Is It a Worthwhile Investment?
By now, you’ve probably heard the term “home battery.” It was introduced a little less than a year ago, when Tesla Motors announced their very own home battery product line. Since then, a couple other companies have jumped on board and created their own versions of these batteries, but what exactly is a home battery and what does it do? Is it something worth investing in? Our West Chester HVAC company dove in to find out:
To begin, home battery systems are designed for homes that use solar power. The idea is that the battery can harvest and store energy from solar panels during the day and homeowners can access and use this energy at night. Since Tesla’s version (called “Powerwall”) is the most known and most available, we’ll focus on that.
What It Can Do
Essentially, the Powerwall battery is supposed to store enough energy for you to be able to use when your solar panels aren’t collecting enough sunlight. It can also give you a way to rely less on a power company and more on your own home.
The amount of energy you can store all depends on how much energy your home is able to produce. For example, if you only have one solar panel, a home battery system may not benefit you very much. If you have a whole slew of solar panels, you may actually be able to be self-sustainable and not have to rely on the electric company. Instead, the Powerwall battery can store the energy for you and you can use it when you need it.
To put it into a better perspective, inhabitat broke it down like this:
“In 2013, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,908 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average of 909 kWh per month according to the US Energy Information Administration. If you’re an “average” consumer of electricity, that translates to around 30 kWh per day, meaning that you’d need at least three batteries to cover your power usage for one day without relying on the grid. Of course, one could probably manage to scale down their energy usage if they planned to use Tesla’s home battery system as an emergency back-up.”
In addition to freeing you from relying on an electric company, a home battery system can also act as a generator if you lose power during a storm. While again, the amount stored depends on how much energy it can access, but a backup power source can be very convenient.
How It Works
As solar panels convert light into electricity, it charges your home battery while it powers your home. The battery’s inverter converts the solar electricity, electricity from the grid, and electricity from the battery into the current that’s used by your appliances and lights. This current can then be used at night when the sun is no longer providing energy.
How Much It Costs
While similar batteries go for as much as $10,000, Tesla’s Powerwall is by far the most affordable model. The home battery system ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 for 7kWh of storage to 30kWh of storage. However, homeowners should keep in mind that that doesn’t include alternative energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines.
While it’s unrealistic to say that Tesla’s home battery system will be used in a majority of homes in the country, it is realistic to say that it may spark people’s interests about being self-sustainable and taking advantage of renewable energy. What do you think? Would you invest in a home battery system?