Tesla has finally unveiled Tesla Energy, its ambitious battery system that can work for homes, businesses, and even utilities. The product aimed at average homeowners is the Powerwall, a shield-like pack that measures three feet by four feet in size and six inches thick, and can be hung indoors or outdoors. Targeting solar energy adopters, Powerwall stores electricity generated from solar panels during the day and saves it up for use at night and as a backup supply.
The larger battery system, aimed at businesses, industrial operations, or even public utility companies, is called Powerpack. According to Tesla, 160 Powerpacks can power the U.S. and 2 billion can power the world.
As more electricity is generated from renewable but intermittent sources like solar and wind, demand for storage is going to go up — batteries can absorb surplus power and flow it back into the grid when needed, evening out supply and demand.
Elon Musk told reporters during a briefing last Friday that the system can be used to create "smart microgrids" — and can be used as a redundancy system, or potentially allow a home to go off the power grid entirely. "The whole thing is a system that just works."
Musk goes on to describe this as an "infinitely scalable system" that can work for businesses, in industrial applications, and even public utility companies, that comes in 100 kWh battery blocks that can scale from 500 kWH all the way up to 10 MWh and higher. "Our goal here is to change the way the world uses energy at an extreme scale."