Blockchain – Power Ledger in Puerto Rico?

Blockchain tech provider Power Ledger in Puerto Rico – the Australian company are looking to help the struggling Caribbean island with its ongoing energy woes by implementing their technology into microgrid resources.

Power Ledger in Puerto Rico

Power Ledger in Puerto Rico
Power Ledger in Puerto Rico (source: wikipedia.org)

We posted about Tesla’s input last October when they had a look at a microgrid in Puerto Rico – apart from the initial six, we haven’t seen many more of the Tesla Powerpacks installed – although hundreds of Powerwalls were also sent to help. Since PREPA (Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority) has a $9 billion USD in debt to Wall Street it’s a difficult situation for PR.

According to Bloomberg, Power Ledger have hired Dante Disparte, a Puerto Rican grid resiliency and security expert who is also CEO of advisory firm Risk Cooperative. Disparte spoke of the need to shore up the grid before any further problems – noting that it won’t be long until Puerto Rico sees more wild weather: 

“The next hurricane season is but three weeks away and the grid is not reliable — that is part of the urgency,” said Disparte.

Power Ledger are working with factories and regulators to help companies on the island buy solar panels and battery storage. They’ll then use the blockchain technology to allow companies to trade energy with each other, and to sell supplies to employees or the community. This exchange will be able to take the forms of non-traditional (or, depending on which way you look at it, very traditional) exchange – for example you’ll be able to buy power via cash, cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin or Ethereum) or even labour. 

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority CEO Walter Higgins said in an interview last week that it will be another couple of months until they finish restoring electricity to the remaining 25,678 customers still in the dark following the storms ~8 months ago. So obviously they need to start looking at measures that will help them next time there’s a problem.

Disparte said this isn’t going to be about “just building back the old grid waiting for the next crisis and the next wave of financial constraints.” They’re trying to completely change the way Puerto Rico can address issues like this in the future and this is an inspiring real-world usage of this technology.

Power Ledger’s investors will be able to make investments in Puerto Rico energy assets later this year using their POWR tokens. If you want to learn more about it please click here to view our article on Power Ledger.

 

Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Availability in Australia.

What can we expect from the Tesla Powerwall in 2018? Elon Musk’s company have released their Q4 report from last year, and it also has a lot of interesting information about the direction they’re planning on taking things in 2018. It looks like the days of the severely limited supply of the Powerwall may be coming to an end. 

Tesla Energy Display - Tesla Powerwall in 2018
Tesla Energy Display – Tesla Powerwall in 2018 (source: Tesla.com)

Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Residential Energy Storage

The Tesla Powerwall 2 has been out in Australia for almost a year now – the problem is that they have been hard to come by and Tesla have had a very difficult time meeting demand for their energy storage products (we’re not even going to delve into the Model 3 fiasco…)

“2018 will see major growth in Tesla energy storage deployments, as the production ramp of our storage products is just as steep as with Model 3,” Tesla said. “This year, we aim to deploy at least three times the storage capacity we deployed in 2017.”

They went on to elaborate on the reason Powerwalls were so difficult to source last year:

“We also deployed 87 MW of energy generation systems in Q4,
which is 20% less than Q3 2017. Solar MW deployed declined as
volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain
sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better
margins. In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short
supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus
Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be
impacted by these factors over the near-term, we expect growth to
resume later this year. “

This begs the question – with so many issues scaling up their energy storage how will this impact the Powerwall 3 release date announcement?

Tesla Powerpack in 2018 – Commercial Energy Storage

After the unparalleled success of the Tesla battery in South Australia, it’s unsurprising to see that they’re going to have a strong focus on commercial solar storage. 

 “Due to the success of this project, we’re seeing an increase in demand for Powerpack, our commercial energy storage product. With more electric utilities and governments around the world recognizing the reliability, environmental, and economic benefits of this product, it’s clear that there is a huge opportunity for us in large scale energy storage” their Q4 statement read. 
 
It’ll be interesting to see exactly what applications we’ll see the Powerpack being used in, both in Australia and worldwide. 

Tesla Solar Roof 2018 Update

According to the report, initial production at the Gigafactory 2 started in Q4 and Tesla are “deliberately ramping production at a gradual pace”. When “fully scaled”, the Buffalo, NY based Gigafactory 2 will be able to produce enough solar cells to add more than 150,000 new residential solar installations every year. 

If you want to learn more about the Tesla, Inc. Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Results Q&A conference call click here to visit their site or you can find the PDF of the update letter here – Tesla Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2017 Update

Australian solar installs new record in November

Australian solar installs reached an all-time high of 120MW in November, eclipsing the 100MW in October and the record of 110MW set in June 2012, which was ‘artificially’ (for want of a better word) inflated as it was the last month before Queensland cut off the $0.44c premium feed-in tariff. These are massive numbers when compared with the previous few years and a fantastic indicator for the future of renewable energy in Australia. 

Australian Solar Installs in 2017

According to RenewEconomy and The Green Energy Markets’ Renewable Energy Index, for most months in 2016 solar installs were below 60MW and January 2016 had a measly install amount of 45MW. The reason for the big drop in numbers was due to the end of the premium feed-in tariffs and also the federal government’s substantial cutback of the amount of STC rebate certificates it provided. This means the cost of solar (and payback period) increased substantially, dropping the number of installs and casting doubt upon the industry as a whole.

Over the past 12-18 months, however, there’s been a perfect storm of the gigantic rise in the cost of wholesale electricity, better quality and price of solar panels and storage due to technology advances, and excitement about renewable energy have helped raise the numbers of solar uptake. Public perception and interest in the technology due to such projects as the massive Tesla battery in South Australia, German company sonnen’s ‘free power’ offering via sonnenFlat, and the Powerwall 2 battery have all led to Australia’s domestic and commercial solar uptake reaching this all-time high.

Australian Solar Installs 2017 - sonnen's sonnenFlat and sonnenBatterie
Australian Solar Installs 2017 – sonnen’s sonnenFlat and sonnenBatterie (source: sonnen.com.au)

The Renewable Energy Index for October 2017 showed that Queensland leads the way for Australia, with jobs coming via renewable energy projects (both large-scale and rooftop solar) almost doubling over four months from 3,634 at the end of 30 June 2017, to 7,194 in October.

 Amazing news for solar contractors and solar installers – although things may slow down a little over the Christmas period we can’t wait to see what 2018 brings to solar power in Australia. 

Microgrid in Puerto Rico? Tesla Steps In.

In the wake of Hurricane Maria’s landing on Puerto Rico on September 20, the country has been almost completely without power and a majority of the 3.4million residents aren’t able to use fridges, air conditioning, or pump potable water. Enter the possibility of a Microgrid in Puerto Rico – Elon Musk’s Tesla have offered their support to the country by sending hundreds of their Powerwall energy storage batteries – with many already on the ground and more to come. They’re initially being sent to high priority locations such as hospitals which are currently using expensive and hefty gas-powered generators. 

Microgrid in Puerto Rico - Tesla
Tesla Microgrid in Puerto Rico? Electric use in PR before / after Hurricane Maria (source: Inhabitat.com)

Tesla Powerwalls and Puerto Rico

According to news sources such as Bloomberg and Engadget, Tesla is sending hundreds of the Powerwalls to Puerto Rico in an attempt to help shore up its shattered energy infrastructure. The Powerwalls will be paired with solar panels to generate energy while the country works on restoring its main grids. Some of the Powerwalls have already arrived in Puerto Rico and Tesla employees are on the ground assisting in the installation of required infrastructure. According to some sources, grid power won’t return to the entire island for another six months so they’re going to have to look at some options – which may include the full scale renewables – with small grids far more resilient than transmission lines and central grids. These microgrids could be connected to a central grid but also isolated if required. 

Renewable energy expert Tom Rogers told The Washington Post “You look at islands like Dominica, Anguilla, and other islands affected by the recent hurricanes, I’ve spoken to a couple of the utilities, and they say they would prefer to rebuild using distributed generation with storage, and just trying to reduce the amount of transmission lines. Because that’s where their energy systems fail. It’s having these overhead cables.”

Tesla Microgrid in Puerto Rico

After the initial Powerwalls being sent, there have been others talking about the much larger, industrial-size Tesla Powerpack grid scale storage solution and whether this could be an option for the commonwealth moving forwards. Clean Technica report that the island’s utility company, PREPA (Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority), has a massive $9 billion USD in debt to Wall Street and Puerto Rico itself is in debt to the tune of $123 billion (and $74b of them are in defaulted bonds currently in bankruptcy court). In short, the country is in serious financial strife and its grid is virtually worthless. Ricardo Ramos, the CE of PREPA, told CNN the island’s power infrastructure had been basically “destroyed”. 

There’s a possibility of just handing the grid over to its creditors and ‘start again’ – and this could perhaps be the impetus for Tesla to create microgrids across the country with its Powerpack batteries (they scale from 50kW up to 100MWh) – certainly a herculean task but who other than Elon Musk would take something like this on? 

Musk’s team are currently installing Tesla Powerpacks in South Australia under less critical circumstances but it’ll be an interesting litmus test to see if Tesla could roll something out on such a massive scale. 

 

Volkswagen Electric Car / Battery – $84b Investment

Volkswagen electric car news – they have announced an $84b investment to create a range of electric vehicles – with plans to have electric versions of all 300 models by 2030. Of this $84b, $50b will be invested in battery production to support these vehicles – not directly linked to solar energy but definitely something that will have myriad benefits for the energy storage industry as a whole. 

The Volkswagen Electric Car / Battery Investment

Volkswagen Electric Car Golf 2017
Volkswagen Electric Car – 2017 e-Golf (source: Volkswagen.com)

Earlier this year VW announced that they were investing $10b in EVs but appear to have changed their strategy considerably over the past 6 months – planning to overtake Tesla and become the biggest electric vehicle company in the world. They’ll make EVs for Volkswagen as well as their other brands such as Audi and Porsche. 

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said  “A company like Volkswagen must lead, not follow” – and that “…this is not some vague declaration of intent. It is a strong self-commitment which, from today, becomes the yardstick by which we measure our performance.”

With the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf’s range called ‘sub-par’ by some reviewers, (the 35.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack is up 50% on its predecessor, but it’s still heavy and can only reach 125 miles) it’s imperative that VW work on their battery technology if they’re to be a real contender in the EV space. According to Auto News new EVs will arrive in 2020 with 300 miles of range for a price similar to the Golf. 

Solar Power charging Electric Vehicles

With the Tesla Powerwall 2, the Tesla Solar Roof and the Tesla EVs looking to integrate more tightly over the coming 12 months, there are a couple of questions with regards to renewable energy and EVs. Firstly, will we see an influx of electric cars with solar panels? Secondly – how tightly will rooftop PV solar and EV recharging integrate over the coming years? 

To answer the first question, it’s definitely something being worked on – last month Audi announced they’re partnering with a Chinese solar panel manufacturer to add a solar roof on Audi’s electric cars. In fact, this dates as far back as the Mazda 929 in 1991 – the technology just hasn’t been good enough. Solar panel tech has been advancing rapidly over the past few years and we expect to see more solar panels on cars over the coming years – they’re cheaper, more flexible, and able to absorb much more energy than previous panels.

Secondly, that’s definitely something people are also trying to solve – energy storage technology plays a massive part in this as the ideal charging times (i.e. when people aren’t at home and therefore not using electricity) aren’t usually times when the car is in its garage! So using smart technology like the Redback Smart Hybrid System and teaching it about electricity usage patterns and joining that up with other information such as weather forecasts will play a key part in marrying solar power and electric vehicles. One thing’s for sure – this technology is going to move a lot faster over the next few years and it won’t be long before EVs are the norm. 

 

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date, Specifications, Cost.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date, Specs, Cost, and Rumors.

With the great success of the Tesla Powerwall 2, people are already talking about its successor. Although the Powerwall 2 is a fantastic device and can help many households save a lot of money on their power bill, it’s far from a ‘no brainer’ at this point – you need to crunch the numbers to ensure it’s going to be worthwhile to install in your house. But with the cost of lithium-ion dropping rapidly and Tesla competitors chomping at the bit with innovative solutions to battery storage, we’ve no doubt that there’s plenty of work being done on the Tesla Powerwall 3. Could this be the device that finally makes PV solar + storage a standard for homes? Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that they “expect to sell more Powerwalls than cars” so it’s a major part of their business. What features will the Powerwall 3 have? What will it cost and when can we expect it? Read on for more…

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date
Tesla Powerwall 3 – What can we expect?

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date

At this point we aren’t sure exactly when the Powerwall 3 is coming out, but let’s look at the time difference between the Powerwall and the Powerwall 2 and see if that gives us any clues:

Powerwall 1: Development commenced in 2012. Announced in 2015 with a pilot demonstration 0f 500 units built and installed. Production moved from Tesla Fremont to Gigafactory 1. Initially came in two models – 10kWh nickel-cobalt-aluminium cathode for backup and 7kWh for daily cycle application. Work on the 10kWh battery was discontinued and they focused on the 7kWh model and brought it to Australia in 2015, with a ten year limited warranty. 

Powerwall 2: Development commencement unknown. Announced in October 2016 at Universal Studios. Production of 2170 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries for the Powerwall 2, Powerpack 2 and Model 3 EVs starts in January, 2017.  First Australian installations early June, 2017. 

Powerwall 3: Potential 2018 announcement.

Tesla Powerwalls in 2018

Tesla’s 129MWh South Australian Battery Farm
According to GTM, in Q4 2017 they deployed 143 MWh of energy storage products, which represented a 45 percent from the same quarter YOY (year-on-year). The 129 MWh of energy storage  the Tesla Battery in South Australia partnership last year will be represented in their figures for Q1 2018.

“Solar [megawatts] deployed declined as volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better margins,” Tesla stated. “In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be impacted by these factors over the near term, we expect growth to resume later this year.”

So they were about to build the South Australian battery farm within the 100 days they promised, Tesla had Samsung supply the batteries instead of manufacturing them at their Gigafactory. So it looks like they have a way to go with regards to scaling up their manufacturing processes before we start to even think about seeing a Powerwall 3. 

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Tesla Powerwall 3 Specifications and Features

 

Tesla Powerwall 1 Specs

Dimensions 1302mm long, 862mm wide, 183cm diameter (51.3″ x 34″ x 7.2″)
Battery 7kWh battery (6.4kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
Power 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
Scalability up to 10 Powerwalls
Weight 97kg (214 pounds)
Cooling Liquid Cooling (liquid thermal control)
Efficiency 92.5% round-trip DC efficiency (at optimal conditions – 25 degrees celcius (77 Fahrenheit) with 2kW charge/discharge power)
  • Tesla Powerwall 1 Specifications and Cost
    Tesla Powerwall 1 Specifications and Cost

    Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.

  • 100% Depth of Discharge
  • 10 year unlimited cycle warranty

 

 

 

 

 

Tesla Powerwall 2 Specs

Dimensions 1150mm long, 755mm wide, 155mm diameter. (45″ x 30″ x 6″)
Battery 14kWh battery (13.5kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
Power 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
Scalability up to 10 AC-coupled Powerwall 2’s
Weight Weighs 119.9kg (264.4 pounds)
Cooling Liquid Cooling
Efficiency >90% round trip efficiency.
Tesla Powerwall 2 Specifications and Cost
Tesla Powerwall 2 Specifications and Cost
  • Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.
  • 10 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Integrated Inverter (converts the DC energy into AC energy you need to use in your house)
  • Control and view your energy usage/storage with the Tesla app (iOS and Android)
  • Degradation – it will hold around 70% of the 13.5kWh after 10 years.
  • Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 3G connectivity.
  • Off-grid support (AC Coupled)
  • Single Phase feed in.
  • 100% depth of discharge available.
  • Outside of the USA: Powerwall 2 doesn’t include inverter with the DC version and only works with a Solar Edge inverter.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Specs

This is all conjecture at this point, but we think some of the features the Tesla Powerwall 3 could include:

  • Heavily optimised for and integrated with Tesla Solar Roof (Aussies can preorder one now, will be available in 2018)
  • Heavily optimised and integrated with Tesla Electric Car (Model S, Model 3 etc.). 
  • Upgraded intelligent energy management – will learn your household’s usage, draw from weather forecasts etc. to ensure your house, battery, car or hot water stay at 100% and you are only feeding back into the grid when it’s optimal.
  • Inbuilt hybrid inverter (i.e. you can plug solar panels directly into it, eliminating the need for a separate inverter for your solar panels. The current inverter is just a battery inverter)
  • 28kWh battery (~26kWh usable capacity)
  • We predict they’ll stick with lithium-ion for the battery as its price is very affordable.
  • Alternatively, Tesla may stick with the 14kWh batteries, make them smaller and easier to install – 14kWh is sufficient power for many households – it depends on the cost/size of the batteries)
  • Single and three phase power compatible. 
  • DC version includes inbuilt inverter.
  • By 2018 Tesla expect their Gigafactory to manufacture 35 gigawatt-hours per year of battery cells. Almost as much as the current global combined battery production capacity. What will this mean for the Powerwall III?
  • What features do you think the Powerwall 3 will have? What would make it a ‘no-brainer’ for you to purchase?  Let us know in the comments.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Price

The cost of the Powerwall 1 and the Powerwall 2 was roughly the same, so we don’t expect the price of the Powerwall 3 to fluctuate more than around 20%. 

Powerwall 1 Price (Australian Installation): Around $10,000 (7kWh battery, installation and supporting hardware included).

Powerwall 2 Price (Australian Installation): Around $10,000 (14kWh battery, installation and supporting hardware included).

Powerwall 3 Price: (Australian Installation): We estimate it will stay around $10,000 installed. 

Powerwall Installers in Australia

There are quite a few companies ready to install the Powerwall 2 in Australia – here are some:

Powerwall Alternatives

If you’re not necessarily sold on the Powerwall 2 and don’t want to wait for the Powerwall 3, there are many Powerwall competitors and alternatives you can investigate, such as sonnenBYD B-Box Solar BatteryRedback Technologies, Fronius, Mercedes-Benz, and Eaton Nissan xStorage

Our Solar Battery Comparison area will help – if you have any questions or would like some guidance please email us or simply ask in the questions below! While the Powerwall is certainly an amazing product, depending on your personal circumstances you can get a better result by using one of its competitors. The sonnenBatterie, for example, is onto its 8th iteration and powers 75% of German energy storage – it has a modular capacity from 2-16kWh and, amongst others, is definitely worth a look. 

Here are some other searches you may be interested in:

  • fronius solar battery price australia
  • ampetus energy pod price
  • tesla powerwall 2 3 phase?
  • zen energy battery cost
  • tesla powerpack price australia
  • imergy esp5 australia 

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sonnen offering Aussies ‘free power’ via sonnenFlat

German solar battery creator sonnen are offering Australian households ‘free power’ through their sonnenFlat service in an order to bolster their foothold in the Australian market.

Natural Solar, sonnen, and sonnenFlat

sonnenFlat sonnenBatterie
The sonnenBatterie with sonnenFlat energy tariff (source: sonnen.com.au)

Australian supplier and installer of solar products, Natural Solar, have been signed up to manage the offer for sonnen. They are also responsible for the supply and install of Tesla Powerwall 2’s, so they have plenty of experience in large scale product launches.

Sonnen were launched 7 years ago in Wildpoldsried, Germany, and has been growing at a rapid pace since, including their foray into the Australian energy market in 2016.

According to The Australian, sonnen have already gained a massive 13% of the Australian market share since entering it last year. They also sold over 11,000 battery units, ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 – and sonnen sees Australia as its ‘second most important’ market behind Germany – so they are willing to take a (potentially) loss leading strategy in order to gain greater market share for the medium-long term.

The sonnenFlat energy tariff is for sonnenBatterie owners where you receive a guaranteed, prearranged amount of energy for a monthly fee. “In return, some of the energy stored in the sonnenBatterie will be used to assist in the stabilisation of the electricity grid” – according to the sonnenFlat site.

Natural Solar’s website states that the ‘free power’ will be under a tiered system and have explained it thusly:

“Looking at the Germany model for sonnenFlat … storage determines the amount of free electricity the owner is entitled to.

The website also states that: “If a customer exceeds the amount based on their tier, then the owner starts to get charged only for electricity imported from the grid (not from power generated from your solar system and power utilised from your battery) at a rate significantly lower than standard retail electricity rates.” If you can get approved, this sounds like the sort of offer that will propel residential solar+storage from the ‘maybe’ category into the ‘definitely’ for those waiting for a chance to jump into the market.

How to sign up for sonnenFlat

You can register your interest for the sonnenFlat energy tariff trial by visiting this page on the sonnen website.

Sonnen / Bristle Roofing Solartile

Sonnen have been in the news recently as they’re offering an alternative to the Tesla Solar Roof – the sonnen Solartile – click the link to learn more about how it will work in conjunction with the sonnenBatterie (and presumably the sonnenFlat tariff offer). It’s great to see a strong Tesla Powerwall competitor also offer alternatives to the Tesla roof tiles – the two in conjunction with their new ‘free’ energy tariff will undoubtedly ensure we see and hear a lot more about Sonnen in the future.

sonnenFlat packages and cost

Here’s a breakdown of the sonnenFlat pricing structure – definitely starting to look like solar can be a real money saver!

sonnenFlat Cost and Pricing Packages
sonnenFlat Cost and Pricing Packages (source: sonnen)

Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Guide

Finally, after a litany of false starts and delays, Australians are beginning to enjoy installations of the Tesla Powerwall 2. Michael V, a user on the Australian based Whirlpool forum, documented the process of his install in a thread yesterday and it looks like the process went fairly smoothly, despite the fact that according to Michael it was the installers’ (Flashpoint Electrical and Solar at Punchbowl) first ‘actual’ install (i.e. they had practised on a prototype before but this was the first customer install). According to Tesla’s Facebook page, on April 28 they said that “Powerwall 2 installations have begun in Australia” but this is the first documented information we have on the process so please have a read and let us know if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation in the comments. We’d love to hear about it.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation and Ordering Process

The installations management team will help you with the Powerwall install process, which is, as far as we can tell, as follows  (please note this is after you’ve already pre-ordered a Tesla Powerwall 2 – there’s a ~2 month backlog in Australia right now so if you’re on the fence (wall?) about it then click here to visit Tesla’s site and order.

The Powerwall Install Process is as follows:

  1. A Tesla Certified Installer (from Downer Group, in Michael’s circumstance) visits your property to carry out a ‘site assessment’ – which will check:
    1. The suitability of your preferred location for Powerwall 2
    2. Site specific information for Tesla to provide a cost proposal for installation.
  2. A ‘proposal and sales agreement’ is prepared and sent within 7 days. Full payment is required 2 days prior to install.
  3. A Tesla Certified Installer visits your premises to install your brand new Powerwall 2!
  4. Powerwall 2 is connected via 3G (preferred) or Wifi so you can update the firmware and use the Tesla Powerwall App on your phone/tablet.

If you’d like to learn more about the actual install process, click here to view the full album of photos from Michael V on Whirlpool.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Australia
Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation Australia (source Whirlpool via Michael V)

How to order Tesla Powerwall 2

You can either:

  1. Buy Tesla Powerwall 2 online from the official site ($650 AUD deposit will be charged to your credit card), or
  2. Request a callback from the Tesla Powerwall team (they generally respond within one business day).

Read more about the Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Launch on our main Powerwall page! Find installers, Tesla Powerwall 2 alternatives, and much more.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in the Tesla Solar Roof in Australia click to read our article and information repository about this exciting new technology. Never hurts to be aware that there are also Tesla Solar Roof alternatives out there as well. Do your research before you commit to anything!

Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installations
Australian Tesla Powerwall 2 Installations (source: tesla.com)

BYD B-Box Solar Battery vs Tesla Powerwall 2

Edit: As of February 2018 we have a new page with more information about the BYD B-Box in Australia – please click here to read it. 

China’s BYD (Build Your Dreams), the largest producer of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in the world, have released a new solar battery, the BYD B-Box, to compete with the likes of the Tesla Powerwall, Redflow and LG’s line of energy storage. The media launch was in late March in Sydney and BYD have signaled their intent to move aggressively into the Australian market. They’re a gigantic company based in Shenzhen with a market cap of $22b (Warren Buffet owns 8.25% of the company) and are bigger than Tesla (their battery factory is currently producing a massive 8.6gigawatts, 8 times larger than Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory) , so they certainly pose a very realistic threat to the incumbent solar battery producers.

BYD B-Box Models

The B-Box comes in high voltage (HV) and low voltage (LV) – with the B-Box LV Residential the solar battery we expect to be the most interest to Australian consumers. The LV model comes in four flavours, listed below (please note you’ll also need to purchase a compatible inverter to go with the B-Box – but given the size of the company we expect that won’t be much of a problem):

BYD B-Box Specs
BYD B-Box Specs (source: solarquotes.com.au via BYD brochure)

BYD B-Box Price in Australia

BYD’s previous solar battery, the Mini, was a 6kWh system which retailed for around $11,000 AUD. Technological improvements and component price decreases means that the B-Box 10 will cost $8,500 AUD for an a 10kWh system, representing a reduction in price per kWh of over 50%. Liu Xue-liang, sales manager has indicated that BYD will be throwing their considerable heft behind the product and BYD’s electric car business, being quoted as saying: “This is not just a new product, it is a new industry,”.

BYD B-Box vs Tesla Powerwall 2

In contrast to the Bbox prices previously outlined, the Tesla Powerwall 1 was a $10,000 system at 7kWh and the Tesla Powerwall 2 will feature a 14kWh battery at $8,000 AUD – slightly more impressive figures for their second gen offering.

According to Adam Clements from Solar Australia the price declines in solar mean a 5.5kW PV roof solar system, inverter, and 7.5kWh BYD battery costs around $15,00 and pays for itself over eight years.

The BYD can have an AC or a DC inverter, as opposed to the AC only Powerwall 2. The B-Boxes also have very high power output, with the B-Box 10 able to give 10.24kW of power continuously (this would empty the battery in less than an hour). In comparison the Powerwall 2 can only output 5kW so if you were using it off-grid or as a backup for power-hungry devices, keep this in mind.

Please take a look at our post on Solar Batteries in Australia and Tesla Powerwall Competitors and Alternatives for further comparisons.