KiloVault continues to push the envelope with its excellent lithium solar batteries. With product lines for infinite off-grid applications, KiloVault is a wise investment for any solar power storage system.
Through our rigorous testing and research, we at Shop Solar Kits have become a leading voice in the DIY solar generation market. In this complete KiloVault review, we break down KiloVault’s technology and products to help determine if its batteries are the ideal solar storage solution for your van, RV, or off-grid home.
A Brief History of KiloVault Batteries
If this is your first time reading a KiloVault review, let’s quickly bring you up to speed. KiloVault is a relatively new manufacturer of lithium-based solar energy storage solutions. Despite its infancy, the company has received a lot of positive attention over the past few years with each of its product releases.
KiloVault Battery Product Lines
In 2021, KiloVault has a handful of product lines, a few of which contain models of varying storage capacities. With so many acronyms and numbers describing each unit, it can be difficult to know which battery is best for your electricity demand.
To make it easier for you, we're focusing on three main lithium solar batteries engineered for easy and efficient off-grid solar storage:
- The Hab 7.5
- The HLX
- And the CHLX
The HAB 7.5
First, let’s look at the HAB 7.5. This unit is a wall-mounted massive solar storage battery with premium features. KiloVault delivers the best technology available today with built-in Wi-Fi to manage battery performance, inverter communication, and safety features integrated into the system.
The HAB 7.5 comes with a 10-year limited warranty, which is among the longest protection periods for lithium batteries of this size. Rated at over 4,000 cycles with a huge 7500 Wh storage capacity, the HAB 7.5 will store a lot of solar throughout a full lifetime. Plus, you can chain this device with up to 14 other batteries in a parallel connection. Now, that is an insane amount of power!
Perhaps the only drawback to the HAB 7.5 is its massive weight of 207 lbs (94 kg). Thankfully, a sturdy wall mount keeps this battery in place, freeing up floor space in a confined RV or cabin. Once mounted, users can enjoy the maintenance-free life of this lithium battery without lifting a finger.
Here are the key features for the KiloVault HAB 7.5:
- “Trouble-free” wall mount
- Capacity: 7500 Wh
- Lifecycles: ≥4000 cycles
- Connect up to 14 batteries modules in a parallel
- 10 year limited warranty
- Charging Temperature: 32 to 113°F (0 to 45°C)
- Discharging (Use Temperature): -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)
- Storage Temperatures: -4 to 110°F (-20 to 45°C)
- Min/Max Voltage: 48V to 59V
The HLX Series
Next, we look at the KiloVault HLX Series. The HLX comes in two different models: the 1800 HLX and the 3600 HLX, each defined by its storage capacities in watt-hours. Both models are rated at a voltage of 12.8 DC and provide continuous discharge currents of 150A (the 3600 HLX can also discharge up to 200A for 30 minutes).
Both the 1800 Wh or 3600 Wh HLX would make a great lithium battery in a small solar energy system. Compared to similar-sized batteries, the HLX is light at roughly 42 and 84 pounds, respectively. If you need a bit more storage, you can chain it to one, two, or three other batteries in a 24, 36, or 48V configuration. You can chain the HLX with up to four parallel strings of four batteries in a series; however, wiring a system like that is both timely and expensive.
Above all, the HLX makes a great standalone battery for solar energy systems in RVs, vans, school buses, and small off-grid applications. You can track the HLX’s capacity and performance via Bluetooth with the company’s companion app for Android or iOS. Along with a 7.5-year warranty, 5,000 lifecycle rating (@80% DoD), and a heavy-duty casing, the HLX is a high-quality battery guaranteed for long periods of worry-free performance.
Here are the key features of the KiloVault HLX:
- Capacity: 1800 Wh & 3600 Wh
- Weight: 41.7 lbs (18.9kg) & 84.4 lbs (38.3 kg)
- Charging Temperature: 32 – 113°F (0 – 45°C)
- Discharging (Use Temperature): -4 – 140°F (-20 – 60°C)"
- Max Charge Current: 150A
- Lifecycles at 100% Depth of Discharge: 2,000
- Life Cycles at 80% Depth of Discharge: 5,000
- 7.5 Year Warranty
The CHLX Series
The CHLX series is a lot like the HLX series but with one key difference. Without knowing for sure, we think that the “C” in CHLX might stand for “cold” because these batteries are possibly the best cold-rated lithium batteries on the market today. Much like the HLX, KiloVault currently sells an 1800 Wh and a 3600 Wh model of the CHLX battery.
Obviously, the defining feature of the CHLX is its ability to charge when outside temperatures get below freezing. A look at the spec sheet indicates that the CHLX can only charge from 32 – 113°F (0 – 45°C), so this may cause a bit of confusion. KiloVault has included a smart heater system within the battery box to raise its internal temperature, despite outside conditions.
With this, KiloVault has eliminated the risk for electricity storage and generation in low-temperature settings. If you rely on an electric heater in a cabin or RV, then the CHLX series ensures that you have power and can generate more electricity when temperatures reach low unsafe levels. While this luxury adds extra cost, users can enjoy the benefits of the HLX series with extra protection against cold weather.
Pros of the KiloVault Batteries
Across the board, there are many great things to say about KiloVault batteries. The company has premiered high-quality lithium-based storage solutions with modern features and continuous innovation.
To start, DIY solar builders in (or occasionally in) cold-weather areas should strongly consider the CHLX battery. With its internal heater, solar energy generation and storage are more possible than ever, even in extreme climate conditions.
Beyond the CHLX, all of KiloVault’s batteries have a good working discharge and storage temperature rating. Compared to lead-acid batteries or even cheaper lithium-ion models, KiloVault batteries are well protected against both hot and cold temperatures.
6 Month Shelf Life, Slow Self Discharge Rate
In all of KiloVaults’ batteries, the technology allows for a discharge rate of less than or equal to 2% of the stored capacity. While most people investing in KiloVault batteries use them daily, this low discharge rate allows the company to boast a 6-month shelf life in these massive storage banks. Although 6 months is not necessarily revolutionary, it is on par with the other top brands of today.
Expected Life Cycles
Speaking of great battery life, the expected life cycle count is one of the most impressive features of KiloVault storage systems. With 5,000 cycles @ 80% for the HAB and 4,000 @ 80% for the HLX and CHLX, daily users can expect over a decade of strong battery performance.
In comparison, the Lion Energy Safari 1300 has an 80% DoD rating for 3,500 cycles. While this difference may not seem like a lot, 500 more cycles before replacement implies a much greater return on investment for KiloVault batteries.
Cons of KiloVault Batteries
Of course, in the highly competitive lithium-ion battery market, there are a few drawbacks of KiloVault’s products that may make other batteries a better choice for individual circumstances.
KiloVault batteries are far from the cheapest battery on the market. Truthfully, like many things, you get what you pay for in a KiloVault battery. The high price tag is the sum of many premium features, components, and ongoing support. The initial start-up cost is quite high, but when you consider you get over a decade of use, KiloVault batteries are a wise investment in long-term power storage.
If cost is the primary barrier between you and your KiloVolt batteries, you may want to explore cheaper lithium-ion batteries from AIMS, SimpliPhi, Lion Energy, and other brands. While lead-acid and gel batteries are cheaper and okay for simple solar energy systems, lithium-ion batteries guarantee superior ease of use and an overall better return on investment.
Next, the heavy protection and large battery management system make KiloVault batteries extremely heavy. The HAB 7.5 is so massive, it needs to be mounted on a wall, which could be either handy or extremely inconvenient, based on where you need power. Likewise, the HLX and CHLX batteries are well-protected against external damage but difficult to transport as a result.
If you are counting every pound to make your storage banks easily transportable, it’s good to know that KiloVault Batteries typically outweigh their competitors. For instance, this 3.8 kWh Simpliphi lithium battery offers slightly more storage with less overall weight than the 3600 HLX or CHLX.
Limited Series Connections
Many off-grid solar enthusiasts love modular systems that can recharge countless batteries of renewable energy storage. While the HAB 7.5 is usually large enough on its own, additional units can also be chained together to provide multiple MW of solar power storage. In the HLX and CHLX models, however, adding extra storage capacity is somewhat limited.
In these two batteries, users can only connect four in a series (up to 48V) before having to wire in a separate parallel connection. In a residential setting, you may want to consider a modular solar generator and battery system, such as the Titan, for the easiest charging and storage of multiple battery packs.
After a complete KiloVault review, we can honestly conclude that KiloVault batteries may be the best lithium solar batteries for a few specific applications. While cheaper and lighter batteries may be better for many users, the premium features of KiloVault batteries make them a great option for off-grid storage, especially in cold weather areas.