Solarkobo Score: 4.2/5
Introducing Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
Batteries have been in use for a rather long time both in standalone off-grid setups and in backup power systems. In recent years, however, there has been a significant surge in the popularity of domestic energy storage systems. One of the main drivers behind this trend is the desire for energy security.
Lithium-ion batteries, now recently being offered as 'energy storage systems' or ESS, that is, with advanced features and supporting components that may or may not include a hybrid inverter, MPPT capabilities and a battery management unit, and in 'modular' designs that make them easy to install and used as plug-and-play devices, have grown in popularity over the years. One of the many reasons for this includes the increase in research efforts. For instance, the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for research in Lithium-ion battery technology. Also, the success of the Powerwall and the electric vehicle industry has had a profound effect on the ESS market especially. While lithium-based battery cell technologies are still the costliest of the existing battery technologies, production costs are being driven down by optimal manufacturing processes to meet the boom in demand and more competition that has driven major players in the solar industry into the energy storage segment of the market.
The makers of Pylontech batteries, Pylontech Technologies Limited is a Chinese company that was founded in 2009 as a dedicated energy systems provider. With over 4.5 GWh of batteries installed since, Pylontech is a world leader in the production of both low and high voltage lithium iron phosphate batteries.
Pylontech's lithium batteries were some of the first modular batteries to be offered in the ESS market in an enclosure holding both the lithium cells and battery management/control system in a simple rack-mounted unit.
Pylontech branded batteries are vertically-integrated meaning that the company is incharge of all stages, from design to construction, down to the smallest detail and does not outsoure any of the process.
Pylontech's LFP batteries are made with lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) battery cells. Batteries made with LFP technology are stable, safe, long-lasting and capable of resisting high temperatures. They allow combustion temperatures up to 600°C compared to 300°C allowed by NMC (Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt) and LCO (Lithium-Cobalt-Oxide) battery technologies.
Modular and Lightweight Design
Their modular design allows them to be easily installed and also, scaled and enlarged with connections for up to 16 units in parallel without requiring additional equipment or floor space. They are also compact and lightweight allowing users to maximize available installation space without making any major compromises on power storage capacity.
Long Life Cycle
Pylontech's batteries have cycle life that exceeds 6000 cycles, corresponding to about 11 years of work, with 80% capacity expected to be retained at the end of its lifespan.
Battery Monitoring System
Pylontech's batteries come with an advanced in-built battery management system (BMS). This intelligent system that monitors critical parameters like voltage, current, and temperature, ensures optimal performance, performs battery balancing and protects the batteries. According to this article by Victron, Pylontech's BMS has become the benchmark for other battery assemblers. It's not uncommon for other manufacturers to say, "our BMS is just like Pylontech's."
Sleek and Elegant Design
Their sleek and elegant designs allows them to meet any space requirements and to integrate well with interior home and office spaces.
They have an Ingress Protection rating of IP65 meaning that the batteries are protected against dust and water and can thus be installed indoors or outdoors. A containment cabinet, however, is required for outdoor installation.
Range of Pylontech Batteries
Pylontech's first generation Extra2000 was superseded by the more advanced US2000B. The US2000B is rated 2.4kWh. The US3000B is rated 3.55kWh and the US5000 is rated 5.5kWh. They allow easy setup and monitoring alongside connections for multiple units in parallel. It is compatible with all single-phase inverters.
The US series batteries are covered with a 5-year product warranty and a 10 year performance warranty that specifies 60% EOL capacity after the ten-year period.
A single unit of the H48050 battery starts at 2.4kWh and 4.8 kWh for single-phase systems and 9.6 kWh for three-phase systems. It is suitable for large systems. It allows maximum discharge up to 10.8 kW and a depth of discharge up to 80%. It is ideal for high-voltage installations, in contrast to the US batteries which are for low-voltage installations. It is covered by a 10-year warranty.
The Pelio was developed for large residential properties and small commercial installations. It can be easily installed on the floor or easily mounted on a wall. With a single unit rated at 5.12kWh, it can be expanded up to 104 kWh. It allows 95% Depth of Discharge.
The Force Series
The Force L1 and L2 are the more newer offerings from Pylontech for lower-voltage installations, 24V and 48V. They allow up to 90% Depth of Discharge and are covered by a 10-year warranty. A single unit is rated 3.5kWh and can be scaled up to 14kWh.
The Force H1 and H2 are variants of the Force but for higher-voltage installations (96V-384V). They come with an external BMS. A single unit is rated 3.5kWh and can be stacked from 2 to 7 modules to reach 24.9 kWh while the H2 series can be stacked from 2 to 4 modules up to 14.2 kWh. They are compatible with a wide range of inverters.
Pylontech has a solid reputation in the industry. Its batteries are widely regarded as high-quality and reliable energy storage systems for their outstanding features, including its flexible expandability, reliable performance, seamless integration, and unwavering commitment to safety and sustainability. In fact, Pylontech batteries are often re-branded and offered under different brand names by large manufacturers and distributors including SolaX, Canadian Solar and Redback Technologies. Their BMS is regarded as the industry benchmark.
While they cost above the average of lithium-ion ESS systems, Solarkobo is always confident recommending Pylontech batteries to our clients for use in designing their systems. We consider them a wise and safe investment that should be expected to fully return the investment over the 10-year period.