Alpha-ESS - Battery Reviews

Finn's Alpha-ESS Batteries Review & Verdict

Finn Peacock has been a Chartered Electrical Engineer since 1998, and is ex-CSIRO

Alpha ESS make some of the cheapest battery systems approved for grid connection in Australia. If price is your only criteria when buying a battery system, then they are an option. But in my opinion, a low, low price should never be your only criteria when buying a home battery.

Feedback on Alpha ESS batteries from customers generally falls into two camps: 1) The battery is installed and working and they are happy with how little it cost. 2) They have had problems and are rather frustrated.

If I was looking for a cheaper battery, I'd personally choose to pay a bit more and get a Sungrow.

Alpha-ESS Batteries: Pros & Cons

  • The low price point.
  • A nice looking battery. Everything is behind a unified fa├žade which comes away easily to make for neat installation and easier servicing.
  • The cover arrangement lets you remove a whole brick from the wall and so feasibly run cables in a wall cavity.
  • Models available for DC coupled solar, with blackout protection and "black start" if you run the battery flat overnight.
  • Popularity means they're likely supported by (Virtual Power Plants) VPPs or power-sharing software.
  • Warranty support is proven and acknowledged to be embarrassingly lacklustre.
  • Some AlphaESS models have dismal surge capacity during a blackout.
  • Some models don't offer blackout protection.
  • "Some models" means there's a lot of different options to be confused with.
  • Technical support is poor in our experience.
  • Proper monitoring requires two consumption meters in many cases.
  • Review ratings are in the low four-stars (but trending better).
  • At the bottom end of the market in terms of price, they are more likely to be sold by shonks who don't offer decent after-sales support. Choose your installer wisely!

About Alpha-ESS

Energy storage manufacturer Alpha ESS was established in 2012. A Chinese company, it has offices in Australia, the UK, Germany and Italy.

In Australia, the main Alpha-ESS product line is the Storion SMILE5. This is an all-in-one unit, meaning the system includes batteries, a battery management system (BMS) and an inverter.

The battery modules used in the Storion SMILE5 are lithium iron phosphate chemistry; widely considered the safest type of lithium ion battery technology.  As far as we're aware, Alpha-ESS still sources battery modules from another Chinese company, EVE, which has been in the battery business since 2001. 

The Storion SMILE5 range is available in various capacities and AC/DC/Hybrid coupling options are available. As for power output, the SMILE5 series offers 5kW. This unit does have blackout protection capabilities.

Alpha ESS Warranty

The Alpha ESS SMILE 5 has 10-year product warranty on the batteries themselves, but the balance of the system only has five years warranty.

The performance warranty for Alpha ESS solar batteries guarantees a minimum of 80% of their original capacity after 10 years, assuming the system is connected to the internet and is only used for self-consumption. If the system is not internet connected, the warranty plummets to three years. 

If the system is used for purposes other than self-consumption, assumed to include use as part of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), the warranty will expire earlier - when total energy of 2.92MWh per kWh of usable capacity has been dispatched from the battery.

As for how strong the warranty backing is, we're aware of a situation where an Australian customer battled for months with Alpha ESS over a Storion OF5 warranty claim; which resulted in the owner sending a letter of complaint to the ACCC and Office of Fair Trading. 

If you're an Alpha-ESS battery owner, we'd really appreciate you adding your review by clicking the button towards the top of this page.

Alpha-ESS has 5 solar batteries in our database

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Battery Type 
Usable Storage 
Power 
All-In-One unit 
Off-grid capable 
Product Name
Approx Price
Battery Type
Usable Storage Capacity
Power
All-In-One unit
Off-grid capable
Alpha-ESS SMILE-B3-PLUS W
$4,000
4.79 kWh
3 kW
Yes
No
Alpha-ESS SMILE5 10.1 kWh W
$7,458
9.07 kWh
5 kW
Yes
Yes (back-up built in)
Alpha-ESS SMILE5 13.3 kWh W
$9,372
13.3 kWh
5 kW
Yes
Yes (back-up built in)
Alpha-ESS G3 10.1 kWh W
$8,500
9.6 kWh
5 kW
Yes
Yes (back-up built in), Can communicate with Generator
Alpha-ESS T10 W
$10,692
7.8 kWh
10 kW
Yes
Yes (back-up built in)

 

Alpha-ESS Reviews (112)

Show Most Relevant reviews from All time

  • 5 star 87
  • 4 star 11
  • 3 star 4
  • 2 star 3
  • 1 star 7

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The 5.04kWh Alpha ESS B3-Smile battery has performed well so far and has resulted in 89% self-sufficiency. The Alpha monitoring app is basic but functional. The monitoring dropped out but after re-configuring the WiFi settings is was re-instated and is now stable.

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Qcells solar panel review

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So very impressed with the installer and the follow up.
I love I can see how much charge it has and how any excess is fed back to the grid, that my house is using stored energy through the night. love it.

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Excellent awesome

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This 3 star review was removed at the request of the reviewer

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This 1 star review was removed at the request of the reviewer

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Once another company checked and rectified poor workmanship, the battery did a good job but i found the need to increase kw panels to 10kw from 5kw to make full use of battery, now almost totally grid free.

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Looks good working fine

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We went for a 10.1 kW (rated) battery and are probably getting at least 90% of that.
To qualify for the ACT Government battery rebate, we were required to enable an internet connection for the battery (which was immediate and very straightforward) and then pair it on-line with Evergen software (which took a few weeks, as it was over the Christmas holidays).
We were initially ambivalent about allowing third party software to access and potentially 'control' our battery, but it has been a very positive experience. The Alpha battery pairs very smoothly and sensibly with Evergen.
The software is constantly 'learning' our electricity usage habits and then guides the times of feed-in versus times of grid draw-down in order to maintain sufficient charge to last us through the night or an overcast rainy day, and to calculate the most economical time and quantity of charge to make available to the grid.
We are on a TOU electricity tariff and, if necessary (e.g. if it's been heavily overcast the previous day, or if we've had a dinner party or a big movie night the night before), the software enables the battery to top up in the early morning (i.e. at the cheapest TOU rates) so we almost always wake up to a battery that is charged enough to last us through the morning peak of usage and TOU tariff until the sun is high enough for the panels to start generating again.
We always have enough charge in the battery to cover the peak in evening activities, and only buy electricity from the grid at the cheapest TOU rates.

Panel Brand

Hyundai Solar solar panel review

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Very competitive price

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The 13.3kw Solar battery works well in harmony with the solar inverter and solar panels. Also provides timely and up to date information through the App, which installed on my mobile and iPad.

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Jinko Solar solar panel review

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Risen solar panel review

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Jinko Solar solar panel review

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Longi Solar solar panel review

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Risen solar panel review

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13.34kw battery keeps me off the grid.

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Longi Solar solar panel review

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The previous owner has installed this AlphaESS SMILE5 in 2019. I moved into the house in 2022. I have 1 year experience with the battery so far.

My experience as below
AlphaESS tech support with some slight confusion caused by the previous owner. Support was able to help me setup my own account and take over monitoring of the battery.
My SMILE5 from 2019 only has ethernet support(no WiFi) which isn't a problem for me.
There has been 2 or 3 instances of random black outs of 30 seconds. I havent been able to determine if it was a grid problem or not. I have contacted support and they havent been able to see anything in the logs
The battery does regular self checks/health checks and during that time my ceiling LED lights flicker very briefly.

The good - the app and monitoring website is constantly improving.

Despite those issues above, im happy with the product.

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Risen solar panel review

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JA Solar solar panel review

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Jinko Solar solar panel review

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EGing solar panel review

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The system app that was provided via this purchase (Alpha ESS) is very easy to use and provides real-time performance insights.

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Jinko Solar solar panel review

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Great during power failure, 10kw sees us through till the next morning.

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Longi Solar solar panel review

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Chint Solar Zhejiang solar panel review

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JA Solar solar panel review

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Canadian Solar Inc solar panel review

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Very easy to read , no noise and at night lights up the carport nicely

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Trina solar panel review

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Longi Solar solar panel review

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An incentive was offered by Clean and Green Solutions for this review. Learn more here.

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Jinko Solar solar panel review

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Trina solar panel review

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Blackout backup was included as part of this installation, in the event of a blackout we have power to our fridge and lights and can have the backup turned on when we are away so no need to worry about the fridge & freezer.

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Seraphim solar panel review

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Jinko Solar solar panel review

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Longi Solar solar panel review

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JA Solar solar panel review

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Jinko Solar solar panel review

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Seraphim solar panel review

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Risen solar panel review

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