Fully Charged just released another very informative video about sustainable living. They make many videos about electric vehicles and this one includes an EV, a Tesla Model 3, but it’s more about how Tesla’s Powerwalls operate when paired with a rooftop solar system. Robert Llewellyn, the founder of Fully Charged, explains that he received a free Founders Series Powerwall 2 for participating in the Tesla referral program.
Robert’s home has been equipped with:
- 5.5 kW rooftop photovoltaic solar system
- 2 Tesla Powerwalls with a total of 26.8 kWh of storage capacity
- Tesla Backup Gateway 2
- Zappi2 Smart EV charger
He charges his Tesla Model 3 at home the with Zappi.
To integrate the new Powerwall into his home electrical system, including working with the EV charger, he needed to have a his grid connection upgrade to 3-phase. With the upgraded grid connection and the new Powerwall, the automatic transfer switch in the Tesla Backup Gateway 2 disconnects the home from the grid in the event of an outage, so electricity from the batteries can be used to safely power the home.
As a homeowner and an electricity consumer, Robert makes a great point when he says he tries to be very careful about using power between 4 pm and 8 pm. This is the peak time when electricity is not only expensive, it’s the dirtiest. Being able to avoid consumption during these key hours provides a new kind of freedom for homeowners — freedom from high electricity costs and the dirtiest fossil fuels.
Homeowners with batteries can charge them at night when electricity rates are very low and then use the electricity during the peak cost period to save money. It’s also possible, in some cases, to send some of your stored or self-generated electricity back to the grid to receive a small payment or credit. In the future, this ability may impact the energy marketplace.
Editor’s Note: Tesla is using this very capability to provide aggregated grid services through its Virtual Powerplant (VPP) program in South Australia. The program has demonstrated the ability to save homeowners with rooftop solar and storage money while providing valuable grid services to the local utility.
Robert’s 5.5 kW rooftop solar system is not huge, but seems to meet his needs. Depending on their electricity consumption, other homeowners may prefer to install a 10 kW or larger system to generate enough electricity through every season of the year, especially if they are charging an EV at home.
Solar power systems can be expanded after the initial installation and with solar panels having never been more affordable, upgrading from a smaller system to a larger solar system may be worth considering for many homeowners.
Imagine how much you would save by being able to generate all of your own electricity, or most of it, right from your own roof. Never paying for gas or electricity ever again sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
Installations like Roberts show that a fully electric future is no longer a future possibility, it is possible today. The future is now.