Date: 29 April 2015. Battery Primer
Tesla just announced a new battery
is coming onto the market. With a capacity of *7kWh to 10kWh,
that's one heck of a large battery capacity. How this could benefit those of us living off the grid is the question.
The Tesla battery has the potential to positively effect life,
however there are a few caveats.
*7kWh means 7 kilowatt hours or,
7000 watts (A/C -- your regular house electricity) [To give you an
idea what that signifies in real life terms, a standard washing
machine uses 2kWh and the drier takes 3kWh per load.]
First of all, do not take my word for it. The Tesla
site is here:
Made by Tesla company
Dimensions: 51.2" x 33.9" x 7.1"
1300 mm x 860 mm x 180 mm
Weight: 220 pounds / 100 kg
7 kWh model: $3000
10 kWh model: $3500
Voltage 350-450 volts
That final item (Voltage 350-450 volts) is the one
that said "wait" to me. I know the difficulties of running a boat
with both 24 and 12 volt systems. At this point this technology,
though exciting has its limitations for application aboard cruising
boats in my opinion.
Archie aboard M/V Irish Lady (a
Monk36) said this: "The problem is adapting the new tech to old
12/24v tech in a boat. They will build inverters to go with the new
batteries, but will they be acceptable to use in boats? If there is
profit, someone will marinize them."
The main thing is, this Tesla
battery is for a house. It is designed with A/C power
considerations in mind, not the 12-volt world I live in. According
to Tesla's website the Powerwall is a "Wall mounted, rechargeable
lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control." Also, they state
"Single phase and three phase utility grid compatible."
Basically, the Tesla Powerwall is designed to
supplement power used in a house. Of course the Powerwall alone is
not enough. Also required are solar panels, wiring and more. The
technology is exciting and if ashore I would certainly investigate
it more thoroughly.
The technology is fascinating. I
can envision a modified system utilized to store my solar panel
Lithium batteries are smaller and weigh less than
my own lead acid batts. Both qualities appeal to me.
To understand the technology you
must know what exactly a battery is. Simply put, a battery stores
energy. Whatever you put in can be removed, much like a pitcher
water in your refrigerator. If you do not refill the jug, it will
empty. So too will your battery empty of power.
Yes, solar panels can put back some of the power used and
a large enough solar array will indeed keep up with usage. At this
point however solar panels need to (in my view) increase efficiency
Patrick is carefully placing the hoist for my new
engine to avoid damaging my solar panels.
Two 100 watt
top the pilothouse providing power for Seaweed.
I currently have three solar panels aboard Seaweed.
Two are on
the pilothouse and the third cross-wise over the cockpit. Eventually
I would like two more 100 watt
Renogy panels. That, with three more
Group 29 marine batteries from Walmart should mean a totally
decadent life off
the grid for me.
Except for water. I cannot make that, yet.
This Tesla battery [http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall] is a step and a positive one.
When the costs come down and the size decreases too, well, sign me
Gosh, it would be good to have
enough power generation to run one of those RV rooftop
air-conditioning units without the Kubota engine or a generator
That's a maybe someday item for
me. If I were tied long-term to a dock I would definitely want an air
conditioner aboard here in Florida. It gets h-o-t.
I study innovations
and imagine ways the new
ideas can be used to positively impact my life.
I'd love to hear what you think of the Tesla.
And, are would you consider this for your house ashore?
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