SolarEdge, one of the top names in solar technology, has just released details about its SolarEdge Energy Bank Battery. The residential battery is the latest in solar battery technology, but how does it stack up against the competition?
Let’s take a look at the SolarEdge Energy Bank’s pros and cons and help you determine if it is the best battery option for you.
How Does The SolarEdge Energy Bank Work?
The Energy Bank works like most batteries. It stores energy from a source, such as solar panels or a utility, and can provide that energy at a future time when needed.
With the rise in residential solar installations in recent years, SolarEdge batteries have often been paired with solar panels to store excess energy production. This provides a clean source of energy that can power the home both during the day and night, on cloudy days, as well as in the dark days of winter.
SolarEdge batteries can be used to offset Time-Of-Use (TOU) energy rates. Utility customers that are on a TOU pricing structure pay higher energy rates during peak usage times. To avoid these high energy costs, homeowners can install SolarEdge batteries to store solar energy during off-peak hours and use that energy when prices are highest.
This strategy can be especially useful for electric vehicle (EV) owners. That’s because most peak hours occur during the evening, when homeowners and children are returning from work and school. This is also the time when EV owners tend to plug in their electric vehicles. To avoid the high energy prices of charging EVs during peak hours, EV owners can pull from their battery to top up their EV instead of pulling power from the utility.
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SOlarEdge Energy Bank Spec Sheet
The SolarEdge Energy Bank battery has several qualities that set it apart from other top battery options and can help a homeowner choose if it’s right for them.
Let’s take a look at the basics of the Energy Bank: Power and Capacity, Compatibility, Chemistry, Performance. Warranty, and Cost.
Power & Capacity of Energy Bank
The SolarEdge Energy Bank battery totes a maximum power rating of 5 kW and 10 kWh usable capacity.
To better understand these numbers, let’s break down the meaning of a battery’s maximum power rating and usable capacity.
A battery’s maximum power rating (measured in kilowatts, or kW) is the maximum amount of electricity that can be output at a single time. The higher the power rating, the better a battery can power more demanding appliances. Think of maximum power as a straw in a drink. The wider the straw, the more liquid can be sucked out at one time.
A battery’s usable capacity (measured in kilowatt hours, or kWh) is the maximum amount of electricity a battery can hold on a full charge. Usable capacity determines how long a battery can power the appliances it is supplying. Think of usable capacity as the drink the straw is pulling from. The larger the drink, the larger the usable capacity.
The balance between maximum power and usable capacity is important to consider. If the battery’s maximum power is high and can easily supply power-hungry appliances, it is important to ensure the energy capacity can sufficiently supply that power for the required time. Using the drink and straw analogy, it’s important to ensure the drink has enough liquid (energy capacity) so that the straw (maximum power) doesn’t deplete the drink too quickly.
When looking at batteries, it’s crucial to know how the battery will interface with other equipment, such as solar panels and solar inverters.
The SolarEdge Energy Bank is not compatible with other of brands of solar inverter (SMA, Fronius, Outback, Huawei, etc.), but it is compatible with all solar panel brands. This is unfortunate, as it means you need to couple the Energy Bank with the SolarEdge Energy Hub inverter, limiting your options. However, this is not dissimilar from the Tesla Powerwall, which can only be installed with Tesla solar panels, the Tesla Solar Roof, or Tesla inverters.
The Energy Bank is DC-coupled, which means it can receive power directly from the solar panels instead of going through an inverter first, which is necessary in AC-coupled systems. This provides greater efficiency by cutting out the need for DC-to-AC inversion. This also provides for a simpler integration with storage inverters.
The SolarEdge Energy Bank uses lithium-ion technology, specifically lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC), to store energy. Lithium-ion technology has greatly improved in recent years, and it is now the preferred chemistry for batteries. This preference is due to lithium-ions’ many benefits, including high energy density, safer operation, lower maintenance, and greater depth of discharge (to be explained later).
Energy Bank Performance
Two key performance indicators are important when evaluating battery options: depth of discharge (DoD) and roundtrip efficiency.
Depth of Discharge (DoD): DoD indicates the percentage of a battery’s energy that can be discharged relative to the overall capacity of the battery without damaging the battery’s cells. For instance, if a battery with 10 kWh of usable capacity can be discharged to 1 kWh without damaging the battery, that battery has DoD of 90 percent. The higher the DoD, the better the battery will perform and the longer life it will likely have.
The SolarEdge Energy Bank has a DoD of 100 percent, which can’t be beat.
Roundtrip Efficiency: Roundtrip efficiency is a measure of electrical losses involved with charging and discharging a battery. The higher the roundtrip efficiency percentage, the more efficiently the battery can store the electricity it is receiving and then provide that electricity when needed.
The sonnenCore has a roundtrip efficiency of 94.5 percent, which means that for every 10 kWh of electricity put into the battery, 9.45 kWh can be output. This roundtrip efficiency is on par with the LG Chem RESU (94.5 percent) and beats out the Tesla Powerwall (90 percent).
SOlarEdge Energy Bank Warranty
The SolarEdge Energy Bank comes with a 70 percent capacity at 10 years. This means the SolarEdge Energy Bank battery is guaranteed to produce at least 70 percent or its original capacity after 10 years.
The SolarEdge Energy Bank battery warranty is on of the best in the industry and is able to compete with other top brands.
See full SolarEdge Energy Bank battery warranty here.
Cost of SolarEdge Energy Bank Battery
While cost isn’t the most important factor when buying a battery, it is definitely a huge influence.
Thankfully, battery costs have come down significantly in recent years, which has made batteries much more affordable.
While the price of the SolarEdge Energy Bank battery has not yet been released, we can speculate.
The SolarEdge Energy Bank battery is expected to cost about $7,000, which is about $9.7/kWh. However, this price is before installation. Depending on the complexity of the installation and other factors, the cost of installation could be twice the price.
Luckily, a portion of this cost could be recouped through the federal solar tax credit (or Investment Tax Credit, ITC). The ITC can provide a 26% tax credit for the entire cost of a solar installation, including battery backup. Your solar provider can provide more details and ensure your system qualifies for the federal solar tax credit.
SOlarEdge Energy Bank Pros
As outlined above, there are many advantages the SolarEdge Energy Bank has over its other competitors in the battery market. Here is a rundown of the largest pros of the Energy Bank battery, including some not mentioned above.
- Lithium-ion NMC chemistry provides safer, more durable, more reliable battery than traditional battery chemistry
- Does not require installation and equipment from particular company, unlike Tesla Powerwall
- 70 percent, 10 year warranty is one of the best offered for a battery
- DC-coupled setup provides greater efficiency and integration
- Unbeatable 100% Depth of Discharge (DoD)
- Roundtrip efficiency is among the top in the field
- Strong roundtrip efficiency of 94.5 percent
- Predicted cost is competitive with other top brands
SolarEdge Energy Bank Cons
While the SolarEdge Energy Bank has many impressive features, there are several disadvantages it has compared to other top battery competitors.
- The Energy Bank release date is still undetermined. With current battery shortages, the Energy Bank is likely to be snapped up quickly.
- The price of the SolarEdge Energy Bank still has not been released by SolarEdge.
- Only compatible with SolarEdge Energy Hub inverter.
Is The SolarEdge Energy Bank Battery Worth It?
Determining whether the SolarEdge Energy Bank is right for you requires weighing many factors.
These factors can include why you want a battery. Do you want the battery for peace of mind during a power outage? Are you wishing to avoid TOU and high peak energy rates? Are you wishing to go off-grid?
It’s also important to factor in whether your utility offers net-metering, which will affect the financial viability of your battery investment.
The answer to each of these questions will certainly affect your decision. And unfortunately, these answers might not be easy to determine without the help of an expert.
Thankfully, Green Ridge Solar can help you decide if the SolarEdge Energy Bank is right for you. We help Oregon homeowners install battery backup with and without solar panels, and we can answer any questions you might have about battery backup.
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