blue planet blue ion HI battery review

The Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI complete review

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Blue Planet Energy is a US-based battery manufacturer on a mission to eliminate the use of carbon-based fuels while powering the world with reliable, affordable, clean energy. Their Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LFP) batteries boast safety and are backed by leading warranties, making them compelling products for anyone looking to install a battery system. Their newest product, the Blue Ion HI, is a powerful, safe, and sleek battery system built in the USA that pairs well with solar panel systems.

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How does the Blue Planet Blue Ion HI work?

The Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI 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 for residential electricity consumers. Installing a storage solution like the Blue Ion HI with a solar energy system allows you to maintain a sustained power supply during both day and night, as long as you store enough energy from your solar panels when the sun is shining.

As with many other home battery products, the Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI is sized for day-to-day use at your home and pairs well with a solar panel system. But unlike many other options, it also integrates well with generators and the utility grid. 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 Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI

The Blue Ion HI is a premium, modular battery system from manufacturer Blue Planet Energy. The Blue Ion HI is a Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LFP) battery, as opposed to the traditional Lithium-Ion NMC technology used in many batteries. This type of chemistry offers longer life, improved reliability, and increased safety. The physical battery has a few unique features: a lock and key door, removable access panels for ease of installation and service, and even a configurable shape (vertical or horizontal options) to make fitting a Blue Ion HI on your property as easy as possible.

What does it mean for a battery to be “modular”?

When manufacturers say their batteries are “modular”, they essentially mean that you aren’t limited by the size of a single product when creating a backup system. With modular batteries, you can add multiple batteries together to create a larger storage system. Often, there are limits to how many batteries you can “stack” on a single battery inverter, so you’ll have to keep in mind the overall tech specs of your system when stacking batteries.

With their Blue Ion HI software and a solar plus storage system, you can view real-time and historical energy usage and solar electricity generation on Blue Planet Energy’s Nāmaka communications platform via the internet.

When evaluating the Blue Ion HI, 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

Two important metrics to keep in mind when comparing the Blue Ion HI 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 Blue Ion HI comes in three sizes of usable capacity all with the same power rating. You can get a Blue Ion HI in capacities of 8 kWh, 12 kWh, or 16 kWh, all with a power rating of 8 kW.

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 stored energy 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 Blue Ion HI products are designed to provide both of these services.

Performance metrics

Two key ways to evaluate the performance of a solar battery are its roundtrip efficiency and depth of discharge.

Roundtrip 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 Blue Planet Blue Ion HI has a roundtrip efficiency of 98 percent; this means that for every 10 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you put into the battery, you’ll receive a little more than 9.8 kWh of output.

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 Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI battery boasts an excellent depth of discharge of 100 percent.

Blue Planet Blue Ion HI warranties

  • Warranty period: 15 years
  • Warrantied cycles: 8,000
  • Guaranteed end-of-warranty capacity: 70%

The Blue Ion HI battery is backed by an impressive 15-year, or 8,000 cycle, product and performance warranties that cover the equipment in the case of faulty parts or defects, as well as the actual performance of the battery. Blue Planet Energy’s warranty coverage says that by the end of 15 years or cycling your battery 8,000 times, your battery will still be able to store at least 70 percent of its initial out-of-box capacity.

Importantly, Blue Planet Energy’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.

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 Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI 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. Unfortunately, Blue Planet Energy has not released pricing yet for their new battery product.

If you want to install the Blue Ion HI 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 Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI 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 Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI?

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 you have to be 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 energy storage systems installed today 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 may need to install several Blue Ion HI batteries together to increase your storage capabilities.

Where to buy the Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI

You can request a quote for a Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion HI directly through Blue Planet Energy’s website, or from local solar installers and/or installation companies that carry the Blue Ion HI. Adding energy storage technology to your home is a complicated process that needs 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 Blue Ion HI 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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