SolarKobo Score: 4.4/5
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 BYD batteries, BYD Company, with BYD short for 'Build Your Dreams' is a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China where it makes all its products. It was founded by Chinese billionaire, Wang Chuanfu in 1995 as a rechargeable-battery factory to compete in the Chinese market against Japanese imports. It became listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2002. Warrent Buffet is an invester in BYD Company.
Originally a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, BYD has expanded into two major subsidiaries that makes electric vehicle, buses, trains and solar panels. BYD is one of the world's largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers and offers NiMH, Lithium-ion and NCM batteries. BYD is vertically-integrated meaning that it controls the complete supply chain layout of its batteries from battery cells to battery packs.
BYD is vertically-integrated company meaning that they control the complete supply chain from mineral battery cells to completed battery modules and do not outsource any of its manufacturing process.
While BYD is not a well known brand outside China, according to a 2022 report, BYD sold more electric vehicles than the global brand Tesla. It is also the world's largest manufacturer of solar battery storage.
BYD's batteries are made using cobalt-free lithium-ion phosphate (LiFePO4/LFP) cells. Due to its wide operating temperature range and reduced risks of overheating, LFP 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. Also, LFP battery cell chemistry allows for more cycles over the lifetime of the battery compared to other technologies. It also ensures less degradation ensuring that the battery can operate at optimum performance for longer.
Unlike the Powerwall, they do not use Cobalt, a rare, toxic and expensive material with a history of controversial extraction methods.
Modular Plug Design™
BYD's Patented Modular Plug Design means no internal wiring are required to scale up the power. Instead, the battery modules are connected in series to achieve greater usable capacity. This design allows users the flexibility of expanding their battery storage in the future with the addition of individual modules.
Operating Temperature Range
BYD's batteries have a wide operating temperature range of -10°C to above 50°C. This makes them safe as they can operate under extreme conditions. Only Tesla's Powerwall has a wider operating temperature range.
High Safety Standards
BYD's batteries meet some of the highest global safety standards including the German energy storage stand and the strictest safety standard in the ESS industry, the VDE 2510-50. This shows BYD's commitment to safety.
Depth of Discharge
BYD's batteries allow up to 100% depth of discharge.
BYD was one of the first manufacturers to develop a battery specific monitoring portal instead of relying on the inverter to relay battery specific data and potential performance issues or faults. This makes it easy to see information about the module and greater insight into battery performance that can allow potential issues to be detected and diagnosed promptly.
The batteries are protected against dust and water and can thus be installed outdoors though a containment cabinet, however, is required for outdoor installation.
BYD backs its batteries with a 10-year manufacturer's warranty. They guarantee that their batteries will retain 60% of their usable capacity after 10 years from the invoice date, or whenever it reaches its Minimum Throughput Energy. This puts them in line with other leading brands like Huawei, LG and Pylontech.
Range of BYD Batteries
BYD offers its batteries as BYD Battery-Box in two configurations:
1. High Voltage (HV) and
2. Low Voltage (LV)
1. High Voltage (HV)
BYD's High Voltage come in three types, the HVS Premium, HVM Premium and the HVL US Premium. They are more innovative modular tower system that offers advanced capabilities and versatility. This system is available in two voltage options, carefully designed to accommodate various inverter voltage and energy storage requirements. The modules within this system are connected in series, allowing for an increase in battery system voltage. Starting from a minimum of 200V (utilizing 2 x HVS modules), the voltage can be scaled up to a maximum of 5 modules. For the HVM variant, the minimum requirement is 3 x 50V modules (totaling 150V), and it can be expanded up to a maximum of eight modules.
To effectively manage and control each individual module within the tower system, a battery monitoring unit (BMU) is installed on the top of the tower. The BMU plays a crucial role in monitoring the battery's performance and facilitating communication with a compatible HV hybrid inverter.
They all allow a 100% DoD.
2. Low Voltage (LV)
BYD offers its LV battery box in two types, the LVS Premium and the LVL Premium.
The LVS Premium
The LVS series are a cutting-edge modular battery system designed specifically for low voltage (LV) applications. This series utilizes Lithium Iron Phosphate cells that are skillfully configured to deliver a nominal voltage of 51.2V. Similar to its high voltage (HV) counterpart, the LV tower system also incorporates a battery monitoring unit (BMU) to effectively manage and control each individual module.
Each battery module within the LVS series boasts a capacity of 4.0kWh. A single tower can accommodate up to 6 modules, providing a total storage capacity of 24kWh. For applications demanding larger storage capacities, multiple towers consisting of 4 modules each can be seamlessly linked together. This configuration allows for the integration of up to 16 towers, providing a remarkable storage capacity of 256kWh. With its LV architecture, modular design, and expandable storage capabilities, the LVS series offers a reliable and scalable solution for various energy storage needs.
The LVL Premium
The LVL is BYD's bestselling battery globally, and the bestselling 48 V lithium battery in Germany . It holds an impressive global track record of 250,000 installations. It comes with a nice 15.4kw cabinet, and can be stacked with up to two batteries vertically, making for a very compact and nice-looking 30+ kw battery.
Their popularity can be attributed to its competitive pricing and remarkable compatibility with a diverse array of inverter brands. It retains the core features of its predecessor while introducing notable advancements. Notably, the storage capacity has been significantly increased to 15.4kWh, offering even greater energy storage capabilities. Furthermore, the LVL series boasts several technical improvements that streamline the installation and configuration processes, ensuring a hassle-free experience for users.
An exceptional characteristic of the new LVL series is its compatibility with the previous gen-2 version. This unique compatibility allows for seamless upgrades of older battery systems, a feature that sets it apart from many other battery brands. Users can easily enhance their existing setups with the new LVL series, eliminating the need for a complete overhaul.
They have an ingress protection rating of 20 and can only be installed indoors.
BYD maintains a close relationship and collaboration with inverter manufacturers and installers in a bid to develop smart user-friendly battery systems which are easier to set up and monitor. Their batteries now have a wide range of inverter brands they are compatible with.
BYD's Battery Boxes are somewhat larger than their counterpart and thus, require larger floor space. They are also priced well above the average price of ESS systems. Regardless, they are widely reputed in the industry for their superior performance, sophisticated technology, durability and longevity. Solarkobo gladly and confidently recommends BYD's Battery Boxes to its clients.