A Simple Overview of Tesla Powerwall VS Generac PWRcell (2022)

A Simple Overview of Tesla Powerwall VS Generac PWRcell (1)

  • Lindsay Brecheisen
  • June 9, 2021
  • 7 Minute Read

Topics in This Article

Style and Brand

Solar Power Options

Battery Efficiency

Storage Goals

Battery Budget

Bonus: Quiz!

Battery Storage Breakdown

If you’re looking into solar + battery storage, you’ve probably heard of theTesla Powerwallor theGenerac PWRcell.(Pssst… it’s okay if you haven’t, check out our guides on the Powerwall and PWRcell for some background.)

So now you’re likely asking, “What is the difference between the two? Which one is right for me?”

In short — we love them both for different reasons! From a high level, the two batteries provide the same end goal through different technical aspects and efficiencies. While both batteries are pretty darn close in how they perform, there are a few key differences that will determine which is a better fit based on your personal situation.

Let’s dive into comparisons between the two home storage batteries and how they can better fit your needs!

(Video) Tesla Powerwall II Vs Generac PWRcell

What's your style?

From a brand standpoint, Generac and Tesla are both very strong with a proven track record, but have different approaches.Most simply put — they know what the heck they’re doin’! We can find other, cheaper solutions, but these two are always going to be at the top of the market.

The decision between a Powerwall or a PWRcell typically comes down to personal preference and specific energy goals. Let’s take a closer look!

Using cars as an example, let’s say you want to buy an electric vehicle and you’re debating between the newFord F-150 Lightningor a Tesla Cybertruck (in this fictitious scenario, both models have similar pricing and capabilities). The choice between the two mainly boils down to which brand you like better and some specifics. For example — Are the F150’s cab customization options important? Or is the Cybertruck’s standard minimalist interior perfect, as is?

While both vehicles in this situation will get the job done, key differences like this and the overall brand are what will sway you to one option over the other — the same is true for the Powerwall vs the PWRcell!

Your Guide to Generac PWRcell

Learn about how a PWRcell battery works, what makes Generac a trusted storage solution -- and how to know if you need one!


PDF Guide

Do you already have solar?

(Video) Tesla Powerwall plus vs Generac Powercell

Generac and Tesla have two different approaches when it comes to pairing solar and batteries.If you already have a solar system, Tesla will most likely be your only battery option of the two. The one caveat is if you have an existing solar system with a Generac inverter, then you absolutely can install a Generac PWRcell battery (the Generac inverter, however, does cost more than a traditional grid-tied inverter).

A Simple Overview of Tesla Powerwall VS Generac PWRcell (4)

Tesla Powerwall

A Powerwall can retrofit an existing home solar system because it’s an AC-coupled battery. In this case, a homeowner will usually have a few different brands that make up their solar power system. We typically recommend a SolarEdge inverter and optimizer, with a Tesla Gateway, Tesla Powerwall, and your preferred solar panels.

Generac PWRcell

As of right now, a PWRcell can only be added to a new solar system. This is because it is a DC-coupled battery. From a very high level, the solar panels and battery are both wired into the system on the DC side of the inverter. As a result, the controls of the battery need to be able to communicate with the controls of the inverter so they need to be from the same manufacturer.Generac’s one-system approach allows homeowners to utilize the PWRcell and Generac-branded inverter for a seamless battery + solar product.

Free Solar Power 101 Guide

This comprehensive PDF guide covers everything you need to know about home solar power basics!


PDF Guide

How are you looking to use your battery?

Both batteries can be used to store and provide backup power, and help you reach your energy independence goals. Depending on what your energy storage priorities are, there are a few slight differences that may impact what we would recommend for you.

Tesla Powerwall

If your main goal for a battery is to have a backup during grid outages, then this might be a better solution for you. The Powerwall is still an option for day-to-day storage, of course, but its efficiency can be 7-10% lower than the PWRcell as a result of having to complete two additional power inversions.

Generac PWRcell

This will be a great solution if, in addition to grid outage backup, you’re looking to maximize daily usage; whether you want to avoid the high time of use rates, become more self-sufficient, or achieve another energy goal.

As we mentioned, the Generac system is 7-10% more efficient than the Powerwall. This is because it goes through two fewer power inversions since it’s a DC-coupled system. For daily usage, it gives you a little more bang for your buck.

A Simple Overview of Tesla Powerwall VS Generac PWRcell (5)

Image credit: Tesla Powerwall

(Video) Is it worth buying a Generac Pwrcell Solar System?

A Simple Overview of Tesla Powerwall VS Generac PWRcell (6)

Image credit: Generac Power Systems

How do you use energy?

Think about how you use energy in your home — what’s important to you? Maybe you’re finding your home needs more energy later in the day when your solar isn’t producing as much, or maybe you have an extra beer fridge that HAS to be kept cool if the power goes out. We all have different energy needs and that is something you’ll need to take into consideration when looking into battery options.

We are a call away to help you determine these needs but in the meantime, here are some questions to look into:

  1. How much energy are you consuming monthly and how much is your solar producing?
  2. In case of a grid outage, which loads are most important to you?
  3. Does your utility require your battery to be on a time-of-use (TOU) rate schedule?

Tesla Powerwall

As a very general point of reference, a single Powerwall should be able to cover your emergency circuits, lights, and outlets. If you are looking to power larger appliances, such as a whole HVAC unit, two to three Powerwalls are a good place to start.

Each Powerwall can deliver up to 21 amps, and up to 9 Powerwalls can be stacked together. It’s important to note that even if there is enough amperage to cover all of your loads, we still need to consider how quickly that electricity will be drawn to maintain the effectiveness of the battery.

Generac PWRcell

We install a fully loaded cabinet that has an output of 35 amps. Unlike the Powerwall, the Generac system has Smart Management Modules which are an exciting addition when it comes to deciding what to back up and keep running when the power goes out. A module is installed under the breaker panel for each high voltage circuit you want to prioritize. Up to 8 Smart Management Modules can be installed, allowing you to back up your whole home by setting priorities for your PWRcell.

If you your utility is going to require you to be on a time-of-use (TOU) rate schedule, it means that you will be cycling the battery every day. In which case, having the Generac is going to be a stronger solution for you.

What's your budget?

Comparing the price of a Powerwall and PWRcell isn’t exactly apples to apples. By knowing your specific needs, we can help make this comparison a little easier for you. For now, here are the average prices:

Tesla Powerwall

A single Powerwall can run from $13,900 to $14,900, with additional units running between $10,700 to $11,200 each.

Generac PWRcell

The pricing for a cabinet fully loaded with 6 battery modules is around $15,000 to $17,000. Keep in mind, a full cabinet has higher efficiency and more load capacity than the Powerwall.

(Video) Tesla Powerwall VS Franklin Whole Home Battery

What's Next?

As we mentioned from the beginning, both of these batteries are great options for different reasons. Choosing the right solution for you will come down to your specific energy needs. We are here to help you!

Download our fun quiz to get started thenschedule a meetingto let us know your energy needs and get a customized battery storage plan.Our solar educators are here to help navigate and support you on your battery + solar journey!

Top 17 Powerwall Questions Answered

Answers to all your Tesla Powerall questions in one place! Check out our Tesla Powerwall Guide to learn about Powerwall specs, how battery storage + solar works, & more!


PDF Guide

Quick Guide to Solar Power for Multifamily and Mixed-Use Properties

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How to Know If Solar is Right for You

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Solar System Components

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Ready to Get Started?

Schedule a free assessment to learn more about solar power & battery storage for your home.

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(Video) Generac (GNRC) Stock Analysis - Part 2 | Why Tesla PowerWall Can't Match Generac PWRcell?


A Simple Overview of Tesla Powerwall VS Generac PWRcell? ›

Tesla is a NEMA 3R rated battery meaning it can be installed inside and outside. However, we usually recommend that the battery go indoors. Generac makes two versions which can go either outside or inside. The Powerwall has a continuous 5000-watt power rating and a 7000-watt peak rating to help start larger loads.

How long will a Generac PWRcell battery last? ›

The power and capacity of the PWRcell are well-touted, and as discussed, most sources confirm it as the most powerful battery of its kind on the market. The warranty of a PWRcell 17 battery is valid for either 10 years or the amount of time it takes to cycle the specified amount of energy through the battery below.

What is better than Powerwall? ›

There are many alternatives to the Powerwall from well-known companies such as LG, Panasonic, and sonnen. The LG Chem battery is our top pick for the best Tesla Powerwall alternative because it is thoroughly tested technology, can be installed at the same time as solar panels or after, and comes with a great warranty.

Can you use generac PWRcell without solar panels? ›

Right now, the PWRcell needs a DC power source, so it technically can't be installed without a solar system. Since a Tesla Powerwall is AC coupled, it can certainly be installed with solar or without.

What is the difference between Powerwall and powerwall+? ›

System Components

Powerwall: Powerwall is a rechargeable home battery that can store energy from solar. Powerwall+: Powerwall+ is a rechargeable home battery which includes an integrated Tesla Solar Inverter and a system controller.

How much does it cost to install a Generac PWRcell? ›

The Generac PWRcell system can only be installed alongside a new solar system, and adds between $11,000 and $18,000 to the cost, depending on the size of your system and where you live.

How long will a Generac power Cell run my house? ›

Since your PWRcell is solar charged, it has the capability to recharge and run your entire home indefinitely, though it is currently only designed for on-grid homes.

Are Tesla Powerwalls worth it? ›

Without a doubt, the Tesla Powerwall is ahead of the competition in terms of market share, and Tesla Powerwall reviews from customers consistently give the batteries high marks. However, when you compare technical specifications, there are many home batteries with excellent performance out there.

Which company battery is best for solar system? ›

What Are the Best Batteries For Solar Systems in 2020
  • Best overall off-grid battery for homes: Discover 48V lithium.
  • Best value off-grid battery for homes: Crown CR430 FLA.
  • Best off-grid battery for vacation homes: Fullriver DC400-6 AGM.
  • Best battery backup for grid-tie systems: Fullriver DC400-6 AGM.
Jul 9, 2020

Which battery backup is best for home? ›

What is the best home battery backup system?
Home battery and backup systemPriceCapacity
Tesla Powerwall+$12,00013.5kWh
Vottery Powerwall$4999Up to 120Ah
Generac PWERcell$20,0009kWh
Panasonic EverVolt$15,88011.4kWh
1 more row
Jul 19, 2022

How much does a PWRcell system cost? ›

Every PWRcell system is backed by a 10-year limited warranty, with prices starting at $9,999. For a limited time, homeowners that purchase PWRcell will receive the PWRview home monitoring app – a $300 value when they schedule a free in-home assessment.

How much does a PWRcell cost? ›

How much does the Generac PWRcell cost? The Generac PWRcell starts at a price of $9,999 and scales up in cost for larger battery models. This price includes the battery itself, but not additional costs like installation and labor.

How long can a Generac run continuously? ›

Gas coming from the mains continually replenishes the fuel that your generator uses, so the unit may be able to keep going for weeks at a time, so long as there are no mechanical faults. If your Generac uses liquid propane stored in a tank, running times are not indefinite but still considerable.

Will Tesla Powerwall run an air conditioner? ›

This includes 120V loads such as lights, plugs and small appliances as well as 240V heavy loads such as air conditioners, electric cooking ranges, well pumps, EV charging, electric dryers, electric water heaters and pool pumps.

What is the life expectancy of a Tesla Powerwall battery? ›

Lifespan and warranty

The Powerwall's lifespan is pretty standard for lithium ion batteries - it will operate at 70% of its original capacity after 10 years. The operating mode you choose will impact how long your Powerwall battery will last.

How many Powerwalls does it take to backup the whole house? ›

You will need three or more backup batteries for the whole house in most cases. They will be enough for essential loads and such large appliances as a central A/C, electric range, off-grid vehicle charging, electric dryer, electric water heater, pool equipment, etc.

Does Generac power cell come with solar panels? ›

Does the PWRcell include solar panels? No, Generac does not make or sell solar panels, but we can help you partner with one of our authorized solar panel manufacturers and installers for a turnkey solution.

How many solar panels would it take to power a house? ›

How many solar panels does the average house need? With a home of roughly 1500 square feet, it is estimated that 15 to 18 solar panels will be needed.

Can you have a whole house generator if you have solar panels? ›

Unfortunately, you cannot run your home with both solar power and generator power at the same time. In other words, the generator and the solar panels cannot operate parallel to one another. Like we said earlier, solar panels send feedback to the grid, creating a dangerous scenario for utility repair workers.

How long will Generac power Cell last during power outage? ›

With the average home drawing 750 to 1,000 W of power per hour during a blackout, the 10 kWh battery will last 10 to 12 hours and the 13.5 kWh battery will last 13.5 to 16.8 hours.

Is it better to have more solar panels or more batteries? ›

The energy produced over the lifetime of typical rooftop solar panels more than makes up for the energy it takes to make, mount and then eventually recycle them. But adding a home battery usually lowers those dividends, according to new research from Stanford University.

Do solar panels drain batteries at night? ›

A good solar panel won't drain your battery; even during nighttime. If it happens the main reason is that its blocking or bypass diodes are broken and need replacement. Even then if you have a Solar Charge Controller it'll prevent battery drainage. Usually, most people's solar panels drain during the night.

How many solar panels does it take to charge a Tesla Powerwall? ›

Technically, you could charge a Powerwall with 1 solar panel or even install it without a solar system! But, in almost all cases in North Carolina we wouldn't recommend that. The average size solar system we sell with a Powerwall is a 6kw system, or about 20 solar panels.

Does a Tesla Powerwall pay for itself? ›

If you use solar power to charge the Powerwall, you'll net $358 in annual savings and pay off the Powerwall in 31 years, according to IER. "It would take nearly forty years for a Powerwall to pay for itself, which is almost four times the warranty period.

Can you go off grid with Tesla Powerwall 2? ›

Overloads. While off-grid, each Powerwall can provide up to 5 kW of continuous power. You can use Go Off-Grid to identify the kinds of heavy loads your Powerwall system can support.

What is the cost of a Tesla Powerwall battery? ›

The Tesla Powerwall costs $8,500 before installation.

The cost of a Powerwall battery stands at $7,500 alone, and its supporting hardware costs $1,000. Add on installation costs, and a Powerwall generally ranges in price between $12,000 and $16,500 for a full system installation (before incentives).

Which solar batteries last longest? ›

The Battery Type You Install

There are three types of batteries commonly used in solar storage: lead-acid, lithium-ion, and saltwater. Of these three options, lithium-ion batteries will last the longest. They also tend to offer the best storage capacity, but likely won't be the least expensive option.

What battery backup has the longest run time? ›

CyberPower lasted the longest at five hours and 30 minutes, though APC was close behind. The Amazon Basics UPS didn't maintain power nearly as long as the other two. The full prices are provided, but the units can be found on sale online.

Is Powerwall better than generator? ›

Tesla Powerwall VS. Backup Generator - YouTube

How many deep cycle batteries does it take to run a house? ›

A battery bank designed to power an average American household for three days would need to supply 90 kilowatt-hours of energy. The battery from the previous example can supply 2.4 kilowatt-hours, so this system would need 38 batteries.

How much does a whole house battery cost? ›

Exact pricing will vary based on which battery model you choose and how many of them you need to power your home. However, it's common for an average-sized home battery backup system to run between $10,000 and $20,000.

Who owns Generac? ›

Does powerwall charge during outage? ›

Vehicle Charging

During a power outage, Powerwall can coordinate with Tesla vehicles to charge without exceeding the power and energy needs of your home.

How long does a house battery last? ›

In the event of an outage, a typical home battery should last you for at least a day or two, depending on how conservative you are with your electricity use. When you pair it with a solar panel system however, you can create an end-to-end system for producing, storing, and powering your home.

How far does a Generac generator need to be from the house? ›

18 inches (1.5 feet) from the house. 60 inches (5 feet) from doors, windows, and fresh air intakes. 36 inches (3 feet) in front of the generator for servicing room.

Is there a tax credit for a whole house generator? ›

Unfortunately, Generators Don't Qualify for Tax Credits

The Federal government doesn't offer tax credits for installing a whole-home backup generator under the Energy Star tax credit guide. So, don't go asking why you can't find where to claim your credit. It doesn't exist.

How long is the wait for a Generac generator? ›

Given the company's backlog, local permitting processes and the contractors involved, it can take 20 weeks for residents to get a generator installed in their home, he said. Generac has about 7,000 dealers in its network, but the company needs more, he said.

How long will Generac power Cell last during power outage? ›

With the average home drawing 750 to 1,000 W of power per hour during a blackout, the 10 kWh battery will last 10 to 12 hours and the 13.5 kWh battery will last 13.5 to 16.8 hours.

How much does a whole house battery cost? ›

Exact pricing will vary based on which battery model you choose and how many of them you need to power your home. However, it's common for an average-sized home battery backup system to run between $10,000 and $20,000.

How does Generac charge battery? ›

Two Generac GP models, the 15,000 and the 17,500 and all electric start XP models charge their batteries while operating. Generac electric start generators, except those two GP models come with an external charger. The customer should charge the battery at least once a month for 24-48 hours in preparation for usage.

How many solar panels would it take to power a house? ›

How many solar panels does the average house need? With a home of roughly 1500 square feet, it is estimated that 15 to 18 solar panels will be needed.


1. Generac PWRCell 2022 Major Upgrades
(Solar Surge)
2. Tesla Powerwall+ Revealed
(Solar Surge)
3. What you need to know before getting a Tesla Powerwall
(Undecided with Matt Ferrell)
4. Solar Batteries vs. Generators: Which Is Best for You?
(The Solar Energy Channel by Paradise Energy)
5. A Simple Overview of the Tesla Powerwall 2
(Solaray Energy - Solar Power Installer Sydney)
6. I Shouldn't Have Bought Tesla Powerwall!

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