The Tesla Powerwall 2 is the best value storage solutions on the market per kWh. The 13.5kWh of capacity allows Powerwall 2 to provide a steady stream of power to our home, with the real potential to eliminate your power bill with careful management.
In terms of our peace of mind, the Powerwall 2 is backed by a ten-year warranty, which means we can sleep easy at night knowing we’ll be okay should there be any issues.
For us, the cost-saving has been fantastic, and it’s a great feeling when you have your first few days where you don’t rely on the grid for power. Not only do we have some money in our back pocket, but the environment is better off for it too.
Should You Buy A Tesla Powerwall?
Electricity prices are on the rise, and the reliability of the grid has been front-page news recently. Many Australian households are taking matters into their own hands and installing battery storage in record numbers to protect their household from the risk of a grid-down scenario.
The price of a Powerwall installed in Sydney is now under $14,000, full installed, with the inherent benefits of Powerwall 2 giving you the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars on your electricity bills over the life of the product.
Overall, Powerwall 2 is one of the best solar storage solutions on the Australian market. It provides energy security, independence from the grid, significant savings on your power bill and the ability to divest from coal by running your home on solar power up to 24 hours a day. For more information, request a callback from the Solaray Team today:
Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation & Safety
Powerwall 2 can be both ground-mounted and wall-mounted and weighs in at 120kg. Lithium Ion technology has proven to be inherently safe, but due to Australian regulations Powerwall 2 must be installed in a non-liveable area of the home. The permissible areas for installation, therefore, include enclosed or sheltered garages, or alternatively an outdoor installation on the side a house is viable thanks to an IP56 weather rating. An example of a non-permissible area would be the laundry, as it is still considered a liveable area of the house. As a rule of thumb, if it’s inside and not the garage, it cannot be installed there.
Powerwall 2 User Experience
Once Powerwall 2 is installed, you are given the freedom to choose how much storage capacity you would like to reserve in the event of a blackout (keep the lights on when the grid’s down!). Typically this is set at around 20%.
This functionality is controlled through the Tesla app, which allows you to monitor your live electricity consumption, and control when you charge and discharge your Powerwall 2. The app is available on IOS and Android, and has an interface users will find easy to navigate.
Powerwall 2 is easily one of the best value storage solutions on the market per kWh. A large storage capacity of 13.5kWh allows Powerwall 2 to provide a steady stream of power to your home, with the real potential to eliminate your bill completely if your usage falls within these limits.
Powerwall 2 is backed by a 10-year warranty, giving households the peace of mind that your Powerwall will stand the test of time.
Should I Buy A Powerwall 2?
Electricity prices are on the rise and the reliability of the grid has been front-page news this year. Sydneysiders are taking matters into their own hands and installing battery storage in record numbers to protect their household from the risk of a grid-down scenario.
The price of a Powerwall installed in Sydney is around $14,500, full installed, with the inherent benefits of Powerwall 2 giving you the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars on your electricity bills over the life of the product.
Overall, the consensus is that Powerwall 2 is one of the best solar storage solutions on the Australian market, providing energy security, independence from the grid, significant savings on your power bill and the ability to divest from coal by running your home on solar power up to 24 hours a day.