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’ll review the warranty of one of the first names that likely comes to mind when you think of batteries: Duracell.
Highlights of Duracell’s warranty
- Is based on a full system warranty of 10 years and 15 years for inverters
- Includes a cycles warranty of 6,000 cycles.
- Covers replacements and repairs at no cost to you, excluding the cost of labor.
- Is transferable at no additional cost to you.
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar-plus-storage options from local installers.
Quick overview: Duracell’s history and warranty
Duracell has been producing batteries since the 1920s, continuously developing and innovating within the battery market. Their name comes from the words “durable cell,” and they have continued to produce reliable, durable batteries for over 100 years. Duracell batteries are everywhere: by the checkout at the grocery store, in your TV remote, and even powering your car. It was only a matter of time before they entered the solar market.
In 2021, Duracell introduced the Power Center, an expandable battery system coming in a range of sizes to meet different needs. Duracell has recently launched the Duracell Home Ecosystem, a comprehensive solar-plus-storage solution that offers additional battery options including a higher power system with greater storage capacity. The battery ranges from 5 to 10 kilowatts (kW) of power and 14 to 56 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of storage capacity. It comes with a 10-year limited warranty that guarantees that it will maintain at least 70 percent of that capacity for the entire warranty period.
Duracell’s battery warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||DURACELL’S COVERAGE||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product and performance||10 years for the full system or 6,000 cycles|
15 years for the inverters
|10 years, plus a cycles or throughput clause|
|End of warranty capacity||70% at year 10||60% at year 10|
|Labor for repairs/ replacements||No||No|
|Shipping of parts||No||No|
|Transferability||Yes, no fee||Yes, no fee|
Duracell’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.
Duracell includes a 10-year product warranty for all of their batteries. You can review and compare Duracell’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”?
Duracell defines a “cycle” as the battery being discharged to the maximum allowance and recharged. Expecting that the battery will be “cycled” on a daily basis, the warranty covers a battery lifetime of 6,000 cycles.
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 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).
Duracell does not include a throughput warranty for the Home Ecosystem.
Duracell’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.
The Duracell Home Ecosystem battery comes in seven different sizes of initial usable capacity, ranging from 14 to 56 kWh. Duracell includes an end of capacity rating of 70% for all of their batteries. This means that at the end of the warranty period, Duracell Home Ecosystem batteries will have a usable capacity of 9.8 to 39.2 kWh, depending on the initial size that was purchased.
Duracell’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.
Duracell does not currently offer a workmanship warranty for the Home Ecosystem battery. You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with Duracell: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your storage system will continue operating smoothly for 10+ years, and you never have to worry about Duracell’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, Duracell 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, Duracell can help you directly.
During the warranty period, you can reach out to Duracell to make claims that are covered under the warranty that cannot be fixed by your initial installer. If a return or repair is required, you must provide proof of purchase of the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery (and proof of any subsequent ownership transfers), a description of the defects from an authorized installer, battery part/serial numbers, and battery log data from the time of the incident. You also need a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number issued within fifteen days of the occurrence of the issue with the battery.
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. Duracell does not cover labor costs associated with the repair or replacement of battery equipment.
Shipping of parts
Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you – and unfortunately Duracell isn’t one of them.
Limitations and exceptions to Duracell’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – Duracell’s 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 Duracell warranty:
- Damage or failure that is caused by noncompliance with national, state, or local electrical codes.
- 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 Duracell Home Ecosystem installation or maintenance manuals.
- Technical or cosmetic defects that do not interfere with the performance of the battery or actively degrade the system.
- Corrosion due to saltwater mist or vapor if installed outdoors in less than 200 meters from the coastline
Other warranty considerations, and how Duracell stacks up
- Transferability: the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery warranty is transferable at no cost to you. Just make sure to keep all records of transfer of ownership during the warranty period in case you need to make a warranty claim.
- Bankability: Duracell is a well-known battery manufacturer owned by the parent company Berkshire Hathaway and has been in business for over 100 years.
- Escrows/insurance policies: Duracell does not provide information on whether they have insurance policies or an escrow that ensures their warranties will be upheld if 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. Duracell’s warranty requires the Home Ecosystem battery to remain connected to the Internet during the warranty period, aside from loss of connection that is out of the owner’s control.
- Customer reviews: Customer reviews are a helpful part of understanding a company as a whole, in addition to their warranty offerings. 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 Duracell’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.
Duracell’s batteries are all built-in; however, their warranty coverage is slightly different from their battery at 15 years.
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–Duracell or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.
Duracell is a registered trademark of Duracell U.S. Operations, Inc., used under license. All rights reserved.