Electriq PowerPod: the complete review
Last updated 9/13/2019
Electriq Power is a San Leandro, California-based energy storage company that designs and engineers its systems in the United States. Electriq’s flagship product, the PowerPod, includes a battery, hybrid battery/solar inverter, home energy management system, and an energy meter. The PowerPod System offers backup power as well as a smart home energy software, known as Electriq View, to manage your home’s electricity use and optimize energy efficiency.
How does the PowerPod measure up against all the other home energy storage options? Read on to learn more about Electriq’s technology, cost, and warranty coverage.
What is the Electriq PowerPod storage system?
The PowerPod is a complete home energy solution capable of storing energy, automating cost-reductions, and providing backup power. This technology can be installed as part of a new solar panel system or integrated with an existing system.
The PowerPod comes in five separate models, each with a different size: the PowerPod 11, 13.5, 20.2, 27, and 33.5. The largest of the batteries, the PowerPod 33.5, offers up to 28.4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of storage.
Notably, the PowerPod is a modular battery, meaning you can add additional capacity down the road should you need it.
How does Electriq's battery work?
The PowerPod battery is a good pairing for solar panel systems, especially if your utility has reduced or no net metering, time-of-use rates, or demand charges. Installing a solar storage solution like the PowerPod allows you to maintain a sustained clean power supply during the day or night.
As with other energy storage products, PowerPod systems are sized for day-to-day use at your home and are often installed alongside a home solar panel system. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use in your home, the excess is stored in the battery instead of being sent back into the electric grid. Later, when your panels aren’t producing enough electricity, you can use the electricity stored in your PowerPod home battery instead of having to buy it from your utility.
Normally, this process happens over the course of a day: when the sun is high in the sky and your solar panels are producing more electricity than you can use, the surplus energy is stored in your PowerPod’s battery. As the sun goes down and your solar panel production decreases, you draw on the electricity that you stored during the sunniest part of the day.
How is Electriq's PowerPod different from other home batteries?
Electriq’s battery system is an all-in-one system that includes both energy storage and the inverter necessary to integrate its battery with a solar panel system. In addition to its backup power capabilities, the PowerPod is designed to be a “smart energy home control system.”
What does this mean for an average homeowner? This storage solution incorporates intelligent analytics that adjusts to your unique energy consumption, production patterns, and utility rate structures. The PowerPod System automatically updates itself with improved algorithms to better manage your household usage. It is also integrated with “smart home” devices, like smart thermostats, to better manage your household’s electricity use.
Installing a solar-plus-storage system at your home is a great way to take control of your electricity bill, but it doesn’t mean that you’re completely disconnected from your utility. Going "off the grid" with solar and batteries is actually a more expensive and complicated proposition than you might think – and can present a lot of headaches in having to micromanage your energy usage. The PowerPod is designed to work with both on-grid and off-grid applications, but a single battery won’t be able to power your home for days on end.
What is Electriq's battery warranty, and how long does the battery last?
The PowerPod comes with a 12-year warranty. If the battery malfunctions during that time, it is eligible for replacement under Electriq’s battery warranty.
Electriq’s lithium-ion battery technology is similar to other rechargeable batteries both large and small: as time goes on, the battery loses some of its ability to hold a charge. Think of how the battery life of a brand-new smartphone compares to one that is a few years old. As you continually charge and drain your phone’s battery, it starts to lose some of its ability to hold a charge.
The life of your PowerPod’s battery will deteriorate in the same way. That isn’t an indicator of a product flaw – all batteries lose some of their ability to hold a charge over time, whether it’s an electric vehicle battery, a home energy battery, or a rechargeable AA battery. Electriq states that the PowerPod has an expected life of 4,000 charge and drain cycles.
Unlike some home battery manufacturers, Electriq doesn’t yet offer a warranty for battery capacity over time. (For example, LG states that its RESU battery will retain at least 60 percent of its storage capacity at the 10-year mark.) That being said, the software that comes with Electriq’s battery works to ensure that the battery is operated so that it retains as much storage capacity as possible over time. In the future, the company may add a capacity or total energy throughput component to their warranty offering.
How much does the LG Chem RESU cost?
The cost for an Electriq PowerPod depends on which size you install, the specifics of your home, as well as your location, taxes, and available incentives. Costs for the PowerPod start at $8,999, which is in line with other home batteries. However, this doesn’t include the cost of installation. It is important to recognize that every home energy storage system is different, and the best way to get a sense of your overall costs is to talk with a qualified installer.
If you want to install the PowerPod battery as part of a solar-plus-storage system, battery costs are just one part of the equation. An average 5 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system costs anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000 depending on where you live and the type of equipment you choose. That may sound like a lot of money, but installing a solar-plus-storage system can be a worthwhile investment – and you can save significantly on installation costs by installing both technologies at once.
Solar battery economics depend on a few different factors. Whether or not the Electriq PowerPod storage system makes sense for you is determined by the way that your electric utility structures its rates, as well as your reasons for installing a solar battery.
In some cases, depending on where you live, you may have access to financial incentives that can reduce your home energy storage installation costs. If you live in California, you could get a cash rebate that covers many of your home battery costs through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). Other states (like Massachusetts) are in the early stages of evaluating potential energy storage incentives as well. Most recently, Maryland established a solar battery tax credit worth $5,000 to $7,500.
Solar batteries are a fairly new technology for homeowners. While they offer significant benefits for some, they aren’t always a necessary investment. If your utility offers net metering, installing a solar battery won’t save you money. However, if you install a solar panel system in an area with time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates, no net metering, or significant demand charges, a solar battery could be a good choice for you.
Where to buy Electriq's PowerPod batteries
Whether you want to install a PowerPod storage system or other home battery pack, you should work through a certified installer. Adding energy storage technology to your home is a complicated process that requires electrical expertise, certifications, and knowledge of the best practices required to install a solar-plus-storage system correctly.
A qualified EnergySage-approved company can give you the best recommendation about Electriq's solar batteries and other energy storage options available to homeowners today. If you are interested in receiving competing installation quotes for solar and energy storage options from local installers near you, simply join the EnergySage Solar Marketplace today and indicate what products you’re interested in your profile’s preferences section.