Generac PWRcell 2023 Cost (Storage Capacity, Reviews )
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Written by Karsten Neumeister
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace. Learn About This Person
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Generac has been a titan of backup power generation for residential, commercial and industrial projects for over 50 years. Specializing in generators, Generac has had a product line-up running on gasoline, diesel or various forms of natural gas to provide home backup power. In the late 2010’s Generac unveiled its newest line of innovative clean energy storage products designed to store and manage home energy. 1
At the head of this clean energy product fleet is the Generac PWRcell, a powerful battery designed to pair with rooftop solar panels. This product is one of the most exciting solar batteries on the market and comes with a number of features that make it an alternative to the Tesla Powerwall, arguably the most well-known battery of its kind.
Most Powerful Solar Battery
How Much Does the Generac PWRcell Cost?
The Generac PWRcell battery has a floor price of 10,000. One of the biggest benefits of the PWRcell is its scalability, meaning it comes in several different sizes based on your energy needs. We go into more detail about this further down.
Expect costs to increase from 10,000 as you scale your system up. 10,000 will get you the minimum 9 kWh system (still an excellent figure). From there, each 3 kWh battery module you add to your cabinet will cost around 5000,000.
Generac PWRcell vs Other Popular Solar Batteries
Solar batteries are a fairly new technology, so there are more stark differences between the best solar batteries than there are between the best solar panels. For this reason, it’s good to compare and contrast the top models available to you.
Here’s a quick look at some specs to compare between the PWRcell and two other top batteries: the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the Enphase IQ Battery 10:
The Generac PWRcell has greater efficiency than either the Powerwall or the Enphase. This means that during the conversions between the solar panels, inverters and battery, the Generac system loses the least amount of electricity along the way.
How Does the Generac PWRcell Work?
The Generac PWRcell is a solar home battery designed to store backup electricity produced by a solar panel array and manage that energy for use at a later time. Energy storage systems like the PWRcell have become a reliable method for homeowners to maintain power during outages.
Storage systems also allow homeowners to use their stored energy (instead of pulling from the grid) when rates are at their highest during peak hours of the day, lowering electricity costs.
The battery function is only a part of the picture with the Generac PWRcell. It also acts as a central hub for your home’s energy and comes with a complete clean energy system. In addition to storing your energy, the Generac PWRcell system:
- Monitors and tracks your daily energy consumption, production and savings
- Manages your home’s energy loads to pull from the grid when electricity is cheapest and pull from the battery when rates are highest
- Automatically transitions your home from the grid to backup power during grid failures
- Is expandable to adjust to changing energy needs in your home
Watch Below: See how Generac’s PWRgenerator and PWRmanager ensure whole home backup power with just one battery
What Are the PWRcell’s Main Components?
The Generac PWRcell is a beast of a battery; we’re referring not only to its raw power, but to its incredible array of functionalities and components as well. Between its battery cabinet, inverters, intelligence, and management and monitoring capabilities, the PWRcell can perform just about any task you need it to.
The PWRcell is a complex battery — but learning to capitalize on it can transform the energy management of your home. If you’re considering the PWRcell, it’s best to familiarize yourself with each aspect of the system.
PWRcell Battery Cabinet
The PWRcell battery cabinet contains the central lithium-ion battery modules of the PWRcell system. The enclosure is designed to fit configurations of any size based on the scale of backup power desired.
A huge benefit of the PWRcell system is that you can upgrade an existing battery cabinet with additional battery modules to provide backup between the range of 9 kWh (kilowatt-hours) to a whopping 18 kWh, one of the largest capacities among residential and commercial batteries (technically, it’s only 8.6 kWh and 17.1 kWh, but Generac rounds up for simplicity).
This scalability is invaluable when the energy usage of your home can change over time. The Outdoor Rated (OR) cabinet allows for either indoor or outdoor installation in any climate, adding more flexibility to your project.
This also makes the PWRcell an excellent choice for off-grid solar projects. The battery cabinet is what allows the scalability — it can store between nine and 18 kWh of energy using between three and six three-kWh battery modules if needed.
Generac PWRcell Inverter
The PWRcell inverter integrates the batteries with your solar array. Inverters are essentially the bridge between the solar system and the battery storage system, converting solar energy into electricity and redirecting it from there.
The inverter is capable of managing your energy in a number of different user-selectable modes. The modes will depend on the energy needs of your home, but include battery backup power, self-supply, time-of-use, zero-import and export-limiting.
The intelligence of PWRcell inverters allows you to manage your home energy system with your PWRview web portal and mobile app, where you can monitor, forecast and customize your whole home’s energy use from a computer, phone or tablet.
Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS)
Most battery backup systems or generators typically require you to manually transition your home’s energy supply to a backup source, which can be complex and even dangerous when performed poorly. From there, generators have to be set up to provide energy towards specific circuits (think specific systems or appliances — do you want to keep your refrigerator powered? HVAC system?)
Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS) are a key aspect of the PWRcell that make it easy for homeowners to smoothly transition from the electrical grid to their whole-home backup power. From there, homeowners can use their PWRcells to manage the use of the energy their solar panels generate, directing it towards their priority appliances or systems.
Smart Management Modules
Generac’s Smart Management Modules (SMM) manage the PWRcell’s power levels to prevent overload. When used in tandem with the PWRcell’s ATS system, the power system can intelligently and safely manage up to eight circuits in your home at a time. This is what makes the PWRcell so effective at intelligently managing power even during an outage.
Generac’s PWRview Monitoring App
As we’ve mentioned, the PWRcell solar battery has incredible capabilities. But where do you start? We wouldn’t expect an average homeowner to know what a management module is, or what the role of a transfer switch is in load management.
Enter the PWRview monitoring app. The PWRview app helps you understand and manage your home’s energy use. It can analyze your electricity consumption, forecast your bills and provide insights on how to most effectively manage your stored energy and lower your electricity bills.
Devlin is proud to say we offer the most innovative and effective backup power solutions currently available. Generac has brought this to the next level with their release of the PWRcell. Listed below are some of the features the make Generac such a game changing product!
If it’s not being measured, it’s not being managed
Generac PWRcell allows you to become fully independent from the grid, eliminating unexpected power outages and expensive utility rates.
Customize your Smart home
PWRcell offers a range of solutions to make sure your battery is the ideal choice for your home. You can also keep track of your system’s performance using a special app!
Charge your battery with your solar panels
Another feature that puts PWRcell above a traditional generator is the fact it can be recharged with your solar system, this means no more filling gas cans!
Never have an outtage again
When a storm hits your neighborhood and causes a power outage, your home will stand out among the darkness due to PWRcell’s back up power, keeping your lights on!
Homeowners are increasingly opting for Battery storage due to its convenience and lack of mess and hassle, which provide the same benefits as a generator.
Solar Battery Storage is currently at the cutting edge of innovative renewable energy products. By switching to a renewable backup energy source, you are becoming part of the change many are deeming necesary for the future.
Generac solar monitoring
In 2019, Generac acquired battery manufacturer Pika Energy, and has since integrated their technology into the launch of their own Generac-branded home storage solution: the Generac PWRcell. Having long been a leader in the backup power space, Generac is now moving into clean energy and energy storage, with the PWRcell line of batteries at the forefront of their new product fleet.
The Generac PWRcell pairs well with solar panel systems, especially if your utility has reduced or removed net metering, introduced time-of-use rates. or instituted demand charges. Installing a storage solution like the Generac PWRcell with a solar energy system allows you to maintain a sustained power supply during day or night, as long as you store enough power from your solar panels when the sun is shining.
As with many other home battery products, the Generac PWRcell is sized for day-to-day use at your home and is primarily designed to be paired with a solar panel system. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use in your home, you can store the excess electricity in the battery system instead of sending it back into the grid. Later, when your panels aren’t producing enough electricity to meet your home’s needs, you can use the stored energy in your battery instead of having to buy it from your utility company.
Pika’s original battery solution was designed with two major markets in mind. The first was locations with time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates, such as California, where electricity costs more during the hours of the day when demand is highest, which are often when the sun isn’t shining at its brightest. The second was “zero export” markets, such as Hawaii, where solar system owners are prohibited from exporting their excess solar electricity to the grid. The battery has built-in operating modes that are designed to optimize household energy usage under each of these scenarios. Find out what solar costs in your area in 2020.
KEY THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GENERAC PWRCELL
Generac describes the PWRcell, which first launched in September 2019 following the acquisition of Pika Energy, as a “truly scalable storage system with unmatched raw power.” As described in greater depth below, the technical specifications of the battery support these claims: the stackable PWRcell has among the most power of any residential battery currently on the market.
Alongside the PWRcell, Generac offers their own energy monitoring system, known as PWRview. Complete with a custom mobile app, PWRview displays detailed electricity bill tracking and forecasting, as well as other useful energy dashboards. You can also set daily and monthly goals on electricity usage within the application.
When evaluating the PWRcell, there are various important metrics and technical specifications to keep in mind. Among the most important are the size of the battery ( power and capacity ). its depth of discharge, and roundtrip efficiency.
Operating Temperature 41°F to 113°F / 5°C to 45°C
Recommended Ambient Temperature
L x W x H: 22 x 10 x 68 Inch
Maximum Installation Altitude
The Generac PWRcell comes in four different models: the PWRcell 9, PWRcell 12, PWRcell 15, and PWRcell 17. Two important metrics to keep in mind when comparing the PWRcell to other home storage options are power and usable capacity. Power (measured in kilowatts, or kW) determines the maximum amount of electricity that can be output at a single time, while usable 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 17, the largest battery in the lineup, boasts a maximum power rating of 6.7 kW to go along with 17.1 kWh of usable capacity.
Importantly, the PWRcell system is modular, meaning that you can add multiple battery products to your storage setup. For example, you might want to install multiple PWRcell batteries for a home with high energy demands. Generac’s PWRcell spec sheet indicates that you can connect up to two PWRcells to a single PWRcell inverter, so you’ll need to upgrade your supporting hardware to add even more storage capacity beyond the stored energy of two batteries.
Think of your battery like water running through a pipe. The usable energy capacity is the amount of water available to push through the pipe, while power is the size of the pipe itself. Larger pipes allow more water to flow through at once, which depletes the water faster. Similarly, a battery with a high power rating can deliver more electricity at one time, but will burn through its available energy capacity faster too.
A battery’s power determines the number of appliances you can run from the battery concurrently, while usable capacity determines how long those appliances can be run. Batteries with a higher power rating are capable of powering more, bigger appliances (i.e., your HVAC system) or many appliances at once, while batteries with a higher usable capacity can store more total energy and thus can run your appliances for longer periods of time without needing to recharge.
The functionality of one solar battery next to another can vary; some batteries have excellent off-grid capabilities, while others offer software solutions specific to rate arbitrage. The suite of PWRcell hardware and software products are designed to provide both of these services.
Generac offers a solar inverter alongside their PWRcell. This inverter acts as both a battery inverter and a rooftop solar array inverter. This means that, as long as your installer installs the correct components and the PWRcell inverter, your Generac PWRcell battery will be able to provide backup power for your home when the grid goes down, as well as interact with your solar panel system if you have one.
Their monitoring technology is fully built-in to their PWRcell inverter, but Generac also offers their monitoring capabilities with the installation of a device known as PWRview. With the built-in inverter monitoring technology, Generac’s PWRcell batteries and their associated parts can intelligently manage electrical loads throughout your house and appropriately pull energy from the battery when needed.
Two key ways to evaluate the performance of a solar battery are its depth of discharge and roundtrip efficiency.
Depth of discharge (DoD) indicates the percentage of a battery’s energy that has been discharged relative to the overall capacity of the battery. Because the useful life of a battery decreases each time you charge, discharge, and re-charge–or cycle–your battery, many battery manufacturers specify a maximum DoD level for optimal battery performance. In general, batteries with a higher depth of discharge are considered better quality products. The Generac PWRcell boasts a depth of discharge of 84 percent. Roundtrip efficiency is a measure of electrical losses involved with charging and discharging a battery. The higher the efficiency percentage, the more efficiently the battery is able to convert incoming electricity into stored electricity and then back into usable electricity. The Generac PWRcell has a high roundtrip efficiency of 96.5 percent; this means that for every 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you put into the battery, you’ll receive 9.65 kWh of output.
Generac PWRcell warranty coverage
Solar Monitoring Software
Solar monitoring software allows you to easily view how much electricity your solar panels are producing and in the unlikely event something were to go wrong with your system, your solar monitoring system can identify the specific issue that’s causing the problem so that you can resolve the situation quickly and efficiently.
Monitoring solar panel output allows you to see your solar panels’ daily energy production, in addition to its lifetime production. Not only will you be able to keep track of how your system is working, but by installing a solar monitoring system, Eau Gallie Electric will be able to keep an eye on your solar system’s performance on our end as well. This helps to ensure that your solar system is running properly and efficiently, and if there’s a problem, solar monitoring helps us to notify you and quickly respond to make any necessary adjustments to get things working correctly.