This is not connected with LENR, but it’s on topics we discuss here often: off-grid energy production and transitioning away from fossil energy. Tesla Motors announced yesterday the Powerwall battery system designed for home energy storage to allow for cost savings, emergency power during outages, and off-grid living. Also he announced the Powerpack battery system for large scale power production.
Here’s Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk making the announcement at an event in California yesterday:
“very little land is needed to get rid of all fossil fuel electricity generation in the United States . . . most of that area will be on rooftops, so there will no need to disturb land, or find new areas — it’s mostly going to be on the roofs of existing homes and buildings”
The purpose of the Powerwall battery is to store the energy that is produced during the daytime so that it can be used around the clock. If a homeowner has solar panels, it can allow a household live completely off-grid. But even those who stay connected to the grid can get the benefit of power backup in case of power cuts, and the ability to use the Powerwall’s electricity during times of peak cost from the energy grid — thus saving money. The cost of the a single Powerwall battery is $3500 for a 10 kWh unit (guaranteed for ten years), and you can stack up to nine of them together.
Musk said the Powerwall system was particularly suitable for areas of the world where there is no existing grid, or insufficient or expensive electricity availability, and that this technology would make redundant the need for installing grid systems in some remote or undeveloped parts of the world.
In addition to the Powerwall battery, Musk announced the Powerpack, which he says is “designed to scale infinitely”, where you could reach gigawatt class or higher — which would enable the powering of a small city. He said combining Powerpacks could scale to national and international levels:
- 160 million Powerpacks would provide the whole of the United States with electricity
- 900 million Powerpacks would provide the whole of the world with electricity
- 2 billion Powerpacks would provide all the energy needs of the world — including transportation.
The Powerwall can be ordered right now via the Tesla website, and they will start shipping in the summer.
Elon Musk expressed a great deal of confidence in his plan, and has obvious ambition to make it all happen, and is building the facilities to produce these batteries — with the first Gigafactory which will manufacture batteries on a large scale being constructed in Nevada at the moment.
If we start thinking about LENR as a possible energy solution for homes energy production, and for replacing fossil fuels as an energy source, it will be important to look at this kind of project from Tesla and see that there are competing ideas being put into practice as we speak. The sun is of course free — but you need systems to gather and transmit that energy — along with the batteries to store it. LENR is in an embryonic stage right now, so it is impossible to predict how it will develop, and it will be interesting to see if LENR can produce power at levels that are competitive with these solar/battery sytems of Tesla.