Meet the underdog.
The Powerhouse from Nature’s Generator may not be as well-known as some of the competitors’ whole-home solar-powered generators because it was just introduced in August of 2022. Because of this late entry, the Powerhouse may well be considered the underdog.
Or maybe our headline should have read:
Meet the new kid on the block.
We want to compare the Powerhouse from Nature’s Generator to some of the other whole home solar-powered generators on the market like the Tesla Powerwall to let consumers know there are options out there. Did I mention the new kid is a very affordable option?
No matter which title you like best, underdog (come on, everyone loves an underdog) or new-kid-on-the-block, we guarantee you’re going to want to know a lot more about the Powerhouse. The Powerhouse will give you the most power for your dollar.
Let’s compare the Tesla Powerwall to the Nature’s Generator Powerhouse.
The Powerhouse, well, can power a house. The Powerhouse battery has a 4,800Wh storage capacity with 4.8kWh of power with an inverter power output of 7200W which is enough to run average, normal household appliances.
Tesla’s Powerwall (and when we say “Powerwall” in this blog we are referring to the Powerwall 2) by comparison has the battery capacity to store 13,500Wh (or 13.5kWh of power) and the inverter with a power output of 5,000W of continuous and 7000W peak.
Here it should be mentioned that both the Powerhouse and the Powerwall are scalable. This means that you can add more battery storage capacity (and more solar panels) until you have the power you need to meet your household power demands. In this comparison, as you will see it the number-to-number comparison below, the Nature’s Generator takes the win for affordability of power for your dollar.
Ways to use the Powerhouse and the Powerwall battery systems.
There are two ways to use these battery systems. With both the Powerhouse and the Powerwall you can use the batteries as a straight backup battery power system for when the grid is down. In this type of use there is no solar powered renewable energy involved. You simply charge the system from a home power outlet (which is power from grid power) and save that power to be used when a grid power outage occurs.
Time of Use rates
The stored energy can be used at any time so you can also charge these battery systems from the grid and save the power to be used when your utility company charges higher Time of Use peak rates.
Many states now have electricity providers that charge more expensive peak rates from 4 to 9 PM. This is the period when people tend to use more power. (4 PM is around the time when kids are returning home after school, people are getting home from work, and the sun is starting to set and 9 PM is around the time when many of us start heading to bed.) This means if you start pulling power from your battery system instead of the grid during this expensive rate time you can maximize your electricity savings.
Not all states have this Time of Use pricing but many, like California, do. Utility companies have instituted these higher electricity rates during high-demand times to try to keep the grid from being overwhelmed by demand, causing it to fail.
Gaming the system
So, although you may feel like you are gaming the system by charging your battery during the grid’s lower-cost electricity times to use during the expensive peak-use times you don’t have to feel guilty -- you’re doing the utility, the grid, and your wallet all a favor!
But it should be noted to really get the most benefit from these backup battery systems you need to add the solar component -- which is the second way to use these battery systems.
Add solar power, become ecofriendly, and save more money!
Because these battery systems need electricity to stay charged and that electricity needs to come from somewhere, by adding solar panels (and sunlight) you can generate your own electricity.
This is also the most ecofriendly way to use these systems. By adding the solar component to your home solar powered generator system you can even qualify for some renewable energy rebates and or tax credit programs like federal solar tax credit.
When only using these battery systems strictly as backup power the electricity is coming from your utility grid, meaning that you are paying for it -- and our point here is that you don’t have to!
If you add solar panels, you add the ability to harness the free solar power of the sun to recharge these battery systems during the day allowing you to use their solar-charged batteries to power your home in peak-use periods, at night, and/or during any unexpected blackouts or power outages.
The best ecofriendly solution is to add solar recharging.
If you don’t add solar panels to your backup-power battery system, then you’re literally throwing money away! Also, if you don’t add solar panels to recharge your Powerhouse or Powerwall battery system, then you are still totally reliant on the grid being up and running to recharge your backup-battery system – with solar panels you can be more self-reliant and you can contribute to being part of the solution for climate change.
The solar powered battery solutions like the Nature’s Generator Powerhouse and the Tesla Powerwall give people the ability to generate their own electricity from the abundant, clean, renewable energy of the sun and to store that energy for later use.
Become less reliant on the grid.
By doing this, these power consumers become less reliant on the reliability of their regional power grid, and they will save money over time as their initial investment is returned in lower (sometimes nonexistent) electricity bills.
The trick is to ensure that your battery system has enough power to run your household is to design the system to be a little oversized for your power needs so that you can use electrical power during the day while also allowing your system to recharge your batteries and store power to use later when the sun has set.
Depending on your household power requirements a single Powerhouse or Powerwall might suffice. If your household has many power-hungry appliances like air conditioners, electric water heaters etc., then you might want to add another Powerhouse or another Powerwall. Remember, both systems are expandable, and you can easily supplement them by adding another similar unit to run parallel to the first one. Tesla states that up to ten Powerwall units can be used in a system and Nature’s Generator states that their Powerhouse system is “infinitely” expandable.
Household energy needs vary.
If your household has many members, of course your home’s electricity use will be higher. Household electricity usage must be considered because it determines how much power must be generated by your solar panel and battery system.
If you use 12,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) or less per year (you can get this information from your electric bills or utility company) and you need to have 100% solar to qualify for tax credits, rebates, etc. – then your system must be able to generate that amount of power.
High-efficiency solar panels deliver more watts per square foot meaning fewer panels are needed. The three main types of solar panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Generally, monocrystalline panels are the best, followed by polycrystalline panels and then thin film panels. (Nature’s Generator’s solar panels all use the highest efficiency state-of-the-art monocrystalline panel technology as does the Tesla Powerwall solar panels.)
Some households are more power-hungry than others.
A website by one installer (Solar Source) of the Tesla Powerwall want their consumers to understand that one single Telsa Powerwall battery is not sufficient to run things like air conditioning and an electric water heater simultaneously. They want to make sure the customers understand that a single Tesla Powerwall, used as a battery system alone, is more suited for emergency backup power -- that is keeping things like your phone charged, TV working, or refrigerator cool for the 4 or so hours that a typical power outage might last.
Compare that to the Nature’s Generator Powerhouse -- a true power beast. With a 7200W output and a 4800Wh capacity battery the Powerhouse can power a typical household. If your household power needs are a little above the norm, then you can oversize your Powerhouse system by adding another Powerhouse or even two. In this way you should have no problem powering your household needs. Also, because the Powerhouse is so affordable, oversizing your system won’t break the bank!
(Again, the trick is to ensure your battery system is a little oversized for the power your household uses. In this way you can use the solar-generated electrical power during the day while also allowing your system to recharge your batteries for use later when the sun has set.)
How do solar powered batteries work?
Here’s a quick review of how our solar powered battery and solar panel work together to generate electricity. The solar panels harness the sunlight that strikes their surface and produce DC (direct current) power. Our solar powered generator batteries store the DC power. However, U.S. households use AC (alternating current) electricity. (We can thank Thomas Edison for this -- but that’s a whole other blog.) So, the DC power generated by the solar panels runs through an inverter and is converted to AC power that can power your home’s appliances. Any excess solar energy that is not used to power the house will be stored in the Nature’s Generator battery system for later use.
The Tesla Powerwall backup power system seems to have an additional step where all the solar energy is first converted to AC power and then any excess energy not used to power your house is then run through a rectifier to be converted back to DC power to be stored in the Powerwall battery. The Powerwall has an internal inverter and rectifier to convert the collected energy back and forth from DC to AC (and then) to DC again to store any excess solar energy in their battery.
A bit about Nature’s Generator’s and Tesla’s high performance solar panels.
The Nature's Generator Powerhouse Power Panel (solar panel) is a 410W all black frame all-black multi-busbar solar cell which uses new technology to improve the efficiency of the modules as well as offering a nice aesthetic appearance making it perfect for rooftop installation.
This new Nature's Generator Powerhouse Power Panel has a higher module conversion efficiency (up to 20.38%) benefit from its half-cell structure and an advanced glass and cell surface textured design to ensure excellent performance even in a low-light environment. This is a monocrystalline state-of the-art high functioning solar panel design.
Our panels are also designed for durability against extreme weather and environmental conditions. The Nature's Generator Powerhouse 410W Power Panel is certified to withstand: wind load (2400 Pascal) and snow load (5400 Pascal) and has a high salt mist and ammonia resistance. This solar panel is truly made for longevity.
The Tesla solar panels also use the best rated monocrystalline type of solar panel technology and have all black panels and frames for nice rooftop aesthetics.
A bit about Powerwall’s battery capacity
The Powerwall can store 13.5 kWh of power, which is higher than a typical battery system allowing storage for more excess energy. An average home requires two or more Powerwall batteries to provide enough power to go off grid. As with the Powerhouse, the Powerwall system is expandable, and a homeowner can add up to ten Powerwall batteries.
The Powerwall system has three separate operation modes that you can choose to control its batteries. These include:
- Self-Consumption Mode which allows the battery to store energy in the solar battery.
- Time-Based Control Mode which works if your utility has Time of Use higher rates during peak hours. With this mode selection the Tesla Powerwall will automatically store electricity harvested from the grid at less expensive rates to use later when rates are higher. Additionally, when sunlight is unavailable, the Powerwall draws grid power for later use.
- Backup Only Mode if you only want to use your system as emergency backup. In this situation the Powerwall will automatically switch to backup power mode when it detects that no power is being drawn from the grid (indicating the grid is down).
Homeowners with the Powerwall system can switch between these three options in real time using the Tesla mobile app. This app gives information on how much energy you’ve consumed, how much storage capacity you have, and your panel productivity. Powerwall batteries have Wi-Fi capabilities and sync-up with the app using the Powerwall Gateway 2 system which communicates directly with the battery and checks the system automatically. The gateway can be mounted indoors or outdoors and can control up to 10 Powerwall batteries.
How many solar panels are needed to fully charge the Powerhouse and the Powerwall?
How many solar panels you will need to fully recharge either the Powerhouse or the Powerwall battery systems will depend on how much sunlight your area receives. If your system has a 90% round trip efficiency when charging and recharging, then you need to look at your system’s usable energy capacity. The Powerwall has a capacity of 13.5 kWh this means it must have 15 kWh (90% of 15kWh is 13.5 kWh) available from the solar panels.
That means in a typical solar panel system, if the panels are around 410W (Powerhouse panels) to 425W (Powerwall panels), you will need around 36 or so solar panels to generate 15 kWh of energy “usable energy” or energy that you can use after roundtrip efficacy is considered. It will, as we said, also depend on the amount of sunlight available in your region. (However, it should be noted that both Nature’s Generator’s and Tesla’s panels perform well even in low light conditions.)
We additionally need to consider that your home is consuming some energy during the day while your battery systems are also charging. So, your whole home battery system must be large enough (both in number of solar panels and battery storage capacity) to cover your daytime energy use while also recharging your battery system.
How does the Powerhouse compare to the Powerwall in price?
Again, referenced from SolarSource website, (I couldn’t help but copy this quote):
“Actually, the Tesla Powerwall Battery is a lot more expensive than other battery technologies and it doesn’t offer as much power storage. Huh? While battery backups have been around for decades, they’re not nearly as attractive. Compared to the Tesla, they’re bigger, heavier, and require maintenance. Tesla’s battery, instead, has a longer life and doesn’t require as much maintenance… but its most revolutionary feature is still its beautiful design. It looks very nice, and it says “TESLA.”
Because Nature’s Generator Powerhouse was launched in August of 2022 it truly is the new kid. It has not been around to be compared directly to the Powerwall, so in this blog we are doing just that.
The above Solar Source blog quote states that Tesla’s best “most revolutionary feature” is its beautiful design. And, as someone who has spent a lot of time studying good product design at a university level, I have to say the sleek modern design is excellent. In fact, the design reminds me of the better-designed models of the now ever-so-popular stainless steel home refrigerators.
Admittedly, great visual design is important. However, having the “form follow function” is also extremely important principal in product design. Product design is not just a beauty contest – product function is as important as aesthetics. And, while I personally am a sucker for sleek design lines, I will venture that most people are going to choose their whole home solar powered backup battery systems on the product’s price and its performance in powering a house rather than just its attractive design.
The Powerwall (wall-mounted) battery was designed to be attached to an exterior or interior wall of a home. The Powerhouse was designed to be inside your home in a location of your choice -- whether that is in an office, a rec room, a utility room, a laundry room, or your garage. The Powerhouse’s footprint measures about 2’ x 3’ (we give the footprint size because the product is stackable so as you add more power storage your Powerhouse generator becomes taller. Additionally, it’s mounted on wheels for easy mobility within your home. The Powerhouse has clean simple lines that can work in any home’s interior. (If you would like, you can even think of the Powerhouse as a piece of functional, industrial art.)
Tesla Powerwall vs. Nature’s Generator Powerhouse
So, let’s do a number-to-number product comparison. Because where looks can be subjective -- numbers don’t lie.
Comparison Nature’s Generator Powerhouse to Tesla’s Powerwall battery system:
Powerhouse: single unit sells for $2,999.99
Powerwall: single unit sells for $10,000
Battery Energy Storage Capacity:
One Powerhouse: can store 4,800Wh (4.8kWh) of power,
One Powerwall: can store 13,500Wh (13.5kWh) of power.
Powerwall: power output 5000W continuous 7000W peak
Price Per Wh:
Solar Panel Retail Cost:
Nature’s Generator Powerhouse Solar panel: (410W) 4’ x 6’ -- $499.99
10 solar panels – 4.1kW -- would cost $4,999.89
20 solar panels – 8.2kW-- would cost $9,999.80
30 solar panels – 12.3kW -- would cost $14,999.69
40 solar panels – 16.4kW – would cost $19,999.60
Tesla Powerwall solar: (425W) 82.4” x 40.9” x 1.57” including frame -see link for $.
Solar Energy Industries Association pricing for Tesla Powerwall solar panels:
(Each price also includes one Tesla Powerwall at $10,000.)
12 solar panels—4.80kW – estimated price $20,147
24 solar panels – 9.60kW – estimated price $29,794
36 solar panels – 14.40kW – estimated price $39,441
48 solar panels -- 19.20kW – estimated price $49,088
Solar roof shingles (for 2,325 sf) – 14.12kW –estimated price $75,000 to $87,500
Size and Weight:
Powerhouse: 2’ x 3’ footprint size because its stackable (Interior of home –- moveable.)
Powerwall: 45.3”x 29.6” x 5.75“and 251.3 lbs. (Mounted on interior or exterior wall/floor.)
With Tesla’s Powerwall installation is required. Depending on the size and overall number of Powerwall units used and number of solar panels needed the installation cost for the Powerwall system will be in the multiple tens of thousands of dollars.
Wirth the Nature’s Generator Powerhouse installation is not required.
However, if you choose to install the Powerhouse Power Transfer Kit that will connect your Powerhouse system directly to your home’s electrical panel it is recommended that you hire a licensed electrician for this job. Installing a Power Transfer Kit allows you to manually transfer from grid power to your solar generators by flipping a switch. To give you an idea of what an electrician may charge to install the transfer kit, HomeAdvisor states the average US electrician’s hourly rate is between $50 and $100 per hour. And you may be faced with charges on top of this rate, like travel fees and other overhead costs, plus the cost of any materials necessary to complete the job. So professional installation of the $399.99 Powerhouse Power Transfer Kit is estimated in the $200 range.
So, Powerwall compared directly to Powerhouse -- what do you get for your money?
A single Tesla Powerwall unit 13,500Wh (without installation or any solar panels) cost $10,000. Professional installation is required for the Tesla Power wall, so there will be that additional cost in the thousands of dollars for each Powerwall unit without yet the cost of the solar installation.
You can buy three Powerhouse units at $2,999.99 (4800Wh x 3 = 14,400Wh) PLUS two Powerhouse solar panels (at $499.99 each) for that same $10,000 amount. The Nature’s Generator Powerhouse does not require professional installation. It is recommended that if you choose to use a Power Transfer Kit (note that you don’t need to use a transfer kit for the system to work) then using a licensed electrician is recommended. The $399.99 transfer kit will cost around $200 or so for installation.
Is the underdog Powerhouse or Powerwall the best solar generator system for the money?
For our blog’s power-for-your-dollar comparison the Nature’s Generator’s new-kid-on-the-block Nature’s Generator Powerhouse is the best answer.
Admittedly the Tesla Powerwall is a beautiful sleek streamlined design, but the Nature’s Generator Powerhouse is no ugly duckling plus it substantially outperforms the Powerwall in the power for the price category particularly when you included the required professional installation costs.
While a single Tesla Powerwall will cost $10,000 and give you 13,500Wh of power storage.
For that same $10,000 you can get 3 Powerhouse units at 4,800Wh (3 x 4,800Wh = 14,400Wh of power storage and 3 x 7,200W = 21,600W of power output) plus enough left over to buy two 410W solar panels. Additionally, the Powerhouse does not require the expensive installation that the Tesla Powerwall does.
So, while both the Tesla Powerwall and the Nature’s Generator Powerhouse will give you the ability to scale your solar powered generator backup power system to match their household’s needs, but it is only the Powerhouse that will give ordinary people the opportunity to afford the solar powered generator system so that they can save money on future expensive electric bills and can also join the ecofriendly renewable energy movement to help reduce greenhouse gases and reverse the manmade climate change disaster that is facing all of us.