Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details, and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar battery manufacturers, talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included, and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we’ll break down the battery warranty of a well-known company in the solar industry: SolarEdge.
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Highlights of SolarEdge’s warranty
Includes a standard 10-year warranty but allows for unlimited cycles and throughput.
Covers shipping and $250 in labor fees.
Covers replacements and/or repairs at no cost to you.
It is an all-encompassing warranty (i.e. includes every component of your system).
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare custom quotes for solar-plus-storage systems.
Quick overview: SolarEdge’s history and warranty
In 2021, SolarEdge, the leading manufacturer of optimized inverters, launched its storage system: the Energy Bank. The Energy Bank seamlessly integrates with a solar system to provide you with backup power when you need it. It’s a DC-coupled system, meaning it’s highly efficient but also works best when installed with a new solar system (as opposed to retrofitting it to an existing solar set-up).
The Energy Bank comes with a fairly standard 10-year warranty; however, while most battery companies will include a cycles and/or throughput clause that can limit your warranty if you exceed them before you reach 10 years, SolarEdge allows for unlimited cycles and throughput. Their warranty also covers a portion of any necessary labor, paid directly to the installer as a reimbursement.
SolarEdge’s battery warranty at a glance CATEGORYSolarEdge's COVERAGEINDUSTRY STANDARD Product and performance10 years, unlimited cycles and throughput10 years, plus a cycles or throughput clause End of warranty capacity70% at year 1060% at year 10 Labor for repairs/ replacements$250 labor reimbursement for first battery and $125 for each additional battery paid directly to installers within the first 5 years of installationNo Shipping of partsYesNo TransferabilityYes, no transfer feeYes, no transfer fee
NOTE: if you’re interested in the SolarEdge Energy Bank, from now until December 15th, 2022 SolarEdge is offering a $100 rebate for this battery on EnergySage.
SolarEdge’s product and performance warranty
SolarEdge’s product and performance warranty covers the integrity and output of the equipment itself. If your battery system has a defect or experiences unreasonable degradation, that should be covered by your product warranty. If there’s a defect with your battery, you or your installer should be able to tell that something is amiss and fix the problem immediately – often before the battery is ever installed. Regardless, it’s good to consider products with longer warranties for the peace of mind it provides.
SolarEdge includes a 10-year product warranty for all of their batteries. You can review and compare SolarEdge’s batteries in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
You’ll also notice that many battery warranties will include a clause suggesting that your term may be cut short depending on your use of the battery – this is where cycles and throughput come into play.
Every time you drain and charge your battery, it’s called a “cycle”. Like the battery inside your cell phone, your solar battery will gradually lose its ability to hold a full charge the more you use it. Because of this, some manufacturers guarantee a minimum number of cycles as part of their warranty agreement. But read this line carefully: oftentimes, manufacturers will guarantee a fixed product term OR a minimum number of cycles, whichever comes first. This means if you hit the warrantied number of cycles before your battery hits the end of its warranty period, it could end your warranty term. The confusing part here is that manufacturers will sometimes define a “cycle” differently–i.e., how much your battery needs to be drained and charged for it to be considered a “cycle”?
Unlike most battery manufacturers, SolarEdge’s warranty includes unlimited cycles – meaning you can be confident that your battery will be covered for the full 10 years.
Another clause that some manufacturers will put on their warranty pertains to throughput: the total energy a manufacturer expects the battery to deliver throughout its lifetime. Companies state these warranties in terms of megawatt-hours (MWh). For example, suppose your battery company provides a throughput warranty of 30 MWh. In that case, the warranty is valid until the battery stores and delivers 30 MWh–or 30,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh)–of energy. Similar to a cycle life warranty, throughput warranties typically only apply if your battery delivers a set amount of energy before its warranty period is up.
Throughput numbers will vary quite a bit depending on the overall storage capacity of your system. Additionally, if your battery system contains several different battery cells–or modules–within it, your warranty may state a throughput by cell (which you can multiply by number of cells to get total throughput).
SolarEdge does not include a throughput warranty – if you purchase an Energy Bank, you can store and deliver unlimited energy throughout the 10-year warranty.
SolarEdge’s end of warranty capacity rating
In addition to providing cycle or throughput warranties, most manufacturers also promise a certain level of performance by the time your warranty is up. This often presents itself as an end of warranty capacity rating.
When comparing the end of warranty capacity ratings across various batteries, higher percentages are better than lower percentage guarantees.
SolarEdge includes an end of capacity rating of 70 percent for all of their batteries. This means that by the end of your warranty, your battery should still have 6.79 kWh (9.7 kWh * 0.70 = 6.79 kWh) of capacity.
SolarEdge’s workmanship warranty
Battery companies should cover a replacement battery if you need it during their warrantied term–but, while the manufacturer may cover your replacement part, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover the labor costs to re-install that equipment. Many manufacturers do not reimburse for the labor associated with diagnostics, replacements, or repairs of their products.
More often than not, installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your battery installation. However, some manufacturers offer additional protection by tacking on their own workmanship warranty for a limited number of certified installers in their network. SolarEdge’s Energy Bank doesn’t come with a workmanship warranty.
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with SolarEdge: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your storage system will continue operating smoothly for 10+ years, and you never have to worry about SolarEdge’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, SolarEdge will be there to help.
If you notice an issue with your battery, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue. If you can’t get in touch with your installer, or if they’ve gone out of business, SolarEdge has an installer directory you can use to find another company to help with the problem.
Once the installer has identified any issue eligible for a warranty claim, they can begin the return merchandise authorization (RMA) process with SolarEdge directly. Importantly, if you need to have your Energy Bank repaired, you’ll have to send the whole until back to SolarEdge – it’s not designed for field serviceability.
When it comes time for any repairs or replacements, there are two additional warranty considerations you’ll want to keep in mind: labor and shipping costs.
Labor costs for diagnostics, repairs, or replacements
Many manufacturers cover replacement parts at no extra cost, but don’t pay for the labor costs necessary to re-install that equipment. Fortunately, SolarEdge helps cover labor costs for replacing and repairing their Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) approved products up to a certain amount. They provide a 5-year RMA labor reimbursement for one battery of $250, plus $125 per additional battery in a system. SolarEdge will also cover a portion of labor for any battery accessories in the first five years: $125 for the first accessory and $25 for each additional accessory. Importantly, this reimbursement is paid directly to the installer and may not cover all the labor costs associated with the warranty claim.
Shipping of parts
Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you – but SolarEdge isn’t one of them! As long as the defects to your Energy Bank are covered under warranty, SolarEdge will cover shipping for any repaired or replaced parts.
Limitations and exceptions to SolarEdge’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – SolarEdge’s is no different. Warranty limitations aren’t meant to make it harder for you to take advantage of the offering; companies simply try to protect themselves from unjust or unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your SolarEdge warranty:
Acts of nature – this is a common one – most battery system manufacturers will not cover any damage caused by extreme weather events outside their control, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Fortunately, the hardware is pretty durable and can withstand most storms without the added protection. Even better, should damage occur during a storm, many homeowner insurance policies cover damage to solar-plus-storage systems.
Removal and reinstallation of the Energy Bank at a new location without written consent from SolarEdge.
Improper maintenance or installation.
Modifications or alterations to the Energy Bank without pre-authorization in writing from SolarEdge.
Other warranty considerations and how SolarEdge stacks up
Transferability: as long as your equipment remains in place, you can transfer your SolarEdge warranties to new owners of your system at no cost.
Bankability: SolarEdge is a public company (SEDG) traded on NASDAQ. They were also recently added to the S&P 500. SolarEdge has been approved by major banks and financial institutions worldwide. To learn more about their financials, visit their investor page.
Escrows/insurance policies: SolarEdge does not have an insurance policy or an escrow account to ensure that their warranties will be upheld in the event that they go out of business; however, SolarEdge does have a large warranty reserve, which complies with the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
Eligibility: Some manufacturers require customers to permanently connect to their monitoring system in order for their warranty to be valid. SolarEdge’s warranty is applicable regardless of connection to their monitoring platform.
Customer reviews: another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how customers feel about their equipment and the services they provide. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. If you are interested in reading SolarEdge’s reviews, you can do so here.
What about inverters?
We use “battery” and “battery system” pretty interchangeably in this article, but there’s one important difference between the two: an inverter. Energy storage systems typically include both batteries and inverters, while certain batteries can be sold independently. Inverters are key to the functionality of a battery, so it’s important to make sure yours is covered! If your product includes a built-in storage-only or hybrid inverter, it’ll likely be covered in your battery’s warranty terms. On the other hand, if you pair your battery with an external, third-party inverter, expect it to come with a different warranty agreement than your battery.
SolarEdge’s batteries are all built-in but have a separate warranty from the battery. Check out this article to learn about SolarEdge’s inverter warranty.
Finding the right battery for you
Finding the right storage system for your home means comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar-plus-storage options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price – warranties and all. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another–SolarEdge or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.