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Tesla Powerwall 3: Less Style But More Substance

By Aniket Bhor on in Solar Battery Information

Tesla Powerwall 3: Less Style But More Substance

After plenty of speculation and some anticipation, Tesla has finally released details about the third generation of its ultra-popular Powerwall battery. And the first thing we want to do is compare it with the Powerwall 2 and see if it offers anything ground-breaking. Let’s dive in!

Specifications

The Powerwall 3 is much more than just a solar battery. Thanks to its integrated solar inverter, it is designed to be an all-in-one solution. Its inverter also houses three MPPT charge controllers, which means you can directly connect multiple panel orientations while maintaining efficiency.

While the new model has the same energy capacity as the previous Powerwall (13.5 kWh), it receives a big upgrade in its power rating. The Powerwall 3 comes with a power output of 11.5 kW continuous. 

In the past, a significant number of buyers had to install multiple Powerwalls because the power output of a single battery wasn’t enough, even though the energy capacity was sufficient. But now, the Powerwall 3 can easily handle heavier appliances like dryers and ovens. 

Another major highlight is the battery’s peak power output of 30 kW. This is a massive increase over the Powerwall 2’s measly 7 kW. The PW3 also allows a larger number of solar panels to be added to the system. Sources report that the new Powerwall can connect to a solar array of up to 14 kW of power output.

Features

At first glance, the Powerwall 3’s feature list looks similar to the Powerwall 2. However, it does offer some new features, notably the DC-coupled design. Unlike the previous model, the PW3’s DC-coupling makes installations simpler and cheaper while improving overall efficiency by a notch. However, this also means the battery cannot be installed with existing systems or even with older Powerwalls.

The PW3 is also capable of participating in Virtual Power Plants, allowing homeowners to maximise the value of their stored energy.

Other than that, the device also offers a few useful features from the previous Powerwall, such as Storm Watch, Heat Mode, Wi-Fi connectivity, and app-based monitoring. Among the features that it lacks, the Powerwall 3 makes no mention of 3-phase capability anywhere, which suggests that like the PW2, the PW3 also works exclusively with single-phase circuits. 

Design

Typically, newer models of consumer products are supposed to have better designs than their predecessors. However, Tesla’s design departments seem to have tossed away this notion since they started working on the Cybertruck. The Powerwall 3 is another Tesla product that pays almost no attention to aesthetics.

An installed Powerwall 3 (source: Tesla Motors Club)

While the previous Powerwall had a sleek look with a clean black plastic casing and a cool LED strip, the PW3 has plain metal coverings on the sides, making the battery look like it wasn’t assembled completely. In a recent tweet, Tesla says that the Powerwall 3 comes with ‘durable exterior’, but durable doesn’t necessarily have to look boring!

In terms of size, the newer model is smaller in width and height, although it does have increased thickness to accommodate the inverter and its supporting components. This increased thickness adds up to its weight by about 15 kg. However, if you compare the PW3 with the Powerwall 2 Plus, which also comes with an attached inverter, the PW3 is over 25 kg lighter – a significant difference.

Here’s a closer look at the machine’s design:

1 - LED Indicator

2 - ON/OFF Switch

3 - Air Intake

4 - Air Exhaust

5 - System Shutdown Switch (optional)

Cost

Tesla hasn’t officially disclosed the pricing for the new battery, but it is clear that it will cost more than the existing model. Some estimates suggest that the PW3 could cost around USD 15,000 with installation in North America, which translates to about NZD 24,000 – a significant increase over the current pricing of $17,000-$18,000.

Availability

In the U.S., Tesla has already started installing the Powerwall 3. In New Zealand, however, the battery is supposed to arrive in 2025.

Powerwall 3 vs Powerwall 2

Here’s a summary of the similarities and differences between the Powerwall 2 and 3:

Powerwall 2 Powerwall 3
Energy Capacity 13.5 kWh 13.5 kWh
Power Output (continuos) 5.8 kW 11.5 kW

Power Output (peak)

7 kW 30 kW
Integrated Inverter No Yes
Round-trip Efficiency 90% 97.5%
Dimensions 1150 x 753 x 147 mm 1098 x 609 x 193 mm
Weight 114 kg 130 kg
Warranty 10 years 10 years

Summary

Tesla may not be a pioneer of lithium batteries, but it certainly revolutionized the home battery market. All the versions of its Powerwall battery so far have gained remarkable popularity, and the Powerwall 3 is set to do the same.

The PW3 is not vastly different from the PW2, but it comes with some surprising changes, such as improved power ratings, DC-coupling, and a built-in inverter. While buyers may still sulk over the lack of features like three-phase connectivity, the Powerwall 3 is destined to become one of New Zealand’s most popular solar batteries, if not the most popular!

As for the question of whether you should wait for the PW3 to arrive or go with the current model, it all depends on your requirements. If you have basic demands from a solar battery, the PW2 can be more than sufficient for your needs. But if you want the latest, and what seems to be the greatest (except for the looks), then 2025 isn’t that far away.


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