SolarKobo Score: 4.7/5
Huawei (pronounced hua-way), known primarily for its phones, communications technology and other consumer electronics, is a Chinese multinational technology corporation. Founded in 1987, Huawei has a workforce of 197,000, operation centres in more than 170 countries including Nigeria and a place among on the Fortune 500 Global, the most valuable companies in the world. The Huawei brand enjoys a strong global reputation. Of recent, however, it has been caught in the crossfires of political and economic altercations between the West and China.
With 96,000 of its 197,000 employees, representing 53.4% dedicated to research and development, Huawei is regarded as one of the most innovative and research-driven companies in the world. In 2021, the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) ranked it number 2 R&D investor in the world.
Huawei has been involved in the solar industry but only with offerings of string inverters, that is non-hybrid inverters, and for its large-scale, commercial and utility-scale projects. By 2020, it had become the world's largest manufacturer of string inverters, a position it still retains even till now. It would offer its first hybrid, 'battery-ready' inverter range, the SUN2000L, for residential use in 2018. Two years later, it released its second generation range of residential hybrid inverters, a new compact optimizer and a range of 3-phase hybrid and large commercial inverters with capabilities for very advanced functions.
In May 2020, with the launch of the LUNA2000, the flagship product of the 'Huawei FusionSolar Residential Smart PV Solution', Huawei entered the residential energy storage system (ESS) market. The LUNA2000 was launched to support the Huawei single-phase and 3-phase hybrid inverters built described as 'battery-ready'. Though this makes Huawei a latecomer into the market, it has quickly established itself as a major mover in major markets including the USA, Australia, Netherlands and South East Asia.
The LUNA2000 batteries are made using lithium-ion phosphate (LiFePO4/LFP) cells. Due to its wide operating temperature range and reduced risks of overheating, LiFePO4 cells are widely considered as the safest and most stable and the least likely to self-ignite, type of Li-ion battery chemistries used in the design of ESS.
Huawei brings its expertise in string inverters and more than a decade of R&D experience with energy storage systems to the LUNA2000. These batteries incorporate an Energy Optimiser that optimises the charge and discharge of each solar panel independently. The LUNA2000 battery modules are meant to be connected in parallel. The Energy Optimizer can help optimize the charge and discharge of each battery module independently enabling a 100% depth of discharge.
The LUNA2000 batteries are rated at 5kWh per module with continuous power of 2.5kWh and peak power of 3.5kWh. They can be stacked up to three high for a maximum of 15kWh of storage capacity per stack. The system can be expanded with a second stack offering up to 30kWh of total capacity with two stacks in parallel.
The modular system can be configured based on current requirements. Also, the advanced high-voltage parallel connection technology supports mixed use of old and new batteries.
Sleek and Compact Design
The Luna2000 system comes in a slimline compact design that is gives it a very small footprint that allows it to save wall space and an appealing aesthetic that can integrate well with home interiors. It can be installed on the floor or mounted on a wall.
In 2020, the LUNA2000 won the iF Design Award 2021, one of the world’s three most prestigious design awards, also known as the “Design Oscar”.
The top section of the battery system is the battery monitoring unit, similar to other stackable battery systems controlled via a top-mounted BMU to provide the interconnection and communication to the inverter. It also has inverter connections for flexible connection options on either side, while the main isolation switch and an inbuilt fuse are located on the right-hand side. The front led display features a round dial of ten LED lights to indicate the battery state of charge; in a neat and unique way to indicate the state of charge.
IP 66 Protection Rating
The Huawei Luna2000 battery has a high level of protection, with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP66. This rating is the highest possible for an electrical enclosure, and indicates that the battery is completely secure against dust and strong water jets. Ingress Protection is a standard that measures the protection level of an enclosure for electrical equipment against liquids and solids.
Natural Convection Cooling Design
Originally developed for Huawei's mobile phones and later used in the design of their SUN2000 inverters, the Huawei Luna2000 S0 batteries have an innovative cooling system that uses natural convection instead of fans. The battery casing has a heat sink on the back with indentations that allow for the flow of air. As hot air exits the battery, cooler air flows in to replace it, regulating the temperature. In fact, the Huawei inverters performed better in temperature tests than other inverters on the market.
By treating customers’ safety as the number one priority, Huawei has added three layers of protection to achieve active safety, including AI-powered internal cell short circuit diagnosis to avoid fire hazards, cell-level temperature control to detect overheating, and optimizer-enabled 0V rapid shutdown for safer installation and maintenance.
The AI-powered internal cell short circuit diagnosis can precisely analyze the charge/discharge voltage curve of each cell, preventing false alarms and missing alarms. A sudden drop in cell voltage will trigger the immediate isolation of the faulty battery module to fend off dangers.
One advantage of not having internal cooling fans is that the Huawei battery is almost silent. With the noise levels of solar products with cooling fans usually at around 50dB, the noise level is rated 29dB, this is the equivalent of a whisper.
The LUNA2000 home battery has eight sensors per battery module that monitor the operating status and enable temperature control at the cell level. Each sensor works independently and monitors two cells, providing more accurate monitoring. In addition, each module has a special fire extinguishing bag for added safety. These features ensure that the LUNA2000 battery operates efficiently and safely.
Thermal Management Features
The LUNA2000 battery has a unique thermal management system that allows it to charge at low temperatures, unlike many other lithium batteries that struggle to charge or shut down in freezing conditions. This system includes a small 300W heating element that preheats the cells and improves low temperature charging performance, although it does use a small amount of energy. The battery modules also have a small internal fan for better heat distribution in both hot and cold conditions, as well as a large heat sink on the right side of each module for improved heat transfer and increased battery life in high temperatures. Overall, this thermal management system enables the LUNA2000 battery to perform well in a variety of temperature conditions.
Battery Backup Box
Huawei offers buyers an optional backup box that features a 5kW backup power rating. Backup loads typically include lighting, basic power, and simple appliances such as fridges and microwaves.
The box for the Huawei Luna battery is about the same size as the inverter and contains grid isolation contactors and relays. To use the battery function, an energy meter is needed to monitor energy flow between the grid, household circuits, and the battery. This energy meter is available for both single and three-phase systems and includes CT clamp meters. It is installed inside the main electrical switchboard and has a communication cable to feedback to the inverter, allowing it to manage the charging and discharging of the battery based on the solar generation and energy consumption in the home.
Like many other lithium battery storage systems, the LUNA2000 comes with a 10-year manufacturer's warranty. This warranty guarantees that the battery will still have at least 60% of its original capacity after 10 years of use. All batteries naturally lose capacity over time, and lithium iron phosphate cells are typically warranted to lose between 20% and 40% of their capacity based on a full charge and discharge cycle per day.
Huawei's warranty is on the lower end of this spectrum and is similar to those offered by other major manufacturers such as BYD and Pylontech. The warranty for the backup box, however, is just two years.
Huawei's LUNA2000 is price competitive. It is cheaper than the Tesla Powerwall but costlier than the LG RESU. It lies in the mid-range pricing category of similar ESS.
Africa is not included in Huawei's 'target regions' for the LUNA2000 but it should go without saying that in a few years, with Huawei's footprints in Africa, it should be widely available. Regardless, the LUNA2000 is a sophisticated piece of technology that compare with the best Lithium-ion batteries that are currently available at this time. They are a highly reliable, impressive and sophisticated ESS that is offered at mid-range pricing.
The Huawei reputation has been invested in the LUNA2000 as in their other products. This means that buyers can expect the best performance and in the case of failure, a quick respond to warranty requests.