Enphase battery: everything you need to know



Digital rendering of an Enphase Encharge storage system
Enphase batteries use the company’s signature IQ microinverter technology and are a great way to keep the power flowing when the grid is down. Image source: Enphase

Enphase Energy, best known for its industry-leading microinverters, is one of the biggest names in the solar industry. In 2020, the company expanded its product offerings with the North American launch of its energy storage system.

Since then, the Enphase IQ battery line has become a popular offering by solar installation companies. There are three Enphase battery models to choose from: the IQ 3, the IQ 10, and the newest option, the IQ 5P. Let’s take a closer look at the popular Enphase battery, how it works, and how it stacks up to other battery brands you may be considering.

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Enphase IQ batteries at a glance:

  • Enphase has three different battery models: the IQ 3, IQ 10, and IQ 5P.
  • The new IQ 5P is more powerful than Enphase’s older models and has an industry-leading 15-year warranty.
  • The total installation cost of an Enphase IQ 10 battery would be about $13,000 to $15,000 before incentives. The actual installation cost will vary.
  • The Tesla Powerwall is a more powerful battery that can store more energy than any Enphase model, making it the superior choice if you can only install one battery. But be prepared for potentially long wait times.
  • Those looking for more customization with their battery size may find the stackable Enphase IQ system will better meet their needs.

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    What is the Enphase battery, and how does it work?

    When you buy an Enphase battery, you’re actually getting more than just a battery; you’re getting an entire energy storage management system. There are three key pieces of equipment you’ll have installed:

    1. The IQ Battery to store your energy.
    2. The IQ Combiner Box houses some wiring and interconnection equipment and measures your energy consumption and production.
    3. The IQ System Controller, which lets your battery communicate with the grid. 

    All of these components give you a complete system so you can easily store and use power when your home needs it the most. As with any solar battery, your solar panels will send excess solar energy produced during the day to the Enphase IQ system, which will be stored for later use.

    Depending on your home, you may need to install a backup loads sub-panel, also called a critical or essential load panel. It’s a second electrical panel connected to your battery that powers the most important appliances and electrical loads that you want to run in your home if the power goes out. It typically adds $1,000 or $2,000 to your installation costs.

    Pros and cons of the Enphase IQ battery

    The Enphase IQ battery is becoming more popular among installers for a reason. The ability to customize your system size and do it with a reliable brand is very compelling. But, as with anything, there are some things to remember when comparing the IQ Battery with other energy storage systems on the market.


    • Enphase is a trusted bankable company.
    • Stackable modular design allows you to install just the right amount of storage and power output for your needs.
    • Solid warranty terms (great warranty terms with the newest model).
    • Enphase IQ batteries can be paired with gas-powered generators for extra backup protection.
    • Lithium iron phosphate chemistry is safer and longer lasting than alternatives some competitors use.
    • Various operating modes to meet your needs and a new operating mode on the 5P to get the most out of California’s new NEM 3.0 billing.


    • Individual batteries have a lower power output than many competitors, so they might not be the first choice if you’re looking for a single-battery system.
    • Frequent firmware updates suggest that they are rapidly changing and debugging their software. This isn’t a huge red flag, but it just means they’re working out kinks in their battery products, and updating the firmware can be a nuisance.
    • The new IQ 5P cannot be stacked with the older IQ 10 and IQ 3 models.
    • The IQ batteries don’t look as sleek as others on the market.

    Enphase IQ battery performance

    There are three models of the Enphase IQ Battery available: the IQ 10, IQ 3, and the newest model, the IQ 5P. The IQ 10 is the largest and can store the most energy in a single battery unit. The IQ 5P, on the other hand, is the most powerful for its size.

    Model IQ 3T IQ 10T IQ 5P
    Capacity 3.36 kWh 10.28 kWh 5 kWh
    Continuous power output 1.28 kW 3.84 kW 3.84 kW
    Round-trip AC efficiency 89% 89% 90%
    Dimensions 16.9 in x 30.5 in x 7.4 in 50.5 in x 30.5 in x 7.4 in 38.6 in x 21.7 in x 7.4 in
    Weight 107.6 lbs 316.5 lbs 174 lbs
    Warranty3.36 kWh 70% capacity @ 10 years or 4,000 cycles* 70% capacity @ 10 years or 4,000 cycles* 60% capacity @ 15 years or 6,000 cycles

    *Eligible for an extension to 15 years

    Which Enphase IQ battery model you choose depends on what you want out of your system. 

    If you have limited space or a limited budget and only want to install one battery to back up a few of your most important appliances during a blackout, then the 10T is a great option.

    Chances are you won’t install the IQ 3T on its own. It has minimal storage capacity and very low power output. But it’s great for pairing with the IQ 10T. Enphase gives you a little more control over what size system you get by offering the smaller battery size in addition to the larger one. So, instead of installing one or two 10T models and overpaying for storage you don’t need, you can get a 10T and a 3T.

    If you want to run more power-hungry appliances, consider getting a few IQ 5Ps. Installing two IQ 5P batteries gives you the same storage capacity as the IQ 10T but with double the power output. So, if you want to run your air conditioner or your clothes dryer, consider this route. The 5P also has a better warranty than its predecessors and most competitors. Fifteen years is an excellent warranty term for a battery.

    How much does the Enphase IQ cost?

    The total price you see in a battery quote will consist of two things:

    1. The cost of equipment; and
    2. The cost of labor and installation.

    Most battery companies don’t publish their equipment prices, and most installers don’t break down their installation costs. Installation costs also vary quite a bit from installer to installer and location to location.

    Good news, though - we did some digging, so you don’t have to. The total installation cost for one Enphase 10T battery will probably be somewhere in the $13,000 to $15,000 range. The battery itself will cost between $7,500 and $9,000, while additional hardware, labor, permitting, and design can add about $5,000.

    This pricing is pretty average for batteries. A few battery brands are more powerful than Enphase for a similar price, but they don’t always offer the same modular system design as Enphase. Plus, you are paying for the brand name. Enphase is known to have good customer service, and they’re a company you can rely on to be in business five, ten, or even 20 years down the road.

    If you’re installing multiple IQ batteries, you may notice that the cost of the first one is higher than any additional units. The “first battery price” includes all that extra equipment, like the combiner box and system controller.

    The best way to get an accurate price for an Enphase IQ solar battery is by getting a quote from a local installer who knows all the permitting and design costs needed for a quality installation near you.

    Get Enphase IQ battery quotes from installers near you

    Does the Enphase IQ battery qualify for incentives?

    If you’re experiencing some sticker shock from the price of energy storage, you’re not the only one. But plenty of battery incentives are available to help cut down on the cost of an Enphase IQ battery.

    The most substantial incentive is the federal clean energy tax credit. When you install a battery system, even if it’s not connected to solar panels, you can get a tax credit equal to 30% of the installation costs. If your IQ battery system costs $14,000, you will get a $4,200 tax credit, so long as you qualify.

    Local and utility battery incentives are starting to become more common, too. These incentives are typically called demand-response programs and require you to give the utility company access to the energy stored in your battery when demand is high to lower stress on the grid. However, they pay you upfront or per kWh of energy discharged, and you can earn a couple of thousand bucks for participating.

    Tesla Powerwall vs. Enphase IQ

    The Enphase IQ may be stackable, but does it stack up to one of the biggest names in batteries? The Tesla Powerwall has dominated the residential solar market for years, and for most people, it’s the first thing that comes to mind when they think of energy storage. It’s also one of the most popular options installers offer, coming in second place in our Solar Industry Survey. So how does it compare to the Enphase IQ?


    When it comes to the performance of one single battery, the Powerwall takes the cake. It has 13.5 kWh of usable storage capacity and a continuous power output of 5.8 kW. The largest Enphase IQ model, the IQ 10T, stores 10.28 kWh and releases only 3.84 kW of continuous power. What does that mean? One single Powerwall will be able to power more of your appliances longer than one Enphase IQ will.

    The Powerwall is also more efficient, so you can store and use slightly more of the solar energy produced on your roof.


    The Tesla Powerwall costs $8,700 before installation when ordered through Powerwall Direct, Tesla’s battery ordering program. The final installed price of a Powerwall will probably be somewhere around  $13,000 or $14,000, depending on the installation company. That’s right around the same price as the Enphase IQ 10 kWh battery, but the Powerwall can store more energy and output more power.

    So, on a per kWh basis, the Powerall is slightly cheaper than the Enphase IQ. If you’re looking for just one battery, the Powerwall is a great way to get the most bang for your buck. But if you’re looking for a system that’s a little custom fitted for your needs with multiple batteries, Enphase may be the way to go.

    We always suggest getting multiple battery installation quotes. Try to get some from Tesla and Enphase dealers and see how they compare based on your specific needs.

    Sizing flexibility

    The Tesla Powerwall and the Enphase IQ are stackable, meaning you can install more than one of them and increase the storage capacity and the system's power output. But, because Enphase sells batteries of different sizes, you can design a system that more closely meets your storage needs than you could with a Powerwall.

    Here’s an example: It’s determined that 16 kWh is the perfect amount of energy storage for you based on how much excess energy your solar panels are expected to produce throughout the day. If you installed one Powerwall, you wouldn’t have enough storage for 16 kWh. But, if you installed two Powerwalls, you’d have way more storage capacity than you actually needed.

    With Enphase, on the other hand, you could install one IQ 10T and two IQ 3Ts, for exactly the right amount of storage capacity. Then, you wouldn’t have to overpay for a much larger system than you need.


    Most batteries on the market today come with a warranty that guarantees 70% capacity after 10 years of use, or a certain number of cycles, whichever comes first. The Powerwall and the Enphase IQ 10 and IQ 3 have these terms. However, the Powerwall has a slight leg up, as Tesla offers an unlimited cycle warranty, so long as you only use certain battery operating modes.

    However, the Enphase IQ 5P has one of the longest warranties available, guaranteeing 60% capacity after 15 years or 6,000 cycles. Basically, an IQ 5P battery is protected for a longer period of time than other batteries.

    But whether you go with the Powerwall or an Enphase IQ model, you’ll get a good warranty.

    Tesla Powerwall has two warranties. The first is unlimited cycles for using solar self-consumption, time-based control, or backup mode. But, if you use the Powerwall in applications outside of these three, then you will be subject to an operating limit of 37.8 megawatt-hours of throughput. If you want to join a demand response or virtual power plant program, ask your installer how that could impact your warranty.

    Additional considerations

    Finding the right battery isn’t just about performance metrics. There are a few other things to keep in mind when comparing the Powerwall and Enphase IQ.

    Take the look of the battery, for instance. If you’re putting your battery somewhere visible, you’ll want it to look nice! The Powerwall has one of the best designs we’ve seen for a home battery. It’s sleek and slim, so it doesn’t get in the way when put in your garage or on the side of your home. The second-generation Enphase IQ models did get a design upgrade. However, they don’t really come close to the clean look of the Powerwall.

    But, the Enphase IQ trumps the Powerwall in many other categories. One of the most important is customer service. Enphase is known for having high-quality customer service. Tesla, not so much. With a battery that lasts 10+ years, you will want to ensure the brand has solid after-sales support, and Tesla doesn’t have the best track record.

    Powerwalls are also pretty hard to get your hands on. The wait times for the battery have exceeded a year in some areas of the country. The Enphase IQ, on the other hand, was the top battery choice offered by solar installers, according to our Solar Industry Survey. 58% of installers offered the Enphase IQ, while only 27% offered the Tesla Powerwall. However, with the launch of Tesla’s Powerwall Direct program, things may finally be looking up for Tesla battery wait times.

    Also, the unique use of Enphase microinverter technology in the IQ batteries means that inverter trouble isn’t as much of an issue for the IQ. A traditional battery system has one battery inverter that converts energy to be stored and released by the battery. If this inverter breaks, the battery can’t work. Enphase IQ batteries hold multiple microinverters, so if one inverter breaks, the rest can still operate, and your entire storage system isn’t out of commission. The risk of failure is pretty low, but this is something to keep in mind.

    Overall, you can’t go wrong with an Enphase IQ energy storage system, especially since the launch of its most powerful iteration, the 5P. An Enphase IQ battery system is a great option for homeowners looking to customize their system. You have more control over the size of your system, Enphase is a top brand offered by installers, and you can trust that the company will be around to honor their warranty.

    But, the Enphase IQ is less powerful than its competitors. So, if you just want to install one battery for budget or space restrictions, something like the Tesla Powerwall can offer you more storage and power.

    The best way to find the best solar battery for you is by contacting a local solar company. Your solar installer can provide you with a quote for the battery system that checks all of your boxes. You can find trustworthy, local solar companies right here on SolarReviews to help you start on your journey toward energy independence!

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     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Catherine Lane

    Written Content Manager

    Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews. She has been researching and writing about the residential solar industry for four years. Her work has appeared in Solar Today Magazine and Solar Builder Magazine, and has been cited by publications like Forbes and Bloomberg.

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