FranklinWH is a new player in the home battery storage market, but the brand makes some very bold and appealing claims. The company claims that its Franklin Home Power System (FHP), a single model of energy storage device, can provide backup power for the whole house.
The market for residential energy storage is growing, with an increasing number of people making the switch to renewable energy. And with that comes an interest in and demand for energy storage. Unpredictable blackouts and disruptions, especially those caused by extreme weather, have made reliable energy backup a necessity for households.
FHP should also be able to hook up to any solar inverter you already have and start air conditioners up to 4 tons in capacity. As an added bonus, it can reliably get power from solar panels, the grid, and a backup generator, making it an excellent choice for home use.
If all these claims about FranklinWH’s FHP are true, its solutions could be a game-changer and help homeowners attain energy independence. Let’s see if it’s as good as it sounds.
- With every FranklinWH FHP, you get an aPower (battery unit), aGate (load management unit), and an FWH app
- The aPower contains 13.6 kWh of lithium iron phosphate battery cells, is AC-coupled, and has its own inverter
- The FHP is a little pricey, but it can provide whole-home backup and generator charging
What is FranklinWH?
FranklinWH Energy Storage, Inc. was founded in 2019, making it one of the newer companies to enter the U.S. residential energy storage market. Based in San Francisco, California, the company is focused on providing energy management solutions.
Its flagship product is the Franklin Home Power System, an energy storage backup with a high battery capacity.
What’s in the FranklinWH Power System?
There are three elements that make up the FHP. These are:
This is a 13.6-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery stored in a sleek-looking box. The LEDs on its front help show how much juice is left. In addition, it includes a built-in inverter that helps convert the electricity from solar panels or solar batteries from direct current (DC) to alternate current (AC) that is used by the vast majority of household appliances.
Despite weighing in at 408 lbs and measuring 45.3″ x 29.5″ x 11.4″, one aPower battery unit is easily mountable on the wall. You can also choose to mount it on the floor.
It’s got impressive wattage, too, having enough power to kick-start a 4-ton air conditioner. Each battery unit can maintain a 5,000-watt output and peak at a maximum of 10,000 watts for 10 seconds.
If you need more power, aPower is modular and can be stacked to provide more battery capacity and power output. You can wire as many as 15 units in parallel to a single aGate; this gives you a maximum usable capacity of 204 kWh. For instance, if you have two units, you could consistently have 10,000 watts of power and a surge of 20,000 watts.
The aGate is a smart energy management unit that controls system interfaces. It’s what connects the aPower battery to your home. It is linked to the generator, smart circuits, the grid, solar input, as well as your backup and non-backup loads panels.
Home appliances up to 160A can be controlled by the aGate, which can also manage smart circuits to turn off specific loads as needed. It has two smart circuits, one 50A, and one 80A, that can be connected to your appliances and be controlled or scheduled to shut down using the FWH app. This feature is extremely useful when the battery is running low during a grid outage.
The aGate’s capacity to do “solar black starts” is one of its key selling points. Essentially, this means that the FHP can run on just solar energy without depending on the grid.
The system will eventually shut down if the battery is low during an outage and there’s no backup generator. Once the sun comes up, the aGate will begin sending a pulse signal to the solar inverter to check if it can start charging the battery. It will do this every hour from 10 am to 2 pm.
As soon as it detects the battery is full, the inverter will turn on, and the system will run again.
This smartphone app enables you to tailor the FHP system to your needs and manage smart circuits. It displays your energy production, consumption, and battery life over time using data from your aGate in real-time.
Using the app will allow you to quickly and easily switch the battery between backup standby, load shifting, and self-consumption.
You can set a schedule for smart loads like electric vehicle chargers and energy-hungry appliances and even manually switch smart circuits on and off if there’s a blackout.
How Much Does the FranklinWH Power System Cost? Is There a Warranty?
If you buy just one aPower and one aGate and skip the installation fees, the wholesale price of a Franklin Home Power system is around $15,000. Installation costs are estimated at $2,500, bringing the total to $17,500. If you need more aPower units, the wholesale price is $11,500, plus an extra $1,000 for installation.
The good news is that FranklinWH works with installer partners who guarantee better offers and savings compared to the original pricing. Your total costs should also be reduced by the federal renewable energy tax credit.
FranklinWH will provide warranty coverage for 12 years. It covers both energy throughput and any defects on the equipment. The company will replace any damaged equipment with new or refurbished batteries if a defect in the system develops while it is still under warranty.
The company estimates that aPower will retain at least 70% of its 13.6-kWh capacity or 43 MWh of throughput by the end of the 12-year warranty.
This means that the aPower could be completely drained and recharged 3,160 times before the minimum throughput warranty is reached. If you use the battery for an average of 9.8 kWh per day for the entire warranty period (4,383 days), you will get the full 12 years of coverage.
How Does it Perform?
FranklinWH FHP has outstanding peak power output and an impressive 12-year warranty period. It also has an excellent round trip efficiency of 85% or 8.5 kWh of output for every 10 kWh of electricity put into the battery.
While the FranklinWH FHP is relatively pricey on a per-kilowatt-hour basis, it may be the best option for those in need of whole-home backup with generator integration or for those looking for a simple, cost-effective energy storage solution that does not require extensive electrical work.
It’s challenging to find a cost-effective energy backup option for the entire house that doesn’t involve extensive and expensive wiring. The FHP system by FranklinWH is a great option that offers attractive aesthetics as well as long-term cost savings.
When compared to similar products on the market, this one appears to offer the most significant value. It also comes with a generous 12-year warranty, which could be handy if any problems arise. FranklinWH can be a good option if you’re willing to take the chance on a fairly young company.