US-based automotive company Tesla has launched a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has the ability to store solar-generated power for load shifting, temporary backup power and self-consumption.
The Tesla Energy Powerwall system is small enough to be mounted on a household wall and can be used not only for residential consumption but also recharging hybrid motor vehicles as well, the company said.
In South Africa, the current energy crisis has forced the state-owned power utility Eskom to schedule rolling blackouts across the nation leaving households without grid electricity for 2.5 hours at different times of the day.
The Powerwall system includes a home battery pack that can store solar energy until needed, a potential solution which could ease pressures off both South African homeowners and the national electricity grid.
Tesla Energy said on its website that the “Powerwall consists of a lithium-ion battery pack, liquid thermal control system and software that receives dispatch commands from a solar inverter. The unit mounts seamlessly on a wall and is integrated with the local grid to harness excess power and give customers the flexibility to draw energy from their own reserve.”
According to US sustainable home developer Mesocore, the system aims to leverage the ability to store solar energy, and even share it across smart micro grids. This way small communities can share power as needed.
Tesla Energy explained: “The Powerwall is available in 10kWh, optimised for backup applications, or 7kWh optimised for daily use applications. Both can be connected with solar or grid and both can provide backup power. The 10kWh Powerwall is optimised to provide backup when the grid goes down, providing power for your home when you need it most.”
“When paired with solar power, the 7kWh Powerwall can be used in daily cycling to extend the environmental and cost benefits of solar into the night when sunlight is unavailable”, Tesla added.
In addition to providing a reliable source of power, the battery storage system could potentially become a source of income for owners, while reducing the rising costs and unreliability of traditional utility services, Mesocore added.
Sustainable solution for Lagos
Mesocore’s 100% sustainable hybrid buildings are already emerging in Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria West Africa. According to Mesocore, these battery units could become a possible solution to expanding access to reliable electricity to those communities who are not connected to the national grid.
“This not only solves energy and eco-friendliness challenges, but goes a long way to alleviate the water crisis, and affordable housing crisis,” Mesocore added.