Elon Musk Hub

Elon Musk's Tesla Energy Wants To Be The Future of Clean Power: WATCH

Screenshot 2015-05-01 16.22.30

Last night Elon Musk took to the stage to unveil the next step in his ultimate plan for a more accessible energy efficient future. While Tesla, Musk’s company, is best known for its high-end electric battery powered cars, Musk explained that the next big sustainable push he wants to bring to the market lies in a smarter energy grid. Tesla Energy, the company’s newest product category, consist of two affordable home battery systems--the Powerpack and the Powerwall. Both batteries that can be wall mounted inside or outside of the home, and are able to soak up enough solar energy to efficiently power households without relying heavily on the traditional power grid.

TeslaAccording to Musk the Powerwall and the more scalable Powerpack will allow consumers to create micro smart grids of their own that can run on solar energy as well as storing excess energy generated by the regular grid when it isn’t under heavy use. At different points in any given day the cost of electricity fluctuates based on a number of factors like the total number of people accessing the grid and how much electricity they’re using. According to Musk, Tesla Energy products monitor the overall stress being put on the grid and intelligently saps energy from it when it’s at its cheapest.

Check out Elon Musk’s keynote speech introducing Tesla Energy AFTER THE JUMP...

Both Tesla Energy products are priced competitively with the Powerwall ranging between $3,000-$3,500 for different configurations, but Musk’s vision of a carbon neutral future isn’t without some economic drawbacks. Tesla Energy presumes that homeowners already have their residences outfitted with the necessary solar infrastructure that the batteries rely on to capture energy.

Additional costs include buying an AC/DC power inverter and having an electrician install the batteries. The biggest challenge facing Tesla Energy at this point is the market for energy. Put simply--fossil fuels and other traditional energy sources still work out to be way cheaper as opposed to a blend of solar and something like gas. Writing for Gizmodo, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering professor Dan Steingart explains that even under optimal conditions, Tesla Energy shakes out to being cost-prohibitive:

“On a per-kW basis installed it’s roughly 10x the cost of a standard generator system, not accounting for the price of gas. Assuming gas is ~$0.03 to $0.05/kWhr and the generator setup is 20% efficient, the cost of energy is 4x to 8x, depending on hours of use.

Musk himself admitted that while he currently uses two Powerwalls in his own home, the “configuration of his roof” isn’t quite what it needs to be to take himself completely off the grid. Tesla’s vision is ambitious, to be sure, but it isn’t quite attainable as of yet.

Continue reading "Elon Musk's Tesla Energy Wants To Be The Future of Clean Power: WATCH" »

Amazing Footage Shows Failed Landing, Crash, Explosion of SpaceX Rocket on Drone Barge: VIDEO


Yesterday, we watched the magnificent lift-off of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as it hauled supplies to the International Space Station. What wasn't broadcast live was the attempt to land the first stage of the rocket on a drone barge in the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, footage has been released from a chase plane that shows the failed landing and explosion. The landing was unfortunately a bit too hard. Better luck next time.

SpaceX's Elon Musk says they'll try again before the year is out.


Continue reading "Amazing Footage Shows Failed Landing, Crash, Explosion of SpaceX Rocket on Drone Barge: VIDEO" »

Watch LIVE: SpaceX Falcon 9 Set for Lift-off, Landing Attempt of Reusable Rocket


The SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 is scheduled for lift-off at 4:10 pm EDT today. It is carrying the Dragon spacecraft with two tons of supplies headed for the International Space Station.

Once again, shortly after the launch SpaceX will attempt to successfully land the first stage of the rocket vertically on a drone barge floating in the Atlantic. Previous attempts have failed (exploding on the barge), so a good landing will be a groundbreaking moment for reusable spacecraft.


UPDATE: The rocket stage landing on the drone barge has failed, but it was close.

Continue reading "Watch LIVE: SpaceX Falcon 9 Set for Lift-off, Landing Attempt of Reusable Rocket" »

Stephen Colbert Geeks Out With Elon Musk: VIDEO


Inventor, entrepreneur, space enthusiast and all-around object of nerd lust Elon Musk sat down with Stephen Colbert to discuss his Grasshopper Rocket, his car company Tesla, SpaceX (which has been sending payloads to the international space station (ISS) and plans to one day send humans to ISS in a sort of space taxi) and the possibility of sending a manned mission to Mars.

Asked by Colbert if he was planning to send people to Mars, Musk replied that he aspires to. Despite being what he calls a “fixer-upper of a planet”, Musk explained he sees two main reasons to send people to Mars. First, 

“If humanity is on more than one planet, if we’re a multi-planet species…then civilization as we know it, humanity as we know it, the light of consciousness is likely to propagate to the future much further than if we’re a single planet species.”

And second, 

“It would be the greatest adventure ever. It would be really exciting and inspiring.”

Get your geek on, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Stephen Colbert Geeks Out With Elon Musk: VIDEO" »

SpaceX Unveils Reusable ISS 'Taxi' for 7 Astronauts: VIDEO


Elon Musk last night revealed the new SpaceX reusable craft for seven astronauts which he hopes will ferry them back and forth to the International Space Station one day.

Dragonv2Private companies are vying for contracts from NASA for the taxis, which will hopefully reduce our reliance on Russia's space program.


TechCrunch writes:

The reason that this is really import,” said Musk, “is that it allows rapid reusability of the spacecraft. You just refill the propellant, and go again… Imagine if aircrafts were thrown away after each flight; no one could afford to fly.””

2_dragonv2SpaceX had previously shown Dragon V1, a smaller, unmanned version of this craft meant primarily for testing and, in a few cases, sending cargo back and forth to the International Space Station. Dragon V2 also has an improved heat shield, allowing it to better protect passengers on their return flight through the atmosphere.

The biggest single change to the design, though, is in the engines: where each of Dragon V1′s engines (the “Draco” engine) could produce about 100 pounds of thrust, each of the Dragon V2′s engines (the aptly dubbed “Super Draco” engines) can produce about 16,000 pounds of thrust. The particularly cool part? SpaceX says they’re actually 3d printing the engines out of a specialized metal alloy (called inconel), as opposed to more traditional manufacturing methods like milling.

Continue reading "SpaceX Unveils Reusable ISS 'Taxi' for 7 Astronauts: VIDEO" »

Drone Captures Stunning Close-Up of Elon Musk's Leaping Rocket: VIDEO


Over the past year, we've been keeping tabs on Elon Musk's SpaceX Grasshopper rocket, which can take off and land vertically. The craft has now made its most impressive (and visually stunning) leap yet, thanks to a hexacopter drone which captured the rocket as it ascended and descended.

Grasshopper's leap this time was 2,440.94 feet.

SpaceX writes: "While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal. Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage tank, Merlin 1D engine, four steel and aluminum landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure."


Continue reading "Drone Captures Stunning Close-Up of Elon Musk's Leaping Rocket: VIDEO" »


Towleroad - Blogged