Best Solar Battery Storage for Your Home

Author: Kelseigh Wrigley

If you have existing solar panels, or are looking into solar, you may want to include solar battery storage in your setup. So which batteries are best? Canstar guides you through the best solar battery storage options.

As the energy market continues to develop rapidly, the interest in solar energy storage, or solar batteries, continues to peak. But as more solar brands and models come onto the market, finding the right energy storage solution for your home can feel a little daunting. Especially when trying to grapple with the ins and outs of solar battery efficiency and capacity.

That’s why Canstar has compiled a list of the best home solar battery systems available in New Zealand. We compare factors such as off-grid capability, size and capacity, and run through some points to consider when choosing a solar battery system.

It’s important to note, however, that our advice is only general in nature. Before making any purchase decisions, it’s best to contact a licensed solar installer to discuss which options are best suited to your home and circumstances.

Best Solar Batteries in New Zealand

  1. Overall Best Battery: Tesla Powerwall 2
  2. Capacity: RedFlow ZCell
  3. Off-Grid: BYD Premium LVS
  4. Small Size: Enphase AC Battery
  5. Large Size: LG Chem RESU
  6. Hybrid: Sonnen Hybrid 9.53

solar panels on house roofs

Best solar battery storage: Tesla Powerwall 2

Overall Best Battery: Tesla Powerwall 2

Price Estimate: Approx $15,000, installation extra

There’s no doubt that if you’ve been on the hunt for a solar battery for a while, that’ll you be familiar with the Tesla Powerwall 2. Arguably one of the best deep-cycle batteries for solar on the market, this model is well known for its high efficiency, capacity and its ability to be seamlessly added to an existing or new system.

Despite carrying a higher price tag than most other models, this unit still stands as one of the best for energy storage. Plus it has a very high weather rating, allowing it to withstand extreme temperatures in outdoor settings. The Tesla Powerwall 2 also comes with a warranty of 10 years.

Sizes Available: 13.5kWh

What’s good about this battery:

  • AC coupled, meaning it can be added to an existing solar system without any extra parts
  • Large size battery with high usable capacity (90%)
  • Can run in conjunction with up to ten other Powerwall units within a home

What to look out for:

  • One of the most expensive on the market
  • Requires additional Tesla gateway box in order to enable back-up power in the case of a power outage
  • Not compatible with other solar batteries

solar battery storage Redflow ZCell

Best Battery – Capacity: RedFlow ZCell

Price Estimate: Approx $14,000, installation extra

When it comes to a battery with high capacity, you can’t look past the RedFlow ZCell. Built using a flow design, this battery uses a Zinc Bromine liquid to run the system, making it more durable to discharge energy at full capacity than other lithium-ion based batteries.

One of the smallest batteries of its kind, the RedFlow ZCell is able to run at 100% capacity at all times and can be seamlessly integrated within an existing or new system.

The ZCell also comes with 24/7 web-based battery monitoring that can be accessed via a laptop or smartphone. As is standard with most battery models, the RedFlow ZCell comes with a 10-year warranty, and can be coupled with multiple other ZCell’s for a larger storage capacity. RedFlow’s batteries are also made from materials that are easily recyclable and reusable.

Sizes Available: 10kWh

What’s good about this battery:

  • Zinc Bromide flow battery, meaning it can use 100% of capacity every time, without damaging battery
  • Well-suited to off-grid energy usage
  • Can be installed within an existing or new solar system

What to look out for:

  • Quite expensive to install
  • Not suited to indoor installation
  • Higher price tag than average battery

→Related article: How to Get The Most Out of Your Solar Panels

solar battery storage BYD Premium LVS

Best Battery – Off-Grid: BYD Premium LVS

Price Estimate: Approx $4000-$21,000 depending on size, installation extra

If you’re looking for a solar battery system with enough horsepower to keep your home afloat without aid from the grid, it’s probably worth checking out the BYD Premium LVS.

This battery has a special modular design that allows its size and capacity to be easily expanded. It can generate up to 256kWh, when 16 battery stands are integrated together in parallel, so is perfect for powering a home looking to ease into self-sufficient power gradually. BYD Premium LVS batteries also come with a 10-year warranty and are suitable for outdoor installation.

Sizes Available: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24kWh

What’s good about this battery:

  • Modular battery, so capacity can easily be expanded by adding extra battery modules
  • Well suited for off-grid power usage
  • Be Connect app available for system monitoring

What to look out for:

  • Can only be used in conjunction with compatible inverters (Sungrow, Fronius, SMA and Growatt)
  • Quite a large vertical system, so needs sufficient space
  • Cannot be used with other battery models

 Enphase AC Battery

Best Battery – Small Size: Enphase AC Battery

Price Estimate: Approx $2500-$3500, installation extra

For a small-sized battery with a reasonable price tag, it doesn’t get much better than the Enphase AC Battery. Delivering low upfront costs, high efficiency and real-time monitoring through the Enphase Enlighten app, this model is considered to be a suitable storage unit for homeowners just making their way into the battery space.

Due to its smaller size and easy integration with existing systems and batteries, Enphase battery storage allows homeowners to play around with its systems to see what works best for them, without the need to commit to a larger, pricey system first. The Enphase AC Battery comes with a 10-year warranty and has great design.

Sizes Available: 1.2kWh

What’s good about this battery:

  • Can be integrated into an existing system
  • High capacity and efficiency despite small size
  • Will work alongside other battery models in a solar system

What to look out for:

  • Not suitable for a large household, unless intending to expand capacity with multiple batteries
  • Low life expectancy in comparison to other models
  • Not suitable for off-grid power or back-up power in the event of a blackout

 LG Chem RESU

Best Battery – Large Size: LG Chem RESU

Price Estimate: Approx $5000-$12,000 depending on size, installation extra

If your home burns power like there’s no tomorrow, you’ll probably need quite a large and reliable solar battery. And, when it comes to high-capacity residential home batteries, you can’t overlook the LG Chem RESU.

Featuring a special design believed to prevent the likelihood of failures and increase reliability, this range allows households to store more than the popular 13kWh Powerwall 2 and for half the price.

Plus, with back-up protection capabilities, you can rest assured that in the event of a blackout, the LG Chem RESU battery will be able to keep the lights on and the kettle boiling. LG’s battery storage systems come with a 10-year warranty.

Sizes Available: 6.5, 9.8, 13.1kWh

What’s good about this battery:

  • Capable of being used off-grid
  • Modular design, allowing for extra LG Chem batteries to be added
  • Suitable for outdoor installation

What to look out for:

  • Can only be used in conjunction with compatible inverters (Sungrow, Huawei, SMA, Goodwe)
  • Automatic shutdown response if communication is interrupted with inverter
  • No more than two LG Chem RESU batteries are recommended to be used together

Sonnen Hybrid 9.53

Best Battery – Hybrid: Sonnen Hybrid 9.53

Price Estimate: Approx $9000-$15,000 depending on size, installation extra

Hybrid battery models are great for seamlessly integrating a battery into either a new or existing solar panel system. Arguably one of the best solar battery storage models in this criteria is the Sonnen Hybrid 9.53.

Containing both a high-efficiency solar inverter and battery system, the Hybrid 9.53 is able to effectively store and convert solar energy for use in any sized home, forgoing the need for an additional inverter to be installed.

Coming in sizes up to 15kWh, with modular expansion available for future growth, Sonnen’s battery is not only safe and reliable but also environmentally sustainable, thanks to its cobalt-free design. Plus, the Hybrid 9.53 is covered by a 10-year warranty.

Sizes available: 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15kWh

What’s good about this battery:

  • Hybrid system, contains an inverter as well as battery storage
  • Modular system, can be expanded
  • Can be integrated into an existing solar panel system

What to look out for:

  • Need to add sonnen Protect add-on device to ensure protection during blackouts
  • Higher price tag than most battery systems
  • Cannot be covered by warranty if not connected to the internet for software updates and real-time monitoring

→Related article: Solar Power Plans: What Deals are Power Companies Offering?

Should I get a solar battery with my solar panels?

While there are certainly some financial benefits to be had from installing a solar battery, whether or not your household should add a battery to your solar panel system will depend entirely upon your energy usage and personal circumstance.

If you want to slash a few dollars off your energy bills and tap into your generated solar energy outside of daylight hours, then it may be worth adding a battery system to your home. 

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that solar batteries are quite a significant financial investment. And there is no guarantee that within the standard 10-year warranty time frame that your system will be able to make its money back. That’s why it’s best to do your research and shop around for quotes before making a purchase decision.


Compare electricity providers with Canstar Blue

If you are considering solar, the right power plan is paramount. But finding the right provider can be a real challenge. Less than half of Kiwis believe they are getting a good deal on their power, yet only 12% of us have actually changed our electricity provider in the last 12-months.

If you are looking to change electricity providers, or are unsure if you are getting the best deal, Canstar Blue can help. We rate NZ power companies for customer satisfaction and value for money, see the table below for some of the results, or you can click on the button below for the full results of our survey.

Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.


See Our Ratings Methodology

Compare electricity providers for free with Canstar Blue!

 


author andrew broadley

About the reviewer of this page

This report was reviewed by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.


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