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Which Batteries Are The Best For Your Home?

Batteries were everywhere at September’s RE+ Conference in Vegas. I counted over 100 different battery company and system vendors. It was more of a battery and solar tracker show than a solar show — demonstrating the rapid evolution of these clean energy technologies.

But out of a hundred batteries on the show floor, there are only half a dozen that I would recommend to homeowners. Home battery systems should provide reliable backup power during a blackout, and also generate utility bill savings. The vast majority of batteries I saw on the show were basically not ready for prime time. Here’s why…

First, you need a complete battery system, not just a battery. In addition to the battery, these systems require controls, an inverter, an enclosure, a transfer switch, communications, and a lot of software. It’s extremely important that all these major components are controlled by one company. Batteries are not “plug and play” like printers and solar panels.

Second, your battery system should be manufactured by an established company with a strong balance sheet and local service and support — not just a PO Box and a WhatsApp number. I often say that it takes an army to grow a successful battery storage system company. Almost impossible to succeed on a shoestring.

Third, you need a contractor that knows how to install, configure and support the system. Solar contractors with electricians on staff are generally the most qualified. An experienced local solar contractor is best positioned to give you good advice.

Based on recent installation data from Ohm Analytics, the most popular battery systems are from Tesla, SolarEdge, SunPower, Enphase, Generac and FranklinWH.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and be specific about my favorites. Enphase is best for small systems. FranklinWH is best for fast installations and whole home backup. SolarEdge has the most efficient system, and can install the most battery capacity in the smallest space. And Tesla is currently the least expensive and has a well-known brand name.

For more about my recommendations of home battery systems, please listen to this week’s Energy Show. You’ll get a charge out of it!


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