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Which home-battery is the right choice for me?


Adding a battery to a solar installation is the best next step towards self-sufficiency and cheaper monthly bills. Reducing reliance on the grid through a battery has changed our household bills and consumption habits for good.


Yet there are so many batteries on the market, and each has a different level of functionality, flexibility, usability and suitability. At Limitless Energy we only install higher-end batteries, those with better warranties and better chemical make-up and each of these have their differences.


If you want to better understand the varieties, here’s a quick rundown on the fantastic and quirky aspects to each of the battery manufacturers we install.


Through a site visit and in consultation, we tend to advise a battery based upon each individual situation. All installations are scaled to the right size for your needs, but in case you like some of the finer details please find a quick rundown below: - which one do you think is better suited to your needs?

 

GivEnergy Batteries – These are LPF (lithium iron phosphate also known as LiFePO4) in makeup and so have less degradation over time along with a stable battery chemistry.  They are happy to be charged to 100% and discharged to 10% and so allow for a greater use of the capacity of the battery system.


They offer 12-year product warranty and have great UK technical support. Coupled with their inverters you can charge and discharge them at 3.68kW. They are great at working with different utility providers to maximise savings with the Smart Export Guarantee. For example, look at the offerings of the Agile Octopus tariff.


SolarEdge Batteries – Similar to GivEnergy they are LFP in chemistry. They don’t currently interlink with utility providers, but they do have weather prediction – so only overnight charge if poor weather is anticipated the next day. You can also set how much you want to grid charge them, so 100% or 75% or 25% which most other batteries do not allow. They interlink with their inverters and all SolarEdge inverters are optimised to maximise your generation so that shading will not affect the production across the whole array. Their technical support is very good and they offer great warranty options with extensions to certain products to 25 years.


Tesla – This is our only NMC battery (Nickel Magnesium Cobalt Chemistry). The reason for this is because of its large size. One battery is 13.5kW and it has an inbuilt inverter making it very heavy to install. Although NMC chemistry offers great energy density and very high charge and discharge rates making them generally smaller and better suited to high loads, they can have one drawback, this is that their degradation can be higher. With Tesla however they have such close monitoring of their cells that we generally find they perform just as well and sometimes even better.


The magic with Tesla is really with their Gateway. This allows a full phase of a home to switch to battery in the instance of a power cut. On properties with 3ph supply - so larger houses or commercial properties, they allow phase sharing, maximising the potential generation and self-consumption available. Telsa has the option to night charge and retain a percentage for off grid emergency power which can be helpful in areas with frequent powercuts. Tesla offers a 10 warranty as standard with their product when installed by a certified Powerwall installer (such as ourselves).

 

Sunsynk – These are LFP in chemistry and so offer great usable battery capacity, but they are the best for high charge and discharge rates when coupled with their inverters. They also have a lot of inverter options to partner with their batteries whether they are single or three phase. Much like the other inverters they can be scheduled to charge at night and their customer support is very good.  As with the Tesla Powerwall Sunsynk are offering a 10 year standard warranty when installed by a certified installer.


What about the ethics?!

With our concerns for the ethics around renewables, we choose to advise Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries as standard as these do not contain Cobalt. Cobalt is a conflict mineral which can be mined in DR Congo and has many documented human rights abuses by Amnesty International.


The Tesla battery is the only NMC battery we install of which they claim no mining occurs in the DRC, we chose Tesla for a few reasons but is mainly because it has been the market leader and only viable and effective option for three phase premises.  We are also happy to install it upon request for Tesla customers.


If you are considering a solar and or battery installation and you are based in Swansea, Carmarthen, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Brecon or Cardiff – please get in touch with us.


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