Tesla Energy has unveiled the latest version of the Backup Gateway hardware that supports its Powerwall 2 battery storage unit, and is one of the reasons behind the recent hike in household battery costs.
Tesla made the global unveiling of its Backup Gateway 2 to about 50 installers at its store in Richmond, Victoria on Monday night, and will roll out the product to installers in other state markets over the coming weeks.
Australia was chosen for the global unveiling because of the strength of the local battery storage market. It features improved aesthetics, with a display similar in design to the battery itself (see image above), as well as a host of other improvements,
The Backup Gateway 2 basically provides energy management and monitoring functions for the Powerwall system, and is the smarts and communications tool for the system. It enabling solar self-consumption and time-based control applications, and can be controlled via the Tesla mobile app.
The upgrade has translated into a big jump in costs to the Tesla Powerwall 2 systems, however, with the price of the Gateway itself doubling to around $2,250, and lifting the overall cost of the product by around 20 per cent to $12,350 before installation costs.
The new version also includes a range of new features, including fast data, improved connectivity, and the ability to work with three phase homes that will enable up to 10 Powerwalls to be connected on-grid and up to 4 Powerwalls for single phase back-up during an outage.
Among the new features of the Backup Gateway 2 is 0.2% site-level metering accuracy when using in-built CTs, allowing Powerwall owners to unlock future value by participating in virtual power plants, and it is equipped with LTE for faster data transfer for monitoring and over-the-air-updates.
The Integrated electrical connections will eliminate the clutter of separate generation and load panels that were sometimes required for a backup enabled system, allowing for a cleaner installation requiring fewer electrical boxes.
It is also significantly smaller (30 per cent) and lighter (40 per cent) than the previous version.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.