Enphase battery: everything you need to know

Updated

Digital rendering of an Enphase Encharge storage system
Enphase batteries are a great way to keep the power flowing when the grid is down. Image source: Enphase

Enphase Energy is perhaps best-known for their microinverters. They revolutionized solar in 2008 by adding microinverter technology to every solar panel, a move which enabled the rest of the array to continue producing energy if one panel goes.

Now, Enphase is manufacturing batteries - and they too come with microinverters. There are currently two models available, the Encharge 3 and the Encharge 10. 

Enphase also recently released their own version of an energy storage system, the Enphase Ensemble. It produces electricity even when the grid is down - something that is not easily found with most solar systems. 

Recently, more systems have been equipped with the ability to generate electricity even when the grid is down, but what makes the Enphase Ensemble stand out is the fact that it was the first true grid-independent system, making it more reliable than newer options.

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    What types of Enphase batteries are available?

    Currently, Enphase offers two battery models, the Enphase Encharge 3 and the Enphase Encharge 10. 

    Enphase Encharge battery features
    Feature Enphase Encharge 3 Enphase Encharge 10
    Usable energy capacity 3.36 kWh 10.08 kWh
    Round-trip efficiency 96% 96%
    Dimensions 14.45 in x 26.14 in x 12.56 in 42.13 in x 26.14 in x 12.56 in
    Weight 114.6 lbs 341 lbs
    Cost* $2,300 - $3,000 $7,000 - $9,000
    Warranty 10-year limited warranty 10-year limited warranty

    *Cost not including installation

    Their relatively low weight and small sizes make them a practical choice, especially if you’re looking to add more than one to your system. The Enphase batteries are modular, meaning you can add as many as you might need, capping out at four Encharge 10 battery systems. They’re also AC-coupled, meaning they will work easily with your home appliances.

    It is important to note that these batteries alone will not provide backup power; you will also need to install an Ensemble system with the Enpower Smart Switch (more on these below).

    Keep in mind that neither of these batteries will be large enough to power your entire home during an outage, and you’ll need to buy more than one if you’re looking to keep most of your appliances running when the grid is down. 

    This isn’t unique to Enphase, though - the average American household uses about 29 kWh a day and no battery comes close to being able to run that much during an outage. To compare, the Tesla Powerwall only has a storage capacity of 13.5 kWh. 

    The Encharge 3

    enphase encharge 3 solar batteryImage source: Enphase

    The Encharge 3 has a 3.36 kWh energy capacity, meaning on a full charge it has 3.36 kWh of stored energy. It comes with a 10-year warranty, can be monitored via the Enphase Enlighten mobile app, and allows for custom Time-of-Use optimization. 

    What that means is, if your utility charges you based on Time-of-Use rates, where energy costs more during designated peak times, you can use your battery backup as a source of energy instead - which saves you money on your electric bill. 

    As of August 2021, the pricing for an Enphase 3 ranges from $2,300 - $3,000, not including installation and labor charges. 

    The Encharge 10

    enphase encharge 10 solar batteryImage source: Enphase

    The Encharge 10 is comprised of three Encharge 3 storage units and has a 10.08 kWh energy capacity. It does not have any alternate features compared to the 3, it simply provides more backup power. 

    Local labor costs and incentives will alter the final cost, but you can anticipate spending around $7,000 - $9,000 for an Encharge 10 as of August 2021.  

    See what local installers are charging for solar-plus-battery storage systems

    How long do Enphase batteries last, do they have a good warranty?

    Enphase Encharge batteries are lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP), meaning they handle heat better than traditional lithium ion batteries, which also makes them safer. Not only that, their chemistry creates a more durable battery that lasts longer, with a minimum battery life expectancy of 10 years. 

    Encharge batteries have a 10-year limited warranty, one for workmanship and another for capacity retention. Any workmanship issue, like an equipment malfunction, must be brought to the attention of Enphase within 90 days, and depending on when you installed your battery system, the warranty might vary slightly - check out the Enphase site for your product's details. 

    As for the capacity retention, the battery is warrantied to retain and discharge 70% of the battery’s original usable capacity after 10 years. Overall, this is a good warranty for a storage battery.

    How an Enphase Ensemble system can provide power

    enphase ensemble solar system

    The Enphase Ensemble system works with the grid to send excess energy that is not stored in the battery or used in the home, back to the grid when the grid is up and running. 

    Enphase has also developed its own energy storage system, the Enphase Ensemble, that will work with the grid and also act as its own energy generation mechanism when the grid is down. 

    The Enphase Ensemble allows your solar panels to continue producing electricity during an outage - something many other solar-plus-battery storage systems cannot do. 

    With most systems, solar panels get shut off during outages as a safety feature in order to protect line workers. And since the panels stop generating electricity, your home draws energy from your solar battery. But with an Enphase Ensemble, your panels will continue to produce electricity, even when the grid is down

    enphase ensemble grid agnostic solar system

    If the grid is down, the Ensemble system can operate on its own. The Switch shuts off the connection to the grid while the Combiner streamlines the solar and battery wiring to generate power within the Ensemble. 

    The system simply detaches itself from the grid and uses its microinverter technology to continue to generate electricity from the solar panels. You can also utilize the Encharge solar battery for backup power. 

    Note: The Enphase Ensemble can only work with an Encharge battery, so if you have a different battery system, you cannot install an Ensemble, and vise-versa. 

    The Enphase Ensemble contains the following:

    • Solar panels and attached microinverters
    • Inverter
    • Combiner
    • Smart Switch
    • Encharge battery (or batteries)

    All of these components are monitored and managed with the Enlighten Cloud Monitoring platform

    With all that said, the cost for an Ensemble system is definitely an investment. If you were to install solar panels with the entire Ensemble system, you can expect to pay around $25,000. The good news is the federal solar tax credit can be applied, reducing the cost to around $18,500. 

    If you added an Ensemble system to existing solar panels, you're looking at spending about $12,000 - $15,000. But the cost is worth it if complete energy resilience is important to you. 

    Reasons to choose Enphase for your battery storage needs

    Enphase is a solid company to purchase your storage solution from, thanks to their good customer service and reputation for dependable products.

    Choose an Enphase Ensemble system if you want to be able to run most of your home’s appliances during an outage - that is what an Ensemble is built for. Or if reducing your electricity bill is your main concern, you can rely on power stored in Encharge batteries when Time-of-Use rates are high.

    You should purchase an Enphase battery or Ensemble system if you already have or plan to install solar panels with Enphase microinverters. The Enphase battery and Ensemble systems are built to work seamlessly with the Enphase microinverter, the component that helps regulate grid communication.

    Additionally, the Encharge unit only takes up a relatively small amount of space, making it perfect for smaller homes with less space to store a backup battery. Working with local solar installers is the best way to ensure you get the best-quality installation at the best possible price.

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    Key takeaways

    • Enphase offers two types of AC batteries, the Encharge 3 and the Encharge 10.
    • The Encharge 3 retails for $2,300 - $3,000 and offers 3.36 kWh of energy capacity. The Encharge 10 is available for $7,000 - $9,000 and has a capacity of 10.08 kWh.
    • Encharge batteries have a 10-year limited warranty, one for workmanship and another for capacity retention. They are warrantied to retain and discharge 70% of the battery’s original usable capacity after 10 years.
    • The Enphase Ensemble works like a mini-grid during power outages.
    • It would cost about $25,000 to install an entire Enphase Ensemble system including the battery. After the federal solar tax credit, that cost drops to $18,500.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Ana Almerini

    Web Content Specialist

    Ana is a web content specialist at SolarReviews. She has 5 years of marketing experience blended with 2 years of experience in climate communications and holds a master of arts degree in climate and society from Columbia University. Ana frequently volunteers for environmental causes ranging from oyster reef restoration in NJ to expanding bike sharing in Naples, Italy.

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