Why didn’t the other guys use more batteries? Well when the electric power companies created a monopoly on electric power in the United States they had the power to price what was available. The only power in the world that didn’t fall under that monopoly was nuclear energy. The reason was they can afford to not buy new batteries, they didn’t want to have to build another plant to store power!
In the 1920s electric energy became available as the price for electricity dropped and more people switched from kerosene lanterns to electric lighting and refrigeration. It was the time when all the cities in the U.S. were electrified and the electricity grids were upgraded with high voltage lines and new transmission lines that carried large amounts of electricity over long distances to homes.
The energy companies of the mid-20th century have the incentive to use less power. They have to charge for their product and then sell that power to the grid. So they try to buy as much power as possible to supply their grid customers. They would be the first to take advantage of new batteries, but they would have difficulty selling to people for what electric energy is, namely the large size of the batteries needed to charge the power grid.
How much energy did Nikola Tesla charge for a Tesla coil battery? Well one thing that’s not so easy to calculate accurately is power. Energy is something that we want all to be able to have, so you have to look at things like how much energy you’d need to run a battery or how much power you’d need to power a kilowatt hour of light.
For a power plant that’s about 100 megawatts, we would need about 100,000,000,000 horsepower to pump that energy out every day. But we can’t calculate what that would be. It would use a great deal of energy, it would be the most wasteful thing you could do, and it would be inefficient. But to get to this point the energy companies didn’t need to store energy. They didn’t need huge lots of batteries. They still had to charge the plant. What would they have used that would have given them the ability to store as much energy as possible over the course of a day. To me it still doesn’t solve the problem of energy that you’d need to make sure you’re going to buy electricity when you need it.
Tesla wasn’t building a battery factory. Instead Tesla planned a factory to build power plants. For Tesla batteries were not batteries,