How Do Batteries & The Tesla Powerwall Work?
New York State Solar Farm currently sells and installs Tesla Powerwall batteries. We believe that Powerwalls are the best batteries available for the best price, and they are the batteries we trust for seamless integration with your SunPower solar system.
Batteries are one of the best ways to take full advantage of your SunPower solar system.
When a utility grid power outage occurs, your solar system will automatically disconnect from the grid. When you have Powerwall batteries installed with your solar system however, when the power goes out, your Powerwalls will immediately and automatically turn on to power any connected loads, all in a fraction of a second. Any loads you have connected to your Powerwalls will continue to run without interruption. This can range from essential loads you choose, to whole home backup depending on how many batteries your solar system can support, how many batteries you purchase, the amperage of the loads you wish to back up, as well as other factors. Your solar consultant will work with you to perform a load analysis to determine exactly how many batteries you need to achieve your goals. Click here to receive a free estimate.
Most of our customers purchase between one and three Powerwalls, and a minimum of two will be required for whole home backup, or if you would like to be able to run air conditioners, pumps, electric vehicles, etc.
Your batteries will store excess energy produced by your solar panels for use during an outage, and will continue to recharge themselves during the outage during daylight hours when the sun is out.
To give an example, one Powerwall, not being replenished by any solar, can power 20 LED lights for two days, or one refrigerator for six days.
You can always monitor how much energy your Powerwalls currently have stored via your Tesla app, watch them recharge when your solar panels are producing excess electricity, and even monitor and manage your usages during a power outage in order to extend the length of time your batteries will provide your home with power during the outage… or really at any time you wish given the insights the app gives on your home’s usage patterns.
With the Storm Watch feature enabled, Powerwalls can communicate with the National Weather Service in order to prioritize charging when severe weather is expected.
The Tesla Powerwall is warranted for ten years.
In the video below, our owner, Anthony Sicari, documents how he went completely off the grid for 40 days, fully powering his home with just his SunPower panels and Tesla Powerwalls. Check it out!
Whole Home Back-Up Solution
Powerwalls can now provide whole home backup, including heavy loads such as air conditioners, electric ranges, well pumps, and even EV charging and pool pumps.
Remember that you will need to work with one of our expert solar + battery consultants to determine if whole home backup is an option for you, exactly how many batteries you will need for whole home backup, and if all of your loads are able to be supported.
Batteries are also eligible for the 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) when charged by solar panels. Meaning that a whopping 30% of your battery cost can be covered by this tax credit, assuming you have the tax appetite to take advantage of it.
What does this mean for you? Typically, if through the taxes you pay in throughout the year via your weekly paycheck or otherwise, you pay in an amount the equates to that 30% value or more, the tax credit will first deduct from any amount you owe to the federal government in taxes, and then any remaining balance will be issued as a refund to you when you get your tax refund check from the government.
Please note however, that we are not tax accountants, and do not claim to offer any tax advice. You should always speak to your tax adviser or accountant to see how this tax credit will apply to your unique circumstances.
Do’s and Don'ts with Battery Storage
Tesla Powerwalls must be installed in a climate controlled utility room, basement or garage, and can not be installed in living spaces or on a wall opposite a bedroom.
Powerwalls must be installed at least 3’ apart from one another, and 3’ away from any door or window. We must have 3’ depth of working space in front of the Powerwalls. No more than two Powerwalls can be installed in a utility room or unfinished basement, and no more than five Powerwalls can be installed in an attached or detached garage.
Powerwalls can not be installed on wood, they must be installed on concrete, cinder blocks, or ⅝” gypsum board or thicker.
It is important that you monitor your battery usage during an outage in the Tesla app in order to manage loads. If your battery drains below 10% during an outage, it will not be able to turn itself back on to collect or convert new solar power, and a technician will have to come out to your home to restore function.
Don’t try to use incompatible appliances with your Powerwalls, as they may prevent the Powerwalls from providing backup power until those appliances are turned off. You can work with one of our expert consultants to determine if your appliances are compatible, or check out these resources from Tesla’s website:
More Powerwalls may need to be purchased or you may need to upgrade to more efficient appliances if what you currently have is not supported.
You may have a lot of questions about battery backup and Tesla Powerwalls, and if they make sense for you. We are happy to answer them and to help you to determine that! Please contact us today.