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Apple spent $50 million on Tesla's battery. What does it want to do?

via:博客园     time:2021/4/12 14:44:52     readed:127

As a child, the four-wheel drive toy car is one of the most familiar toys for me. The only regret is that I need to prepare more rechargeable batteries. Otherwise, if the battery capacity is insufficient after playing for several times, the toy car will be unable to walk. Therefore, I will imagine that there is a super large battery that can keep the toy car running for a long time.

Although I didn't realize my childhood fantasy, with the development of science and technology, large cars now have batteries, and the capacity of batteries can support them to run over 500 km, which is not the limit of modern super batteries.


Apple's power plant in California

According to electricreportApple recently spent more than 50 million dollars to buy batteries from Tesla, but this time apple can buy batteries not to build cars, but to store energy.

Apple said in a related press release that the battery energy storage project can power more than 7000 homes a day.

What kind of battery can store so much power?


The battery used in Apple battery energy storage project is megapacks, a new battery product launched by Tesla in 2019. It is a comprehensive battery module system composed of battery module, bidirectional inverter, thermal management system and other components.


The energy storage system is composed of several megapacks batteries

Megapacks are designed for public facilities or large and medium-sized commercial organizations. Each Megapack can store up to 3 mkh of battery energy.

This may not be easy to understand. According to the official analogy given by Tesla, the energy storage system composed of megapacks can store 1GWh of electricity, which can support all families in San Francisco for six hours.

Because megapacks itself is a battery energy storage module, it is relatively easy to assemble, so it only needs to connect its output port with the wire used in the site.


According to the verge, Apple bought 85 megapacks from Tesla this time, with a maximum storage capacity of 240 megawatt hours, which is enough for 7000 families to use in one day.

As early as 2015, apple built a super large solar power farm in California. Megapacks is just for the use of this power plant, and the completed energy storage project module is also one of the largest energy storage projects in the United States.

During the day, the excess power generated by the solar power plant will be stored in batteries to power Apple's headquarters in Cupertino when needed. On the one hand, it reduces the loss of solar energy, on the other hand, it also increases the output of power plants.


Moreover, compared with the solar power generation affected by sunlight in the past, the battery storage method can use the stored electric energy at any time, and the flexibility and availability are improved a lot.

It's also good for Apple's carbon neutral goal, and solar power itself is considered one of the environmentally friendly ways to generate electricity. Moreover, Apple also said that it would share relevant experience with companies in Apple's supply chain to promote them to work together to reduce carbon emissions, use sustainable energy and further move towards carbon neutrality.


Picture from:EKMMetering

The total capacity of the megapacks energy storage device built near moslandin power plant has reached 730 MWh, which is put into operation when the local public power grid can not cope with the peak demand, providing power resources for the local public facilities, which is equivalent to the expansion of the power plant.

The flexible storage capacity, large capacity and other characteristics make megapacks can be used in public facilities with different specifications and different needs. Apple and some government projects will endorse it. Coupled with the combination of solar energy, wind energy and other sustainable energy, the application of megapacks' energy storage battery in the commercial field will only be better and better.

Tesla's new business: energy storage batteries

Speaking of this, you may think that since they can be used in large-scale facilities like apple headquarters, can individual families and small shops also use energy storage batteries like megapacks for emergencies.

In fact, Tesla thinks the same way, and even the development sequence starts from the development of household energy storage batteries. In 2015, Tesla launched Powerwall, which can also use solar energy to charge.


▲ Powerwall

The first generation of Powerwall has a capacity of 6.4kwh, a sustained peak of 2kW, a price of $3000, and 5000 cycles. According to the needs of the family, multiple powerwalls can be assembled to increase the maximum battery capacity.

In 2016, it launched the second generation of Powerwall, with a capacity of 13.5kwh. In the commercial field, Tesla first launched an energy storage battery called PowerPack, with an energy storage capacity of 210kwh, and then megapacks.


Picture from:electric

It can be seen that the hardware literacy of energy storage battery is constantly improving, but from the perspective of consumers, it still depends on the practicability and price,ForbesHaving experienced the first generation of Powerwall, he said that the electricity price calculated by the product and solar panel is 30 cents per kilowatt hour, which is higher than the average electricity price of 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour in the United States.

Therefore, Powerwall is also called "the toy of the rich" by some users. Does this mean that energy storage batteries are meaningless? Of course not.


At this stage, the energy storage battery is not to replace the traditional power grid. Powerwall is more important as an auxiliary energy storage. In the introduction of Tesla's official website, it also specially emphasizes that it can be used as a backup battery to provide power for the whole family during natural disasters such as power failure.

In some high demand areas or remote areas, Powerwall is also more cost-effective. For example, for the users who use the electricity provided by Pacific natural gas and power company, the electricity price will continue to rise during the high demand period, even more than 40 cents per million hours.

Moreover, with the further development of technology, the price of battery is expected to further decline. As for commercial enterprises or large organizations, it is not only the electricity charge, but also the ability to resist natural disasters and environmental protection, which are important factors to choose energy storage battery.


During this period, Tesla also made a big decision. In 2016, it acquired SolarCity, the largest solar energy company in the United States at that time, with a price of about US $2.6 billion, and obtained many users through it. It can be said that the appearance of Powerwall, PowerPack and megapacks is also closely related to this acquisition.

This has also brought a lot of benefits to Tesla, and musk even made a breakthrough in 2019expressTesla's energy business is likely to overtake its electric car business.

Although Tesla has won a large number of orders, there is no lack of competitors in the field of energy storage batteries. Battery manufacturer LG Chem, solar edge and enphase are actively exploring this field.


The market is still further developing, and the installed capacity of energy storage equipment has increased from 600 MWh in 2012 to 15900 MWh at the end of 2018.Bloomberg New Energy Finance It is even estimated that it will reach 352800 MWh by 2025.

In general, energy storage battery is still a new field, both product standards and consumer standards are changing rapidly, and the market will develop rapidly.

The future of energy storage battery

It can be said that in recent years, the hot energy storage field is closely related to the decline of battery pack prices. Thanks to the rapid development of the electric vehicle industry, large companies and capital continue to enter, forming a qualitative change, which leads to the rise of battery capacity and the decline of battery price.


Battery prices have fallen from $1000 per kwh in 2010 to less than $200 per kWh today.

There are, of course, some specific areas where we may focus on sustainabilityexpressThe price of megapacks ranges from US $200 to US $300 per kilowatt hour, down from nearly US $1000 per kilowatt hour in previous years.

The government's emphasis on energy storage batteries is also one of the important factors to promote its rapid development. In this regard, Australia is one of the early developing countries. In 2016, 1.7 million people were cut off due to a large-scale safety accident, and the city became an "isolated island". After that, Australia incorporated energy storage batteries into the modern power grid.


The next year, Tesla and developer neoen deployed a 100 MWh battery energy storage system in South Australia.According to AureconAccording to the investigation report of, the battery energy storage system has brought many benefits during its operation, responding to high power demand, reducing the cost of expanding power, and assisting in stable power transmission in case of large power failure.

For the commercial sector, business philosophy is changing. Environmental protection of products and even the industrial chain is getting more and more attention, and the concept of environmental protection and sustainability is getting more and more support from consumers. Market research firm Nielsen once released a report that two thirds of consumers (including 73% of the post-80s and post-90s) in the world are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. This prompted apple, Microsoft and other big companies to put forward the goal of carbon neutrality.


At present, the technical difficulty and cost of large-scale power storage are much higher than that of traditional power generation. However, in order to achieve carbon neutrality, the proportion of clean energy must be increased. Some countries are already developing grid level batteries that can be used in a city and are cheap enough, which should also be the biggest impact of energy storage batteries in the future.

With the large-scale investment of large enterprises and governments, we believe that the performance and price of energy storage battery will be better and better, and its proportion in clean energy will be higher and higher.

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