For as much as the solar and storage industries have grown over the last couple of decades (half a million homes installed solar in 2021 alone, and the residential storage market continues to grow quarter over quarter), there really aren’t that many household brand names involved in the industry. Certainly Tesla has become a recognizable brand name, Generac is a familiar company to anyone who has considered a backup generator for their home or business, and Panasonic provides many household appliances and also offers solar panels and batteries – but, it’s not a stretch to suggest that the residential solar and storage industry is missing a true, major, household brand name.
Enter Duracell. If we embedded the three note Duracell jingle in this article, you’d know immediately who it was that we were referencing, a level of recognition that no other company in this industry has yet achieved. And now, the 100-year-old company has entered the residential energy storage market in the US with the Power Center, which Duracell has recently rebranded as the Home Ecosystem energy system: a modular lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery that can be expanded to provide 5-10 (kW) of continuous power output, and from 14 to 56 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of storage capacity. Here’s what you need to know about the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery and how it stacks up to its competitors in the space.
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- The Duracell Home Ecosystem energy system is an AC-coupled storage system that’s compatible with all solar solutions.
- The Duracell battery comes with a 10-year, 6,000 cycle warranty.
- Interested in purchasing a Duracell battery? Get started exploring your solar-plus-storage options today on the EnergySage Marketplace.
How does the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery work?
The Duracell battery pairs well with solar panel systems, especially if your utility has reduced or removed net metering, introduced time-of-use rates, or instituted demand charges for residential electricity consumers – in fact, the Home Ecosystem battery can shift modes to maximize savings on complex utility rates. Installing a storage solution like Duracell’s with a solar energy system allows you to maintain a sustained power supply during both day and night, as long as you store enough power from your solar panels when the sun is shining.
As with many other home battery products, the Duracell battery is sized for day-to-day use at your home and is primarily designed to be paired with a solar panel system. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use in your home, you can store the excess electricity in the battery system instead of sending it back into the grid. Later, when your panels aren’t producing enough electricity to meet your home’s needs, you can use the stored energy in your battery instead of having to buy it from your utility company.
Key things to know about the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery
First and foremost, in their marketing materials and in conversations with EnergySage, Duracell is leaning heavily into the brand name as an opportunity to drive consumer-level demand, and why wouldn’t they? Their own internal consumer research has found that consumers would choose Duracell over incumbent storage manufacturers in the space.
At the end of the day though, ultimately what you’re installing is a complex piece of hardware and software, and not a brand. It’s looking at those metrics and specifications of the Duracell battery where you can truly decide if the Duracell storage option is the right choice for you. Here’s what to look out for:
When evaluating the Duracell battery or any other energy storage system, there are various important metrics and technical specifications to keep in mind. Among the most important are the size of the battery (power and capacity), its chemistry, depth of discharge, and roundtrip efficiency.
The Duracell battery comes with five different options of kWh stored in each configuration. Two important metrics to keep in mind when comparing the Duracell battery to other home storage options are power and usable capacity. Power (measured in kW) determines the maximum amount of electricity that can be output at a single time, while usable capacity (measured in kWh) is a measure of the maximum amount of electricity stored in your battery on a full charge. Depending upon the configuration, the Duracell battery comes with a continuous power rating of 5-10 kW to go along with a range of 14 to 56 kWh of usable capacity.
When comparing modular battery systems to other products on the market, it’s important to look at two key things. First, the size of each increment of additional capacity (i.e., what’s the smallest building block) helps to demonstrate how flexible the sizing of the battery is. The Duracell battery is configurable in 14 kWh increments, which is on the larger end of building blocks: for reference, that’s about the same storage capacity as a single Powerwall and larger than the average energy storage system size quoted on EnergySage. The second thing to consider is the range of options available (i.e., what’s the largest backup system you can design with the battery). With the Duracell battery, you have a range of configurations from the 14 kWh base model, expandable all the way up to a 56 kWh model, which is a wider range of options than most batteries provide.
Deeper dive into power and usable capacity
You can think of your battery like water running through a pipe. The usable energy capacity is the amount of water available to push through the pipe, while power is the size of the pipe itself. Larger pipes allow more water to flow through at once, which depletes the water faster. Similarly, a battery with a high power rating can deliver more electricity at one time, but will burn through its available energy capacity faster too.
A battery’s power determines the number of appliances you can run from the battery concurrently, while usable capacity determines how long those appliances can be run. Batteries with a higher power rating are capable of powering more, bigger appliances or many appliances at once, while batteries with a higher usable capacity can store more total energy and thus can run your appliances for longer periods of time without needing to recharge.
The functionality of one solar power battery next to another can vary; some batteries have excellent off-grid capabilities, while others offer software solutions specific to rate arbitrage. The Duracell Home Ecosystem battery is a powerful, flexible battery offering scalable system sizing, over-the-air software updates, a “load shifting” utility rate savings mode and can be coupled with any style of solar install (i.e., AC coupled or DC coupled).
The Duracell battery provides fully automated back-up power, with an integrated bi-directional inverter and transfer switch. All of this means that in the event of a grid outage, the Home Ecosystem battery will automatically take over to power your home appliances.
While you may expect that Duracell–a global leader in alkaline battery manufacturing–would use that same technology in their residential energy storage applications, they actually rely on what has become one of the standard formats of lithium-ion residential battery chemistries: lithium iron phosphate, or LFP. LFP batteries are known for their high power rating, advanced safety ratings, and long cycle life. To learn more about how different lithium-ion battery chemistries stack up against one another, check out our overview of battery chemistry differences.
Two key ways to evaluate the performance of a solar battery are its depth of discharge and roundtrip efficiency.
Depth of discharge (DoD) indicates the percentage of a battery’s energy that has been discharged relative to the overall capacity of the battery. Because the useful life of a battery decreases each time you charge, discharge, and re-charge it, many battery manufacturers specify a maximum DoD level for optimal battery performance. In general, batteries with a higher depth of discharge are considered higher quality products. The Home Ecosystem battery boasts a depth of discharge of 90 percent across all battery sizes, reflective of its safe and advanced LFP battery chemistry.
Roundtrip efficiency is a measure of the electrical losses involved with charging and discharging a particular battery. The higher the percentage, the more efficiently the battery is able to convert incoming electricity into stored electricity and then back into usable electricity. The Duracell battery has a roundtrip efficiency of 85.7 percent; this means that for every 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you put into the battery, you’ll receive 8.6 kWh of output.
Duracell Home Ecosystem battery warranty coverage
Duracell battery warranties
- 10 years, inverter 15 years
- Lifetime cycle expectation: 6,000 cycle life
- Guaranteed end of warranty capacity: 70%
In most cases, homes with a Duracell battery will charge and discharge their battery every day. So, how long does the Home Ecosystem battery last? Duracell’s battery comes with a 10-year warranty, and Duracell guarantees that the battery will maintain at least 70 percent of its capacity to hold a charge during that time period. Notably, Duracell rates its battery with a life of 6,000 cycles for the battery, which would equate to a 16 year expected life if you cycle the Home Ecosystem battery every day.
Duracell’s battery technology is similar to other rechargeable batteries both large and small: as time goes on, the battery loses some of its ability to hold a charge. Think of how the battery life of a brand-new smartphone compares to one that is a few years old. As you continually charge and drain your phone’s battery, it starts to lose some of its ability to hold a charge.
The life of your Duracell battery will deteriorate in the same way. That isn’t an indicator of a product flaw – all batteries lose some of their ability to hold a charge over time after extended usage, whether it’s an electric vehicle battery, a home energy battery, or a rechargeable AA battery. This is why Duracell offers a warranty that guarantees a certain percentage of storage capacity.
If you want to compare individual battery models side-by-side, our battery Buyer’s Guide lets you select products and compare them based on efficiency, capacity, power, and more.
How much does the Home Ecosystem battery cost?
A solar battery installation isn’t as simple as a list price for a component – depending on your electrical setup, among other factors, installation costs can vary widely. Duracell has not yet published pricing for the Duracell battery (and it’s new enough of a product that we don’t yet have average pricing on it from EnergySage data at the time of writing). However, Duracell positions its battery as being compatible with industry standard pricing. (On EnergySage, the average battery quoted is 10.1 kWh at a price of $1,289 per kWh, so a total cost of around $13,000).
If you want to install the Duracell battery as part of a solar-plus-storage system, battery costs are just one part of the equation. A 5 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system generally costs between $11,000 to $15,000 depending on where you live and the type of equipment you choose.
That may sound like a lot of money, but installing a solar-plus-storage system can be a worthwhile investment. Whether or not the Home Ecosystem battery makes sense for you is determined by the way that your electric utility structures its rates, as well as your reasons for installing a solar battery.
In some cases, depending on where you live, you may have access to financial incentives that can reduce your home energy storage installation costs. For instance, if you live in California, you could get a cash rebate that covers most of your home battery costs through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). Other states (such as Massachusetts) are in the early stages of evaluating battery storage performance incentives as well, and several states already provide cash rebates.
Can you go off-grid with the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery?
Installing a solar-plus-storage system at your home is a great way to take control of your electricity bill, but it doesn’t mean that you’re completely disconnected from your utility. Going “off the grid” with solar batteries is actually a more expensive and complicated proposition than you might think. The average American home uses about 30 kWh on an average day, meaning that most home batteries only have enough capacity to store a few hours of backup for a typical home on a typical day. However, depending upon the configuration, the Duracell battery is capable of serving either temporary backup or closer to whole-home backup when the grid goes down if you have a solar panel system to provide power.
Where to buy the Duracell Home Ecosystem battery
Whether you want to install a Duracell battery or another home battery pack, you will most likely need to work through a certified installer. Adding energy storage technology to your home is a complicated process that requires electrical expertise, certifications, and knowledge of the best practices required to install a solar-plus-storage system correctly.
A qualified EnergySage-approved company can give you the best recommendation about the Home Ecosystem battery and other energy storage options available to homeowners today. If you are interested in receiving competing installation quotes for solar and energy storage options from local installers near you, simply join the EnergySage Marketplace today and indicate what products you’re interested in your profile’s preferences section.
Duracell is a registered trademark of Duracell U.S. Operations, Inc., used under license. All rights reserved.