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Powerwall AC / DC

Feb 9, 2017, 11:01 AM by Amy Choi
Powerwall 2 DC

AC / DC you may ask?  No, we are not referring to the Australian rock band.

The highly anticipated Powerwall 2 is available in two variants, DC and AC.  In this blog, I'll explain what the two variants do and who each can benefit.  The reason why I'm starting with the DC variant is they will be the first Powerwall 2's rolling off the Gigafactory line this month.

How is the DC variant unique?
The DC variant will work similar to Powerwall 1 meaning it requires a compatible hybrid or battery inverter and other equipment including an auto transformer, meter and secondary panel.  In Canada, we have only one compatible inverter, the SolarEdge SE7000 A-USS. 

Why is an inverter still required when Elon Musk announced last October that Powerwall 2 would have an integrated inverter?  Tesla Energy has anticipated that many of its core customers are well on their way to a sustainable energy future and likely have a solar system installed.  To get these customers storing their green energy without impacting their existing solar system, the DC variant is the way to go.

For those of you already reaping the benefits of solar energy, the other key difference is DC Powerwall when paired with a compatible 3-phase Fronius hybrid inverter can be connected to 3-phase homes.  This will not be available until later this year.  The MPOWER Engineering team will be testing this type of connection in our lab to ensure our Certified Installers can set this up safely and efficiently on your property.

Who should choose DC Powerwall 2?
The DC variant is best for customers who already have a solar system installed or for those who know that a solar system isn't in their future - too many trees (lucky you!) or buildings blocking your access to the sun.

What About AC Powerwall 2?
The AC variant has the integrated inverter.  Like the battery, the inverter leverages the existing technology in the Tesla cars all in one package.  The AC version is valuable for people who don't want or can't have solar panels to benefit from the backup availabilities of Powerwall.  

It is also valuable for new solar installations.  When AC Powerwall 2 is paired with a compatible PV inverter, it will allow for off-grid applications as long as there are enough Powerwalls to support the electrical load.  This means the total kWh energy required by the home for average usage is equivalent or under the total kWh energy provided by AC Powerwall.  For those who have a generator, AC Powerwall 2 currently does not have an option for a generator input.

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