6.3

LGES 10H and 16H Prime

Like


  • Good efficiency and performance

  • Cheaper than other solar batteries

  • Can be used without solar panels

  • Compatible with new and existing solar panel systems

Don’t like


  • Limited modularity

  • Battery inverter not included (except in the Prime Plus system)

Whether you have solar panels or not, it’s always handy to have a backup solution when the power goes out. That could be a battery. 

LG Energy Solution, an affiliated company of LG group, offers two of the most popular home battery backup options on the market: the 10H and 16H Prime. Both batteries are pretty bare-bones and don’t offer any wild “luxury battery” features, like smart load automation. But you do get a large capacity battery with solid performance specs at an affordable price. You don’t need to have solar panels with this battery either. What’s the downside here? They aren’t very modular, making capacity upgrades more difficult than other options.

“Both the 10H Prime and the 16H Prime were conceptualized around the needs of the average homeowner in North America, and many other global markets,” said Steve Myung, a North American residential ESS Team Leader for LG Energy Solution HQ. “These two batteries are built around our cutting-edge battery cells, the JH5, which represents a jump forward from our last generation, in terms of power output and capacity.”


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Since solar batteries are part of a complex home energy system that heavily depends on an individual home’s energy needs and solar panels, it’s hard to perform hands-on testing. Instead, we reviewed specs provided by LGES online and asked LGES questions to get the most accurate and up-to-date information about these batteries.

Here’s everything you need to know about the LGES 10H and 16H Prime batteries.

What do I get with an LGES Prime battery?

LGES offers two battery options in its “Prime” lineup: the 10H Prime and the 16H Prime. Both batteries are good options, but the 16H Prime offers more storage capacity and power output. LGES also offers a new battery configuration named Prime Plus, which essentially combines two of either the 10H or 16H Prime batteries and adds an inverter. Both Prime batteries and the new Prime Plus configuration are compatible with and without solar panels, making these batteries great options if you just want the backup but don’t want to install solar. They’re also compatible with new and existing solar panels. 

LGES Prime battery specs

Category 10H Prime 16H Prime
Usable capacity 9.6kWh 16kWh
How many can I stack? Up to two 10H Primes (19.2kWh) Up to two 16H Primes (32kWh)
Round-trip efficiency >90% >90%
Depth of discharge 100% 100%
Peak power output 7kW 11kW
Continuous power output 5kW 7kW
Battery type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion
Price $5,700 – $8,500 $7,000 – $11,000

What is LGES Prime Plus?

LGES’s Prime Plus isn’t a new Prime battery. Rather, it’s a new system configuration that offers more capacity flexibility and increases your battery’s power output beyond the base level of an individual 10H or 16H Prime battery. 

A Prime Plus configuration connects two 10H or 16H Prime batteries together for a storage capacity of 19.2 or 32kWh. But you can’t mix and match between the two batteries, meaning you’ll have to choose either two 10H Primes or two 16H Primes. This new setup also includes an inverter, pushing your maximum power output to 9.6kW.

Prime Plus is the first residential energy storage system released by LGES in the US that includes an inverter. Both of LGES’s other batteries, the 10H and 16H Prime, don’t include inverters. This means you’ll have to buy a separate compatible inverter. The new Prime Plus system is also designed for faster installation. 

“What makes Prime Plus unique is that the installation process is faster than ever. It takes less than 10 minutes for full inverter and battery commissioning, substantially lifting the time burden for the installers,” Ryan Simpson, sales director of LGES ESS Team in North America, said in a press release.

Prime Plus includes the same warranty as the 10H and 16H Prime batteries, with the addition of a 10-year warranty for the inverter and auto backup device. We’ll talk more about warranty details below. 

LGES Prime Plus configuration displayed on the show floor at RE+ 2023. LGES Prime Plus configuration displayed on the show floor at RE+ 2023.

An LGES Prime Plus configuration displayed on the show floor at RE+ 2023.

Jon Reed/CNET

System components 

The 10H and 16H Prime aren’t as seemingly complicated as other batteries we’ve seen, which is nice. However, keep in mind that these batteries don’t include an inverter, so you’ll also need to purchase one off of LGES’s list of compatible inverters. But if you choose the Prime Plus system, your purchase will include an inverter.

SolarEdge and Growatt are two stand out 10H and 16H Prime-compatible inverter brands that ranked highly in CNET’s review of the best solar inverters. 

Here’s what comes in the box:

  • Two battery modules: Labeled for front and rear assembly.
  • Battery control unit: Connects on top of the two battery modules and monitors the battery’s state of charge, as well as acting as a communication device for the battery.
  • Connect plate: Used for floor mounting.
  • Wall bracket: Attaches to the wall and is used to provide extra stability.

Capacity and modularity

The 10H and 16H Prime both offer solid capacity, but are lacking in modularity. What you see is what you get. One 10H Prime battery has 9.6kWh, with one 16H Prime battery offering a bit more capacity at 16kWh. You can install one additional 10H or 16H Prime for an additional 19.2kWh to 32kWh. Keep in mind that you can’t mix and match sizes. You can either install two 10H Primes or two 16H Primes. 

One of the biggest downsides with the LGES Prime batteries is how difficult and expensive it is to upgrade your capacity. Let’s say you bought a 10H Prime battery that holds 9.6kWh of energy and meets your household’s current energy needs. But in the future, you might buy an EV or add an expansion to your home. Now you’re thinking about upgrading your battery capacity to account for these new energy needs. Since you bought a 10H Prime, your only option is to buy another 10H Prime for an additional 9.6kWh, which is quite a significant jump in capacity. And you likely won’t even need that much. This same situation also applies to the 16H Prime. If you need more than 16kWh, you’ll need another large 16kWh battery.

LGES Prime battery capacity breakdown

Battery configuration Usable capacity
10H Prime 9.6kWh
16H Prime 16kWh
Two 10H Primes 19.2kWh
Two 16H Primes 32kWh

Performance and efficiency 

Both the 10H and 16H Prime are solid in their performance specs, and about industry average in their efficiency. Both batteries have a round-trip efficiency rating of greater than 90%, which is typically the norm for lithium-ion batteries. 

What stands out is the depth of discharge rating on the 10H and 16H Prime. A depth of discharge rating is a limit set by the manufacturer on how much energy you can safely discharge (drain) from your battery all at once without compromising its lifespan. Both batteries have a depth of discharge rating of 100%. This means you’ll be able to safely use all the energy in your battery before needing to recharge again. However, manufacturers recommend you still don’t do so. Prolonged use of any battery will naturally bring about wear and tear. Continuously deep cycling your battery (draining all your energy at once and then recharging) can affect its lifespan.        

Power output ratings for both batteries look good too. Peak power output tells you how much power your battery is able to put out all at once and continuous power output tells you how much power your battery outputs at all times. The 10H Prime has a peak power output of 7kW and a continuous output rating of 5kW. This is pretty typical for a battery of this size. The 16H Prime’s power output is much higher, which makes sense for a larger battery. It has a peak power output rating of 11kW and 7kW of continuous power. This is a bit higher than similar batteries we’ve reviewed.   

If you choose to install an LGES Prime Plus system, the system’s inverter will push your maximum continuous power output even higher to 9.6kW.

Warranty

The warranties on the LGES Prime batteries are pretty standard as far as solar batteries go. Nothing stands out in particular, and that’s fine. Here’s a breakdown of the details.

Warranty details

Category 10H Prime 16H Prime
Years covered 10 10
Aggregate energy throughput 32MWh 54MWh
End-of-warranty capacity guarantee 70% 70%

Years covered: The number of years your battery is covered under warranty. After the specified number of years pass, your warranty expires.

Aggregate energy throughput: This is a specific amount of energy (usually labeled in megawatt-hours, or MWh) that the manufacturer expects the battery will deliver throughout its lifespan. In most cases, once your battery hits its listed throughput, your warranty expires, regardless of how many years you might have left on your warranty. Always make sure to check the fine print for throughput or cycle clauses when shopping for batteries. 

End-of-warranty capacity guarantee: The manufacturer’s guarantee that your battery will retain a certain percentage of its original capacity by the time your warranty period expires.

Customer support

LG Energy Solution is a subsidiary of the broader LG company, so finding customer reviews specifically related to LGES is a bit tricky. However, we can take a look at what customers are saying about LG. Customer reviews on LG’s Better Business Bureau page and Trustpilot include complaints around poor customer support and service. However, these reviews are more reflective of customers that bought other LG products, not the LGES Prime batteries. 

LGES also issued a product safety recall on its RESU 10H ESS Home Battery in 2020 due to certain units posing risks of a fire hazard. The RESU 10H is an older battery model and is not featured in this review. 

LG RESU Monitor

With the purchase of an LGES Prime battery, you’ll also gain access to the LG RESU Monitor app. This app is used during the installation of the battery and acts as a way for you to monitor your battery’s state of charge. In comparison to other battery companion apps, the LG RESU Monitor app isn’t anything special. You won’t find any smart features, time-of-use calculators or various power modes. User reviews on the Google and Apple app stores aren’t so great either, with an average review score of about 1.3 out of five stars on both app stores.   

How much does an LGES Prime battery cost?

LGES did not give us a price estimate, but we can still get a good idea of how much the 10H and 16H Prime batteries cost by looking at listings from third-party solar equipment retailers online. In comparison to other similar batteries, LGES Prime batteries are much cheaper and are among the more affordable battery options we’ve come across. 

The 10H Prime typically costs somewhere between $5,700 and $8,500 before installation and the 16H Prime is about $7,000 to $11,000 before installation. These price ranges reflect the cheapest and most expensive listings we found. Every battery is different, but you can generally expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for battery installation. Since the Prime Plus configuration is much newer, reliable pricing information is currently unavailable. 

As a rule of thumb regarding battery pricing, you can usually expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per kWh of storage, but there are exceptions. The 10H and 16H Prime are a good example of being an exception here, since both batteries cost less per kilowatt-hour. Other factors affecting battery pricing are location, the installer and how many solar panels you have.

However, these price ranges should be taken with a grain of salt. For the most accurate pricing, you’ll need to speak with an LGES Prime-certified installer in your area. We also recommend shopping around for a few solar estimates from national and local installers to see who’s willing to give you the lowest price.

Is an LGES Prime battery my best choice?

It could be, depending on your home’s energy needs and your budget. Both the 10H and 16H Prime offer solid performance specs and a fairly standard warranty. And it’s offered at a lower price than similar batteries on the market. The LGES Prime batteries are a bit lackluster in terms of cool features, and capacity upgrades can get a bit difficult. And by difficult, we mean having to buy another new battery. But if your budget is a bit tighter and you don’t have big energy plans and don’t care about fancy battery bells and whistles, then this might be one of your best options. You can also get this battery without needing to install solar panels.

If you plan on buying two 10H or 16H Prime batteries, consider going with the Prime Plus configuration. Prime Plus includes the system’s inverter, so you won’t have to buy it separately. And the inverter offers a pretty good power output rating (9.6kW). 

How we evaluated the best solar batteries 

Not every battery is the right fit for every home. Without an on-site inspection and energy audit, it’s difficult to determine which solar battery is the “best” battery for every home and its energy needs. Due to the complexity of solar panel systems, we’re unable to do any hands-on testing of these solar batteries. However, there are ways to objectively evaluate and compare these batteries against each other. Here’s how we evaluate solar batteries.

First, we created categories to evaluate the battery’s efficiency, performance, capacity and value. We also gave each category its own weight. A category’s weight reflects the importance we felt was relevant to the average consumer. Here are the categories we considered and their weights:

  • Battery modularity (stackability): 20%
  • Warranty: 20%
  • Round-trip efficiency: 15%
  • Depth of discharge: 10%
  • Power output: 10%
  • Price: 10%
  • Customer reviews: 10%
  • Battery capacity: 5%

We looked at more than 15 of the most common batteries on the market and collected the data for each category to compare the numbers. Each category (for every battery) was given a tier-style rating (from 1 to 5) to see which metrics of each battery were above average (among those on our list), average or below average. 

Frequently asked questions

Can I go off-grid with an LGES Prime battery?

You can, but it’s not what these batteries are designed for. An off-grid setup will likely require more equipment and planning than a traditional on-grid system.  

The batteries and Prime Plus system are designed for on-grid use, Myung said, but some people do use them for off-grid applications when they have other equipment, like generators.

Are the LGES Prime batteries eligible for the federal solar tax credit?

Yes, the 10H, 16H Prime and Prime Plus are all eligible for the federal solar tax credit. Solar batteries qualify for the federal solar tax credit as long as they can hold at least three kilowatt-hours (3kWh) and are installed in 2023 or later.

How do I install an LGES Prime battery?

LGES doesn’t do direct installs. Instead, you’ll need to use their search tool to find a certified installer in your area. 

Myung said if there isn’t an LGES-certified installer in your area, then you can request an LGES Prime battery be shipped to a local solar installer from a local distributor. LGES will then get the installer certified and trained before installing the battery on your home.

Correction, Aug. 7, 2023: An earlier version of this article misstated the connection between LG Energy Solutions and LG Electronics. LG Energy Solutions is an affiliated company of LG group, not a subsidiary of LG Electronics.



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