Electriq PowerPod 2 solar battery: complete review

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The Electriq PowerPod 2 smart home solar battery can be controlled and monitored right from your phone.
The PowerPod 2 smart home solar battery can be controlled and monitored right from your phone. Image source: Electriq Power

Electriq Power is a battery storage company located in San Leandro, California. Since its inception in 2014, the company has released two home energy storage systems: the Powerpod and the PowerPod 2.

Electriq’s newest residential solar battery, the PowerPod 2, was released in November 2020. This new battery has four operating modes, comes in three different sizes, and uses cobalt-free chemistry, allowing homeowners to have a safe solar battery choice without sacrificing any features. 

In this article, we’ll dive into what the PowerPod 2 is, what kind of features it offers, how long it will last, and if it’s the right battery for your home.

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    What is the Electriq PowerPod 2?

    The Electriq PowerPod 2 is a rechargeable home solar battery and energy management system. The PowerPod 2 is designed to pair with solar panels for daily residential use, but it can also serve as a standalone backup battery that charges from the grid. 

    Each PowerPod 2 installation has three main components:

    • Battery
    • Electriq inverter
    • Electriq PowerHub

    Each PowerPod 2 consists of separate battery packs, which are stored in the white PowerPod 2 cabinet. Each of the battery packs is 2.56 kWh in size and the number of battery packs within each cabinet depends on which battery size you choose. For example, the 10 kWh PowerPod 2 contains four separate battery packs, while the 15 kWh PowerPod 2 will have six battery packs.

    For the PowerPod 2 to operate properly, it must have access to a reliable internet connection. It can operate during temporary outages, but Electriq states that the PowerPod 2 should not be installed somewhere that does not have an internet connection. 

    How much does the Electriq PowerPod 2 cost?

    There isn’t a set price for the Electriq PowerPod 2, but we do have price estimates for its predecessor - the PowerPod. 

    The installed cost of the PowerPod AC ranges from $13,000 to $19,000, depending on the battery size. When the federal solar tax credit is taken into account, the cost drops to around $9,800 to $14,000, which falls in line with industry standards. 

    We can expect the PowerPod 2 to fall into a similar price range.

    Technical specs of the Electriq PowerPod 2

    Let’s break down some of the technical aspects of the PowerPod 2.

    Model PowerPod 2 - DC coupled PowerPod 2 - AC coupled, 10 kWh PowerPod 2 - AC coupled, 15 kWh and 20 kwh
    Usable capacity 10, 15, 20 kWh 10 kWh 15, 20 kWh
    Power rating (continuous) 7.6 kW 7.6 kW 7.6 kW
    Round-trip efficiency 96.6% 96.6% 96.6%
    Depth of discharge Not listed Not listed Not listed
    Dimensions 27.5” x 50” x 9” 27.5” x 50” x 9” 60” x 50” x 9”
    Weight 346 lbs 346 lbs 460 lbs, 580 lbs
    Chemistry Lithium iron phosphate Lithium iron phosphate Lithium iron phosphate

    AC vs DC-coupled models 

    The PowerPod 2 comes in two different models: an AC-coupled version and a DC-coupled version. 

    AC-coupled version 

    This version can be easily installed with an already-existing solar system. However, using the AC-coupled battery will decrease the efficiency of your solar-plus-storage system overall, because the electricity your solar panels produce will be converted three separate times

    DC-coupled version 

    This version is best for new solar panel installations. With the DC-coupled PowerPod 2, the electricity your solar panels generate will only be converted from DC power to AC power once, making the system more efficient. It also requires fewer parts

    Usable capacity 

    The PowerPod 2 comes in three different sizes: 10 kWh, 15 kWh, and 20 kWh. By offering multiple sizes, Electriq makes it easy for customers to customize their storage system so they don’t pay too much for storage they don’t need. 

    This also gives homeowners flexibility with their budgets. They have a variety of options, and thus, a variety of price points to choose from. 

    Power rating 

    The power rating of a battery tells you how many appliances the battery will be able to run. The PowerPod 2 is on the higher end of continuous power ratings, which means it will be able to power more appliances than a Tesla Powerwall will. 

    Round-trip efficiency 

    The efficiency of a battery tells you how much of the energy it can use, compared to the amount of energy it took to store that energy. 

    The PowerPod 2’s 96.6% round-trip efficiency means that for every 10 kWh of solar energy sent to the battery, you’ll be able to use about 9.6 kWh of it. That’s pretty impressive when compared to other leading solar batteries on the market. The LG Chem RESU, for example, has an efficiency of 94.5%, and the Tesla Powerwall clocks in at 90%. 

    Depth of discharge 

    Normally, we recommend homeowners look for the depth of discharge listed on a battery spec sheet. The DoD gives you an idea of how long the battery will last and how much stored power you actually get to use. 

    However, Electriq doesn’t list a DoD rating. 

    Size 

    The PowerPod 2 is pretty large - especially the 15 kWh and 20 kWh AC-coupled models. This means you have to have a decent amount of space available if you want to install one. Luckily, the PowerPod 2 is outdoor-rated, so it can be installed outdoors if need be. 

    Their large size is due in part because of the battery’s chemistry. 

    Chemistry 

    The size of the battery is not the only thing influenced by the PowerPod 2’s lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry. 

    Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries are a type of lithium-ion battery. Unlike many lithium-ion solar batteries, LFP batteries don’t contain cobalt. This means LFP batteries produce less hazardous waste when being manufactured and are more easily recycled. 

    Learn more: What are the different types of solar batteries?

    Not only that, LFP batteries are more stable at higher temperatures, so they are less likely to experience thermal runaway - AKA catching on fire. This makes LFP batteries, like the PowerPod 2, safer than some other home battery options. 

    Find out of solar battery storage is worth it based on your location

    PowerPod 2 operating modes and energy management

    Electriq offers four different operating modes for the PowerPod 2: 

    • Backup Mode, where the PowerPod keeps the battery charged by solar power in case of a grid power outage
    • Self Supply Mode, where the PowerPod prioritizes powering your home with solar and battery power, and excess solar energy is used to power your battery instead of being sent to the grid
    • Time of Use Mode, where the battery supplies power to your home during times when electric rates are highest
    • Custom Mode, which allows you to set a charge and discharge schedule to fit your lifestyle; this is only available for AC-coupled batteries

    These operating modes ensure that you get exactly what you want out of your battery. Trying to save money on your bill? Time of Use Mode is a great choice. (You can learn more about Time of Use rate structures here.) Does your utility have frequent blackouts and you want emergency backup power? Backup Mode has you covered. 

    The PowerPod 2 can be completely monitored and controlled from your smartphone using the Electriq Power App, or online. You can see where the energy in your house is flowing, as well as your day-to-day energy patterns, get reports on your usage, and change the operating mode of your system. 

    What is the warranty for the PowerPod 2?

    The PowerPod 2 performance warranty is for each battery pack. So, each 2.56 kWh pack will operate at 70% of its initial capacity after 10 years, or after the battery pack has provided 7.5 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, whichever comes first. 

    Because the PowerPod 2 is made of multiple batteries, the actual throughput will be higher. For example, you can expect the 10 kWh PowerPod 2 to have a capacity of about 7.2 kWh after 10 years, or after 30 MWh of electricity has been released. 

    If you’re using your battery to power your home daily, you’ll likely pass that MWh threshold before 10 years. To reach the 10-year mark first, you would only be able to release an average of 8.2 kWh of electricity each day from the 10 kWh PowerPod 2. 

    Electriq also includes a 10-year manufacturer defect warranty that ensures the PowerPod 2 battery cabinet, battery packs, inverter, and PowerHub system will be free from manufacturing defects for 10 years. 

    The power warranty for the PowerPod 2 is a little lackluster for us, especially compared to the sonnenCore LFP battery, which allows for 58.8 MWh of power to be released from the battery. But, it still generally falls in line with industry standards

    Can you go off-grid with the PowerPod 2?

    Yes, you can go off-grid with the PowerPod 2. The battery can be charged with solar and can also be paired with a generator if necessary. 

    However, the PowerPod 2 does require internet access to operate properly and for the warranty to be valid. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for a solar battery to serve your off-grid needs.

    Is the PowerPod 2 the right solar battery for your home?

    The PowerPod 2 is a great solar battery for your home. The variety of sizes and the freedom to choose between AC and DC models ensure that you get the battery that best suits your needs.

    The most impressive feature of the PowerPod 2 is the four operating modes. The ability to monitor and customize how your battery is operating helps you guarantee that you get the most out of your battery.

    The biggest downside to the PowerPod 2 is the performance warranty, which is on the lower end of the standard for the industry, especially for an LFP battery. Electriq alos hasn't provided any price information for the PowerPod 2, which is a bit of a bummer. 

    Overall, the PowerPod 2 is a great battery with impressive features and technical specifications. The variety in models and sizes allows you to better customize what works best for your home, which can’t be said for other batteries like the Tesla Powerwall or sonnenCore. Plus, the lithium iron phosphate chemistry is safer than the Powerall or LG RESU that contain cobalt, giving you peace of mind, without having to sacrifice performance or capabilities.

    All of this makes it worthwhile to at least get a quote directly from Electriq or from a local installer in your area that offers the PowerPod 2. 

    Find out which solar battery incentives and rebates are available in your area

    Key takeaways

    • The Electriq PowerPod 2 is a lithium-iron-phosphate battery that comes in three sizes: 10 kWh, 15 kWh, and 20 kWh.
    • Electriq does not specify the cost of the PowerPod 2, but it can be estimated to range from $13,00 to $19,000 before the federal tax credit.
    • Since the PowerPod 2 does not contain cobalt, it is more environmentally friendly to manufacture and less likely to catch fire than some other solar batteries on the market.
    • The PowerPod 2 has four operating modes: Backup Mode, Self Supply Mode, Time of Use Mode, and Custom Mode (with the AC model).
    • The PowerPod 2 warranty guarantees the battery packs will operate at 70% of their initial capacity after 10 years, or after the battery has released 7.5 MWh of power, whichever comes first.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Catherine Lane

    SolarReviews Blog Author

    Catherine is a researcher and content specialist at SolarReviews. She has strong interests in issues related to climate and sustainability which led her to pursue a degree in environmental science at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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