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Solar Batteries For Homes and Business Unveiled

     
2:39 pm on May 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm all for renewable energy, however, at over $3,000 it's not exactly going to be affordable, or to pay for itself , so i'm not really sure about it's credentials for eco-frendliness, especially packed full of batteries. Surely, it's just a giant uninterruptible power supply. It's going to be better for places that don't have reliable power, and, importantly, plenty of solar to charge it.

US electric carmaker Tesla Motors has unveiled batteries that can power homes and businesses as it attempts to expand beyond its vehicle business.

Chief executive Elon Musk announced the firm would build batteries that store solar energy and serve as a back-up system for consumers during blackouts.

The device would allow consumers to get off a power grid or bring energy to remote areas that are not on a grid.

Tesla plans to start shipping the units to installers in the US by this summer. Solar Batteries For Homes and Business Unveiled [bbc.co.uk]
7:41 pm on May 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It is a bargain at the costs quoted. Compared to the arrays of panels, a good quality sine wave converter and banks of marine batteries that need maintenance and replacement, this cuts the cost in half at least. Because it uses lithium-ion rather than lead acid for storage, the power levels will be more stable and predictable. Better than most UPS units. I want two of these, please.
8:38 pm on May 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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and yea 3k is a steal for the amount of lead acid it takes to run your location for any sane amount of time.
10:14 am on May 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Surely, this is out of reach of the vast majority of end users. Businesses, yes, sure.

It's an investment, I get that, but it's going to take many years to get payback.

I'd be interested to see the lifetime environmental analysis.
2:52 am on May 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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well that all depends... if you can use these batteries to suck max power out when power is the cheapest, then drop grid power and run off batteries when power costs the most.
not sure what your power bill is each month but if it could shave 80.00 a month off it will pay back fast.

also if you did have solar, you could store it and not sell it back to the grid at pennies...and the grid only pays back 1 time a year (at least here)

now just think of lots of people doing just that... 1,000's of people around you......it will make a change in power pricing / demand...etc
3:09 am on May 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't get it. With what is costs and the technology and emissions it takes to create these batteries more harm is done than running fossil fuel in the first place. Add to that the fact that green tech doesn't work when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining, where does the electricity come from to charge the battery?

As a backup system, okay. As a replacement/reduction strategy it is insane to compel folks to purchase $13,500 for an event that will never happen (unless the power grid is shut off).
4:10 pm on May 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Add to that the fact that green tech doesn't work when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining, where does the electricity come from to charge the battery?

I think that that is when you USE the battery.

(unless the power grid is shut off).

Re-read the bit that says "bring energy to remote areas that are not on a grid. "

The idea has more than enough flaws to criticize without inventing ones that aren't there.
6:39 pm on May 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My weather station tells me that on this overcast day the sun is sending us 1027 watts per square meter, when a heavy cloud passes in front of the sun we drop to 227 watts per square meter. If there is light, there are watts. The high reading for this year so far is 1588 - for a one day average. My electric bill tells me we consume from 280 t0 330 KwH per month which is currently produced by burning fossil fuels. My annual cost for this is more than half the cost of a unit - and power, while expensive, is neither reliable nor stable. The lithium-Ion batteries produce no emissions (unless you plug them in to charge them from a fossil fuel energy supply). I want two of these, please. :)
9:56 am on May 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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> The lithium-Ion batteries produce no emissions

My point is that it costs quite a bit to manufacture the batteries, and the associated equipment, and installation, and that's why it's worth looking at the lifetime environmental analysis. If you've never been involved in creating one, look one up and you'll see, it's interesting, and complex in the sense that it has to include everything, such as harvesting materials (mining), transportation to and from factories and delivery to end user, production energy used, etc., through to end of life disposal and/or recycling costs. Many of these factors are often never included in the sales price, although that is changing. For example, disposal costs money, whether it goes into as hole in the ground, or to a recycling plant to re-used as many of the raw materials as possible. In many countries, there's sometimes a disposal charge, or sales tax associated with the initial sale to help with recycling costs.

It's surprising where the total cost of ownership costs come from, and that's why many don't realise how costly an item is to the environment.

New solar cells are much more efficient that they used to be. Even on dull days they can generate energy, although it's retarded from the full potential. Night-time, of course, it's zero. Wind energy is best produced where there is a constant breeze, of course. But, when the wind isn't blowing, other alternatives can supplement the energy.

The long term key is to reduce the world's dependency on fossil fuels, and to end up with them supplementing the alternatives, especially using the modern fuel technologies, such as fuels cells. In addition, we'll have to learn to live with lower energy requirements: The days of cheap energy are behind us.

The largest single source of power for this planet comes out of the sky, from the sun. There's no doubt we should do everything we can to harness that energy, and batteries, such as this, are an obvious solution. The energy is free, but it's lowering the cost of converting that is yet to be cracked.

Energy storage on a large scale is one of the biggest challenges. These batteries are small-scale energy storage solutions.

As i said before, i'm all for renewable energy where it is an effective alternative, and these may be a solution in many instances.
10:14 am on May 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The best and "greenest" energy of all is nuclear, but that's been kiboshed. Fossil fuels are more efficient everyday, but that's kiboshed as well. Solar and wind are poster children adored by all... until the lights go out or the public realizes what the actual costs are.

I'm all for conservation and environment, within reason. Shutting down civilization and technology for unattainable power goals, however, is social suicide. Not being a Luddite, just practical. And I doubt that any webmaster on this list will be happy if their sites operated under the intended goals of green eco ... If your site relied on solar, wind, and batteries to stay up, would you buy into that? As for costs, engine started out right, just didn't finish it... it costs more not only in materials and electricity to produce these "batteries" , there are MORE costs are on the back side.

The fellow who finally figures out how to obtain 98%-100% conversion of mass to energy (whatever mass is used) will rule the world of power production. Just hasn't happened yet.
7:53 am on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just another nail in the coffin... some days after the hype hit:

A couple more interesting details have emerged about Tesla's “game-changing” home battery, and it remains a moderately limp competitor that's done wonders for market awareness.

Courtesy of Bloomberg, the world gets an idea of what the retail from-the-installer price of the battery might look like (rather than the wholesale price the 'leccy car maker announced last week).

The Elon Musk-led system seller SolarCity, Bloomberg reports, will ship an installed 10 kWh Powerwall for US$7,140 (ouch outright purchase) or $US5,000 plus a nine-year lease.

To match a 16 kW generator that sells in the US for just US$3,699, the reporter works out, would require around US$45,000 worth of Powerwalls on the lease deal.

[theregister.co.uk...]
8:28 am on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Oh, right, now we're getting the fuller story. I thought it was rather a too-good-to-be-true price.
2:32 pm on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I had visited the website mentioned in the article and there I could see that the business model is not one of manufacture/sales but rather installation/lease/service - not something that interested me. I see it as an option that might be right for some. Its presence in the marketplace makes it more likely that there will be "the right" options at some point so it's still a good thing.
10:22 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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No one yet touched the topic of Li-ion battery fires. As energy density of a battery increases, so does severity of damage in case of malfunction.
11:29 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It all depends where you live. By the usual yawn-provoking coincidence, I just heard from my father --who lives in California's central valley-- a few days ago. In my day (haha) there was nothing but a solar water heater. Now evidently he's got something fancier, because the utility company gives him money, instead of the other way around. Can't beat that.
1:40 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I expect (hope) Elon Musk's initial price to come down over time, with competition, economies of scale, etc.

And yet another auto manufacturer (and country) gets into the business!

Daimler promises to launch its own line of home batteries to take on Tesla

Mercedes-Benz and smart parent company Daimler has announced it will launch its own line of batteries for homes and small businesses before the end of the year. The batteries will initially be available exclusively in Germany, but Daimler plans on gradually expanding sales to other European countries and, possibly, the United States in the medium-term future.


[digitaltrends.com...]
7:45 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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fun aspect to consider........


which uses more kwh ? a house without a big battery, or a house with a big battery? :)

more kwh consumed = more coal burned
9:01 pm on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've always liked the idea of pedaling a bicycle to generate electricity, like in the old movie Soylent Green (if I remember the movie's name correctly). You get good exercise plus electricity. Of course you have to pay for food to get the energy to pedal, but you've got to eat anyway..
1:37 am on June 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I think it needs to come down in price, but if it's a one time purchase to go along with your wind or solar power generators to store some juice for the off hours, not so bad.

Back in the day, as a kid, my mom had a light bulb in the kitchen running off a bunch of car batteries charged by a windmill on the farm. You can do the same thing today, it's just a matter of how much power you need in the end.
 

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