What brand of batteries should you buy (or is Tesla your only choice)?
Tesla Powerwall

Solar battery storage has actually been around for a while. Lead acid batteries have been taking people totally off-grid for years – for a high price.

Though with the hype and fanfare around Tesla’s announcement of its Powerwall 2 battery you wouldn’t really think this was the case!

In my humble opinion, the vast majority of the hype about the Powerwall 2 has come from Tesla’s excellent branding and marketing efforts – they truly are the Apple of the battery storage industry.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the Tesla hype and forget that there are many energy storage alternatives to the Powerwall battery system, either currently in the market or set to be released soon. 

In Australia, Powerwall 2 is expected to cost around $9,600 fully installed and availability may be an issue for quite some time, so it makes sense to also look into alternatives. In June 2018, we became aware that anyone ordering a Powerwall from an installer that doesn’t have them in stock will be waiting until early 2019 for delivery.

Tesla had prioritised Australia as their top market to sell in, but they simply haven’t been able to make enough Powerwalls for the mass market – and won’t until their ‘Gigafactory One’, a dedicated battery factory in Nevada, is complete.

If you are prepared to wait and have your heart set on a Powerwall 2 specifically, as it is an AC coupled battery, you won’t need a hybrid inverter.

A quick note on lead acid batteries

You’ll notice that conventional deep-cycle lead acid batteries are not mentioned on this page as a type to buy. This is because I believe that lithium based batteries are the future of residential household energy storage – they simply have longer guarantees than lead acid batteries and have a greater depth-of-discharge.

The one exception to this rule is a new type of lead acid developed at the CSIRO when I used to work there. It is called the Ecoult Ultra Battery, and uses a hybrid Ultra-capacitor/Lead Acid design to make a battery that lasts much longer and can discharge more power.

Alternatives to the Powerwall

Our comprehensive, frequently updated Solar Battery Storage Comparison Table has all you need to know about Powerwall alternatives currently available on the market in Australia.

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