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The Eguana Evolve home battery complete review

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Eguana is a 20-year-old battery company based out of Alberta. Their battery systems use the same reliable cores as LG Chem’s RESU line, so you know you’re getting tested quality and performance reliability in a home battery. One of their more recent products, the Eguana Evolve, is becoming an increasingly popular addition to solar panel systems across the country.

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How does the Eguana Evolve work?

The Eguana Evolve pairs well with solar panel systems, especially if your utility has reduced or removed net metering, introduced time-of-use rates, or instituted demand charges. Installing a storage solution like the Eguana Evolve with a solar energy system allows you to maintain a sustained power supply during day or night, as long as you store enough power from your solar panels when the sun is shining.

As with many other home battery products, the Eguana Evolve is sized for day-to-day use at your home and is primarily designed to be paired with a solar panel system. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use in your home, you can store the excess electricity in the battery system instead of sending it back into the grid. Later, when your panels aren’t producing enough electricity to meet your home’s needs, you can use the stored energy in your battery instead of having to buy it from your utility company.

Key things to know about the Eguana Evolve

Eguana advertises their Evolve battery model as a “fully automated home energy storage solution that maximizes the value of a homeowner’s solar system investment.” The battery system uses LG Chem’s battery module technology under the hood, so you know they’re using a proven hardware solution to store and discharge electricity.

Alongside the Evolve, Eguana offers the Evolve Hub, an energy management controller that integrates storage with an existing solar array on your property. With the Hub, you can access Eguana’s energy monitoring system online, straight from your laptop or mobile phone. The interface provides minute-by-minute production data, usage summaries, and a link to your PV monitoring system, among other features.

When evaluating the Evolve, there are various important metrics and technical specifications to keep in mind. Among the most important are the size of the battery (power and capacity), its depth of discharge, and roundtrip efficiency

Size

The Eguana Evolve comes in one size that can be stacked in a modular system. Two important metrics to keep in mind when comparing the Evolve to other home storage options are power and usable capacity. Power (measured in kilowatts, or kW) determines the maximum amount of electricity that can be output at a single time, while usable capacity (measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh) is a measure of the maximum amount of electricity stored in your battery on a full charge. The Evolve boasts a maximum power rating of 5 kW to go along with 13 kWh of usable capacity. That means, in a stacked system, 39 kWh of usable capacity.

As mentioned above, the Evolve system is modular, meaning that you can add multiple battery products to your storage setup. For example, you might want to install multiple Evolve batteries for a home with high energy demands. Eguana’s Evolve spec sheet indicates that you can connect up to three Evolves in one system, so you may need to upgrade your supporting hardware to add even more storage capacity beyond the stored energy of three batteries.

Think of your battery like water running through a pipe. The usable energy capacity is the amount of water available to push through the pipe, while power is the size of the pipe itself. Larger pipes allow more water to flow through at once, which depletes the water faster. Similarly, a battery with a high power rating can deliver more electricity at one time, but will burn through its available energy capacity faster too.

A battery’s power determines the number of appliances you can run from the battery concurrently, while usable capacity determines how long those appliances can be run. Batteries with a higher power rating are capable of powering more, bigger appliances (i.e., your HVAC system) or many appliances at once, while batteries with a higher usable capacity can store more total energy and thus can run your appliances for longer periods of time without needing to recharge.

Basic functionality

The functionality of one solar battery next to another can vary; some batteries have excellent off-grid capabilities, while others offer software solutions specific to rate arbitrage. The suite of Evolve hardware and software products are designed to provide both of these services.

Eguana offers a bi-directional inverter, or hybrid inverter, alongside their Evolve. This inverter acts as both a battery inverter and a rooftop solar array inverter. This means that, as long as your contractor installs the correct components and the Evolve inverter, your Eguana Evolve battery system will be able to provide backup power for your home when the grid goes down, and continue interacting with your home solar panel system if you have one.

Their monitoring technology is fully built-in to their Evolve inverter. With their built-in monitoring technology, Eguana’s Evolve batteries and their associated parts can intelligently manage electrical loads throughout your house and appropriately pull energy from the battery when needed.

Performance metrics

Two key ways to evaluate the performance of a solar battery are its depth of discharge and round-trip efficiency

Depth of discharge (DoD) indicates the percentage of a battery’s energy that has been discharged relative to the overall capacity of the battery. Because the useful life of a battery decreases each time you charge, discharge, and re-charge–or cycle–your battery, many battery manufacturers specify a maximum DoD level for optimal battery performance. In general, batteries with a higher depth of discharge are considered better quality products. The Eguana Evolve boasts a solid depth of discharge of 90 percent.

Round-trip efficiency is a measure of electrical losses involved with charging and discharging a battery. The higher the efficiency percentage, the more efficiently the battery is able to convert incoming electricity into stored electricity and then back into usable electricity. The Eguana Evolve has a high round-trip efficiency of 97 percent on an AC-coupled system; this means that for every 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you put into the battery, you’ll receive 9.7 kWh of output.

Eguana Evolve warranty coverage

Eguana Evolve warranties

  • Warranty period: 10 years 
  • Guaranteed end of warranty capacity: 60%
  • Throughput warranty: 19.2 megawatt-hours (MWh) per module

In most cases, homes with an Evolve battery will charge and drain the battery every day. The Evolve comes with a 10-year warranty. During this time period, Eguana guarantees that the battery will maintain at least 60 percent of its capacity to hold a charge. Eguana also offers an energy throughput warranty – the 60 percent retained capacity after 10 years is only valid if the total energy throughput over the 10 year period is less than 19.2 megawatt-hours (MWh). Summed up, your Eguana Evolve battery is warranted to retain at least 60 percent of its capacity by the time you hit a lifetime of 10 years or an energy throughput of 19.2 MWh, whichever happens first.

Importantly, Eguana’s 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 is 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.

The battery life of your Evolve battery 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. This is why Eguana offers a warranty that guarantees a certain amount of storage capacity.

Warranty, capacity, and power are three of the most important metrics you should consider when comparing home battery options. If you’re curious to learn more about the best way to perform your own battery comparisons, check out our video explaining how to evaluate your home energy storage options:

If you want to compare individual battery models side-by-side, our battery Buyer’s Guide lets you select products and compare them based on efficiency, capacity, power, and more.

How much does the Eguana Evolve cost?

The cost of installing a battery isn’t as straightforward as looking up the list price for an individual component–i.e., your battery. In fact, depending on your electrical setup, installation costs can vary widely. According to EnergySage Marketplace data, a single Eguana Evolve battery costs somewhere between $10,000 and $13,000 fully installed

If you want to install the Evolve as part of a solar-plus-storage system, battery costs are just one piece of the equation. A 5 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system costs anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000 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. Whether or not the Eguana Evolve makes sense for you is determined by the way that your electric utility structures its rates, as well as your reasons for installing a solar battery.

In some cases, depending on where you live, you may have access to financial incentives that can reduce your home energy storage installation costs. For instance, if you live in California, you could get a cash rebate that covers most of your home battery costs through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). Other states (such as Massachusetts) are in the early stages of evaluating battery storage performance incentives as well, and several states already provide cash rebates.

Can you go off-grid with the Egunana Evolve?

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. Most home batteries, including the Evolve, only have enough capacity to store a few hours of electricity. If you want to make sure you can maintain power to your property for days at a time, you’ll need to install several Evolve batteries together to increase your storage capabilities.

Where to buy the Eguana Evolve

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 Eguana home battery system 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.

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About Jacob Marsh

Jacob is a researcher and content writer at EnergySage, where he focuses primarily on current issues–and new technology!–in the solar industry. With a background in environmental and geological science, Jacob brings an analytical perspective and passion for conservation to help solar shoppers make the right energy choices for their wallet and the environment. Outside of EnergySage, you can find him playing Ultimate Frisbee or learning a new, obscure board game.

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