Savant Power Storage 20 Review: A Home Battery With a Smart Approach – CNET

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6.0

Savant Power Storage 20

Like


  • High energy storage capacity

  • Powerful

  • Good efficiency

  • Smart energy features

  • Compatible with and without solar panels

Don’t like


  • Lacking modular sizing options

  • Lower depth of discharge

  • Expensive

The Savant Power Storage 20 isn’t just a clone of another popular battery. Instead, it takes a different approach to whole-home backup by giving you more control over the energy in your home. 

Savant Systems is no stranger to smart home technology. The company has tons of products in the smart home space, from security, entertainment, lighting and energy. One of Savant Systems’ most notable energy products is its Savant Power Modules, which gives you control of individual circuits in your electric panel. You’ll also be able to monitor and track the energy consumption of the circuits of your choosing. 

But one of Savant Systems’ newest innovations in the smart energy space is its Power Storage 20 battery. It’s not just a battery that stashes energy away for later. The Power Storage 20 is part of an intelligent smart energy ecosystem, giving you more control of your energy usage, helping you save money on electricity costs and making sure you still have power during an outage.    


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“What we’re really trying to do is to enable customers to have intelligent control over their power and have the ability to power every aspect of their home, regardless of what’s going on externally,” Dylan Rut, a senior project manager of energy storage systems at Savant Systems, told CNET.

We did not conduct any hands-on testing for this review. Batteries are part of a complex home energy system that varies between households. Instead, this review is based on publicly available information online from Savant Systems and interviews with Rut and Nicole Madonna, vice president of product management for power at Savant Systems. The interview was conducted at RE+ 2023, a renewable energy trade show. 

Here’s what you should know about the Savant Power Storage 20. 

What do I get with the Savant Power Storage 20?

You’re getting a lot of good stuff with the Power Storage 20: 18.5 kWh of usable capacity, an impressive continuous 12.5 kW power output and above-average system efficiency. The battery also comes with a 10-year warranty and helpful smart energy capabilities. The system itself is also narrow, meaning it won’t take up too much space in your garage. 

You can install the Power Storage 20 without solar panels as a standalone power source, but this system is better equipped to help you if you have solar. Here’s a quick look at some specs.

Savant Power Storage 20 specs

Category Description
Maximum capacity 20 kWh
Usable capacity 18.5 kWh
How much capacity can I stack? Up to 200 kWh (maximum capacity)
Round-trip efficiency 93.80%
Depth of discharge 90%
Continuous power output 12.5 kW
Battery chemistry Lithium iron phosphate
Price Starting at $19,500

System components

The Savant Power Storage 20 system is made up of three main components: the battery modules, inverter and power director. Let’s start with the battery modules. 

The Power Storage 20 features a modular design, so the actual “battery” part of the Power Storage 20 is actually a bunch of smaller batteries installed together inside an enclosure. There are eight battery modules in total. Each module holds up to 2.5 kWh of energy and can be easily slid in and out of the main enclosure. It’s almost like pulling out a drawer in a dresser or a filing cabinet. 

One of the biggest benefits of a modular battery design is that it’s typically easier to install. Lifting a small 2.5 kWh battery is a lot easier than lifting a giant 20 kWh battery. All the modules also come with pre-wired connections.

“For the actual [energy storage system], you can do it in less than an hour, and that was with one individual,” Rutt said. “Because every single component is 100 pounds or less.” 

The inverter sits at the top of the system, right on top of the battery modules. It’s a 12.5 kW inverter, so it’s plenty capable of handling more intense loads, like your electric vehicle or HVAC. But the inverter’s main job is to take the DC electricity that your solar panels generate and turn it into AC electricity that your home can use.

The last component is the power director. This is a little box that sits on the wall next to the main battery system. The power director functions as a sort of middleman between the battery and your house. It runs energy management software, interfaces with the app to connect it with the rest of the system and communicates with any smart energy circuits you have.

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Sarah Drolet/CNET

Capacity and modularity 

Capacity is one of the easier specs to understand in the world of energy storage. Your battery’s capacity is the amount of energy (usually measured in kWh) that you can stash away in your battery. There are two types of capacity measurements to watch out for: maximum and usable. 

Maximum capacity is the absolute maximum amount of energy your battery can hold, while usable capacity is the amount of energy you’re actually able to use from your battery’s maximum capacity. The Savant Power Storage 20 has a rated maximum capacity of 20 kWh and a usable capacity of 18.5 kWh. If you’re after a lot of energy storage, this could be an option for you.

When reviewing batteries, we also look at how modular they are. Batteries with a modular design feature a bunch of smaller batteries connected to one another and, usually, placed inside an enclosure. Modular batteries are typically easier to install, but the biggest advantage is more freedom to choose a capacity that’s “just right” for your home’s energy needs. And if you still have room for more small battery modules in the enclosure, you’ll be able to upgrade your battery’s capacity without having to buy another large battery unit.

The Power Storage 20 is made up of eight small 2.5 kWh batteries. And while this technically means the Power Storage 20 is modular, it’s really by design only. The Power Storage 20 doesn’t offer multiple capacity options on a single unit – you get 18.5 kWh of usable capacity per Power Storage 20 unit. 

“Right now you need all eight [batteries] for the system to operate,” Madonna said. “But we are looking at bringing flexibility so that you can go ‘half-populated’ for a lower price point, and have more options.”

If you find yourself needing a capacity upgrade, you’ll have to buy another 18.5 kWh unit. Capacity is scalable up to 200 kWh (of maximum capacity).

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Sarah Drolet/CNET

Performance and efficiency

There are more wins in the Savant Power Storage 20’s performance than losses. Let’s start with its round-trip efficiency, a measure of how much energy actually makes it to storage without getting lost. The Storage 20 has a round-trip efficiency rating of 93.8%. The average round-trip efficiency for lithium-ion based home batteries is around 90%, so the Storage 20 doesn’t do too bad in the efficiency department.

An area where the Storage 20 does even better, however, is power output. The higher your continuous power output, the more of your home you’ll be able to keep up and running during an outage. The Storage 20 has an incredibly high continuous power output, at 12.5 kW. This makes the Storage 20 one of the most powerful residential batteries we’ve ever seen. 

“Our desire to be able to deliver whole-home backup, and having that high power output was definitely one of the key considerations for these solutions for us,” Rut said.

Depth of discharge is the amount of energy you’re actually able to use from your battery, relative to its maximum capacity. Or in other words, the amount of energy you can safely discharge from your battery without causing damage to the battery. The average depth of discharge we’ve seen falls around about 95%. The Storage 20’s depth of discharge is a bit lower than average, at 90%.

Performance and efficiency details

Round-trip efficiency Depth of discharge Continuous power output
93.80% 90% 12.5 kW

Warranty details 

In terms of warranty, the Storage 20 is fairly average. The battery is covered for 10 years, which is standard. And the Storage 20’s cycle life is fairly standard as well, but there are other manufacturers that guarantee a longer cycle life. There are plenty of other batteries on the market that cover a larger cycle count. But the end-of-warranty capacity guarantee you get with the Storage 20 is a little higher than the 70% industry standard, which is nice to see.

Warranty details

Years covered Cycles covered End-of-warranty capacity guarantee
10 6,000 75%

Years covered: This is the length of time your battery is covered under warranty. Note that if you hit your battery’s covered cycle count, your warranty expires, even if you still have a few years left under warranty. 

Cycles covered: This is the number of cycles your battery is covered for. Every time you fully drain and recharge your battery, it counts as a cycle. If you exceed your covered cycle count, in this case 6,000, your warranty expires.  

End-of-warranty capacity guarantee: Your battery won’t be able to retain its original capacity throughout its lifetime. An end-of-warranty capacity guarantee is the manufacturer’s promise that your battery will still be able to hold up to a certain percentage of its original maximum capacity by the time your warranty period is over. Savant Systems guarantees that your battery will be able to retain up to 75% of its original starting capacity by the end of your warranty.

Savant app

Like most batteries you’ll see on the market, the Storage 20 can be controlled and monitored via an app. But unlike other batteries, the Storage 20 is part of a smart energy ecosystem. This means if you’ve got other Savant products in your home, like Savant Power Modules or lighting, they can all coexist on one app. You’ll likely get the most out of this app if you have solar, storage and Savant Power Modules. 

This kind of setup will give you the most control over your energy usage, as well as more ways to help you offset high electricity rates and data on just how much energy you’re using in certain areas of your home. You’ll be producing your own electricity with solar, have access to a reservoir to store said electricity to power your home wherever and whenever you need it and the Savant Power Modules connect to individual circuits in your electrical panel, giving you full control (and a data visualization) of whichever circuits in your home that you want.

But this sort of “ideal scenario” can get expensive, so if you’d rather just stick with the battery, that’s fine too. You’ll still be able to monitor and control your battery with the Savant app.   

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Sarah Drolet/CNET

How much does the Savant Power Storage 20 cost?

The Power Storage 20 definitely isn’t the cheapest battery out there. The battery alone starts at $19,500, according to Savant. If you want to add some of Savant’s other smart energy products or solar panels to the mix, the cost gets much higher. If you already have solar on your roof, then adding the Power Storage 20 to your home will likely be less of a financial burden than buying everything all at once. 

We found the price of the battery to be relatively fair for what you’re getting — 18.5 kWh of usable capacity, a powerful 12.5 kW inverter and some pretty intense smart home energy features. A general rule of thumb to follow with battery pricing is that you can usually expect to pay somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 per kilowatt-hour of energy storage.  

Is the Savant Power Storage 20 my best choice?

Because energy needs vary from home to home, there’s no such thing as the “best” battery. The best battery is one that aligns with your energy needs and accomplishes what you want it to. However, if you’re looking for a battery with some intense smart energy features, then the Savant Power Storage 20 might actually be one of your best options. You’ll also get a powerful inverter and 18.5 kWh of usable capacity. The Power Storage 20 isn’t cheap though, starting at $19,500. 

But if you don’t care about the smart home stuff, you’ll likely be able to find a battery that meets your needs at a cheaper price. The Power Storage 20 is only one of the many batteries on today’s market. You’ve got options, so take some time to look at other batteries, and don’t settle for the first one that meets your budget. Getting multiple quotes from multiple installers in your area could save you thousands of dollars. 

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Sarah Drolet/CNET

Frequently asked questions

How do I install the Savant Power Storage 20?

If you’re interested in the Power Storage 20, your best bet is to contact Savant directly by filling out the project consultation form. From there, you’ll be contacted by a Savant representative who will give you a personal smart home consultation.

Is the Savant Power Storage 20 eligible for the federal solar tax credit?

Yes. Any battery will qualify as long as it can store at least 3 kWh of energy and is installed in 2023 or later.

What is the storage capacity of the Savant Power System 20?

The Power Storage 20 has a rated capacity of 20 kWh, but you’ll only have access to 18.5 kWh.

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