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 Post subject: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 7:38 pm 
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If you have haven't seen it yet, Elon Musk's unveiling of the Tesla Powerwall is well worth watching.



I mean this is it - this is the future. This is the end of oil, the end of coal, the end of nuclear. He's making happen what people have always talked about, but have never been able to realize.

We had some solar guys out here last year, and we had the full 3D designs and quotes for solar panels, but as soon as I realized you don't get to keep any of the energy from them, it all get pumped back into the grid, I lost all interest. This is the game changer. No more electric company, no more power cuts, no more overhead electric cables. Hey, you even get to keep power during the zombie apocalypse. :)

I know it's not quite that simple. We we only able to get about 60% of our energy covered by the proposed panels, for example, and you'd also need enough energy to power your vehicles and so on as well. But I don't doubt all issues can be solved (for example, more efficient panels).

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 10:10 pm 
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Very cool. I'm a skeptic though. I would love to convert my house to solar as it just makes sense, but don't believe it's ready yet. We'll see *shrug*

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 10:13 pm 
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Musk is definitely the right person to head this, and it's definitely a good step, but... from what I'm reading, it's still going to be too expensive for your everyday person. I don't know the exact costs of getting solar panels set up, but my quick google search said 50k for the standard as it is right now that doesn't store energy. Add $10,000 in batteries(1 battery probably isn't enough for most people), which is probably a low estimate with installation and everything, and you're up to 60k. The batteries from what I've read, may last 10k cycles, which is about 28 years doing a cycle a day. So 60k for something that will last 30 years. How many regular people buy a house and stay in their house for 30 years? I'm guessing not many. Why are they going to invest 60k in a house that basically requires them to stay in their house for 30 years to get their moneys worth. Even if that 60k is the last dime I spend on electricity for 30 years, it's still only mildly cheaper than paying for non-green energy. That's $2000 a year if I paid the 60k in cash and didn't finance it. Last year I paid (roughly) $2500 for electricity.

It has to be cheaper than the non-green versions or it will never take over. People care about green energy in concept, but when it comes to paying more for it... they don't care that much.

Maybe musk makes his solar pixel in northern texas and is able to create enough energy for the entire US with his technology... what is the cost going to be of his energy per KWH then? That is the real question... if it's not better than say... 10-12 cents per KWH, it's not going to get widespread acceptance IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 11:07 pm 
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What most people don't realize, is that solar and or green energy starts with becoming more efficient in personal use of energy. So yea, if your a "great" customer of your local utility company, and want to switch to solar with out changing habits or upgrading appliances and such, then your going to pay more. So first step is lowering usage. ie, I swapped out my Hotwater heater about 3 years ago to a GE tech that is similar to a heat pump. The old unit was old old old. I've lived in this house almost 20 years and it was here when we moved in. My electric bill dropped close to 25%.

So the concept of 50k is a bit high. Even twice the cost on average.

The other thing that you have to realize is how the grid works. Most solar energy at a house is generated when the demand is the lowest. With out an ability to store it, it goes back to the utility at a wholesale cost, which is almost free. But if you can store the energy generated during lowest usage periods, you can use it when you need it, as opposed to buying the juice you sold back to the utility company for 2 or 3 times the cost.

The additional benefit is to the grid itself. Today the utility companies need to build out generation to the peak. They cant store energy like we can gas in a car. Its always on. I read a great white paper on the concept of electric cars sitting in parking lots could store energy, and be used by the grid. Meaning the 100s of millions of cars would be the storage devices and would feed the grid when not in use. You park at night, plugged in, and the electric company fills you up. your parked at work during the day during peak, and they draw from you plugged in car. This would allow for generation capabilities to be much lower because they could generate and store 24 hours a day. It could be huge.

I think Musk power wall is the same idea. During low usage electric companies could fill you up. During the day they could draw from it, while your solar panels are restoring it. From a design perspective its brilliant. But it requires a lot of people doing it. like 100s of millions of homes.

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:00 am 
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great concept but nearly absolutely no solid info besides price

Do you need extra equipment or service to hook it up to your house? How much does that cost?
How long does it last?
How much to repair or replace it?
Where do you take it if its broken or worn out?
Where are they getting the materials to build them?

What sort of environmental impact are thousands or million of these batteries going to make, positive & negative?

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:27 am 
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you have to buy a 2K inverter and have it professionally installed. Forbes runs the numbers and says it's a toy for rich people to feel better about themselves. As of now there is no cost benefit to it. But it's a start.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopher ... en-people/


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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:34 am 
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Strife wrote:
Musk is definitely the right person to head this, and it's definitely a good step, but... from what I'm reading, it's still going to be too expensive for your everyday person. I don't know the exact costs of getting solar panels set up, but my quick google search said 50k for the standard as it is right now that doesn't store energy. Add $10,000 in batteries(1 battery probably isn't enough for most people), which is probably a low estimate with installation and everything, and you're up to 60k. The batteries from what I've read, may last 10k cycles, which is about 28 years doing a cycle a day. So 60k for something that will last 30 years. How many regular people buy a house and stay in their house for 30 years? I'm guessing not many. Why are they going to invest 60k in a house that basically requires them to stay in their house for 30 years to get their moneys worth. Even if that 60k is the last dime I spend on electricity for 30 years, it's still only mildly cheaper than paying for non-green energy. That's $2000 a year if I paid the 60k in cash and didn't finance it. Last year I paid (roughly) $2500 for electricity.


There is a lot of pricing models and with leasing and tax credits you can easily get them with no downpayment or anything and still save some money.

My primary concern would be them looking like shit.


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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 11:30 am 
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I wonder how these things stack up with existing "house UPS" systems. I imagine Tesla has learned a thing or two about batteries and has more up-to-date tech than most home UPS systems but I'd do some research along those lines before I jumped into it.


Because if you wanted solar panels into a battery that could run your house, you could have done it 10 years ago. Did we cross some technological barrier or is this just basically like Apple claiming they invented an idea that had been around for years, but now has rounded corners?

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:11 pm 
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Jakensama wrote:
Strife wrote:
Musk is definitely the right person to head this, and it's definitely a good step, but... from what I'm reading, it's still going to be too expensive for your everyday person. I don't know the exact costs of getting solar panels set up, but my quick google search said 50k for the standard as it is right now that doesn't store energy. Add $10,000 in batteries(1 battery probably isn't enough for most people), which is probably a low estimate with installation and everything, and you're up to 60k. The batteries from what I've read, may last 10k cycles, which is about 28 years doing a cycle a day. So 60k for something that will last 30 years. How many regular people buy a house and stay in their house for 30 years? I'm guessing not many. Why are they going to invest 60k in a house that basically requires them to stay in their house for 30 years to get their moneys worth. Even if that 60k is the last dime I spend on electricity for 30 years, it's still only mildly cheaper than paying for non-green energy. That's $2000 a year if I paid the 60k in cash and didn't finance it. Last year I paid (roughly) $2500 for electricity.


There is a lot of pricing models and with leasing and tax credits you can easily get them with no downpayment or anything and still save some money.

My primary concern would be them looking like shit.

From what I've read,those require like 30 year commitments and cost over 15 cents per KWH, which is too expensive .

Most people don't give a shit if is Green if its going to cost them more $. The green technologies will only take over when it becomes cost effective to do so... or of course if the govt forces you to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 1:13 pm 
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I was listening to a podcast on planet money last week or so (How Solar got so Cheap), they were talking about the lease deals. Worked out in Long Island that a guys monthy bill+solar was 100-110 a month instead of 180ish a month.

It's probably dependent on where you live if its cost effective. Electrics still fairly cheap in Texas so the economics aren't there yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 1:14 pm 
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Slamz wrote:
Did we cross some technological barrier or is this just basically like Apple claiming they invented an idea that had been around for years, but now has rounded corners?

I knew you, Jake or Maul would find a way to get an Apple dig into this thread... ;)

No, the point is that the technology was not there 10 years ago. As with microprocessors/hard drives/etc, battery tech has been leaping along incredibly fast, due both to electric car tech (and especially Tesla), but also things like laptop computers and smartphones. This would have been prohibitively expensive and much, much larger 10 years ago.

What this needs is to get governments (and specifically the US government) on board in a big way. Credits, incentives, but also have these installed in federal buildings across America. Not being reliant on the grid is a pretty big draw there anyway.

Of course, that would be a lot easier with a left-leaning administration like Obama's or (soon) Hilary's. Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, probably not so much.

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:09 pm 
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I see these as the SSD version of the battery. It does the same thing as the old batteries, just better.


Jakensama wrote:
It's probably dependent on where you live if its cost effective. Electrics still fairly cheap in Texas so the economics aren't there yet.
Yea, but for them to get widespread acceptance, they have to figure out how to make it cheaper everywhere, or make the non-solar more expensive before they make solar power cheaper. They've been working at making solar panels cheaper for years and (granted, I haven't done a ton of research on it) there doesn't seem to be some technological advance to make it really cheap. Powerwalls aren't the technological advance needed to make it have widespread acceptance. The solar panels are the problem.


Powerwalls may be the ultimate solution to storing the energy... now Musk needs to find the solution to getting it cheaper.

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:48 pm 
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The Planet money article says in the past 8 years the cost per panel went down from $1,000 to about $200-250, and that installation time went from two days to four hours in the same time - so they are obviously making progress.

But yeah, it will take other energy prices raising before people give a fuck enough to go through the effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 2:39 pm 
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Slamz wrote:
I wonder how these things stack up with existing "house UPS" systems. I imagine Tesla has learned a thing or two about batteries and has more up-to-date tech than most home UPS systems but I'd do some research along those lines before I jumped into it.


Because if you wanted solar panels into a battery that could run your house, you could have done it 10 years ago. Did we cross some technological barrier or is this just basically like Apple claiming they invented an idea that had been around for years, but now has rounded corners?
4

On the UPS concept yes. Still need an inverter, but yes, the concept could act as a UPS, and it could be charged via commercial power instead of solar.

From a tech perspective, the tech has changed a lot with lithium. We have the old lead / acid based plants in all our central offices. These are 48 volt power plants with big ass batteries. When they charge, they generate hydrogen and require a lot of maintenance. the hybrid and electric car batteries has introduced new tech.

BUT... I still do not believe Lithium is the answer. The answer will be some sort of super capacitor, perhaps even made from grown organic carbon with lighting fast recharge capabilities. There will be a time that we will look back Batteries as the old and very stupid tech.

Graphene Supercapacitors are one of the area's to keep an eye on.

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 1:01 am 
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Government is never the answer/

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 12:28 pm 
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bonestomper wrote:
Government is never the answer/


Stop using those roads Bone!

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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 1:24 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Tesla Powerwall
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 3:33 pm 
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