The best solar batteries in January 2024
There are dozens of manufacturers offering home solar batteries in the United States, so choosing the right one for your home can be confusing.
Here are SolarReviews’ top 5 solar batteries:
We evaluated 15 of the leading home solar batteries in the industry based on battery performance, quality, company reliability, and what hundreds of solar installers say about each brand.
The Enphase Energy System with IQ 5P batteries is our pick for the best home solar battery of 2023.
The IQ 5P is the latest battery from Enphase, offering twice the power output per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of storage as the company’s other batteries. While Enphase still offers the older IQ 5T and IQ 10T, the 5P rises above the rest. Read more about the Enphase IQ battery system here.
Simply put, the Enphase IQ 5P is the most versatile and capable battery on the market, with an excellent warranty from a company most solar installers know and trust. Enphase products are used in about half of all home solar installations in the U.S. According to our annual solar industry survey, nearly 60% of installers say they planned to carry Enphase batteries in 2023—more than double the next most-popular brand.
When installed with at least three 5P battery modules, the Enphase Energy System holds more electricity and can put out more power than most other batteries on our list.
But what makes the Enphase Energy System so great is its versatility. You can install the components in many different configurations, from a single module to a huge integrated system with up to 80 kWh of storage and an automatic power control system.
The simplest version of the Enphase system consists of just one IQ 5P battery, designed to store excess solar energy during the day and discharge during evenings when electricity is most expensive. Although this setup does not allow for home backup, it is the perfect solution for Net Billing in California because it allows solar owners to store excess solar energy and use it instead of purchasing grid power at very high prices in the evening.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Enphase Energy System can be designed with a special piece of equipment called the IQ System Controller to allow the batteries to perform whole-home backup functionality, charge from AC solar output, and even recharge from a fossil fuel generator.
|Very powerful output that increases as you add modules
|From a brand trusted by more solar installers than any other
Industry-leading 15-year warranty
|Modular design means you can size a system to your needs and expand in the future
On top of its loyalty from the industry, Enphase manufactures many of its products in the USA, and its financial performance over the past several years has been exemplary. Enphase offers an industry-leading 15-year warranty on the IQ 5P batteries. Because of the company’s strong fiscal performance and loyalty from the industry, we have no doubt they’ll be around to honor that warranty.
Of course, a battery this good comes at a high price. The estimated cost for an Enphase Energy System with IQ 5P batteries is about $1,250 per kWh of storage, which is expensive for home storage. But for people who want the best and can afford it, there’s no battery we’d recommend for home storage.
The Panasonic EverVolt battery is our pick for the best stackable solar battery of 2023. Panasonic has been using the EverVolt branding for several years on its solar panels and batteries, and the latest version of its solar battery is a winner!
Note: When we say “best stackable,” we’re talking about a category of solar batteries that have been around since about 2020, when HomeGrid pioneered this kind of floor-standing modular battery stack. Since then, many other companies have jumped on the bandwagon, and we’re all for it!
Being floor-mounted and wall-supported means a stackable battery can be installed more easily in more places and also expanded with additional modules in the future. It’s a sensible design that is good for homeowners and installers.
This version of the EverVolt battery is Panasonic’s third in the last three years, but we’re betting this will be the version that sticks. With three modular size options (9, 13.5, and 18 kWh) and a maximum output of 7.6 kW, the EverVolt can be sized for different needs, from solar self-consumption to full-blown backup of multiple critical circuits in the home.
The Panasonic EverVolt home battery took second place in our ranking methodology due to the battery’s modular design, its excellent 12-year warranty, Panasonic’s untouchable financial performance, and the battery’s surprisingly moderate price point for its maximum capacity.
Panasonic also has a major commitment to the U.S. Currently, it manufactures many gigawatt-hours of EV batteries alongside Tesla in Nevada and is nearing completion of a battery plant in Kansas, with a third plant coming soon.
|Stackable modular design is easy to install and expand
|Output limited to 7.6 kW unless you add a second stack
|Includes a solar inverter that allows up to 15.2 kW input
|Moderately expensive on a per-kWh basis unless you choose the largest size
12-year warranty is one of the best in the industry
|Comes from a trusted company that stands behind its products
The Tesla Powerwall 2 is undoubtedly the most well-known solar battery available today. Tesla’s sleek 250-pound rectangular status symbol hangs on the wall and comes in one size and color. If you want a Powerwall and need more storage or output than it can offer, you have to buy two.
Tesla also offers a similar product called the Powerwall+, which comes with its own hybrid inverter and is more suited to pairing with the company’s solar roof tiles. The Powerwall+ is significantly more expensive, which is why we chose the Powerwall 2 to compete in our rankings.
Despite its one-size-fits-all approach, the Powerwall is popular for a reason. It holds a good amount of energy, is relatively affordable, and works well. The app experience is great, perfectly integrating the Powerwall with any other Tesla products you might own.
The Powerwall 3 will be available soon, but there is no official release date from Tesla. We will re-evaluate its place in our rankings when it sees widespread availability. The new model still only comes in one size, but its power output has been increased; Tesla added a hybrid inverter for connecting to the DC output of solar panels, and expansion units should be more reasonably priced.
|Comes in only one size
|Very popular with solar installers and homeowners
|AC coupled only
Made by a profitable company with over two million American customers
|Uses lithium NMC chemistry in its batteries instead of safer, longer-lasting LFP technology
The LG Energy Solution RESU 16H is the oldest battery in our rankings, at the ripe old age of 3. It can still hang with the latest and greatest because it is simply a cost-effective powerhouse that solar installers like to work with.
Unlike all the other batteries in the top 5, the RESU is DC-coupled, meaning it doesn’t come with its own inverter. That’s why it’s best for new installations—it must be installed alongside a hybrid solar inverter.
The RESU 16H made the grade here because of its affordability, efficiency, and LG Energy Solution’s financial performance and reputation for support. After Enphase and Tesla, the RESU battery is the third most popular with installers of our top five.
Like Tesla, LGES is also about to launch a new residential battery. The new model, called the “enblock s,” is a stackable modular battery like many other offerings on this list. We’ll reevaluate LG’s offering when the enblock s becomes widely available.
|Very efficient operation because it can be charged directly from DC power generated by solar panels
|Doesn’t come with its own inverter, meaning it’s hard to add to an existing solar installation
|Can be installed alongside many different inverter brands
|Not expandable unless you buy a second full unit
Strong company financial performance
|Uses older NMC chemistry
The introduction of the Canadian Solar EP Cube was one of the most exciting things about RE+ 2022, the nation’s largest renewable energy conference. The EP Cube carries on Canadian Solar’s tradition of offering great performance at a moderate price point. This excellent value and Canadian Solar’s sterling reputation among installers and financiers earn the EP Cube the 5th spot in our ranking.
Expandable from 6.6 to 19.9 kWh, the EP Cube offers between 3 and 7.6 kW of power output per stack and includes its own hybrid solar inverter. This flexibility makes it a versatile choice for new or existing solar systems, and the EP Cube comes at an excellent price point.
Canadian Solar is already a trusted name in the solar panel market, and installers love working with the company’s products.
Canadian Solar also offers a “Lite” version of the EP Cube specifically designed for non-backup “peak shaving” in California. Homeowners there get very low credit for sending electricity to the grid and can benefit from storing excess solar energy during the day and discharging their batteries in the evening.
|Low cost compared to other modular solar batteries
|Output limited to 7.6 kW maximum unless you add a second stack
|Modular design is easy to install and expand
|Not yet popular in the industry compared to other offerings
Made by one of the most successful companies in the solar industry
|Estimated cost per kWh*
|Continuous power output
|10 years or 3,500 cycles
|Enphase Energy System (3 IQ 5P modules)
|15 years or 6,000 cycles
Panasonic EVERVOLT Home Battery (4 modules)
|12 years or 6,000 cycles
|Tesla Powerwall 2
|10 years or 37.8 MWh (2,800 cycles)
|LG Energy Solution RESU Prime 16H
|10 years or 54 MWh (3,375 cycles) to 7% capacity
|Canadian Solar EP Cube (5 modules)
|10 years or 6,000 cycles
Every person and every home is different, so the “best solar battery” can change based on your needs. To choose the right battery, you’ll need to know which specifications are important and ask yourself questions about what’s important to you.
When it comes to solar batteries, there are dozens of different specifications that can make small differences in performance and longevity, but we’re not going to go through all of them.
Our general advice is to trust expert installers to help you decide the right battery for you.
That being said, there are a few key numbers to look out for so you can be an informed consumer:
Do you want to keep your whole home powered in a blackout? Do you just want to keep a refrigerator and some lights running and charge your phone? The kinds of needs you have will determine which battery is best for you.
Generally, most solar battery installations are enough to keep a small number of critical appliances, outlets, and lights running for a day or two without power and could last indefinitely with solar recharging on sunny days.
A standard home solar battery setup costs between $12,000 and $20,000 before incentives. A system like this typically includes 14 kWh of storage and a continuous power output of 7.6 kW. Solar panels will cost an additional $20,000, on average.
A system like this can do partial home backup in a blackout and charge from solar on sunny days. If you want a larger system that can back up your whole home for multiple days, expect that price range to double to about $25,000 to $40,000, at a minimum.
There are solar battery incentives to help lower the cost of installing energy storage. The biggest battery incentive is the federal clean energy tax credit, which provides a non-refundable tax credit equal to 30% of the costs you pay to install the battery.
Your state government or local utility company may also offer solar battery tax breaks and other rebate programs that can further reduce costs.
SolarReviews’ battery rating methodology is quite different from other websites because we don’t simply rank performance characteristics. Instead, we emphasize factors that lead to long-term success for equipment manufacturers, which provides long-term benefits to homeowners.
Our team of solar experts has decades of experience in the solar industry, and we’ve seen too many manufacturers fail and leave customers without the warranty protection they offered.
As a result, our list not only reflects good performance from the battery but also brands that will be around in 10 to 15 years to stand behind their warranties and provide service if something goes wrong. We also look at the value on a dollars-per-kWh basis and examine a battery company’s popularity among solar installers.
Here are the categories and weights of our battery ranking criteria:
The largest number of points are available in this category, which looks at a manufacturer’s financial performance and transparency. Companies are awarded points for being publicly traded, publishing financial statements, and maintaining high revenue and profitability.
For this category, we evaluate a battery system based on its cost per kWh of storage, including installation costs, but before any incentives. For DC-coupled batteries, we add the cost of a SolarEdge hybrid inverter to the evaluation to fully represent the cost compared to AC-coupled batteries that include their own inverter.
The warranty is an extremely important evaluation criterion when it comes to batteries. Ten years has been the industry standard for a long time, but several companies now offer warranties of 12 years, and Enphase now leads the industry with a 15-year warranty. Companies get points for length and having cycle-life or total energy throughput clauses in their warranties.
This criteria represents total capacity for a typical home battery from each company. In the case of modular batteries, we evaluate using the most common or most functional size for the average homeowner.
Here, we look at a single battery’s ability to output continuous power. In the case of modular batteries, we evaluate a battery with the number of modules needed to reach the maximum output of the inverter.
This category looks at how flexible a battery’s design is. Points are awarded based on expandability, modularity, whether a battery is indoor and/or outdoor-rated, and whether it can be AC- and/or DC-coupled.
Our country needs home-grown businesses to bring us into a post-carbon world. This category tracks whether a company has offices or is based in the U.S., manufactures its equipment here, and regularly attends U.S. trade shows and industry events.
Data for this category comes directly from our annual solar industry survey. We ask installers which battery brands they will work with and award points weighted by the percentage of the industry that says they will install a company’s products. Full points are awarded to companies with at least 50% of installers saying they choose to install the battery.
Other than the top five listed above, we evaluated the following batteries from other companies for this analysis:
Most home batteries are connected to solar panels, either directly, through a DC-to-DC power connection inside a hybrid solar inverter or indirectly, through the AC output from a standard solar inverter or microinverters. When the battery is discharged, it provides power to the home’s circuits through a connection to the main electrical panel.
It is actually possible for a solar battery to be charged in a few different ways: from solar panels, from the grid, or from a backup generator. Note that while it’s possible to charge from all these sources, a specific battery might be designed to only charge in one or two of these ways. Also, local laws may require batteries to be charged only via solar.
Nobody absolutely needs a solar battery unless they plan to use solar to power an off-grid home. In most cases, people get solar batteries to have some backup power in an outage, or a way to use all their solar energy if they can’t get credit for excess (i.e. if they don’t have net metering).
Solar batteries have a few main benefits:
This depends on the capacity of the battery and how you use it. The batteries in our list above hold an average of around 15 kWh of electricity.
15 kWh is enough to keep essential appliances like refrigerators, lights, and power outlets to charge devices running for a day or two, and solar recharging can lead to an extended period of off-grid comfort. Just wait to turn on high-powered electric appliances until after the outage ends.
Several kinds of batteries are used for solar storage and backup, generally referred to by the chemistry that makes up their storage medium.
Lithium iron phosphate is our favorite type of battery chemistry because it is non-toxic and long-lasting.
We also appreciate the flexibility of AC-coupled batteries, especially those that come with automatic-transfer switches and load control (the ability to proactively turn off circuits to start more demanding appliances), like the FranklinWH energy system.
In general, the value of a battery is mostly the peace of mind it provides a homeowner by giving them a small amount of backup electricity in case of a power outage. Solar batteries can save money in specific circumstances.
In places without net metering, excess solar generation can be worth very little, depending on the utility company. Storing the excess energy in a battery and using it later in the day can save more money than using solar panels alone. But, the added cost of the batteries is usually about the same as accepting the lower credit and not paying for a battery.
Another way batteries can help their owners financially is through a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) enrollment. This utility company program requires battery owners to discharge a portion of their battery’s capacity each day in exchange for a payment from the utility. VPPs can result in significant ongoing payments for battery owners, potentially even offsetting the full post-incentive cost of the battery within a few years of installation.
The industry standard is a 10-year warranty, guaranteeing the battery can charge and discharge for between 3,500 and 6,000 cycles during that time, depending on battery chemistry and the company. Warranties generally state that once the battery has gone through that many cycles, it should still have at least 70% of its original capacity remaining.
Batteries can continue to operate for many years beyond their warranty date, but manufacturers conservatively estimate that level of capacity loss during normal use.
Some battery companies are extending their warranties to 12 and 15 years as they develop new technologies and get better testing data from batteries that have been in service for many years.
Existing solar systems without batteries are built with their own solar inverter (or microinverters), which are often not directly compatible with DC-coupled solar batteries.
People who already have solar and are looking for a battery should almost always opt for an AC-coupled battery. These batteries come with their own inverters and can be retrofitted to an existing solar system fairly easily.
In our top five list, all but the LG RESU batteries can be easily retrofitted to existing solar installations.
Portable solar batteries (aka solar generators) are a different type of battery that can be charged with solar power. Our top choices come from brands like Bluetti, EcoFlow, and Jackery. We tested some of the most portable battery brands and made a full list of our expert picks for the best portable solar generators.