The best solar batteries in January 2024

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Updated

Best solar batteries 2023
Enpahse, Panasonic, Tesla, LG, and Canadian Solar made our list of the best solar batteries.

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.

Calculate how much a solar + battery installation would cost for your home

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SolarReviews is the leading American website for consumer reviews and ratings of residential solar panels and solar panel installation companies. Our industry experts have over two decades of solar experience combined and maintain editorial independence for their reviews. No company can pay to alter the reviews or review scores shown on our site. Learn more about SolarReviews and how we make money.

Best overall solar battery: Enphase Energy System

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.

Why we chose Enphase IQ 5P

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.

Pros and cons of the Enphase IQ battery

Pros Cons
Very powerful output that increases as you add modules Very expensive
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.

Performance and key specifications of the Enphase IQ 5P

  • Battery chemistry: Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4)
  • Energy capacity: 5 kWh per module (15 kWh as evaluated)
  • Continuous output: 3.84 kW per module (11.52 kW as evaluated)
  • Expandability: 5 kWh modules, up to 40 kWh with standard system controller
  • AC or DC coupled: AC-coupled only

Read about important battery specifications below.

Best stackable solar battery: Panasonic EVERVOLT Home Battery

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.

Why we chose Panasonic EVERVOLT

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.

Pros and cons of the Panasonic EverVolt battery

Pros Cons
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  

Performance and key specifications of the Panasonic EverVolt

  • Battery chemistry: LiFePO4
  • Energy capacity: 9 to 18 kWh (18 kWh as evaluated)
  • Continuous output: 5.5 kW to 7.6 kW (7.6 kW as evaluated)
  • Expandability: Yes, between two and five 4.5 kWh modules per installation
  • AC or DC coupled: Both

Read about important battery specifications below.

Best all-in-one solar battery: Tesla Powerwall 2

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.

Why we chose Tesla Powerwall

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.

Pros and cons of the Tesla Powerwall

Pros Cons
Excellent value 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

Performance and key specifications

  • Battery chemistry: Proprietary lithium NMC
  • Energy capacity: 13.5 kWh
  • Continuous output: 5.8 - 9.6 kW (depending on available solar and/or grid power)
  • Expandability: None
  • AC or DC coupled: AC-coupled only

Read about important battery specifications below.

Best solar battery for new installations: LG Energy Solution RESU 16H Prime

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.

Why we chose the LG Energy Solution RESU 16H Prime

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.

Pros and cons of the LG Energy Solution RESU battery

Pros Cons
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

Performance and key specifications

  • Battery chemistry: Lithium NMC
  • Energy capacity: 16 kWh
  • Continuous output: 7 kW
  • Expandability: None
  • AC or DC coupled: DC-coupled only

Read about important battery specifications below.

Best value modular solar battery: Canadian Solar EP Cube

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.

Why we chose the Canadian Solar EP Cube

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.

Pros and cons of the Canadian Solar EP Cube

Pros Cons
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

 

Performance and key specifications

  • Battery chemistry: LiFePO4
  • Energy capacity: 9.9 to 19.9 kWh
  • Continuous output: 7.6 kW
  • Expandability: Yes, between three and six 3.3 kWh modules per installation
  • AC or DC coupled: Both

Read about important battery specifications below.

Compare the best solar batteries of 2023

Brand/Battery Estimated cost per kWh* Storage capacity Continuous power output Warranty
Industry average $1,100 14.85 kWh 7.6 kW 10 years or 3,500 cycles
Enphase Energy System (3 IQ 5P modules) $1,250 15 kWh 11.52 kW 15 years or 6,000 cycles

Panasonic EVERVOLT Home Battery (4 modules)

$1,100 18 kWh 7.6 kW 12 years or 6,000 cycles
Tesla Powerwall 2 $950 13.5 kWh 7.6 kW 10 years or 37.8 MWh (2,800 cycles)
LG Energy Solution RESU Prime 16H $1,000 16 kWh 7.0 kW 10 years or 54 MWh (3,375 cycles) to 7% capacity
Canadian Solar EP Cube (5 modules) $950 16.6 kWh 7.6 kW 10 years or 6,000 cycles

How to choose the best solar battery for you

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.

Important solar battery specifications

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:

  • Energy storage capacity is how much electricity the batteries can store, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  • Depth of discharge describes the amount of the total capacity that is usable. For example, a battery with 10 kWh of total capacity that only allows 80% depth of discharge really only has 8 kWh of energy that a home can use.
  • Power output measures how much power a battery can serve at any given time, measured in watts or kilowatts. Each battery will have continuous and peak power output ratings. Peak power output is important because some appliances (most critically air conditioners) require large startup or “inrush” current for only a few seconds or fractions of a second. A professional system designer will help you choose a battery that matches your appliances' requirements.
  • Battery chemistry is very important in home solar batteries today. One main type is lithium nickel manganese cobalt, often called “lithium NMC” or simply “lithium-ion.” The other is lithium iron phosphate, often shortened to “LiFePO4” or simply “LFP.” NMC batteries tend to be slightly more energy-dense but are more likely to incur a “thermal event” (read: fire) without careful design and proper cooling and ventilation. LFP batteries are less energy-dense and, therefore, heavier but are safer and longer lasting.
  • AC- or DC-coupling describes how a battery is connected to your solar panels. Both the panels and batteries use DC power, which must be converted to AC power for use in your home. DC-coupled batteries are connected directly to DC solar output, meaning they must be installed alongside a hybrid solar inverter. This means DC-coupled batteries are best for new installations, while AC-coupled batteries can be used equally well with both new and existing solar.
  • Mounting configuration and IP rating has to do with how and where a battery is installed. Be aware of whether a battery is wall-mounted or stackable from the ground up, and know if it must be installed indoors or comes with an outdoor-rated cabinet with an ingress protection (IP) rating.

Deciding what’s important to you

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.

  • If you want to store excess solar power and use it during the evening each day, or if you want to have a small amount of backup power to keep your refrigerator and a few key devices running in a power outage, almost any battery on our list will do.
  • If you want to run large appliances like air conditioners and heat pumps in addition to your refrigerator, lights, and devices during a power outage, look for high capacity (more than 15 kWh), and high output (more than 8 kW) batteries. Multiple AC-coupled batteries can also work well because each battery’s inverter adds to the total output.
  • If you want whole-home backup where the batteries can power all of your circuits for a day or two, you’ll need at least 30 kWh of storage and 15 kW of power output.

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.

Solar battery cost and incentives

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.

Calculate how much a solar + battery installation would cost for your home

Methodology

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:

Company financial visibility and strength (20%)

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.

Value (15%)

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.

Warranty coverage (15%)

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.

Energy storage capacity (10%)

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.

Continuous output power (10%)

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.

System design and usability (10%)

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.

Investment in the U.S. (10%)

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.

Industry opinion (10%)

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 solar batteries we evaluated

Other than the top five listed above, we evaluated the following batteries from other companies for this analysis:

Solar battery FAQ

How do solar batteries work?

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.

Do I need a solar battery?

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).

What are the benefits of solar batteries?

Solar batteries have a few main benefits:

  • A source of electricity in a power outage. Most solar batteries can keep lights, outlets, and essential appliances like refrigerators running in a power outage. The best utilize an automatic transfer switch, kicking on within milliseconds of the grid going down for a seamless experience.
  • Offset the high cost of electricity during peak times. A battery can help you store excess solar energy during the day for use during peak times to avoid the high cost of power under a time-of-use billing plan.
  • Utilize all your solar energy. Some people like storing excess solar energy that is produced during the day and using it at night. In places like California, this can also help you save money by preventing solar energy from being sent to the grid for very low credit.
  • Make extra money with time of use rates or by participating in a virtual power plant. In places like California, storing solar power can help you save money by preventing solar energy from being sent to the grid for very low credit and avoiding using electricity when prices are high. Virtual power plant programs can earn you extra by allowing your utility to use the energy stored in your battery during peak times.
  • Replace dirty, noisy fossil fuel generators. A solar battery requires no fuel to run and many are air-cooled, producing no noise at all.
  • Increase home value. If a home has a clean, free source of backup power that’s been fully paid for, it is absolutely a selling point, much like the value solar panels add to a home.

How long can a solar battery run during a power outage?

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.

What kinds of solar batteries are there?

Several kinds of batteries are used for solar storage and backup, generally referred to by the chemistry that makes up their storage medium.

  • Deep-cycle lead acid batteries are similar to 12V car batteries and can be used in battery banks to store energy. Lead acid batteries are becoming less popular as lithium-based options become cheaper.
  • Lithium-ion batteries use various chemistries, but the most popular is lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries. Lithium NMC batteries are powerful but are less heat resistant than other technologies and contain toxic cobalt.
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries (aka lithium ferro phosphate, or LFP) are the current industry standard for safety and longevity. LFP batteries are heavier than NMC batteries but are nontoxic, less prone to overheating, and have longer lifespans.

What is the best type of solar battery?

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.

Do solar batteries save money?

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.

How many years do solar batteries last?

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.

Can you use any battery with an existing solar system?

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.

Which are the best portable solar batteries?

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.

Calculate how much a solar + battery installation would cost for your home
 - Author of Solar Reviews

Ben Zientara

Solar Policy Analyst and Researcher

Ben Zientara is a writer, researcher, and solar policy analyst who has written about the residential solar industry, the electric grid, and state utility policy since 2013.

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