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Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes 299

Okian Warrior writes: Billionaire Elon Musk will announce next week that Tesla will begin offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers. The batteries power up overnight when energy companies typically charge less for electricity, then are used during the day to power a home. In a pilot project, Tesla has already begun offering home batteries to SolarCity (SCTY) customers, a solar power company for which Musk serves as chairman. Currently 330 U.S. households are running on Tesla's batteries in California. The batteries start at about $13,000, though California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PCG) offers customers a 50% rebate. The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide, and need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground. They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.
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Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 25, 2015 @07:27AM (#49550219)

    Would make sense to have pv panels charge them up during the day and release energy at night.

    • What about panels charging the batteries during the day, then release energy at the evening (before night and beginning of night), then charge batteries from grid during off-peak night, then release it during the morning.

      That gets more complex though and you'd want to add more complexity (smart water heater or something), I'd be wary of that complexity i.e. more and more stuff to build, buy and maintain.

      • Few people have the space for so many panels to run their house on them — even if the problem of storing it were solved. From MIT [mit.edu]:

        Imagine that your house uses 48 kWh of electricity per day (about average). If you live in Arizona, where the average solar insolation per year is around 6 kWh/meters squared/day, you’ll need 53 square meters (574 sq ft) of 15% efficient solar panels. If you spend the extra money for 21% efficient solar panels, then you’ll only need 38 square meters (409 sq ft)

        • by tomhath ( 637240 )

          And, truth be told, they should be using these wonder-batteries to store electricity during the night so they wouldn't have to charge more during the day

          Your plan would cost more than what the utilities are already doing. Doing it your way would mean they would have to charge more at night and during the day.

          • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

            Your plan would cost more than what the utilities are already doing. Doing it your way would mean they would have to charge more at night and during the day.

            Not really. If the utilities used batteries to store energy generated cheaply at night and charged peak time rates for that energy during the day, the batteries might pay for themselves and provide more peak capacity when it's needed - without having to build new fossil fuel burning plants.

            • They do that already with pumped-storage. Reversible hydroelectric. There are also some liquid batteries. Li-ion is just too expensive and maintenance-intensive to use grid scale.

              • e.g. flow batteries:
                http://www.prnewswire.com/news... [prnewswire.com]

              • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @11:22AM (#49550963)

                They do that already with pumped-storage.

                Pumped storage has an RTE (round-trip-efficiency) of about 80% [energystorage.org]. Modern li-ion batteries are over 90%. Pumped storage requires very specific geography (two reservoirs separated by a hill). Batteries will work anywhere.

                There are also some liquid batteries.

                The most common "flow" batteries are based on vanadium redox, and have an RTE of 65-75% [wikipedia.org].

                Li-ion is just too expensive and maintenance-intensive to use grid scale.

                Well, the point of this announcement is that Li-ion is getting cheaper. Li-ion grid storage still won't make sense in the middle of America, where power is cheap, and grids are wide. But it make make sense in places like Hawaii ($0.40 / kw-hr), where grid stability is already a problem [pbs.org].

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by mi ( 197448 )

                Li-ion is just too expensive and maintenance-intensive to use grid scale.

                "Grid scale" simply can not be more expensive than single-house scale.

                It is called "Economy of scale" [wikipedia.org] and although some of such may have limits, beyond which cost of additional units begins to increase, none of the conditions for that would apply in this case.

                • It can, when comparing like things. However, one of these is not like the other. At grid scale, it has to compete against the wholesale price of electricity. At residential scale, even though it is smaller and less efficient, it competes against the RETAIL price of electricity. This difference suggests a different source of the problem.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              The energy is not generated cheaply at night. It basically costs the same. (The idea when to charge batteries is a misconception on /. You charge during peak times, see below.)

              That peak energy is expensive has not much to do with generation pries, but with grid logistics.

              Consider you have a load following coal plant running at lets say 75% during a peak period, does not really matter, lets say a random time between 10:00 and 17:00 (5PM for the americans).

              Now for some reason you get an extra load on the grid

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                There are several problems with your statements:

                1. " load following coal plant" No such thing AFAIK, they're all base-load. There are a few load-following nuke plants, but they're all in Europe. Load-following is done by combined-cycle gas plants and hydro while peaking is single-cycle gas and, rarely, diesel.

                2. "That peak energy is expensive has not much to do with generation pries, but with grid logistics." Partially correct, but mostly not. Peak load requires peaking generators that are inherently ine

          • by mi ( 197448 )

            Your plan would cost more than what the utilities are already doing. Doing it your way would mean they would have to charge more at night and during the day.

            Whoever is doing it, if it makes sense for anybody to store power generated at off-peak times for usage at peak times, it makes more sense for the generating companies to do it: because they can afford bigger storage with dedicated personnel and manage the generation-storage combination finer.

            But, of course, this begs the question of whether it makes s

        • As Tomhath stated your suggestion is still not cost effective. If it were they would be using it extensively in West Texas wind farms. As it is now they routinely shunt generated electricity straight to ground because the grid cannot handle the capacity being generated. For costs to come down production and operating costs need to become more efficient. Perhaps Tesla's program will be able to do that.
        • 48kWh... must be a house in the US. ... In The Netherlands, the average electricity use for a family of 2,2 persons is about 3500 kWh/year, or about 9,6 kWh per day. That's around 20% of the energy use of an average house in the US.

          Perhaps in the US you don't need batteries or solar energy as much as you need decent insulation.

          • Apparently a lot of the USA uses electricity for heating (and cooling). If you're using gas or oil for heating, then comparing your electricity usage to their energy usage is not an apples-to-apples comparison.
          • The average daily usage in the United States is 24kwh.The United States experiences extremes of heat and cold which most European countries don't have to deal with. Also, many houses are heated by electricity rather than coal or natural gas. Ironic that burning a more environmentally sound fuel (electricity) gets you roundly criticized by others for using too much electricity.
        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          And 48kWh, which is cited above as "about average", means, no home-servers running 24x7 (about 200Watts*24h=4.8kWh — or 10% more than the estimate — per server), no super-duper Christmas lights [komar.org], and other limitations...

          My home server runs 24x7. It draws 11W when idling, or about 264 watt-hours per day, and the current versions draw barely half that. Compared with heating and cooling, the server is lost in the noise. Unless you're serving a site that absolutely requires staggering

  • and... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @07:27AM (#49550223)
    Cue Slashdotters claiming it is either impossible or a really bad thing in 3..2..1..
    • Cue Slashdotters claiming it is either impossible or a really bad thing in 3..2..1..

      Well, we don't have the information. Its a really expensive thing. My first question is how long will they last before they degrade significantly?

    • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @07:38AM (#49550257) Homepage

      Cue Slashdotters claiming it is either impossible or a really bad thing in 3..2..1..

      Impossible? No. Economical? I don't see how, if it were why isn't the power company doing this centrally? Then they could average it out across everyone on the grid, instead of just you as the problem is usually production not transmission capacity. I guess it might make sense if you're producing your own power with solar panels and don't have to transfer power into the grid when it's sunny and out of the grid when it's dark, but the price seems steep for what you're getting. I mean this tech already exists but only for solar powered cabins off the grid, it's really expensive per kWh and usually just to power light bulbs and such.

      • by jandrese ( 485 )
        Did you read the cost per battery? There is your answer right there. The summary talks about saving money by buying power during off peak hours and using the battery when power is expensive, but you'll never made $6,500 doing that before the battery wears out.

        Also, the power company IS doing this, but only halfway. It's subsidizing half the cost of the system up front. Honestly, this whole thing makes a lot more sense for the power company than it does for the end consumer.
        • Correct, but it does provide battery backup during power outages and the net cost after 5 years is in the $3000 range. A good generator with auto-switchover can cost that with installation and it makes a whole lot more noise. Also the battery should last more then 10 years though with less capacity then when it was new.

          • But a generator will likely run indefinately (provided you have enough fuel), vs a battery that will only power things for a limited time in a longer period blackout. Once your out, your out. Vs being able to keep a generator running and filling up gas every so often.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Did you read the cost per battery? There is your answer right there. The summary talks about saving money by buying power during off peak hours and using the battery when power is expensive, but you'll never made $6,500 doing that before the battery wears out.

          Apparently you have no clue what you are saying. Have you ever lived in California and payed by the tiered billing? I lived in the central valley and during a heat wave in the summer my elect bills averaged $750 a month with a high one month of $975. I heated with gas and so during the winter my electric bills were $150. So roughly I spend $600 - $800 a month for a/c. The Tier 1 rate currently is $0.359 peak $0.111 of peak a savings of 2/3 or $400 a month but I was Tier 5 which is $0.531 peak vs $0.283 off

      • Utilities do use batteries for short term electricity storage. http://www.aesenergystorage.co... [aesenergystorage.com]

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Very much possible (they're already doing it). and very much a good thing; decoupling time of energy production from time of energy consumption allows for both cleaner and cheaper electricity. But they still have a VERY long way to go if they cost $13k.

  • A first step (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @07:30AM (#49550231)
    This is one step closer to getting houses off the grid. And it's a pretty big step at that.
    • I don't think the number of off-the-grid users will change much. Fundamentally, a good-enough and cheap-enough battery will improve the grid and smooth out the fluctuations in daily demand - and with small renewables, the new fluctuations in daily generation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      13 grand will also buy you lots of electricity. Assuming a 7 year lifespan, you are spending 1.85K per year just on the batteries. My electric bill don't even add up to 1.85K per year.

      • Re:A first step (Score:5, Interesting)

        by w3woody ( 44457 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @08:56AM (#49550439) Homepage

        Mine's more.

        Where we moved to in North Carolina, we're only served by two utilities: AT&T (for internet/phone/TV) and Duke Progressive (for electricity). We use electric heating--which is expensive, and while our neighborhood will be getting natural gas in the next few months, it makes no economic sense for us to replace our central heating system with gas. (The payoff exceeds the lifespan of the HVAC already installed.)

        I have to admit, the primary reason for not getting solar where we've lived in Los Angeles and now in Raleigh is that it didn't make a lot of economic sense. But as solar cell prices drop, having a battery-backed solar system on my house starts to sound more promising--especially after the last storm which knocked out our power for a couple of days.

        Since we are on a well and septic tank, if we can get most of our power from solar then we can pretty much be self-sufficient if there is a major disruption in the future--and that's worth a premium over what we now pay for electric service.

        • We use electric heating--which is expensive, and while our neighborhood will be getting natural gas in the next few months, it makes no economic sense for us to replace our central heating system with gas. (The payoff exceeds the lifespan of the HVAC already installed.)

          Resistive heating or a heat pump? If the former, I suspect that replacing your AC with a heat pump would save you a lot of money. I would even go so far to say that if your HVAC is old then it would make sense to upgrade (because you'd have t

        • Where we moved to in North Carolina, we're only served by two utilities: AT&T (for internet/phone/TV) and Duke Progressive (for electricity).

          What about Timewarner?

          We use electric heating--which is expensive, and while our neighborhood will be getting natural gas in the next few months, it makes no economic sense for us to replace our central heating system with gas. (The payoff exceeds the lifespan of the HVAC already installed.)

          North Carolina generally has cheap electricity. If you have a heatpump, your electricity bill should not be that bad! Heatpumps generally work well in our climate.

          I have to admit, the primary reason for not getting solar where we've lived in Los Angeles and now in Raleigh is that it didn't make a lot of economic sense. But as solar cell prices drop, having a battery-backed solar system on my house starts to sound more promising--especially after the last storm which knocked out our power for a couple of days.

          I've run the numbers for the Triangle area after getting quotes through several local companies. Including both the federal and state tax credits and depreciation (this was for a commercial installation), break even is generally 7-8 years off. Probably worthwhile, but not a clear case. Add in a number 10 grand plus for batter

      • Re:A first step (Score:4, Interesting)

        by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @09:35AM (#49550535)

        That's only true if you figure that the battery is worthless at the end of its useful life. That's a silly assumption, because it's still full of the same amount of lithium as when you bought it. Recycling that lithium is much easier and cheaper than mining new lithium, so they battery is going to have a decent trade in value.

        • by khchung ( 462899 )

          Recycling that lithium is much easier and cheaper than mining new lithium, so they battery is going to have a decent trade in value.

          If this were true, we would be seeing a big market for trading-in old lithium batteries. Where can I sell/trade-in my old notebook batteries?

      • Did you know that solar panels and batteries all self destruct the second they go out of warranty? Seriously, it's how God shows that the Koch Brothers are his chosen people.

        Sorry for the sarcasm, but I've heard this stuff before, Some years ago, I replaced my oil furnace and re-insulated my house. I had a good oil furnace, and replaced it with one of the 99+ percent gas furnaces. Pretty cool, they extract so much heat from the gas that the "chimney' is a piece of PVC pipe. The house was already insulated

    • Not really. This is a step closer to having a more useful grid. Right now, the grid isn't much of a grid, it's more like a loose net with lots of big holes in.

      What would get more houses completely off the grid would be batteries that last forever and are relatively inexpensive. They don't need to be space-efficient, they just need to last effectively eternally, a human lifetime at least.

    • Actually, I think one of the biggest results of this will be to allow homes with solar energy to store ALL the energy they capture with their panels, instead of feeding that energy back into the grid. This will effectively neuter the arguments of power companies who say that grid feed-in is making the grid unstable, thus reducing the impetus for putting punitive fees on houses with solar panels.

      • Re:A first step (Score:4, Insightful)

        by russotto ( 537200 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @11:20AM (#49550951) Journal

        Actually, I think one of the biggest results of this will be to allow homes with solar energy to store ALL the energy they capture with their panels, instead of feeding that energy back into the grid. This will effectively neuter the arguments of power companies who say that grid feed-in is making the grid unstable, thus reducing the impetus for putting punitive fees on houses with solar panels.

        Since Pacific Gas and Electric is actually subsidizing the batteries in the pilot program, which is for solar users, it would seem to demonstrate that the power companies aren't lying when they say grid feed-in is a problem.

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      "GTAI and Deutsche Bank’s conclusion - based on the price trends of solar, batteries, electricity in Germany, and German feed-in-tariffs - is that ‘battery parity’, the moment when home solar + a lithium-ion battery makes economic sense, will arrive in Germany by next summer, 2016."

      http://rameznaam.com/2015/04/1... [rameznaam.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide

    They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.

    Gee, that sounds like a great idea. I wonder what could possibly go wrong.

    • by itzly ( 3699663 )

      Gee, that sounds like a great idea. I wonder what could possibly go wrong.

      Probably nothing. The battery controller will simply prevent anything stupid from happening.

      • Gee, that sounds like a great idea. I wonder what could possibly go wrong.

        Probably nothing. The battery controller will simply prevent anything stupid from happening.

        I see that you don't work in software.

    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
      Yes, what could go wrong? There are millions of computers hooked up to the internet that control batteries already (UPS or even laptops). What makes you think this would be any different?
  • big news! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by staalmannen ( 1705340 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @07:40AM (#49550263)
    Distributed storage capacity has the potential to even out the prices over the day and match consumption and production. It also solves a major issue with most renewables. It would be even more interesting if people were allowed to store cheap electricity and sell it back during expensive hours for profit.
    • Re:big news! (Score:5, Informative)

      by rocket rancher ( 447670 ) <themovingfinger@gmail.com> on Saturday April 25, 2015 @09:34AM (#49550531)

      Distributed storage capacity has the potential to even out the prices over the day and match consumption and production. It also solves a major issue with most renewables. It would be even more interesting if people were allowed to store cheap electricity and sell it back during expensive hours for profit.

      true, and in a free market, that is exactly what would happen. sadly, the US energy market is no where near free. In the last three years, Koch Industries has successfully lobbied legislative bodies in 17 states to impede the deployment of alternative energy, and to drastically roll back, if not outrightly abandon existing programs. Case in point: net metering, where the utility company monitors power use and credits a homeowner for power sent back to the grid. In 2014, right here in sunny Az, three Koch-funded candidates were elected to our five person Corporation Commission, which, among other duties, sets utility rates. in february this year, they announced two structural changes that effectively kill net metering. the first change eliminates the ability to bank your credits over the length of a year, meaning that the credits needed to offset months where your PV array doesnt cover your power use are no longer available. the second change reduces the amount of money the utility will pay for your excess production, from full retail to less than half of wholesale. Arizona was seeing fairly strong growth in rooftop solar, until that announcement. in march, new residential solar permits were down 42% over Mar 2014. so far in april, there have been zero new residential permits.

      • Re:big news! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @10:38AM (#49550795)

        You are wasting your time arguing against government meddling in markets. This /. article alone is full of posters extolling the virtues of regulations, subsidies, rules, taxes and mandates. The Koch brothers are grateful.

        The same applies to the healthcare business, where we have reached to point that going to a doctor's office is no different to going to the DMV.

      • In 2014, right here in sunny Az, three Koch-funded candidates were elected to our five person Corporation Commission

        I'm in AZ also and are familiar with the race you're talking about. I knew they were utility-company supported, didn't see anything Koch related. Do you have a news report or campaign financing source or something I can look it showing major Koch money involvement somewhere?

    • Usually mining and extraction are the greatest energy and pollution generating periods of a device's life. Not greater than the entire lifecycle of use and disposal, unless the product is used less than 10 years. if its used less than 5 the impacts of mining can be even greater than the product 's use. Don't crash and total your Tesla or Prius. http://science.howstuffworks.c... [howstuffworks.com]

      What's interesting with this home-battery is that this its use may not achieve any real energy savings, like a hybrid motor (w

  • by Dereck1701 ( 1922824 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @07:47AM (#49550267)

    I wonder if they'll last any better as a fixed battery vs a car mounted battery, I think the car mounted ones loose 20-30% of their capacity after 10 years. For example I've heard that a lead acid battery that will typically only last 5 years in a car will last 20 years in a backup battery bank for a home/business. If the pack only lasts 10 years then I highly doubt this will be economical ($108 a month? that's more than my entire electric bill) except in very specialized applications. If it lasts 20 or 30 years ($54-$36 a month) then we're starting to get into the realms of sanity especially in areas with high peak usage costs.

    • I wonder if they'll last any better as a fixed battery vs a car mounted battery,

      Probably, since the job they will be doing is easier. More sustained charge and discharge cycles, less start-and-stop.

      If the pack only lasts 10 years then I highly doubt this will be economical

      There's no reason to believe it will last only 10 years. The 10 years number has to do with suitability for automotive use.

  • I think the idea sound but it might be too expensive and not cost effective. Let's say that saves $50 a month in electricity bill (that is very optimistic). $13K / $50 = 260 months = 21 years. Let's say tax payers chips in to offset 50% of the cost. It is still 10 years to break even, not to mention installation cost and the battery may not last 10 years. If it is priced at $2K, that is a different story.
    • Subsidy just changes who pays, the total cost of the battery is still the same.

      And your calculation of $13k/$50 is incorrect. Go to a bank and tell them you want to borrow $13K for 21 years at 0% interest and see what they tell you.

    • Re:sound idea? (Score:4, Informative)

      by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @08:08AM (#49550333)

      Let's be optimistic, and assume the battery lasts 10 years - 3000 cycles from full-empty.
      This is perhaps optimistic.

      I am using the numbers for my electricity costs.
      These are $.28 or so.
      If it's 10kWh, and lasts 3000 cycles, that's 30000kWh.
      Or close on $10K worth of electricity stored.

      Even with free electricity - it will never break even against grid cost.
      Actually having to buy solar panels makes the numbers much worse.

      Is it great for off-grid - perhaps. It's a _lot_ more expensive than even spendy lead-acid batteries.

      • You did read the part about this being a pilot project? The first automobiles were out of reach cost-wise for most people when they first came out. The price will drop with volume of sales. And Musk knows economics well enough to know that your argument is the spur to get the cost point down someplace where your math will actually make these cost-effective.

        Also, electrical rates are coming up, if you haven't noticed. That accelerates the time to cost-effectiveness.

      • by itzly ( 3699663 )

        What did you assume for the battery trade in value when it's worn out ?

      • by Socguy ( 933973 )
        Your numbers are out of whack. Depending on how the anode is constructed, LIB can go 10 000 cycles.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

        Furthermore, that assumes a full charge-discharge cycle. That's not likely what's going to happen, further prolonging the life of the battery system.
  • Flywheels (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 25, 2015 @08:07AM (#49550325)

    Would prefer a flywheel over a battery for home storage, longer life, more reliable, non hazardous materials, smaller carbon footprint, faster to charge, can accurately monitor/diagose, can bury them underground.

    • I agree very strongly. Flywheels have some enormous advantages over chemical storage. One additional advantage to add to the splendid list you provided: they can accommodate any load and load profile.

      A sealed flywheel with magnetic bearings can theoretically last forever.

    • Re:Flywheels (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Pulzar ( 81031 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @11:30AM (#49550999)

      What's the downside of flywheels? Looking at wikipedia, the comparison to batteries is very one-sided, offering zero downsides.

      I would imagine that there must be some, or we'd all have flywheels sitting in our basements. Is it cost?

  • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @09:19AM (#49550487)

    The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide

    First 2D batteries ever! Advances in energy storage at a spooky distance made possible thanks to recently published ER = EPR [slashdot.org] discovery. Is Elon Musk really Ironman [youtube.com]?

  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @09:26AM (#49550509)

    So, for $13,000 up front, I can save at most about $80/month, maybe less, depending on the particular battery technology and how deeply the batteries can be safely discharged. (Yes, I used actual numbers.) It's a first step, but assuming that the capacity is 10KWh as mentioned in earlier articles, it's not really any cheaper than existing solutions. Now maybe Tesla will ramp up capacity and make them more available, or maybe it will actually be higher capacity, or maybe the price will come down substantially as volume increases. Because at 1/2 the $/KWh it would start to be really interesting, but right now, it's kind of marginal--at least for me at ~$0.15/KWh peak; obviously, in a state, CA for instance, where peak power prices are higher, the economics are better.

  • Offer a package with solar panels so we can get off the grid with no maintenance that a typical solar+wind offgrid setup requires.

    Most people can barely change the batteries in their TV remote, they cant handle the work involved in taking care of an offgrid power system. Been there done that.

  • by Deep Esophagus ( 686515 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @10:03AM (#49550647)
    So Edison finally won the War of Currents [wikipedia.org] and got Tesla to start using DC.
  • "need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground"

    For what purpose? That old wives' tale of putting a battery on the ground causing it to discharge or drain is absolute bullshit.

    • I assume this is to prevent a leaking main from electrocuting everyone in the area, and/or to prevent gasses building up underneath and/or to have better airflow around the battery to keep the temperature from going up in hotspots.

    • "need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground"

      For what purpose? That old wives' tale of putting a battery on the ground causing it to discharge or drain is absolute bullshit.

      Cooling, most likely. Charging and discharging a battery results in heat; this battery is probably designed to take cool air in at the bottom and discharge warm air at the top.

  • For the next 10 years. If the funds are invested at a reasonable rate could easily be 20-30 years.

    What's the lifespan of this thing ?

  • I have been thinking for awhile about building a house out in the country and not bothering to have it connected to the grid. My first thought was to go with a whole lot of solar panels and a couple giant propane tanks with a gas generator. Still, that is a lacking setup, but these batteries just might make the difference. I would probably buy more than one of whatever the top of the line battery would be. Of course, I have already checked the availability of water in the areas I have been considering.

    Thro
  • by Steve1952 ( 651150 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @11:29AM (#49550995)

    Tesla seems to be adopting the "Wendy's strategy". Wendy's apparently sells excess hamburger as chili, thus somewhat compensating for daily swings in hamburger sales. Similarly Tesla is probably anticipating that their Gigafactory will also have unexpected swings in demand depending on vehicle sales and existing contracts with other battery suppliers.

    By selling the excess Gigafactory battery production as battery based storage for homes, Tesla ensures two things: 1 - a better ramp up in Gigafactory utilization during the early years, and 2 - protection from unexpected swings in vehicle sales.

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