Tesla’s Battery Pack Could Help Supply Chains
Tesla’s recent highly publicized battery pack announcement may not serve to advance energy storage technology in a significant way. However, the offering has the potential to eventually help to reduce supply chain power costs.
Tesla CEO Elton Musk has a blatantly obvious flair for showmanship, which he recently put to use to pitch his company’s Powerwall energy storage device. As the founder of PayPal and head of Space X, which plans to do nothing less than to send humans to Mars, the charismatic serial entrepreneur recently described how Powerwall could “bridge the gap between renewable energy supply and demand.”
The lithium-ion battery charges itself from electricity that solar panels generate. The energy stored in the device can be used as a power source for industrial and home applications or as a backup energy source. It can also help to reduce grid power consumption during peak electricity hours when grid power costs more. “Powerwall offers independence from the utility grid and the security of an emergency backup,” Tesla said.
Musk’s announcement reached millions of potential consumers, aided in part by Powerwall’s adoption by big name firms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Target. AWS uses Tesla’s battery technology to help power its data centers and to integrate electricity sourced from renewable energy sources into its operations. “Batteries are important for both data center reliability and as enablers for the efficient application of renewable power,” James Hamilton, a distinguished engineer at AWS, said in a statement. “They help bridge the gap between intermittent production, from sources like wind, and the data center’s constant power demands.”