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Detailed reviews and information of the best solar panels, inverters and batteries. Plus hybrid and off-grid solar system reviews and information articles on how solar and battery systems work.

TrinaBess - Trina Solar Battery Review

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Reviews and information of the best Solar panels and inverters from SMA, Fronius, SunPower, SolaX, Q Cells, Trina, Jinko, Selectronic, Tesla Powerwall, ABB. Plus hybrid inverters, battery sizing, Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, off-grid and on-grid power systems.

TrinaBess - Trina Solar Battery Review

Jason Svarc

TrinaBESS battery inverter system.png

TrinaBESS or 'Trina Battery Energy Storage Systems' are the battery company under the global panel manufacturing giant Trina Solar.

TrinaBESS supply a large variety of hybrid and retrofit battery solutions for both on-grid and off-grid installations. The various systems are designed for many applications in residential, commercial and utility scale battery storage from 4 kWh up to a huge 2 MWh capacity.

Founded in 2010 TrinaBESS has grown rapidly in recent years with a large research and development team and global network across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Despite the many years of development TrinaBESS has only recently entered into the highly competitive Australian market offering a range of battery solutions for residential and commercial applications.

The recently released residential PowerBox inverters and Powercube 2.0 battery systems (48V) are available in either DC or AC coupled options. Both systems are similar compact, plug and play hybrid units with separate battery boxes, however they function as very different systems. The AC coupled unit is a retrofit AC battery system which works in conjunction with an separate solar inverter much like the Tesla Powerwall 2 or Enphase batteries.

Trina teamed up with well established battery manufacturer PylonTech who have been developing Lithium LFP battery cell systems for many years and supply a range of modular, safe, cost effective batteries for energy storage applications.

Trinabess also supply a range of higher voltage (LV) energy storage systems known as the S & T series (see review below). The high voltage 300-500V modular battery systems are becoming more popular in the highly competitive energy storage market due to the flexible nature of these system.

TrinaCommercial battery systems.png

In addition to the several residential systems available TrinaBess will be releasing a range of commercial hybrid energy storage systems later in 2018. The TrinaCommercial series will have output power of 18kW (3-phase) with storage capacity from 30 to 60 kWh in a slick looking modular cabinet system.

See full specifications here

It’s still early days for the Trinabess systems and it will be interesting to see how they perform over the next 12 months as we gather feedback from both solar installers and customers.

 

PowerCube DC

TrinaBESS battery DC system.png

The Powercube DC coupled option is a conventional hybrid solar system which incorporates a solar and battery inverter in one hybrid unit. Like the AC coupled system a separate 'Powercube' battery enclosure houses up to four 2.4kWh lithium battery modules. The inverter specifications are rather good with up to 5.2kW solar (max 7.0kW) and can operate as a limited backup power supply of 2.4kW max output, although it isn’t instantaneous with a 1-2 second delay.

The system also comes with an energy meter (rated up to 80A) which allows complete monitoring of energy generation and consumption via the Trinabess cloud portal.

Features

  • Modular system with up to four 2.4kWh PylonTech batteries
  • Maximum battery capacity of 9.6kWh total
  • Can operate and charge from solar in back-up mode
  • 5.0kW solar inverter with up to 7kW max solar array size.
  • Includes energy meter (larger unit)
  • Includes battery support pedestal bracket
  • Good cloud monitoring software
  • 3 -phase options (5 and 10kW) coming soon
  • Warranty - 5 years inverter, 10 years battery

Limitations

  • Not a UPS (1-2 sec delay)
  • Inverter not weather rated ( IP21 )
  • Max backup power 2.4kW
  • No parallel capability yet

DC version Cloud monitoring – www.cloud.trinabess.com

See full Specifications Sheet here

 

PowerCube AC

TrinaBESS battery DC system.png

The PowerCube AC is essentially an AC battery system with separate inverter and is marketed as an ideal retrofit solution for those customers who already have an existing grid-tie solar system. It also functions as a rather powerful 4.8kVA backup power supply during a blackout, but cannot charge from solar in backup mode like the Powercube DC.

Initial assessment based on limited feedback from installers suggest that this is a well designed system but may have issues in regards to remote access and monitoring, especially as this system uses a third party software (app) for setup and monitoring which looks rather outdated.

Features

  • Easy retrofit to any existing solar system
  • Modular system with 2.4kWh PylonTech batteries
  • Maximum capacity of 9.6kWh total.
  • Max 5.4kVA (for 2sec) output with grid active
  • Max 4.8kVA surge in backup mode
  • Includes battery support pedestal bracket
  • IP65 inverter and IP55 battery
  • Warranty - 5 years inverter, 10 years battery

Limitations

  • Not a true UPS (up to 5 sec delay)
  • Cannot charge from solar in back-up mode
  • No parallel capability
  • Outdated looking third party app monitoring
 The Powercube AC basic configuration diagram

The Powercube AC basic configuration diagram

See full Specifications Sheet here

 

TrinaBESS - S & T series

The S & T hybrid series from TrinaBess will be available in both single phase and 3-phase options and use a stackable battery system consisting of 'high voltage' 3kWh lithium battery modules for a maximum of 18 kWh storage capacity.

TrinaBESS battery S&T system.png

The S series (single phase) & T series (Three phase) are unique in that they use lithium NCA battery cells. NCA or nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, is a less common lithium chemistry but has a very high energy density much like Lithium NMC (used by Tesla and LG) at a lower cost.

The T series 3-phase hybrid all-in-one inverters will be available in 2 power output sizes (5.2 & 9.8kW), up to 6.8kW of solar capacity, a built-in backup power supply function and claim to work in both on-grid and off-grid modes.

Available from May 2018 - Contact Trinabess for further information.

Features

  • Single (S) and 3-phase (T) options available
  • Modular system with 3kWh lithium NCA batteries
  • Up to maximum storage capacity of 18kWh.
  • 2 sizes available 5.2kW and 9.8 kW (3-phase) output power
  • IP65 weather rating on both inverter and battery
  • Warranty - 5 years inverter, 10 years battery

Limitations

  • Not a full UPS (up to 5 sec delay)
  • Cannot charge from solar in back-up mode (TBA)
  • No parallel capability

See full specifications of the TrinaBess T series here