Installing solar-plus-storage is a great way to save money. We all use electricity, and the electricity produced by solar panels is less expensive than what you would otherwise purchase from the grid, meaning solar can help you save significantly over decades while your panels are producing electricity. But solar and storage do more than just help you save on your own electricity bills: combined, they can help reduce the overall cost of electricity to the grid as a whole (see our recent guest post from Synapse Energy Economics).Continue reading
Back in 2015, automaker Tesla Motors set its sights on the home energy storage market and announced the launch of its home battery product, the Tesla Powerwall.
In the past, Tesla Motors has been praised for making high-quality electric vehicles, as well as for their ability to reimagine and successfully rebrand existing technologies. In fact, while Tesla’s automobiles revitalized the 21st-century electric vehicle market, the first electric cars were invented more than a hundred years earlier.
Tesla’s rebranding of residential-use batteries is in line with their legacy of reimagining existing products. Tesla’s battery may represent the first time in history that everyday homeowners are truly excited about the potential of storing energy at their home. The Powerwall, combined with the exciting Tesla Solar Roof, are both potential cornerstones of Elon Musk’s sustainable energy vision for the future.Continue reading
Most people who install energy storage do so for the resiliency benefit: they’re looking specifically for backup power in the event of an emergency. That particular ability is what makes storage such an enticing purchase and an increasingly frequent pairing with solar. But the value of resiliency depends on how long you expect–or need–to run your home, leading to one main question: how long do solar batteries last?Continue reading
Solar batteries are becoming more and more common for individual homeowners, and just like solar panels, the exact battery installation you should get depends on your unique situation and what you want to get out of energy storage. The question “how many solar batteries do I need?” doesn’t have a straightforward answer – in this article, we’ll outline the major factors that contribute to the size of a battery system, and around how large your solar battery setup should be.Continue reading
At its core, a solar panel installation at your home or business is basically a miniature power plant – even more so once you add a solar battery to be able to store the solar electricity you produce and use it even after the sun has gone down. As more and more homes and businesses install solar panels across the country (we’re at over 3 million solar installations nationwide!), these distributed, miniature power plants present an opportunity: if you aggregate enough of them together, you can turn all of those miniature solar power plants into one, larger “virtual” power plant. Here’s how virtual power plants work and how you can participate in one.Continue reading
The Tesla ecosystem is full of innovative energy products, from cars to solar roof tiles and more. One of Tesla’s lesser-known offerings is the Powerpack, a commercial-scale battery storage system designed to help large electricity users save money and control their energy usage.Continue reading
Electric vehicles (EVs) are all the rage – and might just be the centerpiece to the clean energy revolution. There’s a catch, however. Along with all of those electric cars comes an equal amount of lithium-ion batteries to power them, and recycling those batteries is a complicated, but necessary, problem to solve. What’s more, home batteries like the Tesla Powerwall are usually made of very similar materials to EV batteries, so there’s even more to recycle.
Similar to solar panel recycling, it’s expensive and difficult to separate out the components of a lithium-ion battery to the point where they can be recycled and reused. Nowadays, lithium-ion battery recycling exists, but not nearly on the scale and at the efficiency we need it to as batteries become more and more popular.Continue reading
In 2020, Tesla announced that they would be manufacturing their Model 3 cars in China using lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, moving away from their traditional nickel-based chemistries they use in US-based car manufacturing. Tesla doubled down on their bet on iron batteries in the spring of 2021, announcing intent to use LFP batteries in their grid-scale energy storage solution: the Megapack.Continue reading
SunPower has always been known for its top-tier solar panels – now, they’re expanding their influence in the energy storage space. In 2019, the company launched their first home solar battery: the Equinox Storage system. Now rebranded as the SunVault Storage system, this battery and software solution, when paired with a SunPower Equinox solar panel system, enables you to keep your lights on during power outages and manage your home’s electricity use.Continue reading
As states and cities throughout the country embrace the renewable energy transition, setting and committing to 100 percent clean energy targets, one crucial gap remains in ultimately meeting those targets: how do you stretch the production from renewable resources like wind and solar to keep powering the country even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing? Enter long duration storage, the promising broad category of technologies that can fill this gap.Continue reading