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iStore Solar Battery Review June 2024

iStore are an established Australian-owned and operated company headquartered in Perth. They work closely with manufacturing giants, to supply advanced solar inverters, batteries & heat pumps to the Aussie market.

With iStore’s Head-Office & Support team based here in Perth, Positive Energy has a strong relationship with the team. We rate iStore products as one of the leaders in the solar industry as well as their reliability & support.

Welcome to our iStore Solar Battery Review.
Check out our previous iStore Hybrid inverter review.

the iStore Solar Battery…

Introducing the iStore Solar Battery

Like the iStore Hybrid inverter, the iStore Solar Battery is also manufactured by Huawei. It incorporates some advanced technology not seen in other batteries on the market.

Before we get into the nerdy stuff, we have to say, this is a nice looking battery!

Slimline Battery Design

At only 15cm deep, the iStore Solar Battery is one of the most slim batteries you’ll find; on par with the Tesla Powerwall.

The iStore battery installation can be either floor-standing or mounted on a wall-bracket. The iStore Solar Battery protrudes no further from the wall than the matching iStore Hybrid inverter.

In comparison, some other common batteries are more than twice as fat, which can sometimes be an issue if installed in a garage where space is limited. Especially if a bollard is required (AS5139) which can encroach even further into garage space.

Dom-Sheed-iStore-Battery

15kWh iStore Solar Battery / 15cm / Floor or wall-mounted.

Tesla-Slimline

13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall battery / 15cm / Floor or wall-mounted

Byd-Width

10.2kWh BYD battery / 30cm / Floor mounting only.

Sungrow-Battery-Width

12.8kWh Sungrow SBR battery / 33cm / Floor mounting only

Sizing & Scalability

Since BYD pioneered the modular battery concept back in 2017, many battery manufacturers (but not all) have followed suit.

With batteries being quite heavy, this modular battery design has not only made installations a lot easier for installers (and their backs), but also revolutionised the versatility and scalability of the battery. Now you can choose an appropriate battery size that suits your needs, and expand the storage capacity if need be.

With 100% Depth-of-Discharge, each iStore battery module can store 5kWh of usable energy. Up to 3 battery modules can be stacked for 15kWh total.

For most family homes, 15kWh is more than enough. However, for those who need more, 2 x iStore battery stacks can be combined for up to 30kWh of total energy storage.

iStore-Battery-Sizes

Not all modular batteries are equal…

Built-in Energy Optimisers

The built-in Energy Optimiser independently manages each battery module. When a certain module is aged or faulty with a reduced State-of-Health (SOH), other battery modules are not negatively impacted and can still achieve their full State-of-Charge (SOC)

This individual optimisation of each battery module allows easy scalability with old & new modules mixed in one system without a reduction in usable energy.

iStore-Modular-Batteries

For installers, this also allows quick battery expansion without the need to force charge or discharge the existing battery modules beforehand. Just Plug & Play.

Multi-Layer Safety

These days, Lithium-ion batteries have become the preferred choice for home energy storage over traditional lead-acid batteries. This is due to a number of advantages such as higher energy density, lower maintenance, and longer life.

However, Lithium-ion batteries do not come without risks. With all that energy stored in a small space, a phenomenon called ‘Thermal Runaway’ can occur if the battery is low-quality, poorly managed or damaged. The result: fire or even explosion!

Recent incidents and battery recalls show the risk is real and should not be downplayed.

LG Energy recalling battery systems in Australia due to fire risks

‘Compromised’ battery blamed for fatal house fire in Australia

Rest assured, with 4-layers of safety, the iStore Solar Battery is market leading.

Layer 1 – LFP Battery Chemistry

Two of the most commonly used Lithium-ion battery chemistries are Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt (NMC) and Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP). Each has their own Pros & Cons. But when it comes to safety, LFP is widely regarded as the safest choice.
Due to the chemical composition, LFP batteries are far less susceptible to Thermal Runaway. In fact, testing has shown that Thermal Runaway is almost impossible, even when trying to artificially trigger in a test environment.

Layer 2 – Cell-level Monitoring

Within each 5kWh iStore battery module there are 16 x LFP battery cells monitored in real-time by 8 x temperature sensors. That’s 1 temperature sensor for every 2 battery cells.

This improves the safety management accuracy by 4x compared to conventional modular batteries which only have 2 sensors per module.

Cell-Level-Monitoring

Layer 3 – Built-in Automatic Fire Extinguisher

In a worst-case scenario, the internal fire-extinguisher within each iStore battery module will automatically detect and eliminate any fire-risk within 15 seconds.

Whether you’re fast asleep, or away on holiday, the iStore Solar Battery offers complete peace-of-mind. Fast, precise & reliable.

Layer 4 – High strength cabinet

The iStore battery module shell is made from cast aluminium and sheet metal. The high-strength cabinet has an IP66 rating; the highest possible rating for an electrical enclosure.

Optional Backup Box

Unlike some hybrid inverters which have backup hardware built into the inverter, iStore have separated that hardware into a separate optional ‘Backup Box’.

This makes the iStore Hybrid inverter more affordable and allows the customer to choose whether to pay extra for backup hardware or not.

Do you live in an area with a reliable power supply?

If yes, no need to pay for hardware that you may never actually use.

If no, the Backup Box contains the grid isolation contactors & relays to allow emergency backup power to essential circuits such as lighting and power to the fridge and lounge-room.

iStore-Backup-Box

Warranty

Like most batteries on the market, the iStore Solar Battery comes with a 10-year warranty which guarantees that the battery will still store 60% of its original capacity after 10 years.

With LFP batteries typically expected to lose 20% – 40% of their capacity over that time period. The iStore battery is on the conservative end of that spectrum, and similar to other major manufacturers such as BYD and Sungrow.

iStore Solar Battery Conclusion

  • Proven reliability
  • Advanced tech exclusive to iStore
  • Competitive price
  • Local warranty & tech support based right here in Perth.

For us, the iStore Hybrid inverter + iStore Solar Battery ticks all the boxes.

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