Your home’s energy consumption varies a lot during the day, so some of your solar energy usually ends up going unused by you. Solar batteries store the electricity produced by your rooftop solar panels so that you can use it at other times. This adds valuable flexibility to your solar system, allowing you to use your stored solar energy during grid outages, when grid electricity is more expensive, or simply when the sun isn’t shining.
The Encharge 3™ all-in-one AC-coupled storage system provides a total usable energy capacity of 3.4kWh and four embedded grid-forming microinverters. It provides great flexibility in starting small and adding incremental capacity.Learn more
The Encharge 10™ all-in-one AC-coupled storage system, comprised of three base Encharge 3™ storage units, provides a total usable energy capacity of 10.1kWh and twelve embedded grid-forming microinverters. Connect multiple Encharge 10 storage systems to maximize backup potential for whole home backup.Learn more
Lithium-ion is the most popular solar back up battery type for home storage systems. Lithium-ion has many advantages: it has high roundtrip efficiency, superior energy density, and a lifespan of at least 10 years.
The two most common chemistries of lithium-ion batteries are Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) and Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC). While NMC batteries have slightly higher energy density than LFPs, they have a relatively higher risk of thermal runaway, which can lead to fire and even explosion if punctured. LFPs are safer than NMCs because they stay cooler, eliminating the risk of thermal runaway fires.
There are many ways solar plus energy storage can be valuable for your home:
A generator is a backup system that is typically powered by fuels such as diesel, gasoline, natural gas, or liquid propane. Generators can normally run continuously for anywhere between 7 and 12 hours at 50% power.
A solar panel battery charges from your rooftop solar panels. Depending on the back up battery and solar system size and your electricity demand, a solar back up battery can power your family’s critical devices for up to 24 hours and beyond. Read more about differences between solar battery and generator.
Solar and storage systems work best together when they have a cohesive process for communication and functioning as a whole unit. Some systems piece together solar and storage from different manufacturers. While systems like this can still function, the varied parts often mean inconsistencies in warranties, software, and support – and as a result, lower performance.
Enphase offers an all-in-one solar and storage system, integrating all components on a single software platform. This means a uniquely versatile system with universal communication and optimized functionality.
When looking for the best deep cycle battery for your home’s needs, you’ll want to consider a number of key factors:
Find out what kind of system is best for you
Yes, home energy storage systems can provide benefits to homeowners even when not paired with a rooftop solar system. Your solar battery would simply store energy drawn from the grid instead of solar panels. This can still provide cost advantages by reducing your utility electricity demand during high rate periods while offering backup power during grid outages.
Most solar and storage systems are set up with a single string inverter that passes the energy from the solar battery unit and solar system to your home. If this inverter fails, the whole system is unable to function correctly. And if you can’t rely on your backup system, it becomes useless.
So, Enphase created a unique design that backs up your backup system: multiple microinverters placed in the energy storage unit. This means that if one microinverter malfunctions, the other microinverters ensure that the system continues to run smoothly.
Depth of discharge (DoD) refers to the percentage of a battery’s capacity that has been discharged from the battery. For example, a battery that is completely empty of charge has a DoD of 100%.
Battery providers specify a maximum DoD for a specific battery in order for it to retain its effectiveness. When looking for a home storage unit, you will ideally want to find one with a higher DoD. This means that it will require less frequent charging compared to a battery with a lower DoD.
All solar batteries lose some percentage of their energy in the process of charging and discharging. Round trip efficiency (RTE) refers to the amount of energy that a solar power battery can dispatch compared to the amount of energy that it can store. For example, a battery for solar with an RTE of 70% can discharge 70% of the energy that it stores. When looking for a battery for solar, you will ideally want one with a higher RTE in order minimize the amount of energy lost when your battery cycles.
Depending on the chemistry, solar batteries can last anywhere between 5 and 15 years or even longer. Most solar power batteries are warrantied up to 10 years with a performance guarantee. This means that if your system isn’t performing as promised at the end of its warranty, your battery provider will typically replace it free of charge. You can learn more about home battery warranties here.
Battery lifetime also depends on how often you use it; the more frequently it cycles, the more quickly the battery will degrade.
While all solar battery types have some safety risks, strict regulations and safety procedures are in place to ensure that solar power batteries are safe for home use. Solar power batteries that utilize Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry, like Encharge, are among the safest available for residential homes.