Imagine having a battery THIS powerful, but one that could fit into your laptop.. Tesla is taking the first steps toward creating a battery that will have an exponentially longer battery life than current lithium-ion batteries.
But for now, this battery will be way too big for your computer, or, for that matter, for your electric car.
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Elon Musk has announced that Tesla will install a bank of lithium-ion batteries in South Australia with a total capacity of 129 megawatt-hours—making it the world’s largest li-ion battery.
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The scheme essentially provides a large grid battery that will be connected up to nearby Hornsdale Wind Farm. During times of excess electricity production, the batteries will be charged; during times of high demand, their contents will be used to bolster supply.
The decision to install the batteries was spurred by a series of blackouts that occurred in South Australia over the past year—a result of storm damage to infrastructure and increased demand during heatwaves. It’s hoped that the new installation will improve security of the region’s grid.
In March, Musk announced that if his firm was to win the project, its delivery would come with a Pizza Hut-style guarantee. “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free,” he tweeted. According to the Guardian, the South Australia state government has confirmed that the contract it signed with Tesla (50 Smartest Companies 2017) includes that promise.
Still, Tesla is likely to be optimistic that it can come through in time. In January the company completed the installation of a similar 80 megawatt-hour system in California, and it managed to complete that project inside 90 days. According to the Guardian, Musk says that there is “some risk” that this larger project won’t go quite so smoothly, but adds that he’s “confident in [the] techniques and the design of the system.”
And, like a pizza delivery, the buyer even gets an “if it’s late, it’s free” guarantee.