For decades, Generac has been one of the biggest brands in the backup power industry providing homeowners with a number of ways to maintain power during emergency situations. In 2019, Generac made the move into energy efficient battery and storage alternatives by launching its own solution: the Generac PWRcell.
In an effort to break into the solar battery and storage market, Generac purchased Pika Energy in 2019, a battery manufacturer. From there, Generac and Pika integrated their technology to launch a Generac-backed and -branded residential energy storage system. For years Generac has provided high quality backup power solutions, but the company has recently moved into clean and renewable energy by providing the PWRcell — an efficient energy storage solution.
The Generac PWRcell will pair with previously installed as well as the latest solar panel systems. It seems to be a primary option for homeowners that have reduced or no access to net metering programs through their utility provider. It is also an excellent option for those experiencing time-of-use rates increasing utility costs or those that implemented new demand charges.
Understanding that each homeowner’s needs are different, Generac PWRcell offers varying capacity and power options. Depending on what a storage client is looking for, there are four options to choose from when deciding on a PWRcell system:
By providing a number of options and modular capabilities, the Generac PWRcell address the capacity and power needs of a wide range of clients. Not all storage systems provide this many options or this kind of flexibility.
The Generac PWRcell is not the only modular system available on the market, but it is one of the few that offers enough flexibility to become “off grid” if desired. A modular system allows clients to purchase additional storage or capacity units to provide increased storage and dispatching solutions even if the utility grid goes down.
With the modular capabilities of the Generac PWRcell, clients looking to be energy independent or entirely “off grid” can do so if they purchase the right amount of equipment.
Due to its background in providing backup energy solutions, Generac has found ways to continue to provide power to heavy-duty appliances and systems within a residence. This would burn the storage of most systems, but Generac PWRcell technology provides a solution to this issue.
The Generac PWRcell can provide up to 12,000 watts of surge power. This is enough power to start and keep running a number of the big appliances like well pumps and air conditioning units.
The Generac PWRcell system is equipped with a unique technology not commonly available through most storage systems. With the Generac Smart Management Modules, homeowners can literally determine priority levels in terms of what gets access to energy at predetermined times. If a homeowner wants larger appliances, like an air conditioning unit, to continue to receive power, the Smart Management Modules can make that happen rather than electricity being sent to power outdoor lighting.
One metric that is used for comparison purposes within the solar battery market is depth of discharge (DoD). Depth of discharge measures the percentage of a battery’s energy that has been discharged in comparison to the overall capacity of the battery. Every time a storage system is charged, discharged, re-charged, or cycled through, the useful life of the battery naturally decreases. This ultimately means that batteries with a higher depth of discharge percentage are widely accepted to be of higher quality.
There are a number of battery solutions comparable to the Generac PWRcell that boast a 100 percent depth of discharge rating. The Generac PWRcell has a depth of discharge rating of 84 percent, which can decrease its efficiency over time.
Most solar batteries are covered for 10 years or a number of specified cycles. This is the industry average and widely considered to be the standard. While the Generac PWRcell warranty is also 10 years in length, there are limitations associated with the warranty prospective customers should be aware of.
Generac PWRcell utilizes a throughput warranty, which is an alternative way to determine warranty length. So the warranty itself is 10 years or throughput, whichever the system hits first. Depending on the PWRcell model a client has installed, these throughput limits range from 22.6 MWh to 45.3 MWh restricting how long the warranty is in effect.
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