SolarEdge has long been a leader in the solar industry, offering some of the most popular inverters and DC power optimizers worldwide. In October 2021, the company made a big announcement: in addition to an upgraded version of their Energy Hub Inverter, they launched their own home battery solution – the Energy Bank. These new product launches are part of SolarEdge’s new home energy solution called SolarEdge Home, designed to easily integrate solar-plus-storage with a number of SolarEdge smart home devices, including the SolarEdge Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger.
Storage is an integral part of the transition to smart electric homes and SolarEdge is joining the growing list of companies to release new solar battery technology. So how does SolarEdge’s Energy Bank differ from these companies and what makes it unique?
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- The SolarEdge Energy Bank is designed to seamlessly integrate with their other products as part of their home energy solution: the SolarEdge Home
- In part due to its DC-coupling, the Energy Bank includes industry-leading roundtrip efficiency at 94.5 percent
- The Energy Bank offers high continuous backup power of 5 kW
- The Energy Bank is modular, allowing you to stack up to three batteries per inverter, for a total of nine batteries in one system
- You can only use the SolarEdge Energy Hub Inverter with the Energy Bank
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How does the SolarEdge Energy Bank work?
The SolarEdge Energy Bank is designed to seamlessly integrate with solar panel systems, and is particularly useful as a way to maximize your savings from solar in the event that your utility has reduced or removed net metering, introduced time-of-use rates, or instituted demand charges for residential electricity consumers. Additionally, installing a storage solution like the Energy Bank with a solar energy system can allow 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 Energy Bank 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 to the grid (as you would under a typical net-metered setup if you had solar without a battery). 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 SolarEdge Energy Bank
Two key things make SolarEdge’s Energy Bank stand out from other storage solutions: efficiency and integration. SolarEdge describes their battery as having “industry-leading” efficiency and it seamlessly integrates with other SolarEdge products to create one cohesive smart electric home.
When evaluating the Energy Bank, 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.
Two important metrics to keep in mind when comparing the Energy Bank to other home storage options are power and usable capacity. Power (measured in kilowatts, or kW) determines the maximum amount of electricity that can be output at a single time, while usable capacity (measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh) is a measure of the maximum amount of electricity stored in your battery on a full charge. The Energy Bank includes a maximum power rating of 7.5 kW to go along with 9.7 kWh of usable capacity. It also offers 5 kW of continuous power for one battery or 10 kW for two or more batteries – allowing homeowners to power more or higher wattage devices for longer in the event of an outage.
The Energy Bank is also modular, it can be stacked together to create even larger, more powerful battery systems. You can stack up to three Energy Banks per Energy Hub Inverter, with up to three Energy Hub Inverters per system – for a total of up to nine Energy Banks at 87.3 kWh!
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 what appliances you can run with it at the same time, while usable capacity determines how long those appliances can be run. Batteries with a higher power rating are capable of powering more robust 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. Here are the important qualities of the SolarEdge Energy Bank:
The Energy Bank is designed to support backup power capabilities. In the event of severe weather, a special feature of the mySolarEdge app – Weather Guard – will send you alerts based on data from the National Weather Service and automatically charge your battery to full capacity before the storm. SolarEdge also offers a Backup Interface product which will automatically power your devices (from your entire home to selected loads) when a power outage occurs. The Backup Interface includes a built-in Auto Transformer and Energy Meter, meaning fewer boxes on your wall and a faster (and often cheaper) installation.
When considering the wiring of your storage system, there are two main options: alternating current (AC) coupling and direct current (DC) coupling. Solar panels generate DC electricity and solar batteries store DC electricity, whereas your home’s appliances consume AC electricity. With AC-coupled storage systems, the energy stored in your battery will need to be inverted three separate times before it can be used, which leads to efficiency losses. The Energy Bank is a DC-coupled system, enabling its high round trip efficiency because there are fewer AC inversions. However, it’s important to note that the Energy Bank only integrates with the SolarEdge Energy Hub Inverter.
By integrating the Energy Bank with their Energy Hub Inverter, SolarEdge has designed their storage solution to minimize the number of main electrical panel upgrades needed. According to SolarEdge, the Energy Bank can be installed in just one day, allowing you quick access to features like backup power and rate arbitrage
The Energy Bank is a lithium-ion storage product; specifically, it is a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) battery. This is one of the most common lithium-ion battery technologies, and for good reason: relative to other types of batteries, NMC batteries are known for their high energy density (the amount of energy they can store relative to the physical space they take up). 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 SolarEdge Energy Bank boasts a depth of discharge of 100 percent across all battery sizes.
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. SolarEdge Energy Bank has an industry-leading roundtrip efficiency of 94.5 percent (with a system roundtrip efficiency of 93.3 percent); this means that for every 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you put into the battery, you’ll receive 9.45 kWh of output.
SolarEdge Energy Bank warranty coverage
Energy Bank warranties
- Warranty period: 10 years (with unlimited cycles and throughput)
- Guaranteed end of warranty capacity: 70%
In most cases, homes with an Energy Bank will charge and discharge their battery every day. So, how long will the Energy Banks last? The Energy Bank comes with a 10-year warranty and SolarEdge guarantees that the battery will maintain at least 70 percent of its capacity to hold a charge during that time period. Importantly, SolarEdge does not include a cycles or throughput clause, which can often shorten the warranty term for other battery products.
SolarEdge’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 battery life of your SolarEdge Energy Bank 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 SolarEdge 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 SolarEdge Energy Bank 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. SolarEdge has not yet released the price of their Energy Bank, but as a rough estimate, you can expect it to cost between $6,000 and $8,000 for a full system installation.
If you want to install the Energy Bank as part of a solar-plus-storage system, battery costs are just one part of the equation. A 5 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system costs anywhere from $9,000 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 Energy Bank 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 (i.e., if you want backup power in the event of a grid outage).
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 SolarEdge Energy Bank?
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. Most home batteries, including the Energy Bank, only have enough capacity to store a few hours of electricity (depending on what you’re running). That being said, the Energy Bank can serve as temporary backup when the grid goes down if you have a solar panel system to provide power, operating without the grid but not requiring you to disconnect from it entirely.
Where to buy the SolarEdge Energy Bank
Whether you want to install an Energy Bank or another home battery pack, you will need to work with 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 SolarEdge Energy Bank 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.