The Battery Powered Home – Is it Realistic?
As solar panels and associated benefits become more prevalent and energy-saving appliances are a common sight, homeowners wonder what will be the next big thing to arrive to the alternative energy market for residential owners. Tesla batteries and other batteries are rumored to be able to help homeowners store and transport energy from renewable resources.
Is this possible or even feasible at this stage for current homeowners? Get a few more details on the technology behind the concept of a battery powered home as you consider this next wave of innovation in energy transport and storage.
The Tesla Battery for Homes
Elon Musk released his vision to bring Tesla battery power to residential homes and offices in 2015. In general, the Tesla Battery would complement the use of solar panels and help store solar-derived energy for use during the evening or as needed. His battery, called the Powerwall, is suited for the average homeowner. Those that need more than a 10 kilowatt-hour size could turn to his Powerpack, a 100 kWh unit. The Powerwall not only lets a homeowner store and use energy for later but takes needed energy from the grid when it is off-peak.
The Issues with Battery Power
Battery power has been around for some time but batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries, have had their problems. Such batteries were expensive to manufacture and had other issues in the past. There were cases when a lithium-ion battery would melt, overheat and even catch fire. This is not the case with the Tesla battery. Their models links together many smaller-sized batteries and the system uses a liquid cooling system and can compartmentalize any issues if they do occur. While it isn’t quite at the level of other popular green technologies, battery power can be applied to and integrated with a home system using renewable energy, potentially bringing homeowners closer to achieving their off-grid dreams.
A Perfect Solution for Energy Savings
Homeowners looking to tap into renewable energy sources and address their energy needs without relying upon traditional standbys can begin to consider battery power. Elon Musk is not the only player offering a battery powered solution. Juicebox also offers a similar model with their solution. Battery packs have been bought throughout the United States but in 2015, purchases were mainly done by utilities.
It appears that some units may need extra help when it comes to continuous power for a residential home. The JuiceBox can deliver 4.3kW for this purpose and most households would only need a single unit. The Economist reported that a Tesla battery pack with a continuous power rating of 2kW may not be able to provide enough juice for a task like using an electric oven while simultaneously running a washing machine.
Smart homes are beginning to use batteries but what is currently an issue is the overuse of power. This issue can decrease battery life and shorten the life of any devices that are being powered. Research teams in 2017 are looking for new programming solutions to optimize the power being consumed via batteries. Smarter batteries and the implementation of adaptive dynamic programming can potentially help a battery charge and discharge in such a way as to reduce excessive wear and meet the individual homeowner’s home load while taking into consideration all battery constraints.