Generac purchased battery company Pika Energy in 2019 and has since combined their technology into the introduction of the Generac PWRcell, a Generac-branded home storage solution.
Generac, which has long been a pioneer in backup power, is now expanding into sustainable energy and energy storage, with the PWRcell battery range at the heart of their new product lineup.
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The Most Important Takeaways
- The Generac PWRcell has a starting price of $9,900, not including installation.
- The PWRcell is available in four sizes, with capacities ranging from 9 to 18 kWh and power outputs varying from 4.5 to 9 kW.
- To genuinely go “off the grid,” you may need a couple PWRcell batteries.
- A licensed EnergySage-approved installer can provide you with the most up-to-date information about the Generac home battery system and other energy storage choices that are now available to homes.
What Is The Generac PWRcell And How Does It Work?
The Generac PWRcell is a good match for solar panels, particularly if your utility has eliminated or decreased net metering, implemented time-of-use rates, or imposed demand charges.
While you combine a solar energy system with a storage solution like the Generac PWRcell, you may have a consistent power supply day or night, as long as you store enough energy from your solar panels when the sun is shining.
The Generac PWRcell, like many other home battery solutions, is sized for day-to-day usage at your house and is mainly meant to be used in conjunction with a solar panel system.
When your solar panels generate more power than you can use in your house, instead of sending it back into the grid, you may store it in your battery system.
When your panels aren’t generating enough power to satisfy your home’s demands, you may utilize the energy stored in your battery rather than buying it from your utility provider later.
The original battery solution from Pika was created with two key markets in mind.
The first was places with time-of-use (TOU) power tariffs, such as California, where electricity costs more during peak demand hours, which are often when the sun isn’t shining brightly.
The second category included “zero export” areas, such as Hawaii, where solar system owners are barred from exporting surplus solar energy to the grid.
Under each of these circumstances, the battery’s built-in operating modes are intended to maximize the use of household energy.
What Is The Price Of A Generac PWRcell?
The Generac PWRcell begins at $9,999 and goes up in price as the battery size increases.
The battery is included at this pricing, however labor and other fees are not included.
Installing a battery isn’t as simple as finding up the list price for a single component–in this case, your battery.
In reality, installation charges might differ significantly depending on your electrical configuration.
Battery prices are just one element of the issue if you want to use the PWRcell as part of a solar-plus-storage system.
Depending on where you reside and the sort of equipment you pick, a 5 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system might cost anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000.
Although this may seem to be a large sum of money, a solar-plus-storage system may be a sensible investment.
The way your electric company frames its tariffs, as well as your motivations for installing a solar battery, will influence whether or not the Generac PWRcell makes sense for you.
Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for financial incentives that might help you save money on your home energy storage installation.
For example, if you reside in California, the Self-Generation Incentive Program may be able to provide you with a cash refund that covers the majority of your home battery expenditures (SGIP).
Other states (including Massachusetts) are investigating battery storage performance incentives, and many currently provide cash refunds.
The Generac PWRcell: What You Need to Know
The PWRcell is a “fully scalable storage system with unrivaled raw power,” according to Generac, which initially released it in September 2019 after acquiring Pika Energy.
The technical statistics of the battery back up these claims: the stackable PWRcell has among the greatest power of any household battery now on the market, as shown below.
PWRview, Generac’s own energy monitoring system, is available in addition to the PWRcell.
PWRview offers extensive power bill monitoring and forecasts, as well as other relevant energy dashboards, and comes with a bespoke mobile app.
Within the app, you may also establish daily and monthly power use objectives.
There are a number of significant criteria and technical requirements to consider while assessing the PWRcell.
The battery’s size (power and capacity), depth of discharge, and roundtrip efficiency are among the most essential factors.
The PWRcell M3, PWRcell M4, PWRcell M5, and PWRcell M6 are the four distinct types of Generac PWRcell depending on the number of battery modules.
When comparing the PWRcell to other home storage choices, two crucial criteria to consider are power and useful capacity.
The highest amount of energy that can be generated at a single moment is determined by power (measured in kilowatts, or kW), but useable capacity (measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh) is a measure of the maximum amount of electricity stored in your battery on a full charge.
The PWRcell M6, the most powerful battery in the portfolio, has a maximum power rating of 9 kW and an useable capacity of 18 kWh.
The M3, M4, and M5 versions have maximum power outputs of 4.5 kW, 6 kW, and 7.5 kW, respectively.
Importantly, the PWRcell system is flexible, allowing you to expand your storage capabilities by adding other battery types.
For a house with large energy consumption, you may choose to install numerous PWRcell batteries.
You can connect up to two PWRcells to a single PWRcell inverter, according to Generac’s PWRcell spec sheet, but you’ll need to modify your supporting gear to add even more storage capacity beyond the stored energy of two batteries.
Consider your battery to be a pipe full of water.
The quantity of water that can be pushed through the pipe is the useful energy capacity, while the size of the pipe is the power.
Larger pipes enable more water to flow through at once, causing the water to be depleted more quickly.
Similarly, a high-capacity battery can give more electricity at once, but it will also burn through its available energy capacity more quickly.
The power of a battery dictates how many appliances you can run simultaneously from it, while the useful capacity decides how long those appliances can operate.
Batteries with a higher power rating can power more, larger appliances (such as your HVAC system) or multiple appliances simultaneously, whereas batteries with a higher usable capacity can store more total energy and thus run your appliances for longer periods of time without needing to be recharged.
#2. Functionality That Is Fundamental
The usefulness of one solar battery compared to another might differ; some batteries have exceptional off-grid capabilities, while others provide rate arbitrage software solutions.
Both of these functions are provided by the PWRcell family of hardware and software solutions.
Along with its PWRcell, Generac provides a solar inverter.
This inverter may be used as a battery inverter as well as a solar array inverter on the roof.
This implies that your Generac PWRcell battery will be able to supply backup power for your house when the grid goes down, as well as interact with your solar panel system if you have one, as long as your installer installs the right components including the PWRcell inverter.
Although their monitoring technology is entirely integrated within their PWRcell inverter, Generac also provides monitoring capabilities via the use of a device called PWRview.
Generac’s PWRcell batteries and related equipment can effectively control electrical loads throughout your home and correctly take energy from the battery as required thanks to built-in inverter monitoring technology.
#3. Metrics Of Performance
The depth of discharge and roundtrip efficiency are two important factors to consider when evaluating the performance of a solar battery.
The proportion of a battery’s energy that has been depleted in relation to the total capacity of the battery is known as depth of discharge (DoD).
Many battery manufacturers specify a maximum DoD level for optimum battery performance since the usable life of a battery diminishes each time you charge, drain, and re-charge–or cycle–your battery.
Batteries having a deeper depth of discharge are generally thought to be of superior quality.
The Generac PWRcell has an 84 percent depth of discharge.
The roundtrip efficiency of a battery is a measure of the electrical losses that occur while charging and discharging.
The more effective the battery is in converting incoming power into stored electricity and subsequently back into useable electricity, the greater the efficiency %.
The Generac PWRcell has a high roundtrip efficiency of 96.5 percent, which means you’ll get 9.65 kWh of output for every 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power you put into it.
Generac PWRcell Warranty Coverage
PWRcell From Generac Comes With A Warranty.
- Ten-year warranty period
- Depending on battery capacity, throughput warranty ranges from 22.6 to 45.3 megawatt-hours (MWh).
The majority of residences using Generac batteries charge and discharge their batteries on a daily basis.
A 10-year limited guarantee is included with the PWRcell.
Generac also mentions a “throughput warranty” for the various PWRcell variants.
A throughput warranty is another technique to determine whether a battery’s guarantee period has expired, depending on how much energy has been stored and discharged during its lifespan rather than on time.
Overall, a PWRcell guarantee is good for 10 years or until the battery has cycled the stated amount of energy through it, whichever comes first.
(This is comparable to automotive warranties of ten years or 100,000 miles, where a battery’s throughput is comparable to mileage warranties.) The following are the throughput warranty figures for each PWRcell model:
|PWRcell model||Throughput warranty|
Importantly, Generac’s battery technology is comparable to that of other rechargeable batteries, whether big and small: the battery’s capacity to store a charge degrades with time.
Consider how a brand-new smartphone compares to one that is a few years old in terms of battery life.
As you charge and discharge your phone’s battery repeatedly, it begins to lose part of its capacity to retain a charge.
If you wish to compare different battery models side by side, our battery Buyer’s Guide allows you to do so.
You may compare devices based on efficiency, capacity, power, and other factors.
Is It Possible To Use The Generac PWRcell Off-Grid?
Installing a solar-plus-storage system at your house is a terrific way to get control over your power cost, but it doesn’t mean you’re cut off from the grid entirely.
Using solar batteries to get “off the grid” is considerably more costly and difficult than you would assume.
Most household batteries, including the PWRcell, are only capable of storing a few hours of power.
You’ll need to connect many PWRcell batteries together to boost your storage capacity if you want to ensure that your property has electricity for days at a time.
You may (and should) ask a lot of questions about any battery you’re installing.
Here’s some additional information about the Generac PWRcell:
PWRcells may be deployed in a variety of locations.
The Generac PWRcell, like the Tesla Powerwall, is designed to be put both indoors and outdoors.
Is it possible to use a PWRcell to power an electric vehicle?
The biggest PWRcell variant is 18 kWh, which is a fraction of the size of the batteries used in most long-range electric vehicles.
As a result, a Generac PWRcell is unlikely to be able to charge much of your electric vehicle.
Is it possible to back up your whole home with a PWRcell?
In a nutshell, yes, but only for a limited time.
You’ll need a considerably bigger battery bank if you want to back up your whole home for an extended length of time.
You should also consider combining your storage system with solar panels.
A single PWRcell battery could keep your appliances running for a few hours, but don’t expect to be able to power your appliances for an extended period of time (even the biggest one available).
To see the arithmetic, see our post on how many solar batteries you’ll need.
Where Can I Get A Generac PWRcell?
The Generac PWRcell battery is now accessible online via Generac’s website, where you may request a price, and through any Generac/Pika certified solar and/or energy storage installation business.
Adding energy storage technology to your house is a sophisticated procedure that requires electrical knowledge, certifications, and a thorough understanding of the best practices for installing a solar-plus-storage system.
A licensed EnergySage-approved provider can provide you with the finest advice on the Generac home battery system and other energy storage solutions now accessible to homeowners.
Simply join the EnergySage Solar Marketplace now and select what items you’re interested in in the preferences area of your profile if you want to get competitive installation estimates for solar and energy storage alternatives from local installers near you.