Australia is currently one of the largest markets for energy storage, which is why it’s not surprising that it is one of the first to receive Tesla’s Powerwall 2 home battery pack, albeit late.
We have learned that the first installations have started down under and one of the first homeowners to receive the device gave an account of the process.
Home Solar Power
Australia is a popular market for energy storage both at the grid level due to the instability of its grid, which prompted the recent bid to quickly deploy over 100 MWh of energy storage, but also at the residential level behind-the-meter.
The country has the world’s highest per capita penetration of rooftop solar with 15% of households using solar for a total of 1.5 million households across the country.
One of those homeowners with solar is Michael V. from New South Wales on the Whirlpool forum.
He described the installation of his new Powerwall 2 this week. The first thing he noticed is the weight. Tesla lists the weight of the pack at “264.4 lb / 120 kg”, but the weight of the packaging was different:
The Powerwall 2 can be both ground mounted or wall mounted. In this case, they were going to ground mount it, but they also needed to secure it on the wall to prevent it from tipping over.
They had difficulties finding the studs because of the plastic cladding in Michael’s house so they ended up using plywood to spread the load:
It took about two hours to secure the battery pack and move on to connecting it. The installers were from the Downer, an Australia engineer firm and certified Tesla Powerwall installer. They told Michael that it was their first installation and they had only practiced on a prototype at this point.
Following instruction on an iPad, they moved on to connecting the system to his solar installation and his house electrical system. A few hours later, they were done:
“All cabling done. There is a clamp on the solar active input to measure its generation, and the gateway measures the house load from the power cable directly. The PW2 charges only from solar at the moment.”
Michael shared a few pictures on the forum:
Then it was Tesla’s turned to activate the device:
“Tim from Tesla arrives to commission the unit. It has a Wifi AP (TEGxxxx) and a Telstra 3G sim, but the sim has yet to be activated by Telstra, so Tim connects it to my home Wifi and uses a webpage to update the firmware. He says that the preferred connection method in future is via 3G so they do not need to rely on Wifi availability.
The installer used an iPad to connect to the PW2 Gateway’s AP, and defined the size of the solar, which inputs are monitoring the load and generation, and entered my Tesla account login.”
The installer said that he would be able to start monitoring his system through the new Tesla app within a day.
Michael will now be able to consume more of his own solar power in order to optimize his solar system and to keep the lights on in case of a power outage.
He added that Tim said that they currently have “thousands” of orders in Australia for the Powerwall 2 and that the backlog is about 2 months for someone ordering now.
It’s not surprising considering Australia is one of the places where the Powerwall 2’s economics make the most sense. Some homeowners have calculated that it can pay for itself in 6 years.