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Tesla batteries

Are all batteries initially supplied for Tesla powered from solar - derived electric sources?

Are the charging stations similarly sourced?

SCCRENDO | 28/01/2017

Not clear what you are asking in your first question but the answer to your second question is no. They are trying to introduce solar powered Tesla superchargers but not all are. Exactly how many are I did not know but there may be many here that may be able to answer you.

Efontana | 28/01/2017

The Gigafactory is powered solely from renewable sources. I do not know the state of charge when the batteries are shipped to Freemont.

I think Tesla is your best bet to get what you described, but I do not know if they are there yet with the final charge in Freemont.

abbygfxx | 28/01/2017

How exactly do you ask Tesla a question?

TeslaTap.com | 28/01/2017

You can try the contact link at the bottom of every page to ask Tesla a direct question. You question may not always be answered (trade secret, legal, don't know, etc.) . Questions in the forums are rarely answered by Tesla (perhaps one in 100,000 or so).

As to how cells are initially powered, it may be powered when first created by the chemicals used (i.e. no charging). If they are charged, it is likely from the Japanese power grid.

Only a few charging stations are solar powered (less than 10%). As to how the other amount is sourced, it depending on the utility. In the USA, the heaviest Supercharger useage is in California, which has a high percentage of renewables in grid power. This is a mix of solar, geothermal, hydro and nuclear.

TeslaTap.com | 28/01/2017

You can try the contact link at the bottom of every page to ask Tesla a direct question. You question may not always be answered (trade secret, legal, don't know, etc.) . Questions in the forums are rarely answered by Tesla (perhaps one in 100,000 or so).

As to how cells are initially powered, it may be powered when first created by the chemicals used (i.e. no charging). If they are charged, it is likely from the Japanese power grid.

Only a few charging stations are solar powered (less than 10%). As to how the other amount is sourced, it depending on the utility. In the USA, the heaviest Supercharger useage is in California, which has a high percentage of renewables in grid power. This is a mix of solar, geothermal, hydro and nuclear.

Bighorn | 28/01/2017

Not sure that Sparks is using solar yet to charge the batteries from the GF.

brando | 28/01/2017

Only one Atomic Power Plant left in California - Diablo Canyon.
Too expensive to build, not very reliable, earthquakes a recognized danger.
Seems down times 40-25% see page 42
https://www.hks.harvard. edu/hepg/Papers/EIA_Nuclear_Outlook_94.pdf

McLary | 31/01/2017

The gigafactory is 100% powered by grid power. Tesla negotiated a reduced rate from Nevada, which caused a rate increase for all residents to make up the difference.

There is one fake solar super-charger. There will never be solar powered supercharging, at least not in populated areas. The amount of power needed is just too high. If you were to install enough PV, (several acres) then you would also need to install a boatload of batteries, unless charging is only going to take place during 25% of the day.

To the OP, the initial battery charge, and all subsequent charging, will be done from the grid for the foreseeable future.

georgehawley.fl.us | 31/01/2017

+1 @McLary is correct. sustainable energy sources are the goal but only a very few places in the world have reached that state. @Bighorn is correct. The Gigafactory has zero solar cells on it or near it as far as I can see from the photos. One hopes that the roof will be strong enough to support that added load when they get installed.

If they build a car factory on top of a mountain, they could roll cars out the door and deliver them with some charge at the bottom of the mountain. Mount Everest as a site could provide maybe 50 kWh of potential energy to a Model S if delivered at sea level.😎

reed_lewis | 31/01/2017

But the issue with building a factory at the top of a mountain is the cost to get the raw materials up the mountain. The cost for that would be much higher than the amount of power needed to charge the battery in a car.

sosmerc | 31/01/2017

Perpetual motion conveyor belt....weight of the cars coming down the mountain counters the weight being hauled up. Build the cars with bigger batteries please, for more weight.....so more parts can get up the mountain :)......

Bighorn | 31/01/2017

With more steel on the Model 3, they can start moving things up the mountain with magnets.

johnse | 31/01/2017

Gigafactory is planned to produce enough renewable energy to run the entire factory, they are focusing now on the factory portion...power generation can come later.

In August, Solar City produced enough power to charge the worldwide Tesla fleet at that time: http://blog.solarcity.com/solarcity-customers-just-produced-enough-energ...

While there is certainly only an indirect coupling between that production and EV usage of electricity, it shows the trend is running in the right direction.

TeslaTap.com | 31/01/2017

@McLary - "There is one fake solar super-charger."

Not sure why you think the solar Superchargers are fake. I'm aware of at least three real solar Superchargers - one in Hawthorne, Lebec, and Rocklin. I've been to the first two, and these also have a battery storage systems as well. Now I have no idea how much power is generated by the solar roof, but I'm sure it contributes to the charging. There may be other locations as well - I still have a few to visit :)

NKYTA | 31/01/2017

Tejon and Barstow have non-fake panels too.

djharrington | 31/01/2017

Panels that covered six spaces would provide roughly enough for one "supercharge" per day.

McLary | 31/01/2017

I am not saying that the handful of panels are fake. I am saying that PV powered supercharging is a myth. It doesn't exist, nor will it likely ever exist.

Some quick calculations yield about 4 acres of PV panels to power an 8 bay supercharger station, with enough power to be active, and also to charge the batteries for the 18 hours a day not PV powered. An additional 2 acres is added to ensure that there is enough headroom to allow battery charging during the 6 available charging hours if there is peak usage during those hours. Now adding batteries gives a calculation of roughly 14,400 kWh of storage, to ensure ample supply during off hours, as well as 2-7 day backup, for clouds and/or storms.

PV panel cost; about $550,000
Battery cost ; about $5.75 million
Total cost ; about $6.3 million for a single 8 charger station with battery backup.

At this cost level, it is unlikely that there will ever be any solar powered supercharger stations built, unless Tesla is able to get someone else to pay for it all.

djharrington | 01/02/2017

McLary- it's funny, I had no knowledge of what charging assumptions you made. I have no direct knowledge of what typical SC traffic looks like (because the ones I use are always vacant).

My WAG (wild _ guess) was that 50 cars would charge 50kWh each, per day. That's a load of 2.5MWh, which in my city (Albuquerque) needs about 550kW of PV, or the same $550k you mention. Funny.

I don't think you'd need the full battery capacity. Tesla would have good knowledge of time of use of SCs, and be able to predict the minimum battery capacity needed. I have no idea about the time distribution of charging, but I could see needing less than a megabuck of PowerPaks for a site.

Also remember that all of these items are at cost for Tesla. I'd imagine most real estate (parking lot) owners would be happy to have large areas of covered spaces in their parking lots, at no cost to them. Everyone benefits from that. Cooler cars, less hail damage, nicer walk to you car in the rain, etc

jordanrichard | 01/02/2017

Did Tesla or anyone ever say that it was possible to have a 8 stall supercharger site fully powered via solar......I am guessing NO. So why get all twisted about it. Any solar generated power reduces what the whole site might need from the grid. If that given grid is fossil fuels powered, then this only reduces the emissions.

TeslaTap.com | 01/02/2017

@McLary +1 for attempting to quantify it, but -1 for inaccurate assumptions.

From Supercharger's I've visited, most are totally unoccupied most of the time. CA has a few that are quite busy, but even here, many are totally empty most of the time. On my trip on Dec-24 (a very busy time) Two of 4 SC stations were less than 20% in use and after I left 0% in use. The others close to full, one at Harris Ranch at lunch time (the optimal time to get there from both sides of the state). We hear of most outlying stations completely empty most of the time. Also not sure why your system has to have 7 days of backup. Actually no backup is needed when utility power is available. This dramatically reduces the cost and PV size.

Now you may be dead on that solar charging makes little economic sense - perhaps at some SC locations. Without a lot more actual numbers on utilization, PV output and a few other factors I really can't make an accurate assessment.

grega | 01/02/2017

Yes "Off Grid" is very different to supplementing. Much easier to supplement a good PV setup, particularly when the PV would need to be very large to make off-grid remotely plausible.

I still can't see Off Grid as good for the environment. You have to have enough panels and batteries to cope with the worst of days, which means on the best of days you have extra clean energy that can't get used. Seems obvious to me but I don't read others agreeing :-/

McLary | 01/02/2017

I am simply stating that solar powered SC stations are not going to happen. The economics are totally out of whack. Elon Musk promised a super charger network powering Tesla vehicles from nothing but sunshine.

Thebobadork | 01/02/2017

How long before electric cars have exchangable compatible batteries instead of havong to wait and recharge. How about exchange stations everywhere as you go cross country. Major redesign and sliding rail to and from back of car.

Thebobadork | 01/02/2017

How long before electric cars have exchangable compatible batteries instead of havong to wait and recharge. How about exchange stations everywhere as you go cross country. Major redesign and sliding rail to and from back of car.

grega | 02/02/2017

In Australia it's easy to pay 5c/kWh more and have all renewable power at home.

I wonder if Tesla has done that here.

Efontana | 02/02/2017

Grega, that is what my expectation was.

Earl and Nagin ... | 02/02/2017

@Thebobadork,
What you suggest has been tried. Tesla ran a battery swap station along side their Harris Ranch, CA Supercharger for several years. It was expensive to operate so they had to charge $40 per swap. Few used it when they could Supercharger for free and it required an appointment to be sure someone was present to operate the battery swap machine.
The company "A Better Place" went out of business even after raising a large amount of capital with their business plan to operate a battery swapping network throughout the world.
The Chevy Volt's T-shaped battery is a left over from the EV1. The original plan for the EV1 was to use the T-shaped battery to distribute some of the battery weight toward the front of the car yet be able to slide out the back as you suggest. GM halted the idea of this partly because it was hard to have a rear suspension with a hole large enough to slide out a 1/2 ton battery pack.
Maybe some day what you suggest will be technologically and economically feasible but today, Supercharging seems like the most reasonable and feasible options since it works very well and is very cheap to build and operate.

dchuck | 02/02/2017

All Superchargers can be solar powered. Its just that they cannot be stand alone solar powered. The assumption in this conversation is that only the panels attached to that particular supercharger will provide power.

As Grega said, It doesn't take much to power your home with 100% green energy. Companies like BullFrog Power here in Canada would be more than happy to sell you power generated by wind or solar for a small premium over the cost of regular electricity.

Tesla can spend X number of dollars for X megawatts of 100% solar power (they can build a solar plant themselves or purchase the power in the open market) and say YES our Superchargers are 100% solar powered, which is technically true.

The value in adding Solar at the Supercharger site is sales (these panels supplied by Tesla Solar, for more information please call XXX-XXX-XXXX) Installing batteries would allow lower peak loads to the grid, as well as a certain amount of redundancy (partial power while the grid is out) and the ability to purchase cheaper power during non peak times, if allowed by the power company.

This is the same basic rationale as the Powerwall has in homes. Power goes out, you still have power. Cheap power in the evening, charge up the power wall and use that power during the day when power is more expensive. Have solar on your roof, great it will lower your costs.

TeslaTap.com | 02/02/2017

Perhaps Tesla is using 100% solar power for every Supercharger today. The way it may work is Tesla owns SolarCity. SolarCity has installed a lot of solar panel systems that they own and provide power at a discount to homeowners. The excess solar power generated that they own is powering the Superchargers via the grid. SolarCity is installing something like 200 MW per quarter with over 1 GW installed today. Now only a portion of the 1GW is excess power that Tesla owns, but it may be enough to fully cover the Superchargers!