The best solar batteries of 2023: find the right one for you
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If you’re in the market for a solar battery, you know it can be overwhelming. There are a ton of great options out there, and finding the one that’s just right is hard, especially since there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to energy storage.
The good news is that we’ve done a lot of the hard work for you. We’ve put together a list of our favorite solar batteries on the market today based on performance and brand reputation to help you narrow down your search for storage.
Editorial note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.
Like we said, the best solar battery for you is going to really depend on your energy needs and what you want out of an energy storage system. But we can offer a little guidance.
We took a look at a number of solar batteries on the market and picked our favorites based on performance and brand credibility. The fact of the matter is that solar batteries are expensive, and you want to make sure you’re getting yours from a company you can trust.
Our top batteries come from brands that have a reputation for high-quality products and the financial backing to be around for years to come if you ever encounter an issue with your battery.
You can watch SolarReviews Founder Andy Sendy talk more in-depth about how and why we chose the seven batteries on our list:
The Tesla Powerwall+ takes the number one spot as the best solar battery for homeowners. Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
Perhaps the most well-known solar battery on the market is the Tesla Powerwall, and for good reason. The Powerwall is a great battery with excellent monitoring features - with a solid 13.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of storage capacity and high power output capabilities, it’s able to meet most homeowner’s needs. It’s also easy to hook up to existing solar panels because it is an AC-coupled battery.
We also put the Powerwall high on the list because it’s a Tesla product. Now, we don’t think Tesla is the greatest company on the planet, but they’ve really excelled when it comes to their home batteries. Plus, there’s a good chance that Tesla has the financial ability to support you in case something is wrong with your Powerwall.
|Usable energy capacity||13.5 kWh|
|Continuous power output (on-grid)||Up to 7.6 kW*|
|Warranty||70% capacity after 10-year, unlimited cycle when used with certain operating modes|
*Power output will vary depending on weather conditions and grid connection.
The Generac PWRCcell gives homeowners the ability to install the amount of storage that’s just right for their energy needs. Image source: Generac
Generac is best known for its gas-powered generators, but the company now offers a solar energy storage system, too. The Generac PWRcell is great because it’s modular - meaning it contains many small battery packs so you can customize the size of the battery you need.
The battery comes in both AC-coupled and DC-coupled models, so it’s easy to incorporate with existing or new solar installations. It’s also able to connect with gas-powered generators, so if backup power is your main concern, a Generac system is probably the best pick for you.
Plus, Generac has that bankability factor you want to look for in a company. It has enough money behind it that you can trust it, and it’s been in the backup game for decades. If anyone knows how to keep your lights on, it’s Generac.
|Usable energy capacity||9 - 18 kWh|
|Continuous power output (on-grid)||Up to 9 kW*|
|Warranty||10-year or 7.56 MWh per module|
*Depends on what battery size you choose
The sonnenCore lets you get install a luxury battery without the luxury price. Image source: sonnen
Historically, sonnen’s batteries have been considered somewhat of a luxury home battery system, not only because of their advanced features and sleek design but also because of their steep price tag. Some models come in at a whopping $30,000!
Luckily, this isn’t the case with the sonnenCore+. The sonnenCore+ was released to meet the needs (and budgets!) of everyday homeowners, and its price falls right in line with its competitors.
Even though the sonnenCore+ comes at a lower price point than some of the company’s other models, it doesn’t sacrifice on quality. The battery looks great, has great features, and it’s manufactured by a company we trust. sonnen’s been in the battery game for over a decade, and they have a stellar reputation, so you can rest assured knowing that you’ll get the support you need.
|Usable energy capacity||10 kWh or 20 kWh|
|Continuous power output (on-grid)||4.8 kW|
|Warranty||70% capacity after 10-year or 10,000 cycles|
Enphase is a trusted company in inverter manufacturing, so you can feel confident in installing their battery system. Image source: Solar Optimum
If you’ve been looking into installing solar, you’ve probably come across the name Enphase. Enphase is the largest and most trusted manufacturer of microinverters for solar panel systems. In 2019, the company expanded into energy storage systems with the Enphase IQ battery.
Our biggest concern when it comes to energy storage systems is the inverters because they’re the most likely to fail. Because Enphase is an expert in inverters and uses its microinverter technology in the IQ batteries, we feel confident that you can trust the inverters to work.
|Usable energy capacity||3.36 kWh or 10.08 kWh|
|Continuous power output (on-grid)||1.28 kW or 3.84 kW|
|Warranty||70% capacity after 10 years or 4,000 cycles|
The SolarEdge Home Battery is a great option for homeowners who have or are looking to install SolarEdge products. Image source: SolarEdge
SolarEdge is another big name in solar inverter and module-level power electronics that has stepped into battery storage. The SolarEdge Home Battery is a 9.7 kWh battery designed to work exclusively with SolarEdge’s inverter and power-optimizer technology. It can also be paired with SolarEdge’s Home EV Charger.
Much like Enphase, SolarEdge is a large and reliable company that you can trust. They have experience with inverter technology, so you won’t have to worry about the quality of the inverter. If you do experience any issues with the SolarEdge Home Battery, they have the reputation and the funds to provide necessary services.
|Feature||SolarEdge Home Battery|
|Usable energy capacity||9.7 kWh|
|Continuous power output (on-grid)||5 kW|
|Warranty||70% capacity after 10 years, unlimited cycles|
If anyone knows batteries, it’s Panasonic. The company has been in the battery business since the 1930s, and they’ve been working in solar since 1975.
The EverVolt 2.0 is Panasonic’s most recent home solar battery solution. It stores a whopping 17.5 kWh of energy, so if you’re looking for a lot of storage, this is a great option. Panasonic’s EverVolt 2.0 battery can round out our complete Panasonic Total Home Energy Solution. It can be paired with solar systems up to 12 kW in size, which is fine for most homeowners.
Just like the other batteries on this list, Panasonic is a profitable company that you can trust will be around for years to come in case anything goes wrong.
|Feature||Panasonic EverVolt 2.0|
|Usable energy capacity||17.5 kWh|
|Continuous power output (on-grid)||9.6 kW|
|Warranty||60% capacity after 10 years or 7.56 MWh throughput per module|
Canadian Solar’s EP Cube was revealed in September 2022 - will this battery live up to the company’s solar modules? Image source: Canadian Solar
Canadian Solar is a big name in solar panels. In fact, they’re one of our picks for the 10 Best Solar Manufacturers. At the RE+ conference in September 2022, the module giant unveiled its first residential solar battery - the EP Cube.
The EP Cube is a modular home energy storage solution that comes with a built-in hybrid inverter. The battery starts at 9.9 kWh in size and can go up to 19.9 kWh per unit. You can install multiple units to reach an impressive 119 kWh of storage. It has a sleek grey finish and can be installed indoors and outdoors. The battery uses LFP cells, so it’s safer and cleaner than its NMC competitors.
|Feature||Canadian Solar EP Cube|
|Usable energy capacity||9.9 kWh - 19.9 kWh|
|Continuous power output (off-grid)||7.6 kW|
|Warranty||80% capacity after 10 years or 6,000 cycles|
Our list of the best solar batteries doesn’t cover all of the energy storage options out there. To find the best solar battery for your specific energy needs, you should look at a few different factors.
The capacity rating of a battery indicates how much solar energy it can store, measured in kWh. The higher the battery capacity, the longer the battery will be able to power your appliances. The battery capacity that’s right for you depends on your energy usage and what you plan to use the battery for.
In most cases, somewhere between 9 kWh and 15 kWh of capacity will suffice. If you use a lot of electricity, you may need more than that, but that can cost you quite a bit of money. If you’re not sure how much electricity you want to store, then consider a modular battery like the Generac PWRCell or the EP Cube, as they give some level of flexibility when it comes to installing more storage later on.
The power rating of a battery tells you how much power the battery can release for your home to use. Batteries with high power ratings can run more appliances at once. The Tesla Powerwall and the Panasonic EverVolt 2.0 have some of the best power ratings for a residential solar battery.
You want to make sure you look at the battery capacity and the power rating together to make sure a battery will meet your needs. A battery with a high power rating and a low capacity will be able to power more appliances for a short amount of time, whereas a battery with a larger capacity and a lower power rating will power fewer appliances for an extended period.
Most homes will be able to power their main loads, like their fridge, WiFi, lights, and outlets during an extended power outage with a battery that has a 5 kW power rating and 10 kWh capacity rating.
Batteries can either be AC-coupled or DC-coupled. As a rule of thumb, AC batteries are better for pairing with existing solar panel systems because they have their own inverter. DC batteries are best for installing at the same time as solar panels.
AC batteries tend to be less efficient than DC batteries because the electricity produced by the solar panels is converted from DC to AC power more times than it is with DC batteries.
You can read our complete guide to AC and DC batteries to get a better idea of their pros and cons, as well as which is right for your home.
One of the best ways to compare batteries is by looking at their warranties. Battery warranties give you an idea of how long the battery will last.
Most batteries have a production warranty of 70% capacity after 10 years or after a certain number of cycles, whichever comes first. A cycle is how many times the battery will be completely charged and discharged based on the recommended depth of discharge (most lithium-ion batteries today have a DoD of 100%).
A warranty may also list a throughput measurement, which is how much electricity the battery will discharge before the capacity reaches 70%. Ideally, you want to go with a battery that has the highest warrantied throughput, as it will last the longest.
Canadian Solar’s EP Cube, the Tesla Powerwall, and the sonnenCore+ all have great performance warranties.
Most solar batteries today are lithium-ion batteries, which can be divided into two main categories: lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and nickel manganese cobalt (NMC).
NMC lithium-ion batteries have been around longer than LFP batteries and make up a majority of the lithium-ion battery market share. The biggest downside to NMC batteries is that they aren’t as stable at high temperatures, making them more susceptible to catching fire if they’re mishandled. Also, the cobalt within the battery makes it difficult to recycle at the end of the battery’s life.
Not only that, LFP batteries are a newer addition to the solar battery market, so they can be slightly more expensive than NMC options. However, because LFP batteries don’t contain cobalt, they are less likely to catch fire and can operate at higher temperatures than NMC batteries.
We’re going to be honest: in most cases, solar batteries don’t make financial sense, especially if you live in an area with full-retail net metering. Batteries add quite a bit to your upfront costs, and they won’t save you that much extra money. In fact, in many cases, batteries add no additional financial savings.
But, this could be changing in the near future. States are looking to reform how utilities bill solar homeowners, and many utilities want to encourage homeowners to start installing batteries. Take California as an example - when new Net Billing rules take effect in April 2023, a solar system with batteries will have the same payback period as a system without batteries!
For many people, though, the appeal of solar batteries isn’t financial, it’s about energy resilience. Solar batteries ensure you keep your lights on and your solar panels running during a power outage, making them more worthwhile for those who live in areas that experience frequent prolonged power outages.
While solar batteries won’t always give you great savings, solar panels will. Solar panels provide significant electric bill savings in almost every state in the U.S. By using our solar panel calculator, you can find out how much a solar panel system will cost and save you, based on just your most recent electric bill.