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Old 05-07-2015, 06:23 PM   #21
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For a lot of people worried about the environment, going off the grid doesn't need to pay for itself. It just needs to be affordable. Those people (and the usual tech geek early adopters) will be more than enough to fuel the market for the first few years.

The price of solar has already come down a lot and will keep falling. In a few year the price of batteries like these will come down too.

There's a good chance that looking back this will be seen as Tesla's iPhone moment, a gamechanger in the market.

And like Apple, Tesla isn't really doing anything "new". They're just taking the existing technology and turning it into products that are pretty and easy for people to buy and use.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:24 PM   #22
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For a lot of people worried about the environment, going off the grid doesn't need to pay for itself.
The economics are what make 'off grid' little more than a boutique or niche industry which. That's all that it is in 2015.

Lots of people will say they are worried about the environment and climate change. Less of those same people will make a decision to pay more for electricity from a company that offers renewable power rates such as Bullfrog, Bow Valley or SPARK. Even less will go through the hassle of permitting a micro generation system, which comes with the added hassle of maintaining a battery system.

The comparison you make between Tesla and Apple is spot on. That's what's worth getting excited about. Apple made technology accessible to the masses. Tesla is doing the same for renewable power.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:44 PM   #23
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The comparison you make between Tesla and Apple is spot on. That's what's worth getting excited about. Apple made technology accessible to the masses. Tesla is doing the same for renewable power.
Yup. Accessible, understandable and easy.

Especially many environment minded people aren't necessarily that tech savvy themselves, and many people are just sort of intimidated by technology. For them buying any technology is preferably like buying an iPhone. You go to the right store and you buy the one phone they sell. (Not exactly the truth anymore, but that's still sort of the idea with iPhone.) And then you know you will get what you want... and what you know other people will think is cool.

That's how you sell people stuff that doesn't necessarily make financial sense Ease of purchase and image rule.

Musk already has a major solar power company to sell this through (SolarCity) who will come to your place to install it for no money upfront. You can essentially go 100% solar on a whim, and the only thing you need to worry is paying for them after you've already got it.

Tesla's image is another key factor here, as they have a really hot brand right now. Despite not really being that great of a public performer, Elon Musk has a lot of that same magic aura that Steve Jobs had. The kind that makes people ignore scepticism and open up their wallets, because really they want to connect with that idea of who Musk is and the visions he's selling. A Powerwall is a lot cheaper way to get Tesla into your garage than a Model S.

It might not make economic sense, but then again most cars make no economic sense either.

If you look at the presentation, Musk also clearly understands what the real audience is. He's not selling the technology (no real specs) or the economic logic. It's an ideological purchase and an image purchase. "Traditional batteries are ugly." "Look at how terrible fossil power plants are. And ugly."

He's selling the idea that you can be part of a high tech energy revolution without understanding anything about it, and there's a good chance he's not even lying. It's a good pitch. It's pretty easy to see why this guy has made himself into a millionaire.
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:53 PM   #24
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For a lot of people worried about the environment, going off the grid doesn't need to pay for itself. It just needs to be affordable. Those people (and the usual tech geek early adopters) will be more than enough to fuel the market for the first few years.
Why do people want to go off the grid? A reliable electric grid is one of the key pillars of modern human civilization and I certainly have no interest in making my own electricity, just like I don't want to get my own fresh water or grow all of my food.

Going off the grid is also incredibly inefficient for saving the environment, as distributed solar is significantly more costly compared to utility scale solar (which already is expensive and not well suited to actual demand).
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:55 AM   #25
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For those new to this:

Solar panels generate electricity, but do not store the power. You use the power instantly, so if you don't use the power it is sold back to the grid. The Tesla battery stores that power, and using some fancy logic, can sell back to the grid at higher prices than when it was generated, or release it back into the house for use later.

This is not necessarily a new idea, but they are the first to really mass produce it, and may have the best product available (that will be determined over time).

I tried to build something similar for my brother's garage using car batteries chained together, but it just wasn't worth the money. We thought solar panels and the batteries could be used over running cable from the house, which was a ways away.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:46 AM   #26
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Why do people want to go off the grid? A reliable electric grid is one of the key pillars of modern human civilization and I certainly have no interest in making my own electricity, just like I don't want to get my own fresh water or grow all of my food.

Going off the grid is also incredibly inefficient for saving the environment, as distributed solar is significantly more costly compared to utility scale solar (which already is expensive and not well suited to actual demand).
Reliable power grids are available for a clear minority of the worlds people at the moment. Even in the US there are a lot of places where power outages are a monthly or even a weekly occurrance.

Besides, the electricity in the grid is mostly fossil fuel produced. You can of course give your money to a company that produces green energy, but that actually has no effect on where your electricity comes from.

As for industrial scale production, for Europeans there's the relatively significant issue that outside of Spain there's very few places to put solar farms. Essentially everything is either urban/suburban, farmland or forest (which we don't want to cut down) or mountains and waterways.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:20 PM   #27
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For me living close to the water with a lot of wind at times a wind turbine would probably work better.

http://www.gudcraftonline.com/category-s/53.htm
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:14 PM   #28
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So revolutionary. My brother and I got discussing this during our 5 hr drive to Swift Current this weekend. We were getting absolutely gitty at the possibilities. If this catches on, everyone could have a set of a couple solar panels and a Tesla battery and create a network of energy which could be generated and used by consumers. All you would need is a company that would redistribute the energy as needed as anything that wasn't used by an individual battery user would just be put back into the grid and purchased by someone who's energy needs arent met by the battery.

Boom. Mass-use solar power pretty much regardless of your location. I love it.

I heard he released the patent for the battery as well. Elon Musk is my hero. Doesn't care about his profits, he just wants to change the world. We need more like him.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:47 PM   #29
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So revolutionary.
It's not. All of this has been done before and the battery itself essentially 'old tech'. Go read the exchange between myself and Itse to see what's 'new'.

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I heard he released the patent for the battery as well.
See above. If he released the software for the battery's control system, that would be revolutionary.

*Disclaimer*

Don't mean to be a dick, but both you and your brother are exactly the target market. Early adopters who *think* this is new. That's what gives this inertia and will make it profitable. Which drives the price down, which is when I'll jump in. So thanks!!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:19 AM   #30
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It's not. All of this has been done before and the battery itself essentially 'old tech'. Go read the exchange between myself and Itse to see what's 'new'.



See above. If he released the software for the battery's control system, that would be revolutionary.

*Disclaimer*

Don't mean to be a dick, but both you and your brother are exactly the target market. Early adopters who *think* this is new. That's what gives this inertia and will make it profitable. Which drives the price down, which is when I'll jump in. So thanks!!
I know people had been working on these types of batteries for a while, but this is the first I've heard of someone actually taking something to market.

Also, yes it is revolutionary for exactly the reasons you stated. It may not be "new", but making it accessible to the masses is most of the battle of clean energy, and this can do exactly that. Just like the iPod, which wasn't new technology, revolutionized how we consume music and entertainment, this could revolutionize the way we consume, produce and trade energy.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:15 PM   #31
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It's not. All of this has been done before and the battery itself essentially 'old tech'. Go read the exchange between myself and Itse to see what's 'new'.
Something doesn't have to employ never-before-seen-technology to be revolutionary.

Castro didn't invent communism, but it was still a revolution.

Multi-touch screens were 25 years old when the iPhone came out. Nerds and hyperactive business types had been on the internet with their phones for years. But the smartphone revolution still started with the iPhone.

A revolution doesn't happen when someone invents a new technology or idea. It happens when someone applies a technology or idea to change people's lives.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:11 PM   #32
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I know people had been working on these types of batteries for a while, but this is the first I've heard of someone actually taking something to market.
There are plenty of battery solutions for people trying to live off the grid. Since the density advantage of lithium isn't so critical, they're cheaper as well.

Quote:
Also, yes it is revolutionary for exactly the reasons you stated. It may not be "new", but making it accessible to the masses is most of the battle of clean energy, and this can do exactly that. Just like the iPod, which wasn't new technology, revolutionized how we consume music and entertainment, this could revolutionize the way we consume, produce and trade energy.
There is nothing revolutionary about it; storage of electricity is ultimately dominated by cost, which is why 99% of electricity storage is done by pumped storage and not with chemical storage.

Making it easier for people to use (though debatable given the high voltage it runs on and the need for new inverters) is irrelevant, the hard part is generating and storing enough electricity to go through long periods of low sunlight conditions (i.e. the winter). If a typical household attempted that, they will probably end up dead.
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:28 PM   #33
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Something doesn't have to employ never-before-seen-technology to be revolutionary.

Castro didn't invent communism, but it was still a revolution.

Multi-touch screens were 25 years old when the iPhone came out. Nerds and hyperactive business types had been on the internet with their phones for years. But the smartphone revolution still started with the iPhone.

A revolution doesn't happen when someone invents a new technology or idea. It happens when someone applies a technology or idea to change people's lives.
As someone who worked in the cell phone industry when the IPhone came out, I can testify to the quality of the internet capable phones prior. They sucked. Yes we had touch screens, but the devices they came on were big, clunky, bad on power, rarely worked, etc.. The Palm Pilot phones had been available for years but simply weren't that good.

The issue is really the same for solar power right now. You could theoretically power your home right now with solar power...it would cost you about $40,000 in equipment, it would be clunky, you'd suffer from power outages and brown outs (even with a good battery), etc...

With technology it's not usually a question of social revolution. It's a question of getting technology that actually works. That being said, the technology is quickly improving in price and function, and there is no shortage of investment in to solar energy and battery technology.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:41 PM   #34
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Out of curiosity would the electrical companies even be on board buying energy back at a reasonable price? I vaguely remember Enmax's program being pretty cost prohibitive with different charges so any power sold back was barely worth while.

I do agree that if it catches on (Elon is probably the right guy to push it), it will only help that area evolve. The way some technologies have exponentially grown, in 10 years the third or fifth iteration may be the breakthrough.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:31 PM   #35
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I think the biggest deal here is that someone is finally investing some time and money into battery technology.

The technology in cell phones has gone crazy the past 5 years, and somehow through all of that we are still stuck using the same 'last one day if you're lucky' battery.

No reason battery technology can't be vastly improved. Time for some big players to get involved and figure it out on a mass scale.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:48 PM   #36
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Yeah. I think the main thing is somebody with clout and the capital has made it their mission to push it out.

There are better batteries and technologies out there, but nobody is really evangelizing for Ballard or Global Thermoelectric or other fuel cell makers as much as Musk is for his system.

Lithium batteries are also pretty hazardous. I don't think I would want to live next to a large bank of them in the event they should ever overheat and explode.

While there are lots of tech available, the trusty old lead acid is one of the most robust and cheapest.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:21 AM   #37
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The technology in cell phones has gone crazy the past 5 years, and somehow through all of that we are still stuck using the same 'last one day if you're lucky' battery.
Increasing screen sizes and the increasing number of always-on apps keeps battery life short.

Disabling a few apps and features such as GPS will probably increase your battery life more than a better battery could.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:11 AM   #38
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Increasing screen sizes and the increasing number of always-on apps keeps battery life short.

Disabling a few apps and features such as GPS will probably increase your battery life more than a better battery could.
Except that GPS is about the most useful feature on cell phones.

I really wish there was more of an effort to make high end phones with good small screens. Also no need to go beyond 1080 resolution. Probably no need to go beyond 720 or so.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:53 AM   #39
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There is no reason any of those things should create such crappy battery life.

Battery technology hasn't go anywhere in 5 years.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:46 AM   #40
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Model 3 announcement is tomorrow at 9:30 MT, online reservations will begin at that time as well.

The level of secrecy around this is impressive, 36 hours to launch and no leaks.

Model 3 reservations require $1000 CAD deposit.
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