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Editing this old question for accuracy in case anyone else sees this. Removed incorrect calculations. Also, I don't think it was ever answered what internal battery DC voltage is. Any ideas?

So what I know is

  • that the battery is a 13.5 [kWh] battery assuming a discharge/charge rate of 3.3 [kW]
  • The DC voltage range is 350-550 [V]
  • The internal battery DC voltage is 50 [V] (what is this???)
  • Continuous current is 14.3 [A]
  • Power (continuous) is 5 [kW] (charge/discharge)

Here's what I don't know:

  • What internal battery DC voltage is
  • If the DC Tesla PowerWall 2 has a limit to how many PowerWalls you can stack in parallel (pretty sure this is a manufacturer question so you can ignore this one)
  • Why the AC Tesla PowerWall 2 specifies a limited number you can stack (I do now know that inverters usually have a limit to how many you can hook in parallel unless they are grid-tied, and I'm pretty sure this is a manufacturer question too so you can ignore this one).

Here's what I want to calculate with the information I have (need this information for a program called HOMER legacy):

  • Nominal capacity (in amp-hours)
  • Nominal voltage for DC version

Data sheet link: https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Powerwall-2-DC_Datasheet_English.pdf&hl=en_US

AC Version: https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Powerwall-2-AC_Datasheet_English.pdf&hl=en_US

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    \$\begingroup\$ link to the data sheet, so we're all reading the same page \$\endgroup\$ – Neil_UK Feb 2 '17 at 6:48
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It can be confusing when a product contains a battery and a voltage-changing inverter, as it's not always obvious which specs apply to the battery, and which the terminals.

This product has an internal nominally 50v battery, and a bi-directional inverter, through which charge and discharge takes place. It's designed to interface with rooftop panels, which typically have system outputs in the 350-550v range, allowing low loss connection through small wires from remote roofs.

The maximum charge power is 5kW. This is the only charging limit specified. This is consistent with the charge being limited by a battery current, yet delivered through voltage interface at 350-550v. 5kW at a 50v battery happens to be 100A. However, if the panels were outputting 500v, this would be 10A at the powerwall/panel interface. As this product is supposed to be easy for homeowners to install, I think we can assume that its internal controls take care of charge management, when hooked up to a set of roof panels, and that we 'don't need to know' what's happening at the battery level.

Similarly, the calculation for battery Ah looks plausible (I've not checked it for accuracy or even order of magnitude), but again it's irrelevant for the user, they interface with the 13.5kWh energy capacity specification at the 500v terminals. I doubt that the battery is 50v, this is a nominal, lithium batteries have a wide voltage range over their charge/discharge cycle.

The 14.3A and 20A current specifications refer to the high voltage terminals, not the battery.

I read the data as saying 'stack up to 9' units regardless of whether their AC or DC. The limitation might be purely software/communication hardware, like how many ports the controllers have. It might be only one unit connects to the house and all the others pass-thru, so there's a current limit on some connections. It might be that to stack them they go through a combining unit, with a current limitation. It might be they all connect in parallel to the house so there is no current limitation, but there might be control stability issues, connect too many in parallel and one might fight the others. They might have qualification for only a certain energy density in domestic premises, without needing higher levels of fire-proof construction round them. There is so much software, design and regulatory stuff in these products that physics is but one minor limitation.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, so it sounds like the input can range from 350 to 550 [V] DC, but would this battery be able to output at 350 to 550 [V] DC or is the output set to 50 [V] DC? The scalable limit is here tesla.com/powerwall. \$\endgroup\$ – MechE Feb 2 '17 at 8:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point, here's the specs for the AC version where the modularity limit is specified. No specification for that in the DC version, but that does not mean the same limit would not apply. docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://… \$\endgroup\$ – MechE Feb 2 '17 at 10:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ that's the energy gateway spec, not the powerwall spec. See my speculation above 'combiniing unit' \$\endgroup\$ – Neil_UK Feb 2 '17 at 10:30

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