Who Makes Lithium-Ion Solar Batteries?

lithium-ion-solar-batteries

We’ve compiled a handy list of manufacturers for all your solar and renewable energy needs

Looking for lithium-ion solar batteries? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered up all the manufacturers we’re aware of that manufacture lithium batteries for energy storage. You’ll find them all listed below along with some helpful info on their products and business.

Lithium batteries have been all over the news over the last few years, mostly thanks to Tesla and their Powerwall. And while Powerwalls are amazing (and amazingly priced!) products, they’re far from the only options out there. There are a handful of lesser-known manufacturers pumping out some equally-amazing batteries.

Today, we’re focusing on battery-only products, without any inverter integrated into the system. Battery-inverter combos are becoming increasingly popular for grid-connected homes, with companies like LG, sonnen, Enphase, and of course Tesla all bringing their own unique products to market.

But while these battery-inverter combos certainly make the buying and installation process simpler, purchasing the batteries and inverter separately allows you to create an energy storage system perfectly tailored to your needs.

Once you’re finished reading this post, you’ll have more than enough info to choose the right lithium-ion solar batteries for your needs! Let’s begin (alphabetically).

Battle Born

  • Initial Cost: $ out of $$$
  • Capacity/Voltage: 50 – 100Ah; 12v
  • Cycle Life: 4,000 cycles @ 100% Depth of Discharge
  • Warranty: 8 years (3 year full replacement, 5 year prorated)

Founded in 2012, Battle Born is a relative newcomer to the battery block, focusing exclusively on lithium-ion batteries. They manufacture batteries ranging from 50 – 100 Ah, all of which are 12 volts. For the guts of their batteries, Battle Born uses lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO), the most stable, non-toxic form of lithium-ion battery technology currently on the market and which are more environmentally-friendly than other lithium battery technology on the market right now.

Despite their small size, all their batteries are made right here in the US (Nevada to be precise), and they offer an 8-year warranty for their products (3-year replacement, 5-year prorated). They’re also one of the cheaper options on our list, so take note if you’re looking to spend as little as possible. Along with this lower price though, you’re looking at a shorter cycle life (4,000 total at 80% discharge) compared to more expensive options like the Simpliphi batteries below.

Even still, Amazon customers report great experiences with both the products and the company’s customer service, with happy buyer Jeff reporting “If you are thinking about a off grid or grid tie with battery backup application these batteries are worth every penny. Service seems to be a priority for this company which was a selling point at the beginning of my research for 12 volt Lithium Batteries.”

Battle Born batteries look like good products, for a good deal less than other offerings included here.

Relion

  • Initial Cost: $$ out of $$$
  • Capacity/Voltage: 5 -300Ah; 12 – 48v
  • Cycle Life: 12000 cycles @ 80% DoD
  • Warranty: 7 years (3 years replace/repair, 4 years prorated)

Relion is another manufacturer that exclusively produces lithium batteries for energy storage, sport, and other applications. Founded in North Carolina in 2012, they now have offices across the US, as well as England and China. Their batteries range from a paltry 5Ah to 300Ah, in 12 to 48v, so you’re bound to find the perfect setup for your back-up or off-grid storage system.

The obvious selling point for Relion is their long battery life which, at a shockingly high 12,000 cycles, boasts the absolute best in the industry for lithium-ion technology. To put this into perspective, the typical lead-acid battery lasts 3 to 5 years, but cycling Relion’s battery means they could last over 30 years! (12,000 cycles / 365 days = 32 years).

Their warranty is a little on the short side, at 7 years compared to Simpliphi’s full 10, so a 30 year life might be stretching it a bit. Still, Relion batteries’ mid-range pricing and long lifespan make them some of the most cost-effective solar batteries available on the market today.

Simpliphi Power

  • Initial Cost: $$ out of $$$
  • Capacity/Voltage: 25 – 102Ah; 12 – 48v
  • Cycle Life: 10,000 @ 80% DoD
  • Warranty: 10 years

Simpliphi leads the industry in lithium-ion batteries for energy storage. Like many manufacturers here, Simpliphi uses LiFePO technology, making safe, non-toxic batteries that are easy to dispose of when the time comes. Their batteries come in 12 to 48 volts, from 25 to 102 amp-hours, and can be combined to create basically any size storage system, from a single 12 volt battery to rows of 48 volts strung together.

Beyond their battery-only offerings, Simpliphi has also partnered with inverter manufacturers OutBack and Schneider to create the AccESS, an inverter-battery combo similar to Tesla’s Powerwall.

Like Relion above, Simpliphi batteries enjoy extremely high cycle lives – 10,000 cycles at 80% DoD. So while Simpliphi’s batteries are a bit higher in cost initially than some of the other here, their extremely long lifespan actually lowers your total lifetime investment, as you have longer to recoup that upfront investment. And with a 10-year replacement warranty – the best in the biz – you can’t go wrong.

Victron Energy

  • Initial Cost: $$ out of $$$
  • Capacity/ Voltage: 60 – 200Ah; 12 – 24v
  • Cycle Life: 2500 cycles @ 80% DoD
  • Warranty: 2 – 5 years

Victron Energy, a Dutch company founded in 1975, manufactures batteries of all types (not just lithium batteries), as well as inverters, solar panels, and accessories related to energy generation and storage. Like other manufacturers on our list, Victron uses LiFePO technology for their batteries and they even come with a Bluetooth app, where you can monitor your batteries’ cell voltage, temperature, and any alarms – pretty cool!

However, with a fairly short warranty (2 to 5 years depending on the model) and low cycle life (2500 cycles at 80% DoD), you might have a hard time making these batteries a financially viable option. But with the companies long history and good reputation, they’re certainly worth a look.

Discover Battery

  • Initial Cost: $$ out of $$$
  • Capacity/ Voltage: 40 – 175Ah; 24 – 48v
  • Cycle Life: Unspecified by manufacturer, though likely around 3000 cycles @ 80% DoD
  • Warranty: 10 years (4 year replacement, 6 year prorated)

Discover Battery manufacturers a wide range of batteries for applications as varied as boats and RVs to cherry pickers to telecom systems. They also produce 24- and 48-volt LiFePO batteries as part of their AES (Advanced Energy) line.

They specialize in large batteries, offering nothing below 24 volts. In turn, their batteries can be quite heavy – almost 200 pounds in some cases! Discover Batteries are designed for medium to large applications – certainly not for your little RV or camper.

Surprisingly, Discover doesn’t publish info on their lithium batteries’ cycle lives, but with a great warranty (10 years total) we can reasonably assume they’ll last at least 3,000 cycles at 80% Depth of Discharge, similar to others on our list. A batteries’ estimated cycle life is obviously hugely important in calculating your system’s lifetime cost, so if you’re interested in Discover batteries, be sure to ask your installer for details on the batteries’ longevity.

Mastervolt

  • Initial Cost: $$$ out of $$$
  • Capacity/ Voltage: 6 – 90Ah (up to 360Ah for prebuilt battery kit); 12 – 24v
  • Cycle Life: 20003500 cycles @ 80% DoD
  • Warranty: 2 years

Mastervolt produces a huge variety of electrical components, including batteries, inverters, circuit breakers, charge controllers, and even alternators. Their lithium-ion batteries range from 6Ah to 90Ah, with lithium-iron-phosphate inside. If you want a bigger system, they sell premade ‘kits’ that combine multiple batteries up to 360Ah. Like the Victron batteries above, Mastervolt includes Bluetooth technology to easily monitor your system’s health – a sweet little perk.

Though more expensive than others on our list, many boat owners have used Mastervolt lithium batteries for years and report great service and performance. But with just a 2 year warranty and short cycle life, you’re not going to have a lot of time to recoup that high investment.

Renogy

Renogy is a big name in the solar industry, as they produce solar panels, inverters, kits, batteries, and all the other components you need for your solar/storage installation. They produce a single lithium battery – a 12 volt, 100 Ah LiFePo designed specifically for energy storage (obviously).

One of the lower cost options on our list, the battery only comes with a 5-year prorated warranty – there’s no replacement warranty for the first few years like many of the manufacturers on our list offer. Even still, at the low price point and decent cycle life, you’ll have a reliable battery from a well-known company.

Smart Battery

  • Initial Cost: $$ out of $$$
  • Capacity/ Voltage: 7 – 500Ah; 12 to 48v
  • Cycle Life: 3000 to 5000 cycles at unknown DoD (manufacturer does not specify)
  • Warranty: 5 year repair/replace

Smart Battery exclusively manufacturers lithium batteries in a huge assortment of sizes, from a tiny 7 amp-hours to a giant 48v 500Ah battery. Unfortunately, though, they don’t provide information on cycle life and Depth of Discharge, so we can’t draw conclusions on the cost-effectiveness of the batteries – never a good sign. Even still, many users report good results both in performance and customer service.

We hope you found our overview of lithium-ion solar battery manufacturers useful! If we missed any brands, let us know in the comments!

Interested in installing solar to go along with your batteries? Reach out to a few installers and see what they can do for you.

Photo Credit under CC License via Flickr – 1, with Permission from Simpliphi, Battle Born, and Relion, and Courtesy Victron Energy

  • by Ryan Austin
  • |
  • July 5, 2018
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