So you guys saw this? Tesla Motors, as a development in their car-battery technology I am assuming, says they are going to be offering a ‘plug-n-play’ battery that will be suitable for home use. Now, you and I both know that ‘home use’ means a few lights, some entertainment devices, and other small-draw items, because you ain’t running your refrigerator, freezer, well-pump, furnace blower, and hot water heater off a battery small enough to hang on your wall. Oh, you could run a household like that off of batteries but it would be a battery (or battery-pack) the size of a cargo container.
Really, this is a brilliant move for Tesla if they pull it off. The car side of their business is obviously heavily invested in battery technology, so if they develop an uber-battery it would only make sense to put out out into other, non-auto markets as well. The market for
$200K $100k electric cars is probably pretty small compared to the market for $3500 batteries that, ideally, work better than any existing backup battery or off-grid-cabin battery.
My own efforts as of late are still in the DIY/beginning-hobbyist stage. I’m planning out a small battery system to maintain a charge off of household current when the power is on, and to be used for DC applications (lights, radio, battery charging, security system) when the power goes out. But thats a much longer post (or, really, couple of posts).
In a happy little world, I’d have something like one of these batteries up at my very-attractive, yet heavily-reinforced concrete off-grid Beta Site. The world would convulse into spasms of chaos, I’d pack up and head to my little quiet bastion of security, and patiently wait for things to calm down…all the while enjoying LED lighting, radio communications, laptop, and security surveillance. Ah, the great American (survivalist’s) dream.
Go read some Heinlein sometime, or just Wiki it, and look up “Shipstone”. In the books, the shipstone was a revolutionary technology that greatly improved batteries. Or, as the book says, “To call a Shipstone an improved storage battery would be to call an atom bomb an improved firecracker.” In the book, shipstones didnt create power, they simply acted as containers for it. And you could stuff a lot of power into one. Every so often someone comes up with some ideas in battery technology that looks similar to Heinlein’s fictional supercapacitor. About eight years ago the big thing was ‘nanowire‘ technology that would, allegedly, increase a lithium-ion batteries output by 10x. Haven’t read much about it since then.
Anyway, if Tesla has made any strides in the battery arena, I think it would be a classic example of a business having a small branch or division that was ancillary to their main business become more profitable than the main business. Serendipity.