Tesla Powerwall: The Power of Battery Tech and Software Updates

One of the company’s most understated products may be the Tesla Powerwall, but a look through its five-year history shows that the humble home battery has gone a long way since it was unveiled by Elon Musk in April 2015. Tesla introduced various improvements to the Powerwall, and today it stands as a product that highlights the tech and software improvements in the company’s batteries.

The Powerwall’s first iteration was meant to feature two variants, a 7 kWh and 10 kWh version. Generation 1 Powerwalls featured the same 18650 cells used by the company in its flagship sedan Model S and Model X SUV, as well as a curved design that looks a bit like the Wall Connector used by Tesla for its electric cars. This makes the battery units aesthetically pleasing, but installing multiple units requires the Powerwalls to be set up side-by – side to create more storage.

Ultimately, only the 7 kWh version of the Gen 1 Powerwall would be delivered by Tesla before it introduced the Powerwall 2 over the next year. Compared to its predecessor, the Powerwall 2 featured a simpler straight line design, but this allowed stacking together of the upgraded home battery unit for easier installation and setup. The Powerwall 2’s physical size was also more compact than its predecessor, too.

The Powerwall 2 uses 2170 cells, which are manufactured in Gigafactory Nevada and used in the Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover, unlike the Powerwall Gen 1. The Gen 2 Powerwall was a 14 kWh battery which meant it had twice the capacity of the Powerwall Gen 1 in what could only be interpreted as a nod to Tesla’s battery tech improvements. But the Powerwall 2 still has a smaller frame than its predecessor, and it is only 15 percent heavier.

Granted, the Powerwall 2 was $6,500 more expensive per unit compared to the $3,000 Powerwall Gen 1. That being said, unlike its predecessor, the Gen 2 battery came already fitted with an integrated DC / AC converter. The upgraded battery also featured support for the mobile app and off-grid use, allowing it to be used even in the most remote areas.

Overtime, Tesla’s over-the-air software updates have strengthened the Powerwall 2. Among these improvements are a novel preconditioning feature, which improved efficiency at low temperatures, time-based control mode that enables the battery to transfer energy to optimize savings, and the implementation of Storm Watch, which maximizes energy storage during inclement weather and other conditions that threaten the power grid.

Those, however, are not the extent of the enhancements to the Powerwall. Tesla is a vertically integrated company, and when it comes to product upgrades it’s noted for moving fast. The Powerwall is a crucial aspect of the business of Tesla Energy, being a part of the company’s concepts of virtual power plants. So it wouldn’t be shocking if the company would soon launch a new generation of Powerwall batteries, particularly with the millions-mile battery’s much-speculated announcement.

Reported by Teslarati.

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