Unlike most alternative solar battery assessment criteria, Solar Review assesses the purchasing elements which are important to the end-user. The purchasing decision is often comprised of 6 main categories and accompanied by a range of influencing factors within each main category. By understanding each factor and referencing that to the current market, the Solar Review solar battery assessment criteria have been derived.
ABOVE 3.3 IS A VERY GOOD SCORE. The nominated scores are structured through available technical data. Result, the listed values are comprised against the industries best to worst specifications. Considering that 5 stars are handed out far too liberally in the modern world for inferior products, the Solar Review battery assessment criteria considers the industry average value (the middle) as 2.5 stars, accurately awarding those of which go above and beyond in diverse areas.
Within each of the above major categories are a variable amount of the common elements which may influence a purchases decision. Below are the sub-categories and in-depth module assessment criteria.
Battery Type | Configuration | Application | Compatible Inverters | Scalability | Awards | Certifications | IP rating.
Battery Type. Diving into the research of solar battery technology often the first criteria one is most likely to aim to seek a greater understanding is within the battery type. Although many variable technologies exist, commercial availability, product stability, maintenance requirements and proven reliability will ultimately play a significant part in an end-users selection process. With such consideration, LiFePO (Lithium Iron Phosphate), NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt), Flow batteries (such as zinc bromide) and Lead acid or Gel batteries receive greater preference amongst manufacturers.
Configuration. Relating to the system connection between the solar system and the battery. There are two options, AC Coupled and DC coupled. Many modern batteries such are now built as an AC Coupled due to an integrated battery inverter within the design. Although providing simplicity, the system is very much limited by the integrated battery inverter. DC Coupled systems on the other hand provides flexibility in design where certain grid limitations exist with often greater affordability.
Compatible inverters. Every solar battery requires a battery inverter to convert the stored energy into useable energy. The greater battery inverter options available the more it is likely one can customises a truly ideal solution given unique and variable conditions presented across the world.
Scalability. Should expansion requirements be presented, scalability relates to how much the system can be expanded beyond its.
Awards. Internationally recognised awards within energy storage (ees) don’t come much more esteemed than an Intersolar ees award. Both top place and runner-up present an exceptional product within a nominated year. Some products, however, may not flag on an Intersolar award radar yet still cause ripples within alternative respected avenues. This should not be ignored if a certain body is a respected voice.
Certifications. Values stated on a product datasheet are not often what they appear. Manufacturers which ensure the product specifications are verified by trusted third party testing institute such as TÜV or DNV GL present due diligence, transparency and greater trust.
Ingress. The only design feature based on a discretionary assessment. Looking at the overall international market and what solar module types are commercially available at the time of writing, the Solar Review writer, with an educated opinion selects whether the particular module is either innovative, inspiring, standard, uninspiring or out-of-date.
IP Rating. Can the battery design endure both indoor and outdoor installation? A solar batteries ingress protection rating highlights resistance to both dust and water (not sunlight) to an internationally recognised standard.
Durability has currently been omitted from the Solar Review battery assessment criteria until further notice.
Round-Trip Efficiency. It’s great to have the ability to store excess generated solar energy. However, just how much of your energy is lost during the energy storage to usage process? The round-trip efficiency varies dramatically in alternative battery technologies.
Temperature Range | Weight | Depth of Discharge | Operating Humidity | Altitude
Temperature Range. The range of temperature in which a solar battery will operate by specification and design.
Weight. As battery technology improves, so does a solar batteries weight per kWh. The advantages to a reduced weight design are experienced in logistics, installation, load bearing, operational performance and future maintenance if required.
Depth of Discharge. From a batteries nominated stage capacity in kWhs how much of this is actually usable? Depth of Discharge is expressed as a percentage % of the nominated value. 100% is always better than 80%.
Operating Humidity. A key requirement for half the world’s population which resides around the tropics. Ensuring a solar battery is rated correctly for potential environmental extremes avails operational disappointment and premature failure.
Altitude. The height above sea level of which a solar battery can be installed.
Parts Period | Service Period | Warranty Cycles | Authorised (trained) Installer Network
Parts Period. How many years is the solar battery associated components or general operation guaranteed? An entirely different prospect over service guarantee period which may only be a portion of the offering.
Service Period. Not all battery warranties include service and logistics for the entire stated period. Understand the period of which a battery manufacturer will support the product including service and logistics. Greater assurance of an expense free warranty claim if required.
Warranty Cycles. Solar batteries often cycle once or even multiple times per day under general residential use. Therefore, the cycles can often affect warranty and in many cases cancel out a nominated warranty period once exceeded. A solar battery with greater warranty cycles within it’s nominated warranty period is something which many end-users should take note of.
Authorised Installer Network. More and more these days proactive manufacturers are offering greater assurance to end-users which purchase through a manufacturer accredited channel. Why? Because trained professionals achieve greater results for the products integrity in the field. Beyond an industry endorsement such as a licence, products have unique features which are not common knowledge presented by industry training. Therefore, it’s recommended that end-users seek out industry endorsed and manufacturer accredited professionals.
Technology Aggregate | Market Pricing Index
Technology Aggregate. Factoring the aggregated average score of the above 5 main categories presents a current market technology reference into the overall affordability of a solar battery. Why must this be considered in conjunction with the price alone? Some milk is cheaper than other milk because it’s out of date. Price isn’t everything in the affordability stakes and the market comparison in USD against the incorporated technology value is essential in any affordability assessment.
Market Pricing Index. The Solar Review battery assessment criteria Affordability Market Gauge references the more commonly used USD to determine scoring values.
Detailed Scorecard Report (COMING SOON).
Detailed Solar Review Battery Assessment Criteria reports will be available for purchase within each individual product review. If you require an in depth product analysis for a purchasing decision, the Solar Review Battery Assessment Criteria reports are a must.