Home energy storage devices are now making it possible to store electricity for later use, and if paired with an on-site generation, they virtually eliminate blackouts for an off-the-grid lifestyle. The heart of home energy is the battery, which is typically lead-acid or lithium-ion, along with intelligent software.
The stored energy generally comes from on-site solar panels, generated during the daytime, and the stored electricity is then consumed after the sun sets, when energy demand peaks in homes that have been unoccupied during the day. The home energy storage system is a relatively new technology but is steadily gaining interest across the country.
Top brand solar batteries, such as Sonnen, are making it possible for businesses and homeowners to store their excess solar energy in these energy storage devices. It allows them to keep the stored energy for their own use instead of sending it back to the grid. The storing of their energy protects them from electricity rate spikes and power outages.
Top Solar Battery Manufacturers
If you are thinking about or planning to install a solar battery at your business or home, you have a few choices from top solar battery manufacturers currently available.
Sonnen designs and manufactures fully assimilated energy storage systems. Their headquarters are located in Los Angeles, California, with corporate offices in Bavaria, Germany.
The Sonnen solution assimilates energy management software with an inverter, and battery cells all in one package that will provide inexpensively, and fast installation. With Sonnen, you have an array of smart functions available, such as remote management, and peak shaving, as well as an expected life of 10,000 charge cycles.
Customers who have purchased and use the Sonnen System say:
We bought the Sonnen Eco Gen 2 battery to integrate with our Sunpower PV array to get the most of our needs off-grid and now have the backup capability when the grid goes down.
We chose the Sonnen Eco based on its battery technology, which is the fastest when compared to LG Chem and Tesla Powerwall 2. We also chose it based on the reviews and the ability to use the battery every day versus having a natural gas-fired generator that operates loudly and requires high maintenance.
Another customer wrote:
The Sonnen Battery has turned out to be extremely reliable with long-lasting energy storage availability. This battery is a great product, and the Sonnen team is excellent to work with.
Sonnen’s goal is to create a world where everyone can cover their energy needs with distributable and pure energy sources. They hope that everyone will be able to connect with one another and share energy when and where it is needed. They want to emancipate our world from the dependence on fossil fuels and anonymous energy corporations.
Sonnen has been engineering and innovating energy management products since 2010. Beginning in their German headquarters and later combining American ingenuity in 2016, Sonnen is now bringing services and products to homeowners and businesses in the United States.
With a Sonnen Battery System, you will have one of the longest-lasting, high-quality, and safest energy storage systems by using lithium iron phosphate batteries that can safely and reliably protect your business and home investments in renewable energy.
Capacity starts at 4 kWh with the Sonnen Battery and comes with a ten-year warranty. This product has been available in the United States since 2017 and can be installed through the company’s network.
The Sonnen Eco is a lithium ferrous phosphate battery created for integration with your solar panel system. This battery comes with an integrated inverter. One of the main ways Sonnen distinguishes the ECO from competitive solar batteries available on the market is its self-learning software. The software helps homes and businesses with solar panel systems connect to the grid and increase their own solar consumption. This software will also enable you to manage time-of-use electricity rates.
While the Sonnen Eco does offer a smaller storage capacity over the Tesla Powerwall, it does offer a minimum guaranteed capacity. Sonnen ensures the Eco will maintain at least seventy percent of its storage capacity for ten years.
Tesla Powerwall comes from an energy storage industry leader. This battery brought energy storage into the mainstream for many small businesses and homeowners. The name, Tesla, is already associated with innovative electric cars, and in 2015 it announced its first generation of the Powerwall.
The Tesla Powerwall is a lithium-ion battery that has similar chemistry to the batteries used in Tesla’s vehicles. The battery has been designed for integration with a solar panel system but is also able to be used for home backup power. One Powerwall is able to store 13.5 kWh, which should power essential appliances in the home for up to twenty-four hours. This battery also comes with an integrated inverter.
The Tesla Powerwall, if used daily for charging and draining, should have a life of ten years. Tesla does provide a ten-year warranty on this product. As part of their warranty, Tesla offers customers a minimum guaranteed capacity. Just as Sonnen, they state the Powerwall will sustain at least seventy percent of its capacity over the ten-year period.
LG Chem RESU home energy storage has a capacity of 2.9 to 12.4 kWh and also comes with a ten-year warranty. LG is another major competitor in the worldwide energy storage market and is a leading electronics manufacturer.
LG’s main headquarters is located in South Korea, and its RESU battery has become a popular option for solar-plus-storage systems in Europe and Australia. The LG Chem is a lithium-ion battery that is available in various sizes.
The capacity availability in the different batteries ranges from 2.9 to 12.4 kWh. It is currently one of the only batteries in the United States which can claim to have a usable capacity of 9.3 kWh. The ten-year warranty offered on the LG Chem RESU provides a minimum guaranteed capacity of sixty percent.
Aquion Aspen Saltwater Battery has a capacity of 2.2 kWh and comes with an eight-year warranty. This battery has distinct differences from other batteries on the market. One of those differences is its size, which is significantly smaller than the Sonnen Eco, but the batteries can be stacked to provide more storage capacity.
Aquion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017 and has since stopped its production of the batteries for residential use. They have been bought out and moved to China, but at this time it is unknown if they will re-emerge in the home energy storage market. If this product should become available again for homeowners and businesses, there are considerable differences in their production.
Other than the size difference, the Aquion Aspen Saltwater battery uses saltwater technology. This difference may impact homeowners who are concerned with the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have to be carefully recycled at the end of their usefulness due to the chemicals used in their production. If these batteries are not disposed of properly, they can become quite hazardous.
Pika Energy Harbor Smart Battery has a capacity of 11.4 to 17.1 kWh and comes with a ten-year warranty. The Pika Energy (Harbor Smart) Battery is brought to the market by Pika Energy, known as an inverter manufacturer that has recently entered the market of energy storage space.
The Pika Energy Harbor Smart Battery has been created to be installed beside a solar panel system, and its intended use is for both on-site consumption of stored solar energy as well as for grid services. This system uses a lithium-ion battery manufactured by Panasonic and is paired with an inverter (Pika Energy Island).
There are two different sizes of the Pika Smart Battery; the 11.4 and the 17.1 kWh of usable capacity. Panasonic’s ten-year warranty also backs this battery.
Major companies, such as BMW and Nissan have announced they too will be entering the home energy storage market within the next few years. At this time, your best manufacturer of these batteries includes, Sonnen, LG Chem, and Tesla.
How to Choose the Best Battery
When considering a home energy storage device, there are certain specifications you need to use in order to evaluate which battery to choose. You will want to know how long the solar battery will last, and how much power it is going to provide. Your expert at Sun Solar Energy will help you understand these specifications:
- Capacity and Power are your first consideration. The capacity is the total amount of electricity the solar battery will be able to store. This amount is measured in kilowatt-hours. The capacity will tell how big the battery is, but it does not say how much electricity the battery will give you at a given time.
So, besides the capacity, you need to know the battery’s power rating. The power rating is the amount of electricity the battery can give you at one time and is measured in kilowatts.
If you have a battery with a low capacity and high power rating, it could run your home for only a few hours. On the other hand, if you have a battery with a high capacity and low power rating, it will power your few essential appliances for a long time.
- Round-Trip Efficiency is the measurement of how much energy is able to be used as a percentage of the amount of energy the battery takes to store it. This efficiency rating means if you feed five kilowatt-hours of electricity into your battery, but it only gives back four kilowatt-hours of usable energy, the battery only has an eighty-percent round-trip efficiency. You want a higher round-trip efficiency to receive a more economical value from your battery.
- Depth of Discharge is what a battery needs to retain some charge at all times. If you were to use one-hundred percent of a battery’s charge, it would significantly reduce its useful life. The depth of discharge, DoD, is the battery’s capacity that has been used. If you have a battery with a DoD of ninety percent, then you should not use more than 9 kWh before you recharge it.
- Battery Life and Warranty refer to the battery’s ability to hold a charge, which will slowly decrease the more you use it. Solar batteries are like batteries found in cell phones, which you typically recharge each night to use again the next day. As your cell phone gets older, you will notice a decrease in how much of a charge the battery will hold.
A solar battery might have a warranty for five thousand cycles or ten years at seventy percent of its initial capacity. This warranty means that at the end of the ten years, it should not have lost more than thirty percent of its initial ability to store energy.
Battery performances naturally decrease over time, but most manufacturers will guarantee that their battery will retain a certain amount of its capacity over the course of time given under their warranty period. For example, Sonnen offers a ten- year warranty with a seventy-percent capacity.
- The Manufacturer of your battery should be by a cutting-edge company with a history of producing reliable batteries, such as Sonnen. Evaluate the warranties associated with each battery to give you additional guidance when making your decision.
Where to Buy and How to Install Batteries
Adding energy storage technology to your home or small business is a complex process. You will need an electrical professional who is certified and has the knowledge of how to install a solar-plus-storage system properly. Check with a certified installer, such as Sun Solar Electric, if you are considering this unique home energy-saving system.
Where to Find Information on Solar Batteries Near Me
If you are considering the installation of a home energy-saving device, contact Sun Solar Electric at 707-658-2157. We are a full service solar and electrical installation company. We will bring our expertise to your home automation systems, electrical panel upgrades, and more. We also offer analysis, consulting, installation, and design for all your energy needs. When you work with Sun Solar Electric, it is like working with family, and we guarantee our commitment to providing you with the best quality work and support.