Tesla motors have finally removed the wraps off its latest Tesla Energy – the ambitious battery system, which could be the future for households, offices and utilities alike. The entire system has been broken down into two main parts: the Powerwall and the Powerpack.
Source – twitter.com
The powerwall is mainly the housing for the battery system of 10 kWh for $3500 or 7 kWh for $3000. This battery unit is about 4 ft 3 inches in size and has a flat body that sticks to the wall evenly. It comes with integrated heat management system and it can be installed either outside or inside your house. According to Elon Musk, everything in this unit is controllable – it even comes with a remote and it can used to create further “micro grids”. One can also control operations like conversion from DC to AC or cutting off the entire home’s power grid.
Source – www.geek.com
The idea is that this entire unit can be carried into a place where electricity and wire installations have not been begun yet. Or one can just carry the unit with them to a remote island and enjoy electric supply. “The whole thing is a system that just works”, Elon musk reported during his briefing about this system.
Source – www.treehugger.com
Things get more interesting when the latter part of the installation comes into light. This system is called Powerpack and is basically an elder sibling to Powerwall, giving 500 kWh to 10 MWh power. It is basically meant for industrial applications and higher utilities. The makers have described it as an “infinitely scalable system” which could “change the way the world uses energy at an extreme scale”.
How cost effective would the transition be?
The world today uses energy in a way which is doing more harm than good to our environment; this is practically a known fact to everyone. But the question really is: what alternatives do we have? Elon Musk’s ambitious project Powerwall seems to answer that question, but raises another very important question, how much space is needed to cover the entire US energy production? The answer is very simple. It would need just one small square on the map of the United States (marked with blue square).
The batteries needed for the transition are even smaller. The red dot within the small blue square represents it. This is the mere amount of batteries required for turning the entire United States to utilize solar power with batteries. Just this tiny area – represented by one pixel in the map- is the amount of batteries needed to generate electricity for the entire United States without any fossil fuel! This is really mind-blowing on its own.
Source – teslamotors.com
The batteries which we have at present aren’t smart or good looking at all. They are smelly, huge and very hard to find. You cannot just go into a nearby store and avail it. Moreover, as the days pass they are getting more and more expensive to bear and cannot be relied upon for long term. Needless to say, they have poor integration and lifetime. A wholly integrated system is the need of the hour.
Electricity for you at present
Electricity is among the most convenient and flexible forms of energy to be used. Long haul transmission lines with heavy, high voltage are distributed to lines that feed the homes and the business environments. In the prehistoric times, many housing establishments were made mainly near springs and rivers so that they could harness the mechanical energy of the flowing water to perform their tasks. Then about 100 years later the concept of wood burning and coal burning to obtain various kinds of power came into the scene. In the modern day we still need to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide in many forms to obtain our source of power. With the rising greenhouse gases in the environment this is not good news. Statistics have shown that if things continued to push in this direction, it wouldn’t take long for insane levels of greenhouse gases to take over the upper levels of the atmosphere.
The grid, which is used today, is very public – this means that if you live in a suburban area then your grid is open for all to be viewed. While it is lying there for all to see, there is something that has to constantly spin to produce that energy for your home and when or if that stops, the entire structure fails to provide you with electricity for hours or even days. The unit in your house is called the single phase power and it is not scalable by the user. The costs of installation of this system in your house are enormous, plus, not to mention, they are not portable in any form.
Flexibility and the Future
The normal power utility provider uses ground as the electrical conductor. All our homes need to have a setting point, a grounding technique and a lot of other installations to make this system run smoothly. This means that when you relocate, you can’t just carry your electrical system – which you paid such a hefty amount to install- with you.
Electricity is carried on by wires which require miles and miles to be built upon. The transmission wires are fragile to say the least. They have long been at the mercy of natural stability. However, all this while mankind has been ignoring that one source that could answer all their problems – the Sun.
It continually emits energy every day without any effort from our side, and provides the earth with a lot of light, heat and energy to convert and conserve energy for fulfilling all major basics, electricity being one of them. Solar energy has been the talk of the town for long, but never has it been as pragmatically engineered as it has been with the latest Tesla batteries.
Looking towards a ‘brighter’ tomorrow
Source – www.idownloadblog.com
Elon Musk has literally changed the face of utility with its introduction of powerwall batteries. These batteries would be fully operational via solar power. This is something that had been long contemplated, but only now has been in practice.
These batteries would be installed into the rooftops of apartments and utilities. These will be leased in lesser dollars than your average monthly electricity bill. Not only will that, but the surplus energy which will be left over from your panel, be added to the utilities. This model has proven to be hugely successful and soon after its establishment, has gained huge popularity all over the world while SolarCity has already begun installing these panels on people’s rooftops.
But with its rapid growth, some of its downsides have also come into the light: like when the sun is practically hiding during a cloudy day, but you need your power source during that time too. On the flip side, on a rather sunny day, you might not even need much of electricity. So what do you do? How do you keep the balance? It was inferred that this fluctuation in the availability of solar power may cause imbalance in the grid. This is the primary cause for owning the Tesla batteries.
Source – www.treehugger.com
These batteries can store up the energy when there is a high supply of it, and even it out for the times when you don’t have enough supplies. By and large the states are adopting energy alternates like solar and wind power, which has made the market ready for Tesla batteries already. By 2020, there would be as much as 1.3 gig watts storage requirement for these batteries.
It seems that this had been the plan all along and quite rightfully so, because this renewable source of energy is not only beneficial for the environment but for the economy at a micro level as well. This is because these systems actually supply power at a rate lower than the conventional power plants. Elon Musk had previously announced that within the next five to ten years, each and every unit in SolarCity would have battery storage.
Tesla batteries for Commercial Use
These batteries are already being made ready at Gigafactory, Nevada. The factory will first complete its manufacturing and then come online, which is estimated to ramp up their economies of scale. But these batteries are already being used in SolarCity, in big utilities like Wal-Mart. As a matter of fact, the cost of energy for these utilities has come down ever since. During peak hours, the energy bills would naturally escalate; however now with these storage batteries, the power consumption is equalized and so are the bills.
Source – www.altenergystocks.com
There have recently been many experiments by SolarCity in regular homes in California, and according to their reports, a 10 kWh Tesla battery can actually power a household for 48 hours in the event of an outage.
As per the energy analyst GTM, besides utilities, homes are also going to see a boost in the usage of Tesla batteries as more and more people are becoming environmentally friendly. The market will be quite evenly distributed by 2019 which would force the grid to become more decentralized, says GTM.
How the world will look like 10 years from now
Although the solar energy supply is growing by leaps and bounds, it still constitutes a small fraction of the energy supply in the world. But with the promising developments in the energy supply, one can naturally see that this energy is here to shape the future.
Source – solarenergy-usa.com
The global supplies of fossil fuels have been declining over time, and thus have there been a rise in demand for the solar power systems. Many questions have been raised as to how powerful, if at all, this solar energy is, in providing us energy consistently. But studies show that even though the solar energy reaching the earth is only 2 billionths of the Sun’s energy, only a 40 minute solar charge is enough to fuel the energy consumption requirements of Earth for an entire year!
So what’s more? You get clean energy directly from the sun. Such energy could be produced in large amounts for the homes, farms, schools and businesses alike. Critics, however, are of the view that even though our future may not have 100% solar utilization, it would certainly be the larger part of it. Meaning, it could be steadily combined with other forms of renewable energies.
Despite what the critics have mentioned, we know solar energy is quite abundant right now and in fact many forms of it are affordable enough. It is evident that solar energy will play a major role in shaping our future energy consumption – and that will be for the better. For so many years after evolution, man will have finally recognized the essence and value of the solar power, improving their quality of energy consumption.
Fossil fuels are finite, and are soon to become lesser and lesser in amounts that mankind has to be presented another option so as to preserve itself. It is speculated that crude oil might even deplete economically within the coming three to five decades. Experts are of the belief that this resource is already on the decline. Natural gas, you would say, is the other option. But even natural gas is facing the same threat. Our only option is to turn back to the sky where the Sun had been ever shining up on us – literally and figuratively.
Source – futurewewant.org
Imagine living with the solar energy– Tesla power units. You could dispatch them and take it along with you wherever you want to settle. It is just a one time investment which would cost you less than your monthly electric bills. It would give you an enormous amount of flexibility.
While we know that resources like coal, crude oil and natural gas would run out in a not so distant future, we could always count on the Sun – which would continue to be a source of light for the next 5 billion years or so. A house free of complicated wires and abundant energy to lower costs is what we are looking at. In a word, solar energy is promising a better future.
But wait, what about Lithium?
Source – periodictable.com
Tesla has been providing stand alone batteries that will be able to store renewable energies. It is not the first company to have offered this type of batteries, but due to its automotive oriented business, it has access to the resources to make such batteries in cheaper amounts than its competitors.
With its new 10 million square foot “Gigafactory” it has the potential of gathering batteries in huge number – in fact more than anyone else in the business so to speak. Due to this large scale manufacture and highly inventive engineering staff, Tesla hopes to bring down the prices of the batteries in the market.
But it is not just the prospect of a Gasoline-free environment that sparks our interest about the Gigafactory. It is the prospect of the scale at which it is being manufactured. If things go as planned by the company, then in the near future, everything right from your energy grid to the cell phone in your pocket could be powered by this company.
Source – www.computerworld.com
These lithium–ion cells produced at the Gigafactory could power 500,000 electric cars by the year 2020. This is why CEO Elon Musk has stressed several times that it would require its own gigantic plant in the United States – namely, the “Gigafactory”.
According to reports, Bolivia alone has Lithium enough to run 4.8 billion electric cars. Not only that, but lithium can be recycled from the old batteries which are still existing. This is why even though people are concerned over the use of this element, it might not be a reason to worry at all – Earth is a hub of this resource.
Source – www.treehugger.com
It is true that nowadays everything is being powered by this element heavily. But even then its availability seems to be going high up, which is why its prices seem to be going down. This means that electrification of things could be the future, not to mention electric cars which Tesla group envisions to bring forth.
Abundance of Lithium
A latest development in the research supports the thesis from the University of Wyoming. A huge pile of Lithium has been found in the Rock Springs Uplift. The reports suggest that this area which is of about 25 square miles contains 228,000 tons of the metal. This much alone is enough to meet the demands of the United States each year. In fact, it is twice as much as we obtain from the actual reserves in Nevada.
Source – insideevs.com
There are however many factors involved in the production of this metal, such as the cost. Now, since this site in Rock Springs Uplift is located within 20 or 30 miles within the largest soda ash supplies plant in the world, there would hardly be any cost associated with the delivery and transport of soda ash in this area.
Next, removal of magnesium from the brines often makes the process of Lithium recovery hugely expensive. But as a matter of fact, the Rock Springs Uplift contains negligible magnesium, which is what makes this place quite cheaper for Lithium mining.
Thirdly, you can call Rock Springs Uplift nature’s Lithium hub, because you find the Lithium deep underground here, which makes them suffer huge temperature and pressure, so you don’t have to apply much manual heat and pressure to it further. This way you can easily eliminate several processes here. No wonder the cost of Lithium is getting down.
What about the Gigafactory? Is there enough Lithium to feed it?
Gigafactory is located at the hub of Lithium extraction – Nevada. As we all know, this is where the largest Lithium mining plants are located. It is clear that Elon Musk has a plan and with the latest reports coming in, it is quite clear that America is not at all short of Lithium.
According to reports of 2014, Chile ranks the highest among Lithium reserves with about 7,500,000 metric tons of the mineral. Moreover, Gigafactory has its own plan altogether. When cooperation from partners like Panasonic, it aims to provide batteries within a much affordable cost.
Source – mashable.com
It is held to produce about 500,000 batteries per month, which could be powered by several sources across the country. Its own plant in Nevada will be a “net zero energy factory” – deriving all its power from renewable sources like geothermal energy. It will be diamond shaped and aligned to the true north, so that it can readily accept its energy from the wind, geothermal, and of course, solar energy systems. Musk says, “This factory is very important to the future of Tesla — without it we can’t do the mass-market car.” The entire structure – which is a about a mile long – has entire rooftops with solar panels installed.
Life 50 years from now
Source – www.vogue.it
Do not feel shy to imagine a life free of impure energy from fossils. The direction which humanity has taken will shape the future generations towards a cleaner and more resourceful environment. It would no longer be science fiction which we image today, but a truth that our future generations will see. Just in the next 50 years, humanity is going to take a huge leap forward towards cleaner, more sustainable energy. Solar power and other renewable resources will power all the institutions and make preservation a reality.
Source – www.greenoptimistic.com
Just within the next five years itself, the seeds of this change will be implanted by the Tesla batteries slowly taking over. In some third world countries, some villages are deprived of electricity even today. The Tesla Powerwall will not only rectify it, but will also provide them an affordable cause. This is a solution which the entire world is looking forward to.
Today, there are thousands of people opting out of mainstream power generating systems. Time will soon come when each and every individual will have full control over the power grid of their houses and they will be able to breathe in fresh, live renewable sources of energy.
Please check out Elon Musk’s video taking the veil off Tesla Powerwall below-
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