Homes are the convergence point for innovations in solar power generation and electric cars, sparking a need for massive battery systems to store and supply power. Tesla’s Powerwall system is a current industry leader, but everyone from Ikea to Mercedes Benz are releasing home power packs of their own. And, as it turns out, there is also a growing DIY movement of makers taking home battery needs into their own hands, using arrays of laptop batteries to create their own “powerwalls”, according to Motherboard.
The price for Tesla’s 10 kWh-storing system is $3,000, but many of the DIYers swap techniques and tactics online, building more powerful home battery systems for a fraction of the cost of a commercial one. Perhaps the largest DIY powerwall, made by Daniel Römer in Sweden, has more than 22,500 cells and can purportedly store more than 100 kWh of energy. "My system is built to be able to run my whole house 10 out of 12 months," Römer told Motherboard.
The hobbyists will hoard hundreds and thousands of recycled 18650 lithium-ion batteries, which many get from old laptops that would otherwise be thrown away. Then each battery has to be tested and assembled into a “pack”—essentially getting soldered together with other batteries. Then they get installed.
Monitoring systems help keep users aware of their power generation and storage as well as any potential issues. While safety is a common concern, the DIYers Motherboard spoke to all believe generating their own alternative energy is worth the risks and resources required.
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