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Tesla charges into home battery market

15 Comments
By MICHAEL LIEDTKE and JONATHAN FAHEY

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15 Comments
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Good job, Elon Musk!

Let early adopters and businesses give Tesla scale economies to make these more affordable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The technology has been around for a few years, so why didn't someone else come up with this concept? A simple idea that could transform the energy industry.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The technology has been around for a few years, so why didn't someone else come up with this concept?

Because no one is as wonderful as Elon Musk. He's the Willy Wonka of the 21st century (sorry Steve).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Elon Musk has not yet created a product that can sell and make a profit, and is instead burning through investor`s money at a rate that even bankers are amazed at. Without gullible investors and the widespread hysteria about clean energy, he would never be able to have pulled this off. Fact is, NOBODY has solved the problem of realistic electricity storage yet. Big promises are no replacement for facts.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

These powerful batteries and getting more cheaper and powerful every year. A good way to balance out the electric grid => even if you do not have solar panels you would charge when electricity is the cheapest.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Musk needs a Gigafactory to get economy of scale. This is addressed by Dr Sadoway here in his TED talk titled: The missing link to renewable energy: http://tinyurl.com/qhpsyyq . The company is now called Ambri . His is a molten battery made out of dirt cheap materials. Leave Musk to develop the market, leave the scientists to develop the cheaper more efficient models. Sadoway's group doesn't have Musk's deep pockets but they keep getting funding so I expect it to reach the market eventually. Anyway I've written about this before. The difference looks like scale. Musk is going for the home market while Ambri is going for partial and full grid storage. I hope they eventually also go for the home market, it would show up other chemistries.

All this helps all the players so it's an exciting time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"The spotlight may help Musk push policy makers and utilities to consider reshaping regulations so solar and battery storage could be more easily incorporated into the larger electric system, Kahn said."

So Japanese regulators will start forming panels to think about it by about 2080.

WilliB: "Big promises are no replacement for facts."

So we should just rely on the FALSE promises and lies of the current energy companies, and you likely believe in the GOP's cutting funds to NASA for studying what the oil companies are doing to our planet and want to keep paying big oil, right?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So Japanese regulators will start forming panels....

Yep. Solar panels.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NOBODY has solved the problem of realistic electricity storage yet. Big promises are no replacement for facts.

@WilliB: Sure they have. Go look at the TED talk link titled The missing link to renewable energy: http://tinyurl.com/qhpsyyq. It's been solved. Try looking at new things, you'll be happier

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have eight UPS units in my home to keep lights, the fridge, water heater ignition, computers and a few other items safely powered during a blackout or while the system (grid) is having some unstable delivery which happens far more often than you're aware of. This set of eight UPSs sets me back over 472,000yen so that big Tesla battery system currently projected at $3000 to $3500USD for a whole home system already sounds like it's on target in it's pricing for the future. Believe me when I say that you will NEVER fear a blackout again for the food loss and other basic needs when you have a battery backup system. We have flashlights at home but even when the power has gone out they were only needed when we had to go out of the building and beyond the home's UPS power grid.

Also, because our entire home is lit with LED lighting, the UPS units now don't even break a sweat and have yet to shutdown during a blackout because the batteries went flat. We are all just a typhoon or an earthquake or driver taking out a powerpole, etc. away from being without power for a few hours to a few days. Solar panels and this new home battery system would be an awesome solution to that and power savings down the road as well!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm reminded of an Electrical engineer from New Jersey who made his Toyota Prius a plug in hybrid, and plugged in his home like a giant UPS. I think the webpage was priups? I can see this Tesla home battery selling to like minded hybrid and electric car owners initially

The issue will be duty cycles and heating. Most batteries have to have space around it for air circulation, as well as technology to prevent overheating or overloading. Also batteries have offgasing when charged so I wonder how they managed that.

That's why I was happy to report here on a liquid metal battery that didn't have any of these characteristics but also scales. In its case there is no runaway heating problem because it uses the heat to stay liquid instead of fighting it.

Shifting oil to lithium doesn't do a lot to remove the dependency on a single supplier. (Saudi Arabia to Bolivia?) I'd be interested to know what the Tesla battery is made from as the Ambri battery is made specifically to use cheap and abundant elements and not be supply dependent.. Tesla did say that it sourced from North America but I didn't catch what the specific chemistry was

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a person who lives in the Urban world I find most of these models are not geared towards people who don't live in single family homes. I live in an apartment building with many apartments, how does this system fit in this environment? How do I set myself up for solar when my landlord does not permit such installations? What incentives are there for landlords to install solar systems, and what of city ordinances that may hinder solar development in the cities?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Any product that prevents pollution and stops the drilling in ocean & land is a good thing. He should find way to outfit Teslas with solar panels as well and try to store energy directly into car battery. Doing so could eventually eliminate battery charging stations as well. Good luck to Musk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Kristianna Thomas

None. The current design of our planet and cities with high density all over the world is based on cheap electricity made somewhere else then sent on wires. The only thing that will help such buildings is large scale solar and then storing that electricity with molten salt (as is done in Spain) or batteries or what have you. You can look up North Africa for Europe and SouthWest America for the USA. Large enough, they can work but these are huge projects and would require a WWII-like resolve to build them.

For now, solar won't handle individual load unless you have the right orientation or live in a house that is not obstructed (not in the shade of another building). Such is the flaw in car-based and oil-based city design.

The only renewable that a tall building has going for it though would be geothermal. Borehole drilling down and around would help mitigate air conditioning costs and thus minimum heating in winter. Sweden does this. University of Ontario Institute of Technology does this. There are lots of examples.

Don't look to countries that ignore solutions, look to actual places that do things. Write down what you want to look for, them Google your journey

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing new. There are plenty of adverts for Japanese products on Japanese tv for this kind of thing and these products have been around for a while. But well done for joining the global party and also doing it on a large scale.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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