Tesla has been selling solar panels and entire Solar Roofs, and with those purchases comes the option of buying the company’s Powerwall battery storage device. The Tesla Powerwall stores energy, with or without solar energy, so that it is used for later household consumption. This device is attractive because it can save on energy bills.
Tesla’s Powerwall stores energy during off-peak hours when energy is less expensive. Then, it distributes this stored energy when energy demand is higher and more expensive. However, Tesla is not the only company that is selling these energy-saving devices. There are nine companies offering battery storage in competition with Tesla.
Tesla Powerwall and Powerwall 2
Tesla released its first Powerwall device in 2015 and since has later released a much larger version, the Powerwall 2. This new version has a 13.5-kilowatt-hour storage capacity, up from the original 7-kilowatt storage capacity version. Its time-based control system is appealing in that it stores energy during off-peak hours and releases it later.
Its new version aims to produce more energy in a larger capacity so that it can offer users even more cost-effective energy solutions. However, it takes quite a bit of energy to fully charge 13.5 kilowatt-hours. If your house does not use at least 13.5 kilowatt-hours of energy per day, this larger Powerwall may not be the best choice for the price.
When you add up the cost of the battery itself, the Gateway management system, and installation costs, a Tesla Powerwall will cost a total of $10,500. The size of the device and total cost should be weighed against your home’s overall energy consumption and electricity needs. Tesla may be the market leader in battery backup systems, but there are nine competitors that are offering other options.
Tesla Powerwall Alternatives
Before you choose which one of the ten (including Tesla) batteries will meet the energy needs of your home, you need to consider your budget, your home’s energy consumption, and whether or not you have solar panels or an entire Solar Roof. You also may consider the area in which you live and any additional features you are looking for.
- LG Chem RESU
- Sonnen Eco
- BYB B-Box
- Generac PWRcell
- Emphase Encharge
- ElectrIQ PowerPod
- YIY Powerwall
- MeritSun Powerwall
- Vottery Powerwall
Based on your home’s power needs, the above companies are currently competing with Tesla’s Powerwall battery storage system.
1. LG Chem RESU
The LG Chem RESU battery is almost identical to the Tesla Powerwall. It also stores solar energy when the home’s consumption is low to be used later when energy consumption during peak times when it is more expensive.
- The LG’s price is comparable to Tesla’s, ranging from $11,000 to $13,000 depending on where you live.
- The LG RESU are lithium-ion batteries, and both the Powerwall and LG have a 10-year warranty and are compatible with inverters to convert the DC solar energy to AC use in the home.
- LG is touting their LG RESU as the largest residential storage system due to the prime version’s 16 kilowatt-hours versus the Powerwall 2’s 13.5.
What does the size difference between LG and Tesla mean in terms of energy? LG can deliver nonstop 7 kilowatt-hours or 11-kilowatt peak compared to the 5 kilowatts of sustained energy by Tesla. LG does offer smaller versions if your home does not need that much energy on a daily basis with its 9.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery version.
Both Tesla and LG also offer remote battery monitoring and save the solar energy to power your home in case of a power shutdown. The main difference is the variety of kilowatt capacity offered by LG versus the 7 or 13.5 versions offered by Tesla. Some homes simply do not have the solar energy requirements to charge a large battery.
Sonnen is another company competing with Tesla’s Powerwall in the home-battery market. Sonnen can work with your solar energy system to store the energy and power your home if the grid goes down or if you want to use the extra power to save money on your electric bill. It charges up quickly to give your home the power it needs.
In 0.4 seconds, the Sonnen battery will start working in the event of a power outage, meaning you probably will not notice your appliances lost their power. The battery is smaller than Tesla’s with 10 kilowatt-hours, which delivers up to 4.8 continuous kilowatt-hours and a peak of 8.6 kilowatt-hours for brief demands of larger power needs.
Similar to both Tesla and LG, the Sonnen battery, which is lithium-iron-phosphate, also comes with a ten-year warranty. It also uses the time-of-use load shifting that charges the battery during the less expensive off-peak hours and then uses the stored energy during non-peak hours when the grid power is more expensive.
- 58 megawatt-hour in its expected lifetime (equal to 58,000 kilowatt-hours)
- A 100% depth of discharge
- Takes advantages of lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, a safer alternative to lithium-ion batteries.
- Can be used with or without solar panel systems
- App control and monitoring available to show home much energy is stored and used
- Offers a variety of sizes
- Maintains up to 70% of its storage capacity over ten years
- Contains a smart system that creates an energy profile so users can manage where the energy is being sent within the home
- Best for smaller homes due to its size and storage capacity
Sonnen has been marketing its battering in the United States since 2017, but units are much more expensive than Tesla’s Powerwall – the 5-kilowatt unit alone is $9,500, not counting the additional installation costs, and is much smaller than Tesla’s Powerwall 2. Remember that 5 kilowatts are enough to power a home for a few hours in the evening.
3. BYD B-Box
BYD is a Chinese company that is well-known throughout the Asian market but fairly unknown beyond that continent. Their devices also use the safer lithium-iron-phosphate batteries and give many more size options for homes small to large than Tesla’s Powerwall options. The BYD come in four different sizes in which to choose:
- 2.56 kilowatt-hours
- 5.12 kilowatt-hours
- 7.68 kilowatt-hours
- 10.24 kilowatt-hours
The costs are also competitive, with each battery coming in at a little more than $1,500 and hardware costs at under $700. These numbers do not include the installation costs associated with the BYD B-Box batteries. However, these products have a limited optimal temperature range and are not ideal for areas where the climates are severe.
In addition, the devices themselves are quite large – about the size of a small refrigerator – making them a bit obtrusive in the home. Tesla’s Powerwall, on the other hand, is sleek and stylish. Finally, the smaller kilowatt-hour sizes and ideal temperature range make them only compatible for smaller homes in moderate climates.
Although the BYD B-Box looks like a small refrigerator, it does come on wheels, and that makes it easy to install and maneuver throughout the home where it fits best. Up to four batteries fit on a single rack, giving it a flexibility that makes it easy to increase its capacity through the parallel connection of the battery rack.
4. Generac PWRcell
Generac PWRcell is an environmentally friendly way to power the home with up to 9 kilowatt-hours of continuous backup power in case of an outage. The basics are similar to Tesla’s Powerwall – use the energy that is stored in the PWRcell during the peak demand times, when energy costs are higher, to save money on your energy bills.
This company also touts its environmentally-friendly outlook of not requiring fossil fuels or emissions. The basic version provides the 9 kilowatt-hours of energy, but they also offer a more hardy design that provides a whopping 36 kilowatt-hours of energy. How does that work? It comes down to an extra-large battery cabinet for the batteries.
If you store 12 battery modules in the storage cabinet, you will attain the 36 kilowatt-hours of energy. Below are the other configurations in which to choose for your home:
- Three battery modules = 9 kilowatt-hours of energy
- Four battery modules = 12 kilowatt-hours of energy
- Five battery modules = 15 kilowatt-hours of energy
- Six battery modules = 18 kilowatt-hours of energy
If you compare the 18 kilowatt-hours version (6 battery modules) to Tesla’s Powerwall 2 that has 13.5 kilowatt-hours, the comparison is as follows:
- Generac – 9-kilowatt max continuous power and 50A motor starting current
- Powerwall 2 – 5-kilowatt max continuous power and 30A motor starting current
Compared to the Tesla, Generac offers a more flexible storage capacity, is more budget-friendly, and provides more continuous power. The Generac battery is touted as the most powerful battery on the market. A single PWRcell battery should provide enough motor starting power for large energy loads, such as well pumps and air conditioners.
Generac offers fully outdoor installations, energy management technology, and PWR cell support that enables users to manage the home’s energy consumption to further save on electricity costs. This battery may be a superior choice to work with your solar panels, with a 33 percent higher battery capacity and 80 percent more continuous power than Tesla.
5. Enphase Encharge
Comparing the Emphase Encharge side-by-side with Tesla’s Powerwall 2 illustrates some notable differences. For example, the Enphase Encharge is another option for the safer lithium-iron-phosphate battery versus the nickel manganese cobalt battery chemistry used by Tesla’s Powerwall 2. Both have a 100 percent depth of discharge.
- Both companies offer a 10-year warranty, but the Emphase Encharge has a 4,000 warranty cycle compared to Tesla’s 3,200 warranty cycle.
- The Powerwall 2 has a larger usable capacity in that the Enphase Encharge offers 3.36 or 10.1 kilowatt-hours of energy.
- The roundtrip efficiency of Enphase Encharge is higher: 96% versus 90%.
The Enphase Ensemble product continues to be similar to the Tesla Powerwall 2. Both have AC connection types, they both offer a mobile app monitoring system, and they are both scalable. They also both offer attractive time-of-use rates that allow you to use less expensive solar energy stored in the battery during the more expensive times.
What Enphase Encharge does offer is flexibility with its battery sizes. If you do not want 13.5 kilowatt-hours from Tesla, you can choose Enphase Encharge in its 3- or 10-kilowatt-hour versions. This flexibility may make the Enphase Encharge more compliant to smaller homes versus the Tesla Powerwall 2’s 13.5 solar energy power storage.
6. ElectrIQ PowerPod
When ElictrIQ Power launched its new smart home-connected battery system, the PowerPod, it looked like a competitive option to both Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and the LG Resu. It is priced at $8,999, and this price includes many of the items that the other competitors have priced out separately, including the following necessities:
- Energy meter
- Hybrid/battery/solar inverter
- Home energy management system
The other competitors require you to purchase the inverter separately, and some of the batteries are also an extra cost. ElictrIQ packages the batteries, the inverters, and home energy software into a contained system. Customers may like the all-in-one option that stabilizes the price of the battery and auxiliary equipment for one price.
The warranty is comparable – 10 years of daily cycling. The ElictrIQ offers 11 kilowatt-hours of energy with a hybrid inverter that is able to have a 5.5-kilowatt power capacity. The storage software studies the home’s energy use and then optimizes the operations so that the majority of energy is pushed out during peak hours.
This is also why the ElectrIQ PowerPod goes good with solar panel systems. The different sizes are as follows:
- 13.4 kilowatts with 4.5 kilowatt power and 11.4 kilowatt-hour usable capacity
- 20.1 kilowatts
- 26.8 kilowatts
- 33.5 kilowatts with 5.5 kilowatt power and 28.5 kilowatt-hour usable capacity
As long as there is enough power stored in the system from the solar panels, the time-of-use rates are similar to Tesla’s Powerwall and allow the homeowner to have a good amount of power during both day and night.
7. YiY Powerwall
The YiY Powerwall is a wall-mounted or cabinet lithium-ion battery system that also converts solar energy from your roof panels to energy in your home. You can connect ten packs in parallel and then manage all of them through the single battery management system. There are many benefits to the YiY Powerwall similar to others:
- The models range from 2.6 to 52 kilowatt-hour
- Battery voltage range from 12V, 24V, and 48V
- There is a 100 % depth of discharge without damaging the battery itself
- The life span is a long cycle life of ten years and at least 2,500 times
It also offers a customized charge, automatic calibration active balancing technology, and a home energy storage system and communication port. The company also offers power inverters that compliment whatever wall mount or cabinet battery system you find is powerful enough to power your home throughout the day and evening hours.
8. MeritSun Powerwall
The MeritSun Powerwall is a solar storage battery that offers sizes ranging from 5 kilowatt-hours to 10 kilowatt-hours. So, they do not compare to the larger versions from Tesla and some of the other companies that are marketing powerwall batteries today. However, they are more than convenient for smaller homes that want to save energy.
In addition, larger homes should not discount MeritSun; if you have tremendous energy needs, the company allows you to connect up to fifteen units in parallel to deliver more than enough power through your inverter and into your home. MeritSun works either with your solar panels or utility grid, and all have a max charge of 120A:
- 5 kilowatt-hours – rated capacity 100 Ah battery
- 7 kilowatt-hours – rated capacity 140 Ah battery
- 10 kilowatt-hours – rated capacity 200 Ah battery
MeritSun does come with nearly twenty years of experience in the energy storage applications industry and offers a variety of batteries and powerpack systems. The Meritsun Powerwall is just one of many products the company offers in the world of energy storage.
9. Vottery Powerwall
The Vottery Powerwall is another home energy system that also boasts a lithium-iron-phosphate battery and offers choices of 4, 5, or 6 kilowatt-hours standard battery energy and max outpower power. The 6-kilowatt-hour option runs a little under $5,000 and can be found on sale for 35 percent off that price.
The specs of each choice are as follows:
- 4 kilowatt-hours: 80 Ah battery capacity, 40-kilowatt-hour max expandable energy (max 10 modular parallels)
- 5 kilowatt-hours: 100 Ah battery capacity, 50-kilowatt-hour max expandable energy (max 10 modular parallels)
- 6 kilowatt-hours: 120 Ah battery capacity, 60-kilowatt-hour max expandable energy (max 10 modular parallels)
As noted above, you can connect up to ten of the systems in parallel for a max expandable energy of 60 kilowatt-hours. The lifecycle is more than 6,000 cycles and more than 20-year design life, and it is said to have a nice look and is easy to install. The warranty is ten years, and it comes with smart monitoring and an all-in-one structure.
Is Tesla Powerwall the Best Option?
When comparing the Powerwall to the top 9 alternatives, it becomes clear that the Powerwall brings a lot to the table. Between the amount of battery capacity you get for the money, the power output capabilities, the sleek aesthetics, and the 24/7 power monitoring via the smartphone app, the Powerwall is hard to beat.