We are well into 2019 folks and what better time than now to check out some of the great solar battery products available throughout the country. A few short years ago the only solar batteries available were strictly for off-grid applications; those unattractive acid batteries that resembled clunky plastic boxes found in petrol cars. Solar battery technology has rapidly improved, they’re now sleek, smart, and packed full of features that surpass the basic function of charging and discharging.
We’ve compiled a list of solar batteries presently available in New Zealand, and we made sure not to include batteries that come with a two year waiting period. Below are the latest solar batteries on the market, with all the bells and whistles. If you are looking to purchase a battery, this list might just come in handy.
The sonnenBatterie eco isn’t the cheapest battery on the market, but it has some neat features and the high price tag reflects this. The battery management system uses weather forecasts to determine how much solar power will be produced during the day, and it determines the energy habits of the owner to help make better storage decisions. A feature called “tariff optimisation” allows the system to make good use of energy drawn from the grid, and to also export power at the optimal time of day.
Other features include:
- AC coupled; any other existing solar inverter will be compatible.
- A range of sizes are available; 6kWh, 8kWh, 10kWh, 12kWh, 14kWh and 16kWh.
- Usable capacity is 90%
- Power output is 2.5 kilowatts for the smallest system, with 3.3 kilowatts for the remainder
- Backup power during a grid failure is now available by installing a sonnenBackup-Box which gives up to 1.8 kilowatts of backup power
- The sonnenBatterie exclusively uses lithium iron phosphate batteries – the safest lithium battery technology currently available
- The sonnenBatterie has a minimum lifespan of 10,000 charging-cycles and will hold at least 70% of original capacity by the end of their 10-year year warranty
Freedom Won - Freedom Lite Home
The Freedom Lite home just entered the New Zealand market, but unfortunately detailed sales brochures are scarce. Despite the lack of information, it’s one of the cheapest options available on the market, and one that still offers the all important (and safe) lithium-iron phosphate technology; the most advanced technology available.
The few features we do know of include;
- 10 years warranty for DOD 70% max, performance life about 15-20 years DOD 70% max
- Great for off-grid applications
- Battery sizes available 2.5kWh, 5kWh, 10 kWh, 15 kWh
- Up to 5000 cycles
- Works with a limited range of inverters: Solax, SMA Sunny Island, Goodwe, Victron and a few others.
The LG Chem is no longer available on the New Zealand market as of June 2020.
The LG Chem Resu battery range has proven to be very popular in New Zealand, possibly due to the battery’s cheaper price point along with its accessibility and compatibility. LG is also a well known household brand, therefore a little less intimidating than a brand that might be unfamiliar to some.
- The battery technology used is Lithium ion, with Nickel Manganese Cobalt
- LG Chem is the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries
- Available in sizes 3.3kWh, 6.5kWh and 10kWh
- Compatible Inverter Brands : SMA, SolaX, Sungrow, Schneider, Ingeteam, GoodWe, Redback, Victron Energy
- It can operate during a black out
- It is easily expandable; you can add more battery capacity in the future
- It has a lifespan of 6,000 cycles and a 10 year warranty
- LG warrants that the product will retain at least 60% of Nominal Energy (for 10 years after the date of the initial installation).
BYD stands for Build Your Dreams. This battery can build up KW’s over time; you could start off small with an aspiring 2.5kW battery, and gradually build it up 2.5kWh until the BYD cabinet is stacked full of 10kWh.
BYD is the largest chinese manufacturer of rechargeable NiMH batteries, Lithium-ion batteries and NCM batteries.
The B-Boxes have a very high power output, and it allegedly offers the highest output rate of any battery on the market. This means the B-Box 10kWh can give 10 kilowatts of power continuously, rapid charging can be easily achieved.
This battery is relatively new to the market, but here’s a few things we found out about the BYD battery:
- Lithium Ferro Phosphate - the safest and most stable battery chemistry
- Can be used in off-grid and hybrid setups
- Residential and commercial applications
- High cycle life and high power output
- Available in 2.5kWh, 5kWh, 7.5kW and 10kWh sizes - the steel cabinet comes with 4 shelves, allowing for stacking capabilities
- Competitive price
Tesla Powerwall 2
The Tesla Powerwall; uber cool and especially sought after. The specs of the battery are indeed pretty special. The Powerwall 2 is sizeable, with a one size fits all 13.5 kWh of usable capacity, with 7kW peak or 5kW continuous rate. As a DC battery, the Powerwall 2 has a built in inverter that will convert the power into AC power that can be used by everyday household appliances.
- 100% depth of discharge
- Scalable up to 10 Powerwalls
- In a power outage, the Powerwall will switch over to backup power in a split second to allow for 24/7 power. It can be configured to allow for whole home backup, or backup for select essential power loads
- Is managed and monitored by the Tesla mobile app
- Storm Watch may sound cool (or corny, for some) but catchy names aside, its impressive. The system detects storms on the horizon and will prepare for potential power outages by ensuring the battery is at full capacity upon the storms arrival.
- Advanced Time-Based Control. This feature optimises the cost of energy for customers whose electricity rates may vary (depending on the time of day). Great for day and night charges, it can prioritise grid power or battery storage, depending on what option gives the most savings.
Solax 3.3kWh and 6.5kWh
The Solax comes in two sizes, 3.3 and 6.5 kWh. The 3.3 kWh is a decent solar battery (though small) and starts at $5,500. Expensive? Yes. However this is on the low end of the scale for batteries, and it’s still value for money.
A few key features;
- 95% depth of discharge
- Compact and lightweight
- Off-grid and hybrid capabilities
- Designed and manufactured in partnership with LG Chem
- Uses Lithium ion batteries with Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)
- Monitor PV production, current yields and select particular appliances to be powered in the home via the SolaxCloud app
- Plug and play installation (despite the tagline, plug and play can sometimes still require a technician to install the battery)
To compare battery model specs side by side click here to go to our Battery Comparison