California-based electric vehicle, battery storage and solar company, Tesla, has launched an updated version of its smart phone app, which will allow customers to monitor and manage their home energy use through the same mobile platform as their EV – should they be fortunate enough to have all of the above.
The new feature gives Tesla Powerwall customers 24/7 visibility of their solar and storage “power flow”, offering them the option to control their energy storage reserves in anticipation of bad weather or planned utility outages.
The app – which customers can downloaded as soon a customer’s Powerwall is installed and connected – also detects unforeseen grid outages, and automatically switches the house over battery power, usually without interruption. The app then alerts home owners that the house is running off-grid.
It also alerts customers to energy and money saving opportunities.
The update comes as Australian consumers await the delivery of their pre-ordered 14kWh Powerwall 2 battery units – Tesla’s second generation home storage system that offers more than double the capacity of its predecessor at around half the cost per kWh.
At the Australian launch of the Powerwall 2 in Melbourne last month, the company said installations would begin in April. And while there has been no official word from Tesla that this has been pushed out by another month, some frustrated customers have suggested it’s looking more like May.
But keeping up with demand is not a terrible problem to have, and Tesla has assured customers its gigafactory in Nevada is rapidly ramping up production; it will need to, if the company is on the mark with its prediction that 100 per cent of Australian homes with rooftop solar would also have battery storage within the next 10 years.
According to accredited Australian Tesla re-seller, Natural Solar, pre-orders for the Powerwall 2 were coming in at a rate of more than three times the pre-orders it got for the Powerwall 1 – and that was in January.
“This year is going to be really, really exciting,” said Natural Solar’s Chris Williams, at the time. “What we’ve identified is that the market has really adjusted from an early adopter market to an early majority market, a mum and dad market, it’s a different target market now.”
This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.