Like Powerwall, Tesla’s battery for home and small business use, Powerpack is based on lithium ion battery technology. The batteries’ modular design is adapted from the technology used in those for Tesla's electric cars.
The Powerpack industrial unit is a cabinet-and-rack system which can theoretically be expanded by filling the racks with additional 100kw-capacity units for up to 500kwh. Multiple units can be connected to create a capacity for ten megawatt hours.
Amazon and Target are among the major retailers currently testing Powerpack in their facilities.
Above: AWS facility in Northern California
Tesla says Powerpack is designed to:
- Maximize consumption of on-site clean power.
- Avoid peak demand charges.
- Buy electricity when it’s cheapest.
- Get paid by utility or intermediate service providers for participating in grid services.
- Back up critical business operations in the event of a power outage.
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk introduced Powerpack and Powerwall storage units in April 2015. Musk hopes that by storing energy produced by green sources like solar and wind power, the batteries can help transition homes and facilities away from fossil fuel dependency. Musk states that this is part of his efforts to make possible a zero carbon energy model for the world.
See Elon Musk's introductory presentation on Tesla Energy's Powerwall and Powerpack: