Anker is generally known for making smartphone power adapters and USB cables for home and on the go, but now the company is trying something new. At the company’s ReCharge event in New York City on Tuesday, it’s unveiled a new “Solix” line of products that’s focused on keeping your home powered, even if the grid goes down. It’s also adding a battery for use with its DIY balcony-mounted solar panel solution to bring a bit of stored energy independence to apartment dwellers and renters.
The main star of Anker’s announcement includes a Tesla Powerwall-like home solar energy storage system that can power everything in your house. Anker’s solution is designed to be modular: it can be outfitted with as little as 5kWh of power, about the size of a hybrid car’s battery, or as much as 180kWh, which is about the size of Rivian’s R1T Max Pack battery.
Tesla’s latest Powerwall 2, in comparison, is fixed at 13.5kWh, but can be scaled shoulder to shoulder with up to 10 units. It also has a variable cost that’s somewhere around $11,500 per unit installed. And if you want Tesla’s Powerwall, you’ll now have to order it with solar panels.
Meanwhile, Anker hasn’t revealed pricing for its Solix battery, but plans to make the system compatible with existing solar panels or new Anker-provided ones. It uses LFP batteries that are stacked in modules vertically, with the brains settled on top where it controls the power flow. And it’s all connected to a smart phone app. Anker won’t be shipping the battery system this year, it plans to launch it globally in 2024.
In Germany, Anker’s been selling solar panels designed to work on balconies, and now it’s got a new “Solarbank” battery pack that can work with it throughout Europe — like a mini Powerwall. So now European apartment and condo dwellers can get in on home energy storage by sacrificing the walk-out space that was totally worth the extra monthly rent or mortgage. Solarbank is also expandable from 1.6kWh to 3.2kWh, and works with most existing micro-inverters including the one bundled with Anker’s two-panel plug-and-play Solix Balcony Solution. Just plug Anker’s inverter directly into any standard home power socket to feed energy back to your appliances with any excess diverted to the battery.
Anker’s also slapping the Solix brand name to current products, like its $2,000 F2000 rollaway suitcase portable power station (also called 767 PowerHouse). It’s got a 2048Wh battery that can be doubled with an additional expansion battery, and can be charged with an optional 200W solar panel generator accessory.