2017 Mercedes Benz Home Battery Complete Review
Mercedes is one of a few companies in the residential energy storage market that manufactures small-scale lithium ion batteries for home energy storage. As a manufacturer of electric and hybrid vehicles, Mercedes has invested significant resources into developing a safe, long-lasting battery worthy of the luxury car company’s brand. Mercedes’ entry into home energy storage is another way to bring its battery technology to the market.
But how does Mercedes-Benz’s Energy Storage Home battery pack measure up against all the other home energy storage options? Read on to learn more about the Mercedes Benz solar battery’s cost, technology, and warranty coverage.
How the Mercedes solar battery works
As with other home energy storage products, the Mercedes battery pack is sized for day-to-day use at your home, and is usually paired with 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 pack 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 Mercedes solar 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 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. Essentially, home batteries like the one manufactured by Mercedes Benz help you balance out your electricity production and usage over the course of the day.
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 batteries is actually a more expensive and complicated proposition than you might think. A single Mercedes home battery will only provide backup power for a few hours – not nearly enough to cover you if you have an entirely cloudy day, let alone several days or weeks of inclement weather.
What is Mercedes Benz's battery warranty, and how long does the battery last?
The Mercedes Benz home battery comes with a 10-year warranty that assumes your battery is used for daily charging and draining. During that time, if the battery malfunctions or loses more than 20 percent of its storage capacity, it is eligible for replacement under Mercedes’ battery warranty.
Home 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’s 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.
Solar battery life 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. Mercedes Benz’s guarantee that the battery will retain at least 80 percent of its capacity over the course of the warranty shows that the company stands by its product more than other solar battery manufacturers (such as Tesla and Sonnen) that don’t have a warranty related to storage capacity.
How much does the Mercedes solar battery cost?
The Mercedes Benz solar battery comes in multiple sizes, ranging from 2.5 to 20 kW of storage. According to press coverage about the battery, the cost to purchase and install a Mercedes battery as part of a solar panel system is anywhere from $5,000 to $13,000. By comparison, the second-generation Tesla Powerwall is sized at 14 kW, and costs approximately $6,500 to purchase and install.
If you are installing your Mercedes 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 $8,500 to $16,000 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. Solar battery economics depend on a few different factors. Whether or not the Mercedes battery pack makes sense for you depends on the way that your electric utility structures its rates, as well as your reasons for installing a solar battery.
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 the Mercedes Benz solar battery
The Mercedes home battery has been available in Europe and South Africa for some time. However, the company’s entry into the U.S. market is relatively recent. Mercedes is currently offering its home battery through an exclusive partnership with solar installer Vivint, which the company announced in May 2017. Currently, the battery is only available in select markets in California. When the battery will become available through other installers or distributors is unknown.
Whether you want to install a Mercedes solar battery or other home battery pack, you will most likely need to 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 the Mercedes home battery 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.