In a move that could help provide more energy independence to households, Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk discussed plans to introduce battery packs that could serve as energy storage systems for households and businesses. Effective energy storage is one of the essential components that needs to be in place for solar and wind energy to produce constant and reliable energy at times when sunlight and wind is not available, and so far inexpensive and reliable energy storage has not been available for domestic use.
Musk explained in a conference call to investors, “We are trying to figure out what would be a cool stationary pack . . . Some will be like the Model S pack: something flat, 5 inches off the wall, wall mounted, with a beautiful cover, an integrated bi-directional inverter, and plug and play.” Musk said that more information would be forthcoming at the end of this year, or the beginning of 2015.
Musk said that Tesla is set to break ground next for the first of two planned ‘gigafactories’ which have a price tag of $5 billion where Tesla will manufacture batteries that will power the company’s electric cars — but it seems also batteries for other purposes are in the works also.
As we move into an time where distributed energy production is becoming a buzzword, it’s interesting to see Tesla looking at ways to provide domestic energy independence. Proponents of LENR have long held that it is a technology that is well suited for small-scale energy production, and the hundreds of thousands of pre-orders that Andrea Rossi reported receiving for the domestic E-Cat (currently on hold) indicates the level of interest that is out there for domestic energy independence. But if Tesla can pull off a reliable home energy storage system that could be combined with solar panels which are getting cheaper and much more widespread — they might have a system that could go a long way to providing levels of energy independence that many LENR supporters are hoping for.
With so much unknown it’s hard to make educated comparisons between what LENR could provide, and energy storage systems, but the trend is definitely in favor of an increasing amount of home energy generation, and I think that competition in this area will only serve to improve options for the end user and speed up deployment.