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The Tesla Powerwall is pushing solar energy to mainstream markets, where it belongs. The revolutionary, disruptive appliance is a low-cost, space efficient battery that stores solar energy.

With the robust battery, you could harness the power of the sun and decrease your consumption of fossil fuels. It can also give you peace of mind during storms and power outages. Let’s just say the possibilities with the solar unit are endless.

Note: Check out Elon Musk’s keynote during the official product launch.

Here comes the sun

How Does the Powerwall Work?

The wall-mounted battery connects to your utility grid and outdoor panels. Its primary function is to store solar energy. You could use the dormant power during the day, when electricity rates are most expensive, or as backup during emergency situations.

The lithium ion battery weighs 220 pounds and is sturdy enough for outdoor exposure with a temperature range between -20° C (-4° F) and 43° C (110° F). Individuals can monitor their usage via management software or apps. The Powerwall comes internet-ready, which allows for easy micro-grid connection.

How Much is the Powerwall?

For standard home use, the 10-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery model starts at $3,500, while the 7 kWh version costs $3,000. Users can stack up to nine units at a time. The solar battery is insured with a 10-year, extendable warranty.

In addition to the Powerwall, you will need to have solar panels, connections to your home system and a DC-to-AC inverter. Note that it does have built-in DC-to-DC features. Installation from a certified, third party electrician is required.

For large buildings, Tesla is offering a 100 kWh version. “It’s designed to scale infinitely, to a gigawatt class or higher,” said Musk.

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Benefits for Emerging Economies

The Powerwall is beneficial for emerging economies without reliable access to power. Such areas usually have strict electricity curfews, forcing businesses to close early and homes to stop functioning for up to 12 hours at a time.

Remote regions that are prone to bad weather such as earthquakes, typhoons and floods may find the Powerwall extremely valuable. Power lines usually take weeks or sometimes months to repair for hard-to-reach locations. The ability to store natural power during the restoration process could help rural communities (think hospitals, markets and local relief operations) get back on their feet quickly after a natural disaster.

The Waiting Game

Since the debut of the Powerwall, over 38,000 reservations have been made. Musk mentioned that most individuals order an average of 10 units. At this rate, production will likely reach mid-2016 (this doesn’t include pre-orders that are currently being placed as you’re reading this).

The best way to get your hands on the in-demand appliance is to reserve one as soon as possible. Individuals could also wait for some early adopters to sell their unit or extra units that they may have ordered accidentally out of excitement. Chances are this would the faster option out of the two since the first batch of shipments are due in the next few months.

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