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Tesla doubles power in commercial Powerpack battery

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 31, 2016
The Powerpack 2, with twice the capacity, is no larger than the original battery system

Solar array tesla powerpack Kauai Island Utility Cooperative

The 12-megawatt Koloa solar array in Hawaii is owned by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative will use a Tesla Powerpack battery station to store electricity.

At one time, U.S. electric utilities charged flat rates for electricity. But that has changed over the past 30 years and utilities in 16 states, such as Hawaii, New York and California, charge additional fees for electricity use that exceeds pre-set limits during peak hours.

Large corporations will often have "demand meters" installed by utilities that register the highest rate of electrical flow during a billing period. A demand meter records an average flow for every 15-minute interval. The enterprise is billed for the highest average 15-minute flow typically over a monthly billing cycle. So, if an enterprise goes over its typical energy use, that becomes the rate at which it's charged.

Tesla's Powerpacks are already being deployed in several large-scale projects, including Southern California Edison's Mira Loma substation and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The Powerpack systems for the latter two are being built now at Tesla's Gigafactory and, when deployed later this year, will be the two largest lithium ion battery storage installations in the world, the company claims.

Tesla Powerpack project The Irvine Company

The offices at 20 Pacifica in Irvine, Calif. will be the first to have Tesla batteries installed by the end of this year.

A California real estate development company has also announced plans to install Tesla batteries in up to two dozen of its highest profile offices in the Los Angeles area.

The Powerpack 2, as with the original Powerpack, comes in an enclosure that is outdoor rated for all environments.

"No additional structures or covers are required, simplifying installation and lowering site preparation expenses," Tesla stated.

The Powerpack 2 has an internal liquid cooling and heating system that allows for precise temperature control. A dual coolant and refrigerant loop system, adapted from Tesla's Model S sedan, helps smooth battery performance in all climates with better efficiency than air cooling, the company said.

The new Powerpack 2s will use a "high volume, high reliability architecture that Tesla claims has been tested over the one billion miles driven in their Model S all-electric sedans.

"Combined with hundreds of embedded sensors, Powerpack offers unparalleled performance, safety and reliability," Tesla stated.


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