When the grid goes down, we all need some backup. Your top five questions about Tesla Powerwall.

When the grid goes down, we all need some backup. Your top five questions about Tesla Powerwall.

We're hearing from our friends and family in the midst of the winter storm in Texas, and hoping everyone there stays safe and warm. It may take some time until power is restored, but we're sending wishes for quick repairs. 

We're also seeing news reports about whether this recent storm is proof that climate change doesn't exist (ugh, don't get us started) or whether this anomaly in the weather pattern is caused by climate change (Spoiler alert: It is. Check out this fascinating article by climate journalist Emily Atkin).

Regardless, it's clear our country's aging grids can't handle extreme weather events. The logical next thought: in this day and age, everyone needs backup power. 

There are so many options for backup power, but as a Tesla Powerwall Certified installer, of course we encourage people toward clean, silent, renewable home battery storage rather than loud, polluting, fossil fuel burning, climate killing generators.  Read on to find the answers to the top five questions we are typically asked about Tesla Powerwall!

How does Tesla Powerwall work to keep the power on in a storm?

In the event of a power outage, your Tesla Powerwall will seamlessly switch on and provide power either to your selected breakers, or your entire home if you've set up a whole house system. 

In this photo, the two things we would add to install a Powerwall are the battery itself (2) and the Backup Gateway (5). You solar system will already include the inverter (3), and your home will already have a main breaker panel (4) and a utility meter (6). If you have an electric car you may have a car charger as well (1).

tesla pw layout imageThe gateway is the brains of your battery system, and will tell the battery when to switch on. You can program the battery to turn on at specific times, like at night, but when the grid goes down it happens automatically. Because it is placed next to your meter, the meter will tell it that there is no electricity coming from the grid and it is time to turn the battery on. 

How much energy is stored in a Tesla Powerwall? 

Each Powerwall can contain up to 13.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy. Assuming the grid is down, and if it's snowing or overcast and your panels aren't producing, then that 13.5kWh is what you've got until it can be refilled the next time the sun comes out.

For context, if you just want to keep some lights on and run a few other items, then 13.5 kWh is plenty. But a typical day's worth of electric use, for example keeping lights on, using a clothes dryer, electric hot water and computer could add up to as much as 45 kWh. 

It's important to note that kilowatt hours are different than kilowatts. Kilowatt hours refer to energy usage over time, whereas a kilowatt is a specific measurement of energy. If you'd like to understand this concept better, check out this great video from our partner, Enphase:

How many Powerwalls do I need to power my whole home?

One Powerwall can release up to 30 amps of continuous power.  On your main service panel, you can see how many amps each breaker will draw, so this can guide you in knowing what you want to back up and how many Powerwalls you need. 

One Powerwall can be used to back up specific breakers to your most important power needs, like a refrigerator, computer server, CPAP machine or other medical needs, or an electric pump for well water.

We typically advise our customers to invest in at least two Powerwalls because this will ensure for most homes that the entire home's power will be covered.

Why should I invest in a Powerwall instead of a gas generator?

Unlike a gas generator, a Powerwall is clean, renewable, and basically silent, so while it's taking care of your family's power needs it is not disturbing the entire neighborhood, burning fossil fuel, and polluting the air with a gas motor.

The Powerwall's tried and true technology is the most reliable and well-tested on the market, so you can rest assured that when your home needs power, your Powerwall will be ready to provide. (And speaking of gas motors, did you know that a Tesla Powerwall battery is the same technology that is used in Tesla car batteries?!)

tesla powerwall install 2

What is the warranty for Tesla Powerwall, and are there any incentives for storage?

Ipsun is proud to be a Certified Tesla Powerwall installer. The standard Tesla Powerwall warranty is 10 years at 70% capacity. Ipsun Solar covers a 1-year warranty on the labor.

And did you know that the 26% federal tax credit that covers solar also applies to battery backup systems? You can even get the credit if you install the battery after you installed your solar!

Interested to learn more? Give our Sun Crew a call at 866-484-7786 or reach out to us below. We love talking about Tesla Powerwall and are happy to answer your questions or give you a quote!

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