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Efficient balcony power plant battery with a special twist

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Efficient balcony power plant battery with a special twist

Balcony power plants are very popular in Germany, but many people give away a lot of self-produced energy. You simply cannot always use them directly. Battery storage was developed precisely for this case, with which you can temporarily store the electricity generated for later. This time I was able to use SolMate to look at a balcony power plant battery that does not come from China, but from Austria. I noticed several positive things.

EET SolMate in the test: conclusion

SolMate from EET has me in the first place as a balcony power plant battery impresses with its high efficiency, stylish design and easy installation. I didn’t have any major problems during the test period of several weeks. The battery storage always worked. Although I wasn’t able to try out the battery heater, according to the manufacturer, the battery storage is also suitable for operation in winter at temperatures down to -20 degrees.

After a few weeks of use I had for a few days vconnection problems with the app. SolMate worked, I saw that on the external WiFi socket, but in order to establish an app connection I had to switch the memory on and off again for three days. That was really annoying. According to the manufacturer, this can happen very rarely. After three days of problems, the connection was stable again and the problem has not reoccurred.

Compared to many other battery storage systems, SolMate has a socket installed, which means a Island operation is possible if the power goes out. That’s a huge advantage. I would only have liked the 1,440 Wh battery to be a little larger at the asking price of 1,695 euros (check out EET). At least 2,000 Wh would be ideal considering the competition. The SolMate battery will be expandable in a new version in the future. I have already been informed of this. When it comes to the price, you shouldn’t forget that the inverter is already integrated and that the company manufactures it in Austria.

Check out the EET SolMate from the manufacturer

Advantages:

All-in-one designSufficient batteryHeating functionFuture-proofCan be used in the event of a power outage

Disadvantages:

Not expandableApp connection issuesNo carrying handles

Everything in one case

SolMate comes in one stylish all-in-one design, where everything is actually built into the housing – including an inverter. All that remains is to connect the solar modules, which can have an output of up to 2,000 watts. If you buy a model with solar modules from EET, then they are perfectly adapted to the battery storage. Otherwise, the company specifies in the instructions how you can connect four solar modules, for example.

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On the back there are all inputs for connecting the solar modules, a power cable and a USB-C port for the optional WiFi stick. (Image source: GIGA)

All operational connections are located on the back under a magnetic cover. You can do it there Connect solar modules via XT60 cable, who are right there. They are also long enough if your solar panels are installed further away. Optionally you will find a USB-C port to which you can mount a WLAN stick. You can also plug in the connection cable for the socket.

I installed SolMate on the stand, which you can set up freely. This works quite well, even if the battery is tilted slightly forward in my case. But he doesn’t fall over. Alternatively, you can also mount the battery firmly on the wall. A display is not built in, but you can get one on the side different colored LEDs provide information about the status of the battery displayed.

Island operation possible

The EET SolMate has a socket and also works independently of the power grid. (Image source: GIGA)

In contrast to many other balcony power plant batteries SolMate can continue to be used in the event of a power outage. There is a rotary switch on the side that you can flip and switch to island operation.

The mode of the EET SolMate can be selected using the rotary switch. (Image source: GIGA)

You can get energy via a socket, which is located under a cover on the side. You can use this to access up to 1,000 watts. The power is sufficient to provide at least some energy in an emergency.

The LiFePO4 battery has a capacity of 1,440 Wh. This puts SolMate in the middle of the field. A comparable product from Zendure has 2,400 Wh on board. However, the inverter is not permanently installed there and isolated operation in an emergency is not possible. Personally, I got through the night well with a base load of 90 watts. During the test period, the weather was not always optimal. However, on a few days I was still able to completely fill the battery. When the battery is full and the sun continues to shine, the surplus is fed in completely.

EET specifies a lifespan of 6,000 charging cycles and 15 years for the battery. No other manufacturer offers more to date. This means that the storage should actually pay for itself over time.

Very efficient

LEDs show what the status of the EET SolMate is. (Image source: GIGA)

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Particularly on cloudy days, the wheat is separated from the chaff. This then shows how efficiently the systems work. Many models from China simply do not show any solar power production at all in low light. SolMate is completely different. Even a few watts are displayed and fed in. So nothing is lost. While the EET model spits out the first watts early in the morning, other models are still in deep sleep and display nothing.

I connected various solar modules to test. These include four flexible solar modules with 100 watts, two classic 400 watt solar modules with foil on the back and two 430 watt bifacial solar modules. From each of the modules has SolMate always gets a little more out of it than other inverters. And even with little and a lot of sunshine, the yield was always slightly higher. The integrated inverter works excellently. This means no energy is lost.

Clear app

Setting up the MySolMate app is very easy. All you have to do is enter the relevant data and connect to the SolMate’s WiFi beforehand. It didn’t work the first time, but the second time the connection was suddenly there.

You can see exactly how much energy you produce and where it goes in the MySolMate app. You can also adjust the feed-in power. (Image source: GIGA)

The app itself is very simple. On the main page you can see the current energy flow. At a glance you can see how much energy your solar modules generate and where the energy goes. Depending on the sunlight, into the battery or directly into the house network – or both. You can also look at the performance of the last few days and weeks, what milestones you have achieved and set your settings.

Within the test period, I was able to harvest almost 20 kWh of energy with 800 watt solar panels and didn’t waste any energy. (Image source: GIGA)

You really can’t go wrong there. Everything is self-explanatory.

Unfortunately it wasn’t cold enough so I don’t know if the display changes when the battery heater is active. I would still find that exciting. In general, the solar output was a bit poor during the weeks of the test period. Nevertheless, the system worked reliably.

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I’ve already been able to try out some new app features. (Image source: GIGA)

Shortly before the end of the test, EET provided me with a new version of the MySolMate app in which I was able to try out some new features:

Boost: You can release more power for a certain time with the push of a button. For example, when cooking or when you turn on the oven. I actually find this very practical and it works. The time of the boost can be set.Feed profiles: You can also create profiles for the feed. This way you can determine exactly when and how much power should be available. At night, for example, only the base load. Once set, you can use the energy even better.

So the development continues and there could be more to come.

That bothered me

Even though SolMate convinced me as a balcony power storage system, there were a few points that bothered me:

No carrying handles: Although the design of the SolMate is very beautiful and high-quality, the heavy and bulky memory is very difficult to carry. There are simply no recesses or handles to grab the storage. The rounded housing makes it even more difficult.Connection problems: During the test, the connection to the SolMate via app no ​​longer worked reliably for around three days. The instructions say that the connection can be broken if the sun no longer shines and the battery is empty, but it should be reestablished automatically. But that didn’t happen reliably. The memory itself worked normally, I read it from the WiFi socket in the garden. But the app no ​​longer got a connection. As soon as I turned the memory off and on, the connection was back on. According to the manufacturer, there were actually problems with the server on the days I described. So that could have been the issue. However, the problem is mentioned more frequently in the app reviews of the MySolMate app in the Google Play Store. I assume that the capacities will be increased over time so that the connection remains stable. As I said, the memory still worked.

Otherwise, I was actually pleasantly surprised that the memory just worked like that. This is not always the case with balcony power plant batteries, which are a relatively new phenomenon.

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