Homeowners are choosing to combine solar panels with batteries more frequently each year, and for good reason. People want to make sure they have access to dependable electricity, and since major power outages are growing more frequent, solar batteries are becoming more affordable every year.
Based on brand familiarity and use, the Tesla Powerwall has been the solar battery of choice for the majority of homeowners. However, it’s challenging to get one due to the company’s recent decision to exclusively offer Powerwalls in conjunction with its solar systems.
The good news is that numerous other businesses have solar batteries for sale. In fact, there are so many choices that choosing one that is worthwhile of your money can be a little complicated.
We’ve compiled a list of the top batteries available to make your life easier. The best solar batteries that are currently on the market and capable of supplying backup power for your home are listed below. We’ll discuss each of their advantages and disadvantages as well as how they stack up against the Tesla Powerwall.
The Tesla Powerwall
Tesla, the firm founded by Elon Musk, has been hard at work perfecting and enhancing its energy storage solutions ever since the introduction of the first Powerwall in 2015. The most popular battery backup system for homes is the Powerwall+, which has a 13.5 kWh usable capacity.
The battery for the Powerwall, which is installed as part of a Tesla solar+storage system, costs $11,500.
The app that controls when and how energy flows to and from the battery makes it incredibly easy to use. The Powerwall is made to blend into the background of your life while continuing to function and be prepared in case of a power loss.
This simplicity has advantages and disadvantages. Although the Powerwall battery is simple to use, it is less efficient than a battery with a direct DC connection to a solar installation because solar energy that is to be stored in the battery must first be converted from DC to AC. The Powerwall is also available in just one size. You will have to pay for an entire second battery if you require just a tiny bit more power than one can supply.
Battery chemistry is a further issue. While other manufacturers have opted for lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) chemistry, Tesla is one of many battery manufacturers that uses lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) in its battery cathodes. Although cobalt is poisonous and can only be mined in a few locations worldwide, where it is linked to a number of health and safety concerns, NMC batteries perform very well. Additionally, compared to LFP batteries, NMC batteries operate at a greater temperature and are more likely to catch fire. Although Tesla has made hints that it will do so for all of its energy storage devices, this hasn’t yet happened.
The Powerwall will only be installed by Tesla in conjunction with new Tesla solar panels or the Tesla solar roof, so keep that in mind as well. Tesla no longer offers the Powerwall as a stand-alone item for sale. Other solar installers do sell the Powerwall, but they frequently encounter lengthy wait times to obtain them in stock.
What batteries can you buy instead of the Powerwall if you can’t wait?
Solar battery development has long been a priority for the German energy business Sonnen. Through a network of installers, Sonnen has been marketing its batteries in the US market since 2017.
Prior until this, the business only provided high-end solar battery options that were out of most households’ price ranges. With the release of their most recent battery, the sonnenCore, in 2020, sonnen made the decision to try their hand at the mainstream home market.
The 10 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery that makes up the all-in-one SonnenCore battery storage system costs $9,500 before installation. Compared to their SonnenEco or EcoLinx models, which might cost more than $30,000 to install, this is significantly less expensive.
Pros of the sonnenCore solar battery
The sonnenCore battery combines solar power with capabilities appropriate for even the most cutting-edge smart home while maintaining an affordable price.
The battery offers a lot of helpful characteristics that should be taken into account when looking at battery backup systems because of the company’s dedication to upgrading technologies.
The SonnenCore solar battery has some features that include:
- Owners may control where energy is sent thanks to Sonnen’s intelligent system.
- You can use the sonnenCore in a number of different operating modes to get the most out of your battery.
- Since the SonnenCore is an LFP battery, it is less hazardous and safe than NMC batteries.
- The battery will retain up to 70% of its storage capacity for the duration of the 10-year warranty provided by Sonnen.
Cons of the sonnenCore solar battery
- It costs a little more than other solar batteries on the market even though it is less expensive than Sonnen’s other batteries.The battery only comes in one size, so homes with high power usage may need to install more than one
- The sonnenCore must be installed indoors because it is not approved for outside use.
What type of home is the sonnenCore solar battery best for?
For homes interested in cutting-edge features like Time-of-Use load shifting and those who want to be able to monitor and manage their power usage, the SonnenCore battery is the best option. Given that it offers one of the greatest warranties and throughput guarantees, it is also perfect for homeowners who anticipate discharging their batteries frequently.
The sonnenCore can also give you piece of mind because of how safe and simple it is to recycle thanks to its chemistry.
It’s only logical that Generac has included house batteries to their inventory as one of the top manufacturers of home generators that aid consumers in surviving a power loss. The PWRcell home battery’s tale begins with an acquisition. Generac purchased Pika Energy, a successful maker of home storage systems, and modified its PWRcell for use in residential systems rather than spending years building an internal solution.
Generac discovered a way to combine the solar storage device with its own home energy management technologies. In order to provide genuine whole-home backup, the company is currently selling its solar battery alongside Smart Management Modules (SMMs). Future integration with other smart circuits and a backup generator are also planned for true off-grid operation.
According to our calculations, the PWRcell battery will raise the price of a solar installation by between $10,000 and $18,000, depending on how many battery modules are used. That cost, like other solar batteries, is before any federal tax credit, which can lower the cost by 30%.
Pros of the Generac PWRcell
- The battery is really modular, with 3 kWh battery packs that may be combined to produce a system with a capacity of up to 36 kWh in two cabinets or between 9 and 18 kWh in a single cabinet.
- In the event that your energy requirements alter in the future, more battery modules can be added.
- The PWRcell is a highly effective DC-coupled battery that includes a unique collection of solar power optimizers.
- The PWRcell can start up large appliances like air conditioners and microwaves thanks to Generac’s SMMs, thus theoretically you can back up more circuits than with the Powerwall.
- PWRcell will enable households to entirely go off-grid in the future with the inclusion of even more advanced smart circuit technology and a specifically developed natural gas/LP generator.
Cons of the Generac PWRcell
- PWRcell is virtually tough to adapt with an existing solar system because it isn’t just a plug-and-play battery.
- The PWRcell and Powerwall both utilize the same NMC battery chemistry.
- The PWRcell and Powerwall both utilize the same NMC battery chemistry.
What type of home is the PWRcell right for?
The Generac PWRcell system can be ideal for you if you haven’t yet placed solar panels on your house and are looking for a solar + storage option. It’s a clever home backup solution, and because it’s modular, you can size the system to your needs and even have space to easily add extra storage down the road if those needs alter. The PWRcell is an excellent solution to power your home if you live in a region that frequently experiences power outages or if you wish to genuinely go off-grid in the future.
LG Energy Solution RESU Prime
A lithium-ion battery called the LG Energy Solution RESU battery collects solar energy and stores it for later use in residential settings. In order to meet the demands of the market caused by power outages and to more directly compete with Tesla, Energy Solution (previously LG Chem) released new, higher-capacity RESU Prime batteries in 2021.
The RESU Prime can be used as a daily battery pack that charges and discharges over a standard 24-hour period or as a whole-home backup during power outages. For even bigger households that use a lot of electricity, the RESU Prime is available in capacities of 10 and 16 kWh and may be installed in pairs to create a whole-home backup.
Depending on battery capacity, installation expense, and location, the average cost of a single LG battery, including auxiliary equipment and installation, ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.
Pros of the LG RESU battery
- With a warranty that equals Tesla’s, LG’s RESU Prime batteries are guaranteed to retain at least 70% of their capacity after ten years.
- The size of a 16 kWh house battery is sufficient for the majority of homes and can be doubled if needed.
- The LG-trained installers can maintain and repair the Prime batteries on-site if anything goes wrong because they are floor-mounted.
Cons of the LG RESU battery
- Depending on where you live, the size of your battery, and the installation fees, the average cost of the LG Chem system, with accompanying equipment and installation, ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.
- LG batteries must be utilized with a hybrid solar inverter or another battery inverter because they are DC-coupled, which increases cost and complication.
- For the 10 and 16 kWh batteries, respectively, LG batteries give a relatively low continuous power output of 5 and 7 kW; to acquire a larger continuous power output, you must install 2 full batteries.
- Like the batteries from Tesla and Generac, the RESU battery uses NMC battery chemistry.
What type of home is the LG solar battery system best for?
The LG RESU, like the majority of its rivals, is not designed for people who want to live “off-grid.” In fact, only hybrid grid-tied battery backup systems are intended to use the batteries.
Instead, energy-conscious residences that require energy coverage during peak usage times and unplanned power interruptions benefit most from these batteries. A residence may be covered by the 16 kWh system for about a day of moderate energy demand, not several days.
Panasonic EverVolt battery
One of the most well-known and reliable electronics brands in the world is Panasonic, and the company’s solar and battery products live up to expectations.
Some of the most effective solar panels on the market are made by Panasonic, and they were created to work perfectly with the EverVolt battery system. You can also buy the batteries separately and install them with or without solar panels.
Panasonic provides two battery capacities of 11.4 and 17.1 kWh if installed as an AC-coupled system (attached to your home’s wiring). The battery system can be expanded from 11 to 102 kWh for a genuinely enormous whole-home backup solution if it is placed DC-coupled (connected to your solar inverter).
Pros of the Panasonic EverVolt battery
- The battery can be fitted either AC-coupled or DC-coupled, depending on your demands.
- Can be made large enough to serve as a long-term backup and simply use solar panels for charging
Cons of the Panasonic EverVolt battery
- Only 60% of capacity is guaranteed by Panasonic’s warranty after ten years, trailing both Tesla and LG.
- The price of Panasonic AC-coupled batteries ranges from $15,000 to $20,000, which is more expensive than the AC-coupled Powerwall+.
Enphase Energy IQ battery
One of the two biggest producers of solar inverters worldwide, Enphase Energy recently unveiled a battery that connects to your home using a customized version of the company’s renowned microinverters. A larger battery bank can be built using a combination of the 3- and 10-kWh versions of the Enphase IQ Battery, an AC-coupled lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery.
IQ batteries can also be used with fossil fuel backup generators made by well-known manufacturers like Kohler, Generac, and Cummins. When combined with solar panels, this kind of solution would enable real off-grid living; but, because the battery wouldn’t be charged only by solar power, the federal tax credit for the battery would be lost.
Pros of the Enphase IQ battery
- The IQ battery from Enphase uses the safer LFP battery chemistry.
- For off-grid applications, the IQ battery incorporates a built-in interface for attaching to a fossil fuel backup generator.
- A solid warranty that guarantees 70% of capacity after ten years or 4,000 cycles is included with the IQ battery.
Cons of the Enphase IQ battery
- The IQ’s constant output is only 3.84 kW, and its peak power is relatively modest.
- Enphase’s battery can only be used in installations that are AC-coupled, despite the fact that the business says its microinverters are what produce the high round-trip efficiency.
Electriq Power PowerPod 2 solar battery
A more recent business, Electriq Power, was founded in a garage in California in 2014. Since those early days, the business has expanded swiftly, and it now provides households seeking backup power and load-shifting to avoid expensive peak power prices under Time-of-Use pricing with the PowerPod 2 solar battery.
The PowerPod 2 is available in sizes ranging from 10 to 20 kWh in both AC and DC-coupled models.
Pros of the Electriq PowerPod 2
- The PowerPod 2 by Electriq uses cobalt-free LiFePO4 chemistry, making it less polluting than other batteries and avoiding the usage of cobalt mined under hazardous settings.
- The PowerPod 2 is offered in AC and DC-coupled versions to accommodate a range of applications, just as the Panasonic EverVolt.
- The PowerPod 2 has a round-trip efficiency of 96.6%, which means that for every 10 kWh stored, 9.66 kWh will be made available. Additionally, even though LG and Tesla are the best in the business, Electriq Power’s warranty promises 70% capacity after 10 years.
Cons of the Electriq PowerPod 2
- A PowerPod 2 is expected to cost between $13,000 and $19,000, although the price may increase depending on your region and other considerations.
- It’s harder to believe in Electriq Power’s warranty because it’s a newer company than it is in warranties from more reputable companies like Panasonic and LG.
Is there a clear-cut winner among solar batteries?
Budget, location, personal energy usage profile, and desired system features all play a significant role in determining which battery will actually work best for your home.
When adding solar panels at the same time, we believe the Generac PWRcell system is the ideal option. During a power outage, it gives households the best chance to power a wide range of equipment, and because to its modular design, you may add more storage modules as your demands evolve in the future.
We suggest the sonnenCore if you already have solar panels and are seeking for an AC-coupled battery. This battery is easy to use, safe, and has a fantastic warranty, despite its expensive price.
The batteries made by Panasonic and Electriq Power are good in and of themselves, but they are typically more expensive and more difficult to get. Having said that, you can purchase panels and batteries that are made for one another if you find a Panasonic-certified installation. The LG batteries are an industry standard and may be installed by various installers if you want something straightforward and more readily accessible. Watch this post to discover if one of the many new battery firms that are just starting out makes it to the top of our list!
To further understand your options, it is best to speak with a certified installer whether you are looking at solar panels or a battery backup. To learn more about how solar power can benefit your particular home, we also advise you to use the solar panel cost estimate.