Now more than ever, home batteries are becoming a smart purchase either with or without a solar panel system. Batteries offer many benefits, from electricity bill savings to resiliency against grid outages and more.
One popular home battery is the Tesla Powerwall. This battery became available to the public in the mid-2010s and has seen multiple upgrades since then. But, either due to access, affordability, or personal preference, many homeowners choose to explore Tesla Powerwall alternatives.
Fortunately, both established manufacturers and up-and-coming smaller players offer unique products that make them a viable Powerwall competitor. In this article, we’ll review some of today’s most popular home battery options to see how they stack up against each other, and against the highly popular Tesla Powerwall. The key factors to assess when comparing solar batteries include size, warranty terms, and price.
You may consider Tesla battery alternatives due to Tesla’s long wait times, not offering standalone storage, and poor customer service. Generac, LG Chem, sonnen, and Enphase offer some of the best Tesla battery alternatives. Solar-plus-storage shoppers should use the EnergySage Marketplace to compare quotes from pre-vetted installers.
Comparing popular home battery options. When comparing options for home batteries, there are a few key data points to keep in mind: size, warranty terms, and price. While these aren’t the only factors to consider when shopping for a battery, they’re a great place to start and can help you better understand the costs and benefits you’ll get with each option.
When we talk about the size of solar batteries, we’re referencing two metrics: usable capacity and power. Power (measured in kilowatts, or kW) determines the maximum amount of electricity that can be output at a single time, while usable capacity (measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh) is a measure of the maximum amount of electricity stored in your battery on a full charge.
You can think about these key size metrics like water running through a pipe. Usable energy capacity is the volume of water available to push through the pipe, while power is the size of the pipe. Larger pipes let more water flow through at one time, which depletes the total water stored faster.
Frequently asked questions: what are Tesla Powerwall alternatives?
Similarly, a battery with high power can deliver more electricity at one time but will spin through its available energy capacity faster too. (To add a bit more complexity to the equation, there are typically two power metrics on battery spec sheets: continuous and startup, or instantaneous, power.
We’ve written a handy article that compares the two, but for now, it’s enough to know that continuous power is how much your battery can output steadily over the course of hours, while startup power is the surge of power your battery can provide for a few minutes or even a few seconds to help kick-start large appliances like an HVAC or a sump-pump.).
A battery’s power determines what appliances you’ll be able to run with it all at the same time, and usable capacity determines how long those appliances can keep running on the battery. Batteries with a higher power rating can power more energy-hungry appliances or many appliances at once, while batteries with a higher usable capacity can store more total energy and thus can keep appliances running for longer periods of time without needing a recharge.
In general, batteries will come with a capacity warranty, which guarantees that a certain percentage of the original battery energy capacity will remain after a set period of time (often 10 years.) In addition, some batteries have one of two other types of warranty: a throughput warranty (usually measured in megawatt-hours, or MWh) and a cycle warranty (measured in full charge/discharge cycles).
Throughput warranties add a limit to how much energy you can cycle through your battery within the warranty period while remaining eligible for the guaranteed energy capacity warranty. Cycle warranties are another way to measure the time bounds on a warranty period – they specify the number of times you can charge and discharge your battery before the warrantied capacity is no longer applicable.
Price is another important factor to consider when evaluating your home battery options. Similar to comparing prices for solar panels, there’s a difference between the cost of the equipment itself and the cost of a full system installation. Additionally, solar battery installation prices can depend heavily on your property – for example, your electrical panel setup and existing wiring might mean more or less work for an installation crew.
As such, the actual “price” for installing a solar battery is different for everyone. The Tesla Powerwall is an excellent option for home energy storage; however, it isn’t ideal for everyone.
Here are a few factors that have made the market more competitive for Powerwall alternatives:. The time it takes to get a Powerwall (and required solar system) depends on a few factors, such as third-party involvement and location. Many Powerwall users have commented on wait times exceeding a year for their installation.