Batteries: The Power Of The Future?

 

Batteries: The Home Energy of the Future?

 

Elon Musk is at it again.

Most casual observers thought the giant lithium-ion battery Gigafactory being built by Tesla Motors (TSLA) was all about the electric car market.

That’s… mostly true. But it’s also about so much more.

Musk also plans to use the Gigafactory to produce batteries that can power private homes, and even larger structures.

The company’s Chief Technology Officer, JB Straubel, believes the market for stationary batteries “can scale faster than automotive,” and could account for up to 30% of the Gigafactory’s battery output.

Rumors about the company making the major shift into stationary batteries have been around for a while. But, they weren’t confirmed until the evening of April 30 by Musk at a Tesla event.

Storage and the New Grid

What’s so big about this news is that these batteries may very well become a key component in the grid of the future.

More and more homes, businesses, and utilities are using renewable energy. But the major problem with energy sources, like solar and wind power, is that power generation can be intermittent.

These batteries can be used to combat the surging nature of renewable energy by storing electricity during peak productions times and then releasing it when it’s needed.

The battery system, unveiled by Tesla yesterday, is similar to what has already been available to about 300 customers of Solar City (SCTY), a company that Musk chairs. These units can be leased for an initial outlay of $1,500, with a payment of $15 per month.

Musk unveiled two batteries for the home: the 10-kilowatt capacity Powerwall and the 7-kilowatt capacity Powerpack. The cost is $3,500 and $3,000, respectively.

The Powerwall is intended to provide back-up power for the home while the Powerpack can be used to run everyday refrigerators and TVs.

In the corporate world, Tesla battery back-up systems have already been installed by both Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL) at their corporate campuses. The company has also launched a pilot program with Wal-Mart (WMT). No price was stated by Musk for the business products.

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Jessica Danielle 5 years ago Member's comment

Very educational topic! After entire blog reading, I must say it was so rich in quality and precious for the reading. Impressive publish!

Sohosh 5 years ago Member's comment

huge fire hazard!

Igor Gjurovski 5 years ago Member's comment

If we use much older and wide spreaded technology as lead acid or gel batteries we can have 10kW for less than $1000.

Zain Cassimjee 5 years ago Member's comment

Bit of an idiotic headline... Batteries are the Power of the Past and the Present too.

Atul Pandey Vatsa 5 years ago Member's comment

IF YOU FIND ENERGY FROM ANTIGRAVITY MATTER THEN IT NEVER STOP

Anne Micheal 5 years ago Member's comment
Future should be planned because some time we need a good and awesome strategy to over come our needs
Barney Muckle 5 years ago Member's comment

Nothing at all new here. Thousands of.solar powered home owners in Kenya have been using lead acid battery storage for long. In my case 33 years and never a blackout.

Michael Odonkor 5 years ago Member's comment

Interesting - but I dare say the future is with Lithium Ion Phosphate (LiFePo4) batteries which have so much more to offer. Granted they cost much more than lead acid batteries but are actually better value given their life span (5X more in discharge cycles) compared to lead acid. They also tolerate much higher depths of discharge than lead acid batteries without necessarily shortening their useful life. There is a lot of info available on the internet about LiFePo4. Check it out.