First Australian Family to Install Tesla’s Power Battery – What’s the Verdict?

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
August 3, 2016

From ABC news: Nick Pfitzner has joined the growing number of Australians who have purchased and installed home battery units in a bid to save money on electricity bills.

During the 6 months since he installed the Tesla home battery unit, he has cut down his power bill by 90% and states that his family has become “smarter” with their electricity usage. He said that he has no regrets and the home battery is performing as if it was on day one and they will be keeping an eye on the system over the coming years. He’s also considering more panels and another battery in the future.

Tesla is one of the largest companies offering grid-connected home batteries, according to James Martin from Solar Choice. Martin warned that battery units which are charged using renewable sources such as wind power and solar are a costly option. He states that battery banks do not make much sense from a financial perspective because most will not pay for themselves before the warranty expires. He also added that solar battery products ranged on average between $1,500 and $2,000 per kilowatt hour.

Nick Pfitzner spent $16,000 installing solar PVs and the home battery can hold about 7-kilowatt hours of power. His last electricity bill reduced from an average of $6/daily to just $0.59/daily. The ability to monitor their usage meant that the Pfitzner family has become more efficient and smarter with their appliance use.

On a sunny day, solar panels will power the house and charge up the home battery by around 11:00am. If ever an oversupply occurs, the excess power will be fed back to the grid. If all the battery power is used (for instance, if it’s too cloudy), then it will draw electricity the traditional way: from the grid. During the past 6 months, the family used solar power and stored battery power for about ¾ of the time.

James Martin said that people should be aware of the fact that most home batteries deteriorate over time and the Tesla Powerwall is no exception. He also made a strong point about payback periods for solar panels vs home batteries. Solar panel payback periods average at 3 years and the product will last for about 25 years while most battery options will have a payback of about 10 years and the exact product lifetime is not yet certain.

Click here to read the full story on ABC

Image credit: Tesla

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