Generac PWRcell vs. Tesla Powerwall 2: Battery Backup Comparison
Home batteries provide security against power outages, but which will meet your needs best is debatable. At Go Solar Group, we believe that the best home battery option is the Tesla Powerwall, but we don’t want customers to take our word for it.
To help our customers make an informed decision, we have put together product comparisons. Although Generac is known for generators, it’s becoming one of the competing options in the home battery space. Take a look at the specs for yourself and determine how the Generac PWRcell home battery measures up.
Considering Battery Capacity and Max Power Ratings
When choosing a battery, the electricity it can store, capacity, and the withdrawal rate, max power rating, should become top priorities. These two factors indicate whether the battery can meet your home’s usage needs.
Capacity and Max Power Rating of the Tesla Whole House Generator
The Tesla Powerwall 2 has a capacity of 13.5 kWh and a max power rating of 5 kW. These ratings mean that this battery can store up to 13.5 of power for later at a rate of 5 kW.
If you have a home that uses more electricity or appliances that draw more than 5 kW at a time, you can add up to six Powerwalls to a system, which would hold 81 kWh and discharge at a rate of up to 30 kW. While one Powerwall will cover emergency power or nightly usage for most, often homeowners who want to energize their entire home in a prolonged outage need at least two or three Powerwalls.
Generac PWRcell Capacity and Max Power Ratings
The Generac PWRcell stores in a weatherproof battery cabinet holding up to six and a minimum of three batteries. One cabinet has a capacity between 8.6 and 18 kWh and a max power rating between 4.5 and 9 kW. Up to two battery cabinets can connect to a single PWRcell inverter for a total of 36 kWh at a continuous rate of up to 11kW.
The Powerwall stores more electricity and can power more at once than the PWRcell. However, if you want to add storage in smaller increments, this home battery, or one of our lower-level backup options, may meet your needs better.
It’s important, especially for big-ticket items, to protect your purchase against possible failure or damage. Customers should always look for a quality warranty.
The industry standard for home battery warranties right now is ten years. However, stipulations and coverage vary.
Tesla Powerwall 2 Warranty
The Tesla Powerwall 2 has a 10-year limited warranty, covering 70 percent of the battery’s original capacity and functionality defects caused by the manufacturer. This warranty has unlimited cycles if the battery is for solar self-consumption and backup. For other uses, the warranty covers up to 37.8 MWh.
Generac PWRcell Warranty
Generac provides a 10-year or 7.56 MWh throughput limited warranty on each module within a battery cabinet. This warranty doesn’t guarantee the system will last ten years or the battery capacity, making it a far cry from what Tesla’s warranty offers.
Home Battery Apps
Whether you want power for emergencies, at night, or to go off-grid, a management system helps customers manage battery cycling. Both Tesla and Generac have battery monitoring apps that help customers see and control battery activity.
Tesla Mobile App
On top of Powerwall monitoring, the Tesla app allows users to customize their storage unit use with different modes. The Tesla app has three modes self-powered, backup-only and time-based control. It can also divide storage among the three modes.
The self-powered mode allows the battery to power the home in combination with a solar array. This mode will not work for those without solar panels.
The backup-only mode reserves all the stored power for emergency use. With this mode on, the battery will stay charged at 100 percent at all times and only kick on when an outage occurs.
Time-based Control Mode
Time-based control mode allows homeowners with time-of-use metering to use the Powerwall to avoid higher utility charges for electricity used at peak times. While this mode saves the most when paired with solar, homeowners who only have a battery can also use this mode and save money.
Additional Powerwall App Modes
In addition to the main modes listed above, the app also has a storm watch and preconditioning. Storm watch makes sure the Powerwall has a full charge when severe storms start heading your way. The preconditioning mode heats or cools the Powerwall before it gets used when external temperatures hit an extreme, helping the battery run more efficiently.
The PWRview app allows customers to see their grid and battery usage and solar generation. It also helps customers build cost-saving energy habits and calculates savings from bill estimates.
If you’re looking for an app that offers consumption and generation information, this app will provide that information. However, it does not have anything comparable to the additional helpful modes that the Tesla app has.
To learn more about our 3-tier battery backup options, visit our battery backup levels page.