Click and play: Briggs & Stratton SimpliPHI 6.6 battery overview

Briggs and Stratton Simpliphi 6.6 battery

Briggs & Stratton Energy Solutions debuted the new wire-free SimpliPHI 6.6 LFP battery system this month, which seemingly leaps beyond the “plug-and-play” cliché for an even simpler “click-and-play” design.

Key to the SimpliPHI 6.6 are self-guiding RapidStak connectors that simply click together as the batteries are stacked. Assembly of the SimpliPHI 6.6 battery system takes only five minutes, with all power and communications automatically linked upon stacking.

“Imagine stackable batteries that just clicked together with no wires, eliminating the hassle of measuring, cutting and adding wires when installing batteries. Simply put, the SimpliPHI 6.6 battery is arguably the industry’s fastest battery to install,” said Tom Rugg, president of the company, during an April 17 webinar.

One SimpliPHI battery in the stack provides 5.6 kW of continuous power over 6.65 kWh, with over 100 amps of discharge current. Up to six stacks of three batteries can be integrated for 119.7 kWh of energy at up to 275 amps per three-battery stack.

The 125-pound battery will begin to ship in May.

Briggs & Stratton & SimpliPHI

“The US Department of Defense has used SimpliPHI batteries to deliver safe and quiet mission critical infrastructure power on forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan with a zero percent failure rate,” noted Sequoya Cross, the Vice President of Energy Storage at Briggs & Stratton.

Briggs & Stratton acquired SimpliPHI in 2021 and announced integration of business, market strategy and brand in mid-2023. Briggs & Stratton, in business for 115 years, offers a 10-year warranty on the battery.

Long known for its robust design, the SimpliPHI LFP battery has an expected life of 6,000 cycles with 96% depth of discharge and 70% remaining capacity.

“The battery line now includes the PHI 3.8-M, AmpliPHI 3.8-M, SimpliPHI 4.9 kWh and SimpliPHI 6.6 kWh,” observed Clement Feng, the Vice President of Product Management for Briggs & Stratton Energy Solutions, during the webinar.

SimpliPHI 6.6 battery costs and specs

Briggs & Stratton Simpliphi 6.6

Another key feature is competitive cost, Cross points out. “The MSRP for a single SimpliPHI 6.6 battery is $2,849. We estimate we’re 25% less expensive than competitive batteries before incentives,” she said. A complete package, including a single 6.6 battery, the battery control box, a ground or wall base, and the SimpliPHI 6 kW hybrid inverter and gateway has an MSRP of $7,700, she said. “The levelized cost of energy of a SimpliPHI 13.3 kWh stack is roughly eight cents per kilowatt hour over the lifetime [of 10 years],” she added.

The control and monitoring system for the 6.6 is EnergyTrak, a mobile app that delivers real-time status and updates “with intuitive control over the entire SimpliPHI Energy Storage System (ESS).” EnergyTrak offers robust cybersecurity, fast five-step ESS commissioning, system notifications and domestic data warehousing, the company states. The system can operate on WiFi or be hardwired, with automatic over-the-air firmware updates.

Simpliphi EnergyTrak

The operational temperature range of the 6.6 system is broad. The 6.6 system does not include a separate heater, but rather is capable of engaging in a trickle charge mode that adds protective heat to the battery.

“We can actually charge the battery at -10 degrees C (14 degrees Fahrenheit),” noted Cross. “That allows us to charge up the battery without the concern of degradation that you might have seen in other battery technologies. Additionally, we can discharge this battery at its full discharge rate up to about negative 20 degrees C. So that’s giving people a wider range in which they can operate this battery.

The 6.6 system does not require a separate transfer switch for isolation from the grid since the inverters have internal transfer switches. “So, when the grid goes down, what actually happens is, the inverter is no longer sensing frequency from the grid, and a transfer switch internal to the inverter will switch it over to battery power in less than eight milliseconds,” noted Cross.

Since the inverter for the SimpliPHI 6.6 system is external to the battery, load options are greater than for competitive systems with internally tied inverters, Cross said.

“When you have an inverter that’s integrated into your battery, you’re really limited by the relationship between the two pieces of equipment. For instance, the Tesla Powerwall 2 has a 5 kW inverter, so you might be getting 13 kWh of storage, but you can really only have instantaneous power of about 5 kW. We’re able to utilize a wide variety of inverter pairings with our batteries by decoupling the two pieces of equipment,” she said.

Support for the SimpliPHI 6.6 system is U.S.-based, Cross stressed. “Our U.S.-based technical support team can ‘be there’ for installers or homeowners when they have questions; we can get those concerns addressed right away,” she said. “Additionally, we have testing and validation, as well as R&D that’s based here in the U.S. So any time that there’s a concern about a battery, we have the ability to test it immediately and make sure that it’s running perfectly.”

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