With the recent grid issues in the United States, individuals are increasingly looking for whole home backup battery options. In this blog, we’ll discuss a system that allows you to build it out over time as your budget permits. At the core of this whole home integration is Ecoflow’s Smart Home Panel. This is a setup that allows you to power lines in your house instantly if the grid goes down and can provide an unlimited power source when coupled with solar panels. It’s a very fascinating system that’s modular, transportable, expandable, and programmable. So let’s jump in.
Whole Home Power Backup
Let me start off with a high-level overview of this specific setup and the heart of it, the Smart Home Panel, or SHP. The SHP is Ecoflow’s newest addition that allows you to tie their Delta Pro into your home’s existing electrical panel. If the grid goes down, the Delta Pros will instantly provide power to select lines that you tied in with the Smart Home Panel. 2 Delta Pros can be combined with up to 3200 Watts of solar panels and can be also connected to Ecoflow’s dual-fuel generators. These dual fuel generators can be programmed to automatically kick on when the Delta Pro batteries drop to a specified amount, programmable in the app.
Installing the SHP
For the SHP’s installation, we highly recommend going with a professional. We set this system up on one of our team member’s house using a local electrician. While Ecoflow does provide instructions to do this, and we’ll provide a link to their video documentation, when it comes to altering anything with our house’s electrical wiring, we always use a professional. The professional used the information provided by Ecoflow and had no issues completing the project. The electrician installed a 30 amp circuit breaker that powers the 2 Ecoflow Delta Pros if you want to charge them from the grid.
As mentioned earlier, the Delta Pros connect to the Smart Home Panel providing the power for either an emergency or for power arbitrage purposes to save money on your monthly electricity bill.
If the grid goes down, Ecoflow’s Emergency Power Source (or EPS) provides power nearly instantly in just 30 milliseconds. As shown here, the light in the background is plugged into a wall socket and after shutting off the main breaker, it does not flicker. Most household devices will do fine with the EPS, but that’s something you need to be aware of in case you have sensitive equipment like computer servers.
You can expand the battery capacity of the Delta Pros to a total of 25 kWh by adding their smart batteries. Shown here, we have 1 add-on smart battery connected to one Delta Pro. Each Delta Pro and smart battery has a capacity of 3.6 kWh each. If the grid were to go down, you can connect up to a total of 3200 watts of solar panels to charge these. Additionally, if you connect these with their Dual Fuel Smart Generators, the Delta Pros can automatically start up the generator to have it charge the batteries and then turn it off when the batteries charge to a level you define with the app. Overall, it’s a well-thought-out setup for emergency power backup.
Additionally, for those that live in areas where the time of use or power arbitrage is an option through your local power company, you can program the smart home panel to provide power to the 10 lines, thus reducing your power load during hours when your power company may charge a higher rate for power usage which is typically in the evening, thus saving you money. This is commonly referred to as power arbitrage. Just to be clear on this point, this setup does not send power directly to the grid, but rather to the 10 lines that you connect to in your house.
Controlling SHP with App
While we mentioned the app a few times in the video, we think it’s worth showing a little bit more information to highlight the power of the smart home panel and how you can utilize it both for emergency power outages and lowering your monthly electrical bill. The app can be connected to the internet to allow you monitor all of this remotely.
As shown here, we can set up 10 lines in our house. We can see their daily usage which is a powerful tool to allow you to monitor usage in your home. We can see the status of battery, charging input and percentage charged. You can define the depth of discharge on the battery and you can program it to automatically start up the dual fuel generators when the batteries are too low. You can schedule automations instructing it when to charge the batteries and when to discharge them (and from what source – solar, generators, or the grid) to power devices on the 10 lines. You can define the priority of the lines to be powered. We received this whole setup several months ago and never released a video on it as the app was a bit glitchy. We provided them a lot of feedback and to their credit, they listened to our feedback (and we’re sure others) and they have made several large changes to the app resulting in a solid app and system.
So, here’s our takeaway with a setup like this. Ecoflow is targeting the whole home power backup market with a system that is expandable, modular, and mobile. We did a blog awhile back detailing my whole home battery backup system, and we think it’s worth comparing this system to a fully integrated install if you’re in the market for a system like this. First, my whole home inverter battery backup system, named the Soluna S12, retails for about $13,000. We was able to qualify for tax rebates for that setup to further reduce the cost. With that system, when it comes to power arbitrage, we can push power back to the grid during the peak hours between 4 and 9 pm PST when the electric company charges double the rates per kWh. With the Ecoflow, you can’t push back to the grid, but rather only power lines. Second, my whole home battery system can accept 8000W from the solar panels, whereas 2 Ecoflow Delta Pros can only accept 3200W of solar combined. Third, my battery backup system has a capacity of 11.5 kWh at the price of $13,000. In comparison, 2 Ecoflow Delta Pros with 1 smart battery as shown here will give you 10.8 kWh (which is close to my integrated system) will cost you $9200 and the SHP will cost you $1500, so at this point, we’re at roughly $11,000. Lastly, the Soluna can output 150 Amps and the SHP can output 30 Amps maximum. The biggest advantage of the Ecoflow setup is the modularity and mobility. We can’t really move the Soluna weighing in at 660 pounds. So we ran through my whole home setup and maybe you’re shopping a different system, but we gave you the numbers to consider when comparing. Maybe you’re in the market for a whole home battery backup system but don’t want to spend a lot up front, but rather build it out as your budget permits. If that’s the case, this might be something for you to consider.
One last thing to bring up. When Ecoflow sent us the SHP, we did spent quite a lot of time trying to get it to work with 2 older Delta Pros we had. We programmed various automation into the app and the system just would not work, which is why this video was not released back in the summer. Ecoflow ended up sending us 2 new Delta Pros and when we connected them, they immediately worked right away with the SHP and app. We only bring this up because if you have older Delta Pros and you’re considering this setup, you may want to talk with their team first to ensure you won’t have this issue.
Overall, we like the setup a lot, especially the backup dual-fuel generators. If we had 1 piece of feedback for Ecoflow, it would be to roll out new Delta Pros upgrading the solar input capability. With each Delta Pro only being able to handle 1600 watts, they’re on the low end of solar input. We will say in their defense that these models are about a year and a half old and they were really the first to pioneer this level of ability in portable devices. We know they’re going to be presenting updated products in Vegas next month at CES, so you will probably want to watch for that to see what they come out with.
If you have any questions, please post those in the comment section below.
As always, stay safe out there.