19 January 2021
Tesla has unveiled the latest addition to its suite of energy products – launching a standalone solar inverter that fills a key gap in its household solar, storage and electric vehicle offering.
Tesla quietly updated its website to include new details about its standalone inverter product – a device that converts the direct current (DC) power produced from rooftop solar panels and batteries into useful alternating current (AC) power, allowing solar energy to be used by household appliances or exported to the grid.
The addition of the standalone inverter to the Tesla product line up is a key step towards establishing a completely integrated solar energy, battery storage and EV charging solution from Tesla.
Tesla, which has offered solar panels as part of its energy products business since the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, has had a slightly complicated relationship with inverters in the past.
The company’s original Powerwall home battery offering required a separate inverter to be installed alongside it, while the Powerwall 2 heralded the arrival of the AC-coupled version of the battery that included an inverter, as well as a DC version that didn’t. Not long after that, Tesla killed off the DC version entirely.
In the update this week, Tesla says the new inverter product “completes the Tesla home solar system” and reduces the need for third-party products to manage a household energy system.
Tesla says that the new standalone inverter system has drawn upon the integrated inverter technology developed for the Powerwall 2 battery and is able to achieve a 97.5% conversion efficiency.
Teslaalso said that the new inverter would be compatible with both standard traditional solar panels, as well as Tesla’s own solar roof technology, which integrates solar cells into roofing tiles.
According to specifications published by Tesla, the inverter will be offered in two sizes, with a 3.8kW and a 7.6kW capacity inverter being offered. The system will be built for both indoor and outdoor installation.
Models will include wi-fi, ethernet and cellular connectivity, allowing the system to interact with the Tesla app and to receive over-the-air software updates.
The inverter will measure at 660 mm in height and 411 mm in width, coming in at around one-third the size of the full Powerwall 2 system.
The inverter will also come with a 12.5 year warranty, which is at the higher end of warranties offered for inverters from other manufacturers.
It is not yet known if and when the inverter product will be available in Australia.