Tesla Powerwall 3 Review: Release, Costs & Specs

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The Tesla Powerwall 3 is available in the US and will be available in Australia in the second half of 2024. The official Powerwall 3 release date in Australia has been purported to be between July & December.

This home solar battery & inverter combo is the next generation of Tesla battery storage systems. When Elon Musk hinted in this retweet, that a single Powerwall 3 can manage peak loads of ~30kW (although leaked specs suggest it will have a continuous power rating of 11.5kW and peak power rating of 15kW). This has raised numerous questions about the Tesla Powerwall 3 specs, pricing and availability in Australia.

Is it a game changer or a missed opportunity?

What is The Tesla Powerwall 3 Price in Australia?

While Tesla has not officially announced Australian pricing The Powerwall 3 is expected to cost approximately $10,400 excluding installation or the necessary “Backup Gateway”. This is similar pricing inline with the Tesla Powerwall 2. As with the Powerwall 2 you’ll need to purchase the Backup Gateway separately for $1,700.

The built-in 11.5kW hybrid inverter may range in cost from $2,000 to $3,500, adding significant value and savings on costs for home oweners looking for a solar battery for their home.

Game Changer or Missed Opportunity?

For the average Australian homeowner, the question of “are solar batteries worth it?” remains a topic of much debate. The release of the Tesla Powerwall 3 in the US is no exception, stirring mixed feelings among Australian installers. Many see it as a missed opportunity, pointing out its limitations in retrofitting existing solar systems due to its integrated inverter design. This makes it ideal for new solar setups but less appealing for those seeking an upgrade, which is where the Tesla Powerwall 2 might still reign supreme

Key Concerns with the Powerwall 3

  • Targeted for New Installations: Its design benefits new setups but offers more challenges than additional features for those looking to upgrade.
  • Charging Capacity Mismatch: With a charging limit of 5kW against the potential for 20kW of solar panels, there’s a notable efficiency gap.
  • Lack of Built-in Backup Gateway: Missing functionality that could have added ≈ $1700 value.
  • Unchanged Pricing: Without significant price improvements or a built-in backup gateway, it’s new features might be nice to have rather than need to have. Putting into question it’s true value proposition in the Australian market.
  • Bi-directional Charging Limitations: Despite its forward-thinking features, Australian regulations hamper its full potential.

The Powerwall 3 thus stands at a crossroads. For new solar adopters, it’s a leap forward. However, for the retrofit market and those eyeing cost and compatibility, the Powerwall 2 might still be the smarter choice. With a focus that perhaps leans too heavily towards the American market, the Powerwall 3’s place in the Australian energy landscape remains uncertain in more ways than one.

What are The Performance Specs of Tesla Powerwall 3?

The big difference in this generation of Powerwall is the inclusion of an 11.5kW built-in solar inverter and 6 Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPTs), which means it is capable of handling up to 20kW of solar panels, the value proposition of the Powerwall 3 could be hard to match.

The Powerwall 3 features a 13.5 kWh energy storage capacity, with a continuous power output of 11.5kW and enhanced peak power capabilities, thanks to a high Locked Rotor Amps (LRA) rating. This makes it capable of supporting the startup of high-demand electrical appliances and systems, aimed at ensuring reliable power backup for the entire home.

The Tesla Powerwall 2 must have a separate solar inverter installed. This means the target market for the Powerwall 3 is likely to be customers looking to install solar and a battery all at once, rather than customers who already have solar panels and an inverter installed.

While the Powerwall 2 also has a 13.5kWh energy storage capacity, it has a much lower peak power rating of 5kW. This big improvement for the Powerwall 3 means that it can handle much greater loads in off-grid systems or during a power outage.


See the Tesla Powerwall 3 Data Sheet for more details

What Are The Dimensions of the Powerwall 3 Battery?

Tesla has refined the Powerwall 3’s design, creating a unit that’s both slimmer and slightly heavier than its earlier iteration. The dimensions of the Powerwall 3 are 43.25 in x 24 in x 7.6 in and a weight of 287 lbs in the U.S. which translated to 1098 mm x 609 mm x 193 mm, with a total weight of 130 kg here in Australia.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Battery Chemistry

Tesla has confirmed the switched to Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) chemistry. They’ve moved away from the Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2) used in the Powerwall 2. This change aims to enhance safety, durability, and environmental sustainability by removing cobalt from production, although it may lead to lower energy density.

Tesla is promoting that the new cells will maintain at least 70% of their capacity after 10 years. This indicates that fully utilizing the battery to achieve the best return on investment might be more beneficial than restricting its use to lessen wear and tear.

What Is The Powerwall 3 Backup Gateway?

The Backup Gateway or more simply the Backup ‘Switchboard’ ensures homeowners can maintain power during outages and effectively manage their energy use.

Some battery manufacturers have this capability built into the battery. Tesla charge an additional $1,700 for their Gateway which is a notable addition to the overall cost of the system.

Pros and Cons of the Tesla Powerwall 3

Pros

  • Integrated Solar Inverter: Comes with an 11.5kW built-in solar inverter, reducing the need for additional equipment and simplifying the installation process.
  • High Solar Compatibility: It can connect to up to 20kW of solar panels, offering substantial potential for energy generation and storage. This surpasses the Powerwall 2’s compatibility, which is more limited in this regard.
  • Scalable Storage Solution: The Powerwall 3 features DC-coupled battery expansion units, allowing homeowners to expand their storage capacity affordably over time, making it a versatile option for growing energy needs.
  • Enhanced Power Output: With a continuous power output of 11.5kW, it supports larger households and more extensive energy needs
  • Bidirectional Charging and V2H Integration: The Powerwall 3 offers innovative features like bidirectional charging and the potential for vehicle-to-home power sharing, which enhances its utility and future-proofs the system.
  • High Peak Power Rating: Capable of handling high inrush currents, making it ideal for starting up high-demand appliances without grid support.

Cons

  • Limited Charging Power: Despite its high solar compatibility, the Powerwall 3’s battery charging is limited to 5kW. This means that although you can connect up to 20kW of solar panels, much of that capacity might be wasted for most household applications.
  • Compatibility with Existing Solar Systems: While there’s potential for AC-coupling with existing solar systems, confirmation and specifics are pending, which may affect retrofitting decisions.
  • Bidirectional Charging and V2H Integration: Currently only available for the cyber truck in the USA.
  • Not compatible with other Powerwall models: Tesla has not officially announced direct compatibility for integrating Powerwall units. This means that, as of now, you cannot directly connect a Powerwall 3 to an existing Powerwall 2 system.

What Is The warranty On The Tesla Powerwall 3?

Solar Choice expects the Powerwall 3’s warranty to provide comprehensive coverage for defects and capacity degradation over 10 years. We will confirm specific details upon the product’s release. The industry predicts a warranty structure similar to Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and the US market.

How The Tesla Mobile App Integrates With The Powerwall 3

The mobile app will likely offer real-time monitoring and management, allowing users to tailor their energy use to suit their needs. Whether prioritising backup power, maximising self-consumption of solar energy, or taking advantage of time-based control to benefit from variable electricity rates, the app provides comprehensive control over home energy management.

Is Tesla Powerwall 3 Available In Australia?

While the anticipation for the Powerwall 3 in Australia is high, its expected release in the latter half of 2024. This means that potential buyers have time to assess their current and future energy needs.

For those of you Interested in purchasing a Powerwall 3, simply enter your postcode to get in touch with an accredited installer so you can organise early access and discuss the Powerwall 3’s integration into your home energy system. With Solar Choice’s extensive network of professional installers, homeowners can ensure a seamless and efficient installation process.

Compare solar and battery quotes online now.

What Tesla Powerwall 3 Incentives are in Australia?

Australian government schemes and incentives for home & battery systems are available for homeowners. Residents may benefit from various state-based incentives and schemes designed to encourage the adoption of renewable energy solutions, like the Queensland battery booster rebate. Potential buyers should explore available programs in their region to take advantage of financial support or rebates that may offset the initial investment cost.

Integration & Expansion Capabilities

One of the most interesting advancements with the Powerwall 3 is it allows for “DC-coupled battery expansion units.” This feature suggests that homeowners can increase their storage capacity making the system both scalable at a lower price per kWh. Homeowners can stack up to four Powerwall 3 units to achieve a total capacity of 54kWh, offering a scalable energy storage solution that meets their growing needs.

Compare solar and battery quotes online now.

Powerwall 3 Continuous Power, Battery Storage & Load Management

The Powerwall 3 delivers a continuous output of 11.5 kW, offering 20-30% more continuous power than Tesla Powerwall 2 and it’s 5kW output and the Tesla Powerwall Plus (PW+) 5.7 kW. This coupled with the peak power rating, make it a good source of backup power for essential home functions during outages.

Its capability to manage high inrush currents allows it to start even high-demand appliances smoothly. However, homeowners need to carefully plan their backup power strategies, as the significant but finite 13.5 kWh storage capacity can deplete quickly under large loads if not managed wisely.

Bi-directional Charging

Tesla’s forward-thinking design includes features such as bidirectional charging and the possibility of vehicle-to-home (V2H) power sharing, with the Powerwall 3 potentially serving as a central hub for a home’s renewable energy ecosystem. This integration not only enhances the utility of the Powerwall 3 but also positions Tesla at the forefront of home energy innovation.

Final Thoughts

As the Tesla Powerwall 3 prepares to make its arrival to Australian shores in 2024, the energy sector stands at a fascinating juncture. The mixed reactions from installers underscore the Powerwall 3’s potential as both a game changer for new solar adopters and a possible missed opportunity for those looking to retrofit.

With so much yet to be revealed about how the Powerwall 3 will fit into the Australian context, its launch will be a critical moment to watch. It promises to push the boundaries of what’s possible in home energy storage, potentially reshaping our approach to energy consumption and production.

As we stand on the brink of this technological shift, the true impact of the Powerwall 3 remains to be seen, offering much food for thought for industry professionals, policymakers and homeowners alike.

James Shand