The Most Detailed Review of Tesla Powerwall: Effectivity, Pros and Cons

April 12, 2024

Residential solar energy slowly but surely rises in popularity. And there is no wonder, as increasing utilities force people to look for alternatives. Meanwhile, growing climate change concerns make us look for eco-friendly power production. Solar energy fits both these parameters perfectly but what benefits can you achieve by using the Tesla Powerwall system?

Today, we will explore the advantages of the Tesla solar system. You will understand how you can produce clear electricity and save money simultaneously. Check this article to determine whether the Tesla solar system fits your eco-friendly needs.

What Is Tesla Powerwall?

It is a solar-powered system with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for home energy storage. Tesla batteries work in conjunction with solar panels to provide homeowners with several benefits:

  1. Self-consumption of clean energy. By storing excess solar power generated by a Tesla solar panel, the battery allows you to use generated energy at night, lowering grid reliance.
  2. Backup power during outages. Tesla home batteries can provide energy independence, making them a great backup option. During power outages, the Powerwall will provide your home with electricity, keeping essential appliances running.
  3. Time-of-use load shifting. If your electricity provider has time-of-use rates, you can run the Tesla Powerwall battery to store energy during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper. Later, you can use it during peak hours when electricity is more expensive. To maximize the profit, generate electricity with the Tesla solar panels without taking it from the grid. If you sell excessive energy to the utility provider, you get the net metering credits to lower bills.

The Tesla Powerwall is a compact unit that can be easily installed in your home. Its stackable design allows you to add more units for increased capacity. Using the official Tesla solar app, you can control the system’s productivity from your mobile phone.

Key Specs and Features of the Tesla Powerwall

When choosing a Tesla home battery, look closely at its capacity and output. These are the two most important parameters that determine the battery’s potential. Estimate your desirable requirements before the purchase by finding the average spent electricity and the combined output of your essential devices.

  1. Capacity (kWh) refers to the total energy the Powerwall can store. It directly impacts how much backup power you will have with chosen batteries. If you use 20 kWh daily and are looking for an option to help you during outages, you must purchase 2 Tesla Powerwall batteries to store up to 27 kWh of electricity. If you buy only one Tesla solar battery, you must switch off some of your devices to ensure you get enough power to pass the day.
  2. Power Output (kW) indicates how much power the single battery can deliver to your appliances. There are two types of output: continuous and peak option. The continuous output shows how much power the Tesla Energy system can consistently supply. Peak output is the maximum power the Tesla house battery can provide in short bursts for high-demand situations, such as turning on the device or switching between modes.

Today, there are three types of Tesla Powerwall batteries. We’ve gathered them all in the comprehensive table to ease your comparison. Here, you can review all crucial parameters like Tesla Powerwall capacity, output, scalability, etc.

FeatureTesla Powerwall 3Tesla Powerwall +Tesla Powerwall 2
Capacity (kWh)13.5
Continuous Power Output (kW)11.55
Peak Power Output (kW)N/A7.6
Backup Power
  • 11.5 kW continuous185 LRA motor start
  • 9.6 kW / 7 kW continuous22kW / 10kW peak118A LRA motor start
  • 7 kW peak106A LRA motor start
ScalabilityUp to 4 unitsUp to 10 units
Weight287 lbs344 lbs251 lbs
Warranty70% capacity after 10 years

You can only install a Powerwall + battery setup with additional Powerwall 2 units in a side-by-side configuration. However, you cannot mix Powerwall 2 and Powerwall 3 in the same system. To use them in the same building, you must create two separate systems.

The Essential Powerwall Components

A Tesla Powerwall comprises numerous components that work together to store and manage energy generated from the panels. The leading parts are:

  1. Lithium-ion battery cells. Rechargeable batteries are the device’s core, as they store the energy from the solar panels.
  2. Management system. The Tesla solar panel battery system is a small computer that controls the work of each battery cell. It ensures safe and efficient operation by regulating charging, discharging, and optimizing battery health.
  3. Inverter. A power inverter converts the DC (direct current) electricity generated by Tesla solar panel batteries to AC (alternating current) electricity, which powers home appliances.
  4. Thermal management system. The system regulates the temperature of Tesla Powerwall batteries to ensure optimal performance and extend battery life.

The basic set of the Tesla solar system doesn’t include the backup gateway hub, so you should buy it separately. The hub provides a seamless grid connection and can manage the flow between the home, solar panels, and utility grid. It also offers advanced backup power management to ease the switching process during outages.

Mounting Options For Tesla Powerwalls

Engineers building photovoltaic solar module station on the house roof.

You can connect the Tesla backup battery side-by-side or by using stacked mounting. Remember that you can connect only Powerwalls from the same generation. If you bought Powerwall 2 and Powerwall +, you can easily connect them to a single system. Meanwhile, you can’t add Powerwall 3 to it. To gather batteries from different generations, you should create two unlinked systems to manage them separately.

  • A side-by-side connection makes it easy to install and maintain the Tesla battery for home use. Each Powerwall is connected to its neighbor with a communication cable. If you need to install the Backup Gateway, connect it to the first battery in the line.
  • A stacked option is more challenging to install, but it saves you a lot of space. While stacking, provide at least 12 inches of clearance between units to ensure proper ventilation. Make sure that your wall can handle the weight of the batteries.

A Tesla battery is a heavy lithium-ion device, and wall stacking significantly increases the weight on the wall. In the future, it can become a significant structural burden, so many installers prefer side-by-side flour mounting as a safer option. In this case, you attach a Tesla battery for solar panels to the floor and gently anchor it to the wall to avoid tipping.

The Required Space For a Tesla Powerwall

You will need a lot of space to accommodate Tesla solar panel batteries. Many installers recommend placing the system in the garage or the attic as they have enough space.

Beware that a single panel requires at least 38-40 inches of wall space. It has air vents on the right and the top sides. Thus, you should provide enough space between Tesla Powewall and any obstruction.

If you need to place multiple batteries side-by-side, ensure that you have at least 6 inches on the right side to allow proper airflow. When installing a single Powerwall, verify your battery has at least 2 inches of clearance above. When stacking panels, provide 12 inches of clearance above the topmost unit.

If you need to connect the Backup Gateway, ensure you have at least 2-by-3 feet of free space to guarantee the proper installation. Test the Wi-Fi signal, as the Gateway needs a constant internet connection.

The Cost of Tesla Solar System

The price of a single unit depends on several factors, including a model, the number of units, the installation location, and permission fees.

  • The average Tesla solar battery price starts at $11,500 for a single unit, and the average cost for a single Powerwall ranges from $13,000 to $17,000.

However, the more panels you buy, the less you pay for a single panel. For example, an order of five Tesla Powerwall batteries typically costs $8,000-9,000 per unit or $40,000-45,000 with the bundle discount.

Enter your address and typical electric bill cost when ordering Powerwall units on Tesla’s website. They will estimate your roof square footage based on the address provided. Later, you’ll get an email with the expected Tesla solar panels cost.

The approximate price for Tesla Powerwall batteries

Source: Forbes

Use this table to determine the Tesla Powerwall cost for your situation. But remember that these are just estimates. The final Tesla Powerwall price depends on your location, setup complexity, and permit fees.

Pros and Cons Of Tesla Solar Powerwall

Like any technology, the Tesla Solar system has its advantages and disadvantages.

  1. With Tesla’s invention, you can forget about grid reliance as you produce and store eco-friendly energy.
  2. You can scale the Powerwall system over time, managing your budget more carefully.
  3. A residential Tesla solar energy system lowers your carbon footprint.
  4. The Tesla Powerwall and solar panels can also be considered a valuable investment, potentially increasing the home’s resale value.

But like any disruptive technology, solar energy has a high entry threshold. The upfront cost of a Tesla Powerwall system, including solar panels, starts at $20,000. The significant investment can take several years to recoup through potential electricity bill savings. Carefully analyze your electricity usage patterns and potential cost savings to achieve the maximum savings.

To keep the warranty, you need to work only with Tesla-certified teams. We don’t recommend mounting the Tesla solar system alone, as you’ll immediately lose the warranty. You can contact us to provide the list of verified installers in your area.

Tesla Powerwall Warranty Conditions

The Tesla Powerwall warranty covers two key aspects: product performance and workmanship quality.

  1. Product warranty is tied to capacity retention, guaranteeing that the Tesla solar system will retain at least 70% of its original usable capacity over 10 years. Lithium-ion batteries naturally degrade over time, and this warranty ensures they can still store a significant amount of energy after a decade of use. If the Powerwall doesn’t meet the 70% capacity retention minimum during the warranty, Tesla will replace the unit at their discretion.
  2. The workmanship warranty covers defects in materials or workmanship related to the Tesla solar system installation. It usually lasts 4 years, but some installers can provide a more extended warranty. If a defect arises from faulty installation within the warranty timeframe, Tesla or a certified installer will repair or replace the Powerwall unit at their discretion.

How to Purchase a Tesla Powerwall

There are two ways to purchase a Tesla Solar system: on Tesla’s website or by asking our experts to find the best local installers in your area. In either case, you need to provide your address and average monthly bill to pre-calculate the suitable system parameters. Tesla-certified experts will provide estimated system and installation costs, depending on your location and roof complexity.

Later, you’ll receive a consultation, during which you can discuss project details. If you are ready to install a Tesla backup battery, the team will schedule a visit to plan the mounting. They will develop a customized system design proposal with a recommended number of Powerwall units, a Tesla solar panel system size, an installation plan, and an estimated cost breakdown.

Review the proposal to determine whether it aligns with your needs. Ask clarifying questions about the Tesla solar equipment, installation process, warranties, and payment options. Once you are satisfied with the proposal, you can place the order.

Possible Incentives for Tesla Solar Systems

Financing this system can be expensive, but you can still save money while installing a Tesla Powerwall. You can apply for a federal tax credit and find a state or local incentive to lower the initial cost even more.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offers a 30% tax credit on installing a solar energy system, including battery storage like the Tesla Powerwall. This credit applies to the total system cost, including the battery units, solar panels, inverters, and other installation materials.

  • As of now, you can get a 30% credit for your Tesla solar system. This rate remains stable up to 2032. In 2033, you’ll get a 26% tax credit, and in 2034, you’ll get just a 22% rebate. The program will end in 2035 unless Congress renews it.

Also, we recommend researching local incentives for your Tesla solar system. They can save you a few thousand on taxes and direct rebates. If your electricity utility company provides net metering, you can sell excessive energy generated by the Tesla Solar system back to the grid. You will receive metering credits to lower electricity bills on cold and cloudy days.

Some states or municipalities might offer property tax exemptions for homes with Tesla solar energy systems, including battery storage. Contact your local tax office or municipality and ask them to provide available incentives for your Tesla Solar system.

How to Save Money on the Tesla Powerwall

The first thing you need to do is match your needs. Don’t get carried away with the idea of “bigger is better.” You can always buy more Tesla Powerwall batteries later. Carefully assess your average daily electricity usage and peak usage times.

If you need a system that should power just the essential devices during outages, installing a single Tesla Powerwall battery may be enough. However, if you buy a Tesla solar system to become fully independent, ensure the system capacity is slightly higher than your average needs. This investment will pay off in the future.

Explore local financing options for your Tesla solar system. Ask the installer team for suitable financing options for your Tesla solar panels, such as loans, leases, and PPAs. Spend some time finding the best deal for your particular situation.

Tesla Powerwall vs. Competitors

Tesla Powerwall is a popular home battery storage solution, but it’s not the only player in the game. Here’s a comparison of Tesla Powerwall with some key competitors to help you decide which might be the best fit for your needs.

FactorTesla Powerwall 2sonnenCore**Panasonic EverVolt Home BatteryGenerac PWRcell
Capacity Range13.5 kWh10 kWh13.5 kWh8.5 kWh – 13.1 kWh (single unit)
TechnologyLithium-ionLithium iron phosphateLithium ferrite phosphateLithium-ion
Round-Trip Efficiency90%>85%90%89%
Continuous Power Output5 kW4.8 kW7.6 kW9 kW
Warranty10 years of product, 4 years of workmanship (US)10 years of product or 10,000 cycles12 years of product10 years (70% capacity retention)
ScalabilityYes, up to 10 unitsYes, up to 3 unitsYes, up to 4 unitsYes, additional units can be stacked
IntegrationCompatible with most solar panel systems, but encouraged for use with Tesla solar system.Integrates seamlessly with sonnenEco invertersWorks with most solar panel systemsIntegrates seamlessly with Generac generators
PriceCompetitive, yet higher than in many rivalsPremium-pricedMore on the expensive sideCompetitive priced

Tesla Powerwall is one of the best batteries on the market in terms of value for its price. While remaining competitive in cost, Tesla solar batteries provide many advanced options to ease your daily life. They are also easy to maintain.

The Importance of Tesla Solar Mobile App

Mobile screenshots of Tesla solar application with key energy metrics

Source: Tesla

This application can help you get the most out of your residential solar system. It provides a myriad of useful features, like managing the system’s current state, including energy production, battery load, power flow patterns, and more. The Tesla solar app allows you to access the system’s historical data.

You can use different modes of the Tesla solar application to optimize the system’s performance.

  1. The Self-Powered option prioritizes solar energy and stored battery power to minimize reliance on the grid.
  2. Backup Reserve mode maintains a minimum charge level in the Tesla Powerwall for backup power during outages.
  3. Time-Based Control allows you to program the Tesla Powerwall to charge and discharge at specific times and benefit from time-of-use electricity rates.
  4. In the Vehicle Charging mode, you can control how the Tesla Powerwall system interacts with your car.

Overall, the Tesla Solar app is a user-friendly platform for managing your energy production system. Here, you can adjust it to improve cost savings and modify your consumption habits.

Is It Worth It To Purchase Tesla Powerwall?

Men technicians carrying photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the house.

Yes, this system is easy to use and manage even remotely. You can change its settings even when you are currently on another continent. Not many solar systems offer this freedom of remote management.

Check the possibility of net metering to achieve additional benefits. If your power provider has it, you can sell the excessive energy to them. So, if you generate a lot of clean energy, you can save on bills with a Tesla Solar system. If you live in an area with frequent outages and rely heavily on backup power, a Tesla Solar can provide essential appliance support during those times.

Before making the final decision, we recommend estimating your current and potential needs. That way, you will find a perfect fit for your Tesla Solar system and lower the payback period.

In any case, it would be better to consult with professionals to get the best Tesla Powerwall configuration. Contact Solar Power System experts to save your time on market research and find the perfect installer team.

Jed Hilton
Jed Hilton

Jed Hilton, our Founder and CEO, has over a decade of experience in the solar industry. His innovative leadership and expertise in solar technologies guide our company's vision and strategy.