Tesla Powerwall – hello? Is this thing on?

My name is John, and I had the privilege of the first Tesla Powerwall installation in Australia (maybe the world, they say). It has been a short, but very interesting journey so far, and as it continues I hope to share useful information, a bit of humour, and a hopefully less swearing than I provide in person*.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention Natural Solar at this point. Chris Williams, Oliver Coleman, and the whole crew have been really helpful in putting my system together, and I’m seeing results already.

Tesla Powerwall

I’ve got all these grand ideas about what I want to do here, but I typed most of this up on a Thursday night, having come home from at work with little in the way of motivation after a 41oC day here in Sydney (106oF for any Americans reading).

You’ll have to forgive the absence of anything like style on this site. I am one of the least creative people you’ll meet in terms of design and UX in general. My job as a database guy is more about structure and numbers, and its a different kind of beauty…

The good news is, I know people who are fully conversant with the interwebs, and have great advice, which they will no doubt give, so this will improve over time.

I just thought it was time to get it started, and the best place to start is at the beginning.

Why did I install Tesla Powerwall?

There were many battery options out there already, but this one happened to fit my needs best, and I’ll definitely cover that in more detail in a future post.

The installation itself has been covered in a fair few outlets in the mainstream like The Australian/AFRNews CorpSydney Morning Herald. All of them seemed to have their own angle on Tesla Powerwall, and what its going to do for the planet, or their otherwise empty column inches that week. At least, those they’re not stealing from Huffpost or some random entertainment website…

Further coverage in tech sites like Gizmodo and Mashable got a few tongues wagging, as well as some extremely weird translations resulting in me being “aristocrat of a nerds” (seriously, read it).

Ultimately, there is a financial argument that underpins why I got a Tesla Powerwall (or any solar hybrid system) installed. Despite being accused of a “profligate Western middle class lifestyle” I’m by no means rich (and no steve f – if that is your real name – the pool isn’t heated). I earn above the national average, and am fortunate enough to have a smart, talented, hard-working fox of a wife who earns something similar.

Ultimately, I make no apologies for trying to enjoy my life while offsetting that with investment in renewable energy, but some people can’t be pleased.


Renewable energy investment makes up the second leg of the argument. There is a growing need for research and development into solar, wind, and other forms of power. We can’t keep burning things to make lights come on when we have, as Elon Musk said, a giant, free source of energy right up in the sky. All we need is the will to change.

The good news from my perspective, now that I’m following sites like Renew Economy and One Step Off The Grid, it is clear that this movement away from coal and oil is only accelerating, if we can get our politicians to listen for long enough.

The third part of my desire for this is sheer nerdliness. I’ve been watching Tesla for a while now, and what they’re doing is impressive under the leadership of Elon Musk. You can read about Elon Musk in a long and humorous fan perspective at Wait But Why if you don’t know much about him already.

In summary: Built Paypal, started Tesla Motors with the world’s sexiest electric car, and has this thing called SpaceX who launched and then landed a freaking rocket so they could re-use it later.

In any case, Tesla and SpaceX are working to improve our situation on this planet, and try to get us to other planets. If you haven’t watched the Tesla Powerwall launch, I recommend it.

For me, its about looking at the system and how I can learn more about it. Maybe there is a job in renewables that I can take my tech skills to? I don’t yet know all of what the future will hold.

What I do know is that I’m down with lower household running costs, a smaller carbon footprint, and analysing the data available to me from the system.

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