The new Tesla LFP megapack is big – really big! (With video)

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The internet is a strange and mysterious place. Once upon a time, if a company had a new product, they put out a press release and announced the news to the heavens and beyond. Tesla, as we all know, does things differently. He avoids sharing any news beyond what is embodied in an Elon Musk tweet. Luckily there are people online like the Reddit user u/space_s3x who spotted a change on the Tesla Megapack webpage.

Until recently, each Megapack was listed as having an energy storage capacity of 2.6 MWh. Now, without fanfare, this page states that each Megapack is rated at 3.9 MWh of storage capacity, an increase of almost 50%. How did it happen? According Tesmanian, the new Megapack units are larger and heavier than before. At 33,000 pounds, they weigh 64% more. They are also 6 feet longer, 2 inches wider and 1 foot longer than their predecessors.

Last year, Tesla opened a new Megapack factory in Lathrop, California. At that time, internet speculation was that units produced there would be larger and use LFP battery cells supplied by CATL. At that time, Musk said, “However, stationary storage, the energy density is not as important because it just stays on the ground, and so I think the vast majority of stationary storage will be lithium- iron-based ion with an iron-phosphate cathode, technically. But the phosphate part is useless. It’s really just iron or lithium.

With the skyrocketing price of nickel today, the focus is likely to be on iron, which is still plentiful and readily available. In fact, the best source may be all the old iron engine blocks and cylinder heads from internal combustion engines dumped in automotive recycling yards around the world.

Lithium-ion battery cells made with nickel, manganese, and/or cobalt have higher energy densities than iron-based batteries, so more LFP cells are needed to achieve the same energy storage capacity. ‘energy. If a battery gets into a truck or a car, that’s a problem. Heavier vehicles require heavier chassis, heavier suspension and steering components, and heavier brakes. If it goes into a grid-scale energy storage system, just make sure the concrete foundation it sits on is designed to support the extra weight.

With the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act taking effect, the renewable energy sector in the United States is expected to see a significant increase in the number of wind and solar farms installed. Battery storage is often a major component of these facilities, which means that demand for Tesla Megapacks is also expected to increase. Elon Musk said the company’s energy storage business could one day match or exceed its vehicle manufacturing business. Thanks to the new tax credits that are part of the IRA, that day may be closer than ever.


 

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