David: Alright, so where was I?
Brittany: You just finished talking to us about the Tesla battery on a large boat or yacht
David: That's right! We were talking about how the installation would have to meet marine industry standards. But there is more to it. It's not just a battery, you also need an inverter. I actually find it interesting that Tesla doesn't come right out and say that you are just buying the battery pack. You have to separately buy the inverter.
Sam: Really? 
David: Yes. The battery stores the energy, while you need the inverter to use the energy in your home. So you should really think of them as one system. 
Brittany: So what would you have to do to make it a power source for propulsion?
David: There are actually two things that you can do. First, treat the battery and its inverter like any other AC source and use it to feed a battery charger that gives you the voltage you need. Second, you could get a 240 volt AC motor and use that for the propulsion. 
Sam: How would you be able to control it though?
David: Great question! There are controllers out there called variable frequency drives which are used in equipment like air conditioning units, fans, and pumps. They are good at controlling speed, but many of them aren't designed to exactly come to a full stop. So you would have to make sure that you have one that is able to operate from a full stop to full speed, as well as go in reverse.
Brittany: So how much would this cost?
David: In the thousands of dollars. When you compare this approach with using batteries at the voltage your propulsion system needs, you aren't really saving anything. But if you remember, at the beginning I said that this is a good thing for the marine industry. Now I'll explain why. It's primarily due to the price pressure that it will put on other lithium battery manufacturers. There are suppliers that we can get lithium battery packages from who are able to supply them at the right voltages as well as in configurations that are compatible with our propulsion systems. These companies are feeling the heat from Tesla since they are also selling into the residential markets. As a result, we are seeing them bring their prices down, which means we can pass those savings on to our customers. 
Sam: Well, I don't think I have anymore questions.
Brittany: Neither do I. Thank you so much for explaining to us how the Tesla battery works and what it means for the marine market!
David: You're welcome. 

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