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Elon’s Amazing Adventures, Vol 1

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John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Microgrid Labs, Inc. Advisor: 2014 to Present Developed product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

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  • Jun 2, 2020

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Elon Musk has been tweeting about a big event that he is now calling Battery Day, but this has been delayed.

So this part will cover the fun games that Elon and Alameda County have played, the fun visit that Elon’s astronaut friends are currently making to the International Space Station, Elon’s main large Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and finally a review of Elon’s prior work to develop his own batteries.

Part 2 will probably be a short post after Battery Day.

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Susan Brissette's picture
Susan Brissette on Jun 3, 2020

Great article to keep up on the many streams of activity being pursued by Elon Musk. I was fascinated by the idea of the 'million mile battery' and the effort going into making advances in this area. I can only imagine how such battery developments could change the status quo in the energy sector. 

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Jun 3, 2020

Hi Susan, thanks for the good words.

Actually the million-mile battery may not immediately impact the BESS market as much as you might think.

Large battery systems are designed and operated to optimize economics, and that includes the amortized cost of battery replacement. Although utilities (and other energy companies) like to see assets of this size have a 30 year lifetime, with current systems this may include replacing the batteries once or more times. Now everyone is assuming that the cost and durability of batteries will decrease over time vs. those being installed today, so battery replacement is not so much a bad thing.

Elon is short-circuiting this philosophy with a battery that can probably last the full 30-years. Also it’s less expensive. Also it might be economically capable of longer run-times (than 4-hours).

As he usually does, Elon is seeking to dominate the BESS (and EV) market. It's an old game, it's called Monopoly.

Speaking of EV's they have much less flexibility to manage charge and discharge than BESS.


Susan Brissette's picture
Susan Brissette on Jun 4, 2020

Thanks John for clarifying. I clearly need to learn more about this area! I appreciate you taking the time to provide the extra detail! Regards Susan 

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