The Tesla Megapack is by far the most revolutionary energy storage solution for a world that desperately needs clean renewable energy sources. Manufactured by Tesla Energy, the clean energy subsidiary of Tesla Inc. and launched in 2019, each Megapack can store up to 3 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in each shipping container sized storage device. These portable megapacks are designed to be used by utility companies to store energy generated by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. The stored energy can then be re-fed into the national electricity grid at times of peak electricity demand especially during the hot summer months.
It has been demonstrated that grid battery storage can help to reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions and unit cost of energy production. In November 2019, a 25MW/52MWh Powerpack began testing at the Lake Bonney Wind Farm in South Australia. Large-scale battery storage solutions are becoming more economically viable for utility companies to implement due to declining prices of Li-ion battery technology. As solar and wind energy and even ocean wave energy generation becomes more mainstream and in demand so will the demand for portable energy storage solutions like the Tesla Megapack.
Tesla envisions it Megapack acquiring greater market share from the current energy storage solution that dominates the market, pumped hydroelectric storage which accounts for 96% of global energy storage capacity. Pumped hydroelectric storage systems have longer lifespans when compared to battery storage which continues to give the system and edge in the energy storage market. Tesla states that it supplies Megapacks ready-assembled with battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, and an AC main breaker controls.
The thermal management system is located at the top of each unit and uses coolant fluid made of equal-parts mixture of ethylene glycol and water to keep the battery at operating temperature. Maintenance is performed on each Megapack once every five years. Each megapack weighs approximately 51,000 pounds (23,000 kg) and the enclosure is built to the same size as the shipping container. In addition to Megapacks, Tesla Energy also supplies smaller battery storage devices such as Powerball intended for home use and Powerpack intended for use by businesses and smaller power utility projects.