Solar batteries comparison – How do the brands stack up?

Grid-scale energy storage commercial equivalent of Tesla Powerwall 2.

A solar battery allows you to store solar power that you can’t use immediately for use later on. By installing a battery, you can avoid wasting or losing unused power you have generated from your solar installation. You don’t need to have a battery installed at the same time as your solar panels. You can always have it retrofitted later. In this article we conduct a solar batteries comparison.

Three of the more popular brands of solar battery are Tesla, Enphase and sonnen. There are also batteries from other makers. These include Fronius, and household consumer brands like LG and Samsung. For this article let’s look at how the three market leading brands stack up.

Solar batteries comparison

Tesla Powerwall 2

This lithium-ion battery comes with a usable storage capacity of 13.5 kWh. It has a 10-year warranty.

solar batteries comparison includes the Tesla, shown here
Solar home batteries like Tesla Powerwall 2 are helping households slash power bills.

A fully-charged battery of this size could possibly power your home for a day. That does depend on how many appliances you are using and how much energy they need.

The Tesla Powerwall 2 could provide a good option for people wanting to go off-grid.

According to a Canstar Blue review, the Powerwall 2 is more than just an updated version. The review says it is “in a league of its own” compared to its predecessor. This is because it has twice the storage capacity of the previous Powerwall for a similar price.

Sonnen modular system

Sonnen batteries are modular, which means additional units can be added to as your requirements grow. The Powerwall 2, on the other hand, comes in one size only.

sonnen batteries are one of the most efficient brands on the market.

Sonnen’s modular design makes them a flexible option. The smallest battery is 4 kWh in capacity. You can add increments of 2 kWh modules up to a total of 16 kWh.

A Clean Energy Review found the sonnen more costly than other brands. However it was also likely to outperform them and to last longer. They are considered to be the best on the market.

Enphase modular batteries

The Enphase battery is smaller than either the sonnen or Powerwall 2 with a capacity of 1.2 kW, but, like the sonnen, it’s modular. This means it can be expanded by adding additional units of 1.2 kW as needed. To get the same 13.5 kWh capacity of the Tesla would require around 11 Enphase units.

A Greentech Media review described the Enphase as “an excellent entry-level battery storage option”.

Enphase is a modular battery system that offers flexibility.

Which energy storage battery do you need?

The right battery for you depends on your solar installation set-up and your daily usage.

For example, if you have a small solar installation, then you may be better-off with a small modular battery and add more if needed. However, if you have a larger array or you want to go off-grid, you might need a bigger battery installed.

If your battery is full to capacity and you have a smart meter,  you can set up your system to automatically recharge the battery with unused power. You can feed power to the main grid once the battery is full.

A Choice survey of people who had installed a solar battery found there were three main reasons for doing so. These include:

  • avoiding outages and disruptions,
  • reducing emissions, and
  • having no main grid connection in their region.

A battery installation can also reduce your electricity costs. With the right combination of components, you may even be able to go off-grid altogether.

As new batteries come on the market, we hope to review those and keep our solar batteries comparison up to date.

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