Residence vitality storage is changing into a giant enterprise in the USA. Corporations like Generac and Briggs & Stratton have parlayed their expertise within the discipline of backup turbines into profitable dwelling battery product launches. Now Duracell—one of many greatest names in batteries—has entered the market.
The Duracell Energy Middle is a brand new dwelling battery system for storing and utilizing photo voltaic vitality and backing up vital home equipment to maintain your house operating within the occasion of an influence outage. It may be added to houses with or with out photo voltaic panels, or might be paired with a brand new photo voltaic set up.
How does the Energy Middle stack as much as different choices? Is it proper in your dwelling? We cowl these questions and extra within the article beneath!
- The Duracell Energy Middle is a house vitality storage answer at the moment accessible in the USA and Caribbean markets.
- The Energy Middle makes use of lithium iron phosphate batteries and might maintain between 14 and 42 kWh of electrical energy, relying on what number of battery cupboards are paired with the facility management system.
- The Energy Middle can pair with any current photo voltaic inverter, or be put in in a house with out photo voltaic panels and cost from the grid.
- Whereas the Energy Middle doesn’t enable for whole-home backup or off-grid purposes, it could possibly present backup energy for vital home equipment within the occasion of an influence outage.
- The Energy Middle comes with a 15-year guarantee on energy electronics and a 10-year energy capability guarantee that ensures the batteries will preserve not less than 70% of their unique capability throughout the first 10 years of operation.
How the Duracell Energy Middle works
The Energy Middle vitality storage system is a modular system consisting of two most important items of apparatus: a Energy Management System (PCS) and a battery module. The PCS gives energy inversion from AC to DC and again, can ship as much as 5 kilowatts (kW) of steady energy, and surge as much as 8.5 kW to begin motors. One to 3 battery cupboards might be put in to retailer between 14 and 42 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electrical energy.
A Duracell Energy Middle with one 14 kWh battery cupboard (proper) connected. Picture supply: Duracell Power Center
The battery cupboards within the Energy Middle include lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells, and Duracell says they are often cycled as much as 6,000 occasions whereas sustaining not less than 70% of their unique capability. With day by day charging cycles, that is slightly over 15 years of designed life. LFP batteries are rapidly changing into the popular selection amongst U.S. owners, because the know-how is safer and extra environmentally pleasant than lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cells in batteries just like the Tesla Powerwall and Generac PWRcell.
As seen within the image above, the parts of the Energy Middle have to be mounted on a wall, which suggests you want the area to do it. The smallest footprint for the set up is 43.3” extensive, 22.5” tall, and 15.7” deep for one battery, whereas the biggest configuration with three battery cupboards extends to 88.3” extensive. These are some hefty batteries – the PCS module weighs 145 kilos, whereas every battery cupboard weighs 223 kilos.
The Duracell Energy Middle is an AC-coupled battery that expenses from AC energy and discharges AC energy again to the house because of the system’s built-in energy inverter. This offers the Duracell Energy Middle the flexibleness to connect with an current photo voltaic set up, and even cost from the grid in a house with out photo voltaic.
How the Energy Middle saves you cash
For many individuals, the Energy Middle’s best use is to guard you from excessive vitality prices throughout the day by day peak hours of a Time of Use (TOU) rate plan. You can charge the Power Center with solar energy during the day and use some of that stored energy to run appliances in the evening when electricity rates are higher.
Using the Power Center to do this can save the average household hundreds of dollars annually and still ensure backup power is available during a power outage. Right now, the savings from avoiding peak charges probably won’t be high enough to pay back the cost of the battery. If you live in a location with TOU billing, ask your installer to set the battery up for load shifting functionality during peak times.
As we mentioned at the start of this article, Duracell is one of the biggest names in batteries. Currently owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the company manufactures dozens of products and is one of the most trusted brands in the world. But the Power Center is not among the products manufactured by Duracell.
Instead, the Duracell brand name has been licensed by a subsidiary of Omega Electronics Manufacturing Services (Omega EMS) referred to as Energy Middle+. These corporations manufacture the parts used within the Energy Middle primarily based on know-how from a 3rd firm, Eguana Technologies, and use the Duracell identify to market the merchandise in North American and Caribbean markets.
Does this imply the Energy Middle is an inexpensive knock-off with a significant model’s identify on it? In no way. The Duracell Energy Middle is manufactured alongside Eguana’s personal merchandise within the Omega EMS facility in San Jose, California.
The know-how included within the programs meets Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) requirements and complies with state vitality fee rules in Hawaii and California. Shortly after the announcement of the licensing settlement, the businesses revealed that at least 10,000 of the Duracell programs could be produced within the three years following the announcement.
This sort of licensing settlement is not precisely uncommon. Duracell itself has not spent loads of time growing lithium-ion know-how, however they’ve made these sorts of strategic partnerships with corporations which have. In actual fact, the UK and Australia have their very own Duracell-branded dwelling vitality storage options bought because the Duracell Energy Bank product line, which can be manufactured by a licensee of the Duracell identify.
The Energy Middle is rated for out of doors use, with an enclosure that protects in opposition to rain and snow, and an working temperature vary of 32° to 122° F (0° to 50° C). Meaning it could possibly’t be mounted outside in very chilly environments, so concentrate on that should you reside within the midwest and the northeastern United States.
By way of efficiency, the PCS can put out 20.8 amps into 240 volts, or 5 kW of steady energy. It will possibly additionally surge as much as 8.5 kW for five seconds. When two battery cupboards are in use, they will launch as much as 6 kW for half-hour.
The final essential specification is the spherical journey effectivity, which measures how a lot usable vitality the battery can output primarily based on the vitality that is saved inside it. The Energy Middle has a spherical journey effectivity of 85.7%, that means that each 10 kWh of electrical energy despatched to the battery produces 8.57 kWh of usable AC electrical energy. That is on the low finish in comparison with different batteries available on the market. Batteries from sonnen are a little lower, but offerings from LG, Generac, Tesla, and others have round-trip efficiencies of 90% or greater.
The Power Center solar storage solution comes with a 15-year warranty on power electronics, and a 10-year warranty on the battery capacity. Power Center promises that the battery will likely be freed from defects for 15 years and retain not less than 70% of its preliminary capability throughout the 10-year guarantee interval, or they’ll restore or exchange components which can be inflicting points.
Nonetheless, the corporate says the battery ought to be capable to totally cycle 6,000 occasions earlier than hitting that 70% capability restrict, so the battery is designed to final for 15 years or extra. After the 10-year mark, they will not cowl failures, however the batteries ought to work simply fantastic, and the facility electronics are lined. That is a very good guarantee on a product constructed to final.
Does the Energy Middle present whole-home backup?
The brief, simple reply to this query is “no.” The time period “complete dwelling backup” implies that the battery would run a full set of dwelling home equipment when the grid is down. To do this, a backup answer has to have the power to provide surge present to begin issues like air conditioners whereas additionally operating different home equipment. In that scenario, the house would wish a big battery, a really highly effective inverter, and a few form of load administration system to stop the house from drawing an excessive amount of energy without delay.
The Duracell Energy Middle is just not designed to do this, and neither are most different dwelling batteries available on the market. As a substitute, batteries just like the Energy Middle include sufficient vitality to energy so-called “vital hundreds”— important issues like water heaters, lights, fridges, and some energy retailers for small home equipment.
The vital hundreds in a typical dwelling backup set up would use about 9.5 kWh per day in an influence outage. So the 14 kWh Energy battery may energy the house for greater than sooner or later, and the 42 kWh set up with three cupboards may go for as much as 4 days powering the vital home equipment in your house.
Are you able to go off grid?
Just like the dialogue of whole-home backup above, the Duracell Energy Middle is just not meant to be used in an off-grid utility. For an off-grid system to work correctly, the house wants an outsized photo voltaic set up that may make sufficient electrical energy for not less than a full day even on the darkest, least-sunny day of the yr.
Off-grid setups additionally want extra battery storage and even fossil-fuel-powered backup turbines in case of emergency. Like we stated earlier than, the Duracell Energy Middle is designed to function as backup energy in a grid-tied utility or to carry out day by day biking to energy the house during times of peak demand beneath time-of-use billing.
Value and availability
As a result of the Energy Middle is new available on the market, there may be little pricing info accessible. We’ll get extra info because the models begin to arrive at photo voltaic set up corporations. Batteries with comparable capabilities and storage capacities are priced between about $11,000 and $15,000, put in, so if the Energy Middle might be put in across the low finish of that vary, it’ll be aggressive.
Batteries that cost solely from photo voltaic panels can qualify their proprietor for the federal solar tax credit, and many states have battery incentives as well. Those incentives can reduce the cost of a battery by several thousand dollars, and some utilities even offer ongoing programs that can earn battery owners monthly payments for supporting the grid with some of their batteries’ capacity.
Given the promise of at least 10,000 units in the next three years, these batteries should see widespread availability in the United States and Puerto Rico, but especially in the southwest, northeast, and Hawaii.
Bottom line: Is the Duracell Power Center the battery for you?
After all that information above, who is the Power Center actually good for?
If you’re a homeowner who lives in an area with high electricity prices and no net metering, the Duracell Power Center is a good option for you. Similarly, if you’re a regular victim of Public Safety Power Shutdowns due to wildfires (basically, if you live outside of a city in California), the Duracell could be good for you.
The Power Center is an excellent choice if you already have solar panels installed, as it can charge from any existing solar inverter. It’s also not a bad option if you just want to avoid peak energy charges and have a little extra backup power in case of an outage.
The performance of the Power Center is fine, not spectacular, but the technology is solid and the warranty protection is good. If the solar installer you’ve chosen offers the Power Center at a competitive price, you can feel confident that you’re getting a good product that will serve you well for a decade or more.