Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar battery manufacturers, talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included, and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we take a comprehensive look at the battery warranty of an innovator in the world of battery storage: Blue Planet Energy.
Highlights of Blue Planet Energy’s warranty
- Is based on battery lifetime of 15 years, or 8,000 cycles.
- Guarantees 74% capacity at year 15.
- Covers shipping of replacement parts at no cost to you.
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar-plus-storage options from local installers.
Quick overview: Blue Planet Energy’s history and warranty
Blue Planet Energy is a United States battery manufacturer based in Honolulu, Hawaii. They were founded in 2015 with a goal of offering flexible and reliable options for grid independence. Over the past seven years, their lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries have grown considerably in the solar industry, in large part due to one of the longest battery warranties currently available: a 15-year or 8,000 cycle warranty.
Their current battery offerings include the Blue Ion HI, a stackable battery that comes in initial capacity options of 8, 12, or 16 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and can be stacked to create systems up to 480 kWh. The Blue Ion LX is a much larger battery designed for complete grid independence, with an initial capacity of 128 kWh; these batteries can be stacked to create systems to 2 megawatt-hours (MWh) and beyond!
Blue Planet Energy’s battery warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||BLUE PLANET ENERGY'S COVERAGE||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product and performance||15 year, plus a cycles clause of 8,000 cycles||10 years, plus a cycles or throughput clause|
|End of warranty capacity||74% at year 15||60% at year 10|
|Labor for repairs/ replacements||No||No|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||No|
|Transferability||Yes, no fee||Yes, no fee|
Blue Planet Energy’s product and performance warranty
A battery manufacturer’s product and performance warranty covers the integrity and output of the equipment itself – if your battery system has a defect or experiences unreasonable degradation, that should be covered by your product warranty. If there’s a defect with your battery, you or your installer should be able to tell that something is amiss and fix the problem immediately–often before the battery is ever installed. Regardless, it’s good to consider products with longer warranties for the peace of mind it provides.
Blue Planet Energy includes a 15-year performance warranty for all of their batteries. You can review and compare Blue Planet Energy’s batteries in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
You’ll also notice that many battery warranties will include a clause suggesting that your term may be cut short depending on your use of the battery – this is where cycles and throughput come into play.
Every time you drain and charge your battery, it’s called a “cycle”. Like the battery inside your cell phone, your solar battery will gradually lose its ability to hold a full charge the more you use it. Because of this, some manufacturers guarantee a minimum number of cycles as part of their warranty agreement. But read this line carefully: oftentimes, manufacturers will guarantee a fixed product term OR a minimum number of cycles, whichever comes first. This means if you hit the warrantied number of cycles before your battery hits the end of its warranty period, it could end your warranty term. The confusing part here is that manufacturers will sometimes define a “cycle” differently–i.e., how much your battery needs to be drained and charged for it to be considered a “cycle”?
Blue Planet Energy defines a “cycle” as the battery being 100% discharged and recharged and includes a warrantied number of 8,000 cycles for all of their batteries.
Another clause that some manufacturers will put on their warranty pertains to throughput: the total energy a manufacturer expects the battery to deliver throughout its lifetime. Companies state these warranties in terms of megawatt-hours (MWh). For example, if your battery company provides a throughput warranty of 30 MWh, this means that the warranty is valid until the battery stores and delivers 30 MWh–or 30,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh)–of energy. Similar to a cycle life warranty, throughput warranties typically only apply if your battery delivers a set amount of energy before its warranty period is up.
Throughput numbers will vary quite a bit depending on the overall storage capacity of your system. Additionally, if your battery system contains several different battery cells–or modules–within it, your warranty may state a throughput by cell (which you can multiply by number of cells to get total throughput).
Blue Planet Energy does not include a throughput limit for either of their batteries – however, based on their cycles warranty, they effectively allow 6.98 MWh per kWh of energy.
Blue Planet Energy’s end of warranty capacity rating
In addition to providing cycle or throughput warranties, most manufacturers also promise a certain level of performance by the time your warranty is up. This often presents itself as an end of warranty capacity rating.
As you’re comparing the end of warranty capacity ratings across various batteries, higher percentages are better than lower percentage guarantees.
Blue Planet Energy includes an end of warranty capacity rating of 74% for all of their batteries. You can check the end of warranty capacity ratings for each battery model in the table below:
Blue Planet Energy’s battery end of warranty capacity
|Blue Ion HI 8 kWh||Blue Ion HI 12 kWh||Blue Ion HI 16 kWh||Blue Ion LX|
|Initial usable capacity (kWh)||8 kWh||12 kWh||16 kWh||128 kWh|
|End of warranty capacity (kWh)||5.92 kWh||8.88 kWh||11.84 kWh||94.72 kWh|
Blue Planet Energy’s workmanship warranty
Battery companies should cover a replacement battery if you need it during their warrantied term–but, while the manufacturer may cover your replacement part, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover the labor costs to re-install that equipment. In fact, many manufacturers do not reimburse for labor associated with diagnostics, replacements, or repairs of their products.
More often than not, installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your battery installation. However, some manufacturers offer additional protection by tacking on their own workmanship warranty for a limited number of certified installers in their network. Blue Planet Energy does not offer a workmanship warranty.
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with Blue Planet Energy: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your storage system will continue operating smoothly for 15+ years, and you never have to worry about Blue Planet Energy’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, Blue Planet Energy will be there to help.
If you notice an issue with your battery, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue. If you can’t get in touch with your installer, or if they’ve gone out of business, you can contact Blue Planet Energy directly and they will assist you.
One thing that will make the warranty process easier if you choose a Blue Planet Energy battery is its field serviceability. Because their batteries are modular, you likely won’t have to ship the entire unit back to Blue Planet Energy; instead, you’ll just need to ship the defective battery cell, meaning you can continue to use the rest of your storage system while that cell is being repaired or replaced.
When it comes time for any repairs or replacements, there are two additional warranty considerations you’ll want to keep in mind: labor and shipping costs.
Labor costs for diagnostics, repairs or replacements
Many manufacturers cover replacement parts at no extra cost, but don’t pay for the labor costs necessary to re-install that equipment. Blue Planet Energy does not cover labor costs.
Shipping of parts
Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you – but Blue Planet Energy isn’t one of them! If you need any repaired or replacement parts shipped to you, Blue Planet Energy will cover the cost.
Limitations and exceptions to Blue Planet Energy’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – Blue Planet Energy is no different. Warranty limitations aren’t meant to make it harder for you to take advantage of the offering; companies simply try to protect themselves from unjust or unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your Blue Planet Energy warranty:
- Acts of nature – this is a common one – most battery system manufacturers will not cover any damage caused by extreme weather events outside of their control, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Fortunately, the hardware is pretty durable, and can withstand most storms without the added protection. Even better, should damage happen to occur during a storm, many homeowner insurance policies cover damage to solar-plus-storage systems.
- Installation in conditions that are in violation of the installation manual.
- Technical or cosmetic defects that do not interfere with the performance of the battery or actively degrade the system.
- If the battery is installed in an outdoor location.
Other warranty considerations, and how Blue Planet Energy stacks up
- Transferability: you can transfer Blue Planet Energy’s warranty to new owners at no cost as long as the system remains in place.
- Bankability: Blue Planet Energy’s warranty is backed by muRata, a trillion dollar company that’s been in business since the 1940s.
- Escrows/insurance policies: Blue Planet Energy does have a policy to ensure their warranty will be upheld in the unlikely event that they go out of business.
- Eligibility: some manufacturers require customers to permanently connect to their monitoring system in order for their warranty to be valid. Blue Planet Energy requires that you maintain connection to one of their monitoring platforms – but, their basic platform does not require Internet connectivity. While they won’t be able to remotely troubleshoot any issues without connection to the Internet, the information is stored in the device in 10 second intervals for 30 years.
- Customer reviews: another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how customers feel about their equipment and the services they provide. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. If you are interested in reading SolarEdge’s reviews, you can do so here.
What about inverters?
We use “battery” and “battery system” pretty interchangeably in this article, but there’s one important difference between the two: an inverter. Energy storage systems typically include both batteries and inverters, while certain batteries can be sold independently. Inverters are key to the functionality of a battery, so it’s important to make sure yours is covered! If your product includes a built-in storage-only or hybrid inverter, it’ll likely be covered in your battery’s warranty terms. On the other hand, if you pair your battery with an external, third-party inverter, expect it to come with a different warranty agreement than your battery.
Blue Planet Energy batteries are not built-in and thus require a separate warranty.
Finding the right battery for you
Finding the right storage system for your home means comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you, and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar-plus-storage options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price – warranties and all. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another–Blue Planet Energy or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.