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Tesla Powerwall 3 vs. Powerwall 2🔋The Key Differences | 2023

Posted 24 Oct '23
Tesla Powerwall 3 vs. Powerwall 2 Battery Storage Australia

A Deeper Look - What Should We Expect?

Tesla have announced that in early 2024 they will be releasing the new Powerwall 3 battery storage system, which is causing shockwaves in the energy storage world.

Many are wondering how the Tesla Powerwall 3 will fit in comparison with the Powerwall 2, with the new solar capabilities and other useful features. Will the Powerwall 3 replace the Powerwall 2?


What are the Primary Differences, between the Powerwall 2 and the new Powerwall 3?

The Tesla Powerwall 3 has a PV (Solar) inverter added. This inverter has 6 Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPT's) which means that 6 separate PV arrays can be connected which is very useful for situations where a variety of different facing and sized roof surfaces must be managed.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Datasheet australia specifications

The Powerwall 3 has the same energy storage as the Powerwall 2 (13.5 kWh) but the Powerwall 3 has a higher power rating which can charge and discharge much quicker. In this respect, the image of the Powerwall 3 nameplate is confusing. Under the heading of Maximum Continuous Output Current (Power at 240V) there are 4 boxes:

o  24A (AC) [5.8kVA]

o  32A(AC) [7.7kVA]

o  40A(AC) [9.6kVA]

o  48A(AC) [11.5kVA]


Usually, nameplates in this format allow for the appropriate box to be ticked by the manufacturer to indicate which particular value applies to that unit.
Does Tesla intend to have sub models with power ratings stretching from 5.8kVA to 11.5kVA?

Looking further at the nameplate we see that the Maximum Continuous Input Power is 5kVA.

 
Powerwall 1
Powerwall 2
Powerwall 3
Battery Energy
6.4 kWh
13.5 kWh
13.5 kWh
Grid Voltage Range
211 V – 264 V
211 V – 264 V
211 V – 264 V
Maximum continuous output power
3.3 kW
5 kW
11.5 kW
Operating Temperature
-20°C to 50°C
 
-20°C to 50°C
 
-20°C to 50°C
 
Weight
97 kg
114 kg
130 kg
Dimensions
1302 x 862 x 183 mm
1150 x 753 x 147 mm
1098 x 609 x 193 mm
Ingress Rating
IP35 & NEMA 3R (Powerwall)
IP 67 (Battery Pod)
IP 67 (Battery & Power Electronics)
IP56 (Wiring Compartment)
NEMA 3R (IP unknown)
Warranty
Discontinued
10 Years
10 Years
PV Inverter
No
No
5 kW Inverter (with 6 MPPT’s)




Will the Tesla Powerwall 3 replace the Powerwall 2?

The Maximum PV Voltage is 600 Vdc and the Maximum PV Input Current is 13 Adc. These are typical values for today's inverters and with a choice of up to 6 PV inputs we will have considerable flexibility in PV array arrangements. The total PV is however limited to 5kW as dictated by the Maximum Continuous Input Power value listed above.

The Tesla Powerwall 3 will not be able to be used in a retrofit situation as the on-board PV inverter eliminates the need for an external inverter, so the Powerwall 3 is to be used in new installations without Solar inverters.

Because of the usefulness of both applications, one would expect Tesla to continue to manufacture the Powerwall 2 alongside the 3.

Note in the above, reference is made to the unit’s kVA and kW. A discussion of the difference is beyond the scope of this article but considering them “roughly” equivalent units of power will suffice.


Tesla Powerwall 2 vs. Powerwall 3 comparison specifications

Where Will The PW2 and PW3 be Used?

Tesla's new Powerwall 3 is designed for new homes with its built-in inverter, whereas the Powerwall 2 is designed for retro-fits in existing homes.

In continuing both models they have covered both bases. One attraction of the PW3 is that having everything in the one box, however both Powerwall 2 and 3 will continue needing a Gateway for energy management.


Tesla Powerwall 3 verses the Powerwall 2 battery australia
Tesla Gigafactory Powerwall 3 news

So, why all the Secrecy?

Tesla doesn't spend money on advertising their products. Rather it uses the technique of teasing their audience with scraps of information for die-hard fans to grasp. Tesla have made an art form of this approach. Their motto seems to be “Mystique R Us.”

In September this year I was driving around the Southwestern States of the US and accidentally came across Tesla's factory in the Nevada desert on the outskirts of the quirky and appropriately named sprawling city of Sparks adjacent to the famous casino ridden city of Reno. Americans do urban sprawl like no one else.

Tesla's skimpy information on the upcoming new model Powerwall 3 home battery is no exception to their track record of secrecy. A teaser photo of a Powerwall 3 nameplate exists and there are some scant other known facts about the unit.



Changes in Cell Technologies

Apparently, and from what seems reliable non-Tesla web sources, Tesla has moved from the cylindrical liquid cooled Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Lithium cells, to prismatic (rectangular) Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) cells.
Whether they have retained or abandoned liquid cooling which was convenient with cylindrical cells but maybe not so convenient with prismatic cells is unknown. Worldwide LFP chemistry has a better track record for safety via thermal runaway resistance and may be a factor in the move.

The overall energy density is very similar as shown by the similar weights of the Powerwall 3 against the Powerwall 2. Most of the extra weight in the new model can probably be accounted for by the extra electronics of the photovoltaic (PV) inverter in the Powerwall 3. It seems that the power rating has been increased considerably and maybe the empty power rating boxes on the nameplate photo is for different power rating models earmarked for different markets.

A few additional notes

The available literature talks about “rapid shutdown” which relates to a US regulatory requirement for solar systems to be capable of instant or rapid shutdown in an emergency. Also, both models are by themselves single phase devices. A Powerwall 2 may be added on one of the phases of a 3-phase installation if required. Whether the Powerwall 3 can do this is unknown.


Tesla Powerwall 3 release installation battery storage australia


Conclusion

With the information we have so far, we can see the basic information with additional speculation, and can only wait until Tesla reveals more information on their newest Battery model. For more information about the Powerwall 3's specifications, check out our overview article.

“Watch this space” seems to be their catch cry. With Tesla who knows?






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Richie Jiang wrote:
22 Jan 4:58pm
Does PW3 need to use a Gateway 2 to be smart? thanks.
Jake Loxley
Jake Loxley replied with:
23 Jan 8:08am
Yes the Powerwall 3 will most likely need a Gateway for energy management. It also will provide/manage connection to the grid, and will allow you to monitor energy use and manage backup energy reserves from any mobile device with the Tesla app.

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