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Home energy storage is the driving force of the future, claims Tesla trailblazer


When it comes to grabbing headlines with visions of the future, few can beat entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk. He’s behind SpaceX, the rocket company that he sees as a vehicle to his dream of colonising Mars.

Better known, perhaps, are his Tesla electric cars, an increasingly common sight in the US and here in the UK.

While powerful rockets and fast cars might be the most exciting of Musk’s products, his hopes of changing the way we live are much more likely to be delivered by something much more prosaic – Tesla’s Powerwall. Much less glamorous than Musk’s other concepts, this plain white battery, intended to harness energy from renewable sources such as the wind and sun and make it available for household use or feed back into the power network, could have a far bigger impact than anything else the billionaire has dreamt up.


Maybe if you're an owner-occupier, but it's difficult to see landlords investing in this so their tenants can have cheaper electricity bills.

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Guest eight

Maybe landlords could charge their tenants?

Could work. How much charge can a tenant hold?

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Going to need to prove the HSE part first.

A house fire with a hundred kilos of lithium ion battery?

And, where is all this lithium coming from?

Next bubble. Lithium mines and the turf war over the mines.

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It's not economic, even if you have lots of solar panels on the roof and the electricity from them would otherwise be going to waste in the middle of the day. The battery is too expensive. If you're barred from installing one as a tenant, that's your saving grace. The best thing you can do with energy is make sure that you get on a price comparison website every time your current fixed deal expires and switch to the cheapest deal going. It takes minutes and will save the average person £200-300 per year compared to letting the energy company decide what tariff you should be on. Tenants can definitely do this as easily as a homeowner and the (rare) contract clauses that bar tenants from doing this are illegal and therefore unenforceable.

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I know a little bit about this - one of my companies designs and installs solar systems for commercial buildings - and it's already happening.

Owner occupation is unusual with commercial property but as landlords can produce electricity from the roof for as little as 5p/kWh over 25years (the CAPEX value of the PV system/the number of kWhs generated over the lifetime of the guarantee) they're happy to sell it to their tenants for 8p and the tenant company is happy to make the saving. Firms who need a back up in the event of power cuts - and there will be power cuts - are paying the premium for battery storage.

Battery costs are falling fast and battery capacity is rising. This will be mainstream within a decade. Coupled with increasing efficiency and output of the panels - which means you can produce more kWh from less m2 of roofspace - it is easy to see how reliance on a creaking, inefficient and very expensive grid is going to lose it's appeal.

(Electric cars are already an effective form of domestic electricity storage if you charge overnight at cheap rates. )

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Going to need to prove the HSE part first.

A house fire with a hundred kilos of lithium ion battery?

And, where is all this lithium coming from?

Next bubble. Lithium mines and the turf war over the mines.

Sodium Ion Batteries. Every m3 of sea water contains about 10kg of elemental Sodium.

http://www.faradion.co.uk/

Even if energy density is lower this is not a major issue for stationary applications

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Sodium Ion Batteries. Every m3 of sea water contains about 10kg of elemental Sodium.

http://www.faradion.co.uk/

Even if energy density is lower this is not a major issue for stationary applications

There are plenty of alternates yes. They just have to be commercially viable and also safe for the average user, just like everything else.

Liquid metal batteries are fine for a distribution/switch yard, but not in your garage or closet.

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I'll just settle for not using as much electricity as everyone else, and according to my energy provider's website I'm about 66% less than average for my size house etc. Not entirely sure why though, it's not as if I'm doing much to avoid using it (some bulbs being LED is about all, and that's only because they work nicely).

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Up to the point where it is cost effective they'll sell a few to enthusiastic people.

After this point the commercial-scale installations will take over. And then energy will be perfectly balanced and there won't be any point in having an installation in your home.

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