Deciding what solar battery storage is the right one can be a complicated choice. In today’s market, it seems like more and more options are coming online and the confusion keeps getting larger. We have your back. Today we are comparing the differences and similarities between the Enphase IQ battery and the Generac PWRCell.
Let’s discuss the new kid on the block! Which is the Enphase IQ battery; formally known as the Encharge. The amount of great technology Enphase was able to squeeze into this battery system makes a hard decision, when it comes to deciding which one you should go with. The size comes in 42 inches in width, 12 inches thick, and about 26 inches in height. The battery weighs right at 341 pounds so is a bit heavier than the Generac.
The cabinet is 5 feet ten inches in height, about 22 inches in width and about 10 inches in thickness. It is notably larger than an Enphase IQ battery in usually goes inside a garage or in an enclosure. Enclosures should be ventilated and it is best to keep batteries away from direct sun. The biggest factor for batteries the temperature they undergo, so it is best to maintain them at a moderate temperature for max life and efficiency.
The Enphase IQ battery capacity is a touch smaller than the Generac PWRCell. It comes in at 10.5 kWhs. Generac varies between 9 kWhs and 18 kWhs. Both battery storage options can be increased with more units.
Battery Safety / Chemistry
This is also Nema R3 rated, and can go on the outside of the home and inside safely. However, we strongly recommend you keep this indoors. Enphase also brags that this battery can be punctured and not catch fire unlike a Generac’s. This peace of mind is essential for some homeowners and is a big selling point for them.
The Enphase IQ battery has a continuous output of 3840 watts or 3.84 kW and a peak of 5.7 kW or 5700 watts. Now the capacity for the PWRCell is a bit tricky so we will be putting a graph up. You see that starting with a 9kWh battery will get you 4500 watt continuous and 6000 watts peak for 2 seconds. For every additional battery module, the system gets an extra 1500 watt continuous and 1920 watt peak for 2 seconds. A 9 kWh battery would get you about 20 hours worth of back-up if an essential loads situation.
This would be a fridge, lights, wifi, security, and garage door opener. Once you get up to the 18 kWh max capacity you have over 9kW of continuous and 12 kW of peak which is usually enough for large loads and SOME air conditioners that have low amperage kick start. We recommend also including a soft start to power a HVAC system or adding two PWRCells cabinets for larger HVAC systems.
The Enphase IQ battery comes with a leading ten-year limited warranty and the option to extend the warranty for five years. The battery has to hold greater than 70% charge after those ten years or four thousand cycles. The Generac PWRCell does have a ten-year standard leading warranty. There are rumors that a 25 year warranty is coming for Generac PWRCell systems. This is not a limited warranty though so there is no guarantee of a certain battery charge after those ten years are up.
However, both batteries are only compatible with their respective brand inverters.
Enphase does offer an expandable 3 kWh battery pack A large cost for Generac is having to purchase the inverter and all the Generac. Per kWh though, Generac is usually at a better price.
Whole-Home Back Up
Both Generac and Enpahse offer whole home back-up options. A Generac downside is that with one inverter only pairs with 36 kWhs worth of storage. Generac must release a software update to allow for generator compatibility. We always recommend soft starts when wanting to put large appliances on the battery.
Lastly, a big difference about the Enphase battery is that the panels will stay on and continuously fuel the home without the home having to pull from the battery first. One thing to consider is that a part of the solar system can turn off if it’s over the max input for each battery. However, with the IQ8s the entire solar system can stay on with an Enphase battery.
These solar battery storage options are leaders in the industry and both are from reputable manufacturers. A certified installer must install the Enphase Battery and the Generac PWRCell to qualify for the warranty.