The potential for growth in the use of solar power has always faced a major limitation: how to store energy on a large-scale so that excess power is conserved rather than wasted. Recently, however, a new type of energy storage unit has been garnering public attention and inspiring hope for consumers to be able to purchase and store energy more cheaply. This new device, called a “home battery,” is presently no more than a novelty possessed by a few thousand homeowners, often in conjunction with a home solar panel system.
But that is about to change with Tesla’s announced entrance into the home battery industry. The company is planning to sell a 10 kilowatt-hour battery which can be mounted on a wall for $3,500, and another model with less storage capacity for $3,000. This is roughly half the price of a comparable German home battery, but an inverter is not included, unlike the German models.
Before the company can sell this on a broad scale,
Tesla has first to prove that they can stay in the market at that price,
said Technical University of Regensburg professor of energy storage Michael Sterner.
If successful, home battery technology has the potential to reduce energy costs by charging up during the night, when energy prices are far cheaper, and allowing more power to be drawn from renewable sources that depend on weather conditions (solar and wind, for example).