The Pros and Cons of the Tesla Powerwall Home Battery

A modern house with the Tesla Powerwall Home Battery.

Image via Tesla

The Tesla Home Battery, also known as the Tesla Powerwall, is a stationary storage device for solar energy with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. When needed, the Powerwall can be used as backup power for off-the-grid use, load shifting, and solar self-consumption. There is also a larger version designed for commercial use.

What it Does

The Tesla Powerwall supports homeowners interested in maintaining a self-powered home that runs off solar energy and the Tesla battery. The two combined allows the house to operate independently around the clock. When needed, you have the option of selecting which items in the home need power such as the refrigerator, stove, and washing machine, for example.

How it Works

A house with solar panels on it.

Solar energy is the cleanest form of energy since it uses the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Solar panels absorb the sun's energy throughout the day, storing it for use as it's needed. There will be times when an excess of energy is absorbed by the solar panels. This is when the Tesla battery comes into play. The Powerwall takes that excess solar energy and stores it inside the battery where it's available whenever it's needed. This can be during daylight or midnight—it doesn't matter. The battery is energized and ready to provide the energy needed to power your home.

Should an outage occur and you don't have solar options, you're at the mercy of whenever the electric company can restore power. With a Powerwall installed, the unit can detect an outage immediately. It will then disconnect your home from the power grid and in just a matter of seconds, restore power to your home. The unit is Johnny-on-the-spot in connecting your home in the blink of an eye.

With solar installed along with a Powerwall unit, your home will have continuous power and the unit will continue to recharge. The only time the Powerwall charge is depleted is when the amount of energy used for the home exceeds the amount of solar energy produced.

The Tesla Powerwall also comes with an app that allows you to view the statistics of the battery. The information displayed shows direct solar energy, stored solar energy, and Powerwall charging information.

Pros of Solar Power and the Powerwall

A tree that's fallen on a powerline.

If you are considering solar panels for your home, there are several benefits that will help recoup the cost of installation as well as make your home eco-friendly.

  • Lower energy bills
  • Cleaner energy usage
  • Less impact on the environment
  • Power to your home at all times, even during outages
  • Increased property value
For a cleaner source of energy and to eliminate the worry of being without power during inclement weather, solar is a viable option. With the Powerwall included as a receptor for excess energy, you're no longer reliant on the power grid supplied by the local electric company. You won't lose money on frozen food going to waste due to an outage and you will eliminate the stress of being left in the dark for what could be days or weeks after a severe storm resulting in downed power lines.

    Cons of the Powerwall

    While having solar panels installed isn't inherently negative (since you're utilizing the sun as a natural source of energy, eliminating pollution from other types of energy sources), it can be a costly endeavor. Some of the charges include the cost of the solar panels, installation, the cost of the Tesla unit itself and the installation costs, and city and/or county permits.

    The good news, as noted in the pros of the solar power and Powerwall section above, is that the cost of the solar panel installation and the cost of the Powerwall will be absorbed over time due to lower monthly energy bills. The upfront cost of the panels and unit is an investment in your home that will save money well into the future.