Kohler Power Reserve takes on Tesla Powerwall with modular home battery

Power outages, freak weather events, and a crumbling grid have led many in the US to question just how reliable their electricity supply is, and Kohler may have just the home storage battery system to settle some of those fears. While the brand may be most commonly associated with faucets and the like, the Power Reserve Energy Storage System being shown off at CES 2022 sees it branch out into Tesla Powerwall territory.

You can think of such systems as akin to a portable power bank that you might use to top up a smartphone on the move, only with much bigger capacities and being designed for pro-installation in the home. Kohler's approach is modular, and the company will have three different sizes of battery pack – 10 kWh, 15 kWh, and 20 kWh – which can be mixed and matched together.

Kohler is positioning Power Reserve as the ideal accompaniment to a solar system, and we've seen with other products just how much that combination can make sense. Excess power generated during the daytime can be banked and used at night, for example. It'll work both with new and existing solar panel setups, and is designed to be platform-agnostic and work with just about any brand.

However, even those without solar might still be interested. Power Reserve can also work with the regular electricity grid: for example, it could be set to charge up automatically when off-peak power pricing is low, and then use that energy for the home when the grid switches to more expensive rates. It could also be used as a battery backup during grid outages.

The Kohler Power Reserve app offers all those settings, with the choice of backup, self-supply, time-of-use, or custom operations to adjust under which conditions the batteries charge or discharge. The app also has a timeline of power information, showing when the system charged, when its reserve was tapped, and the historical usage for the home.

As for why you might want to go with Kohler's system rather than, say, a Tesla Powerwall, the company says Power Reserve is smaller than most rivals. It can be installed inside or outdoors, and as the units are modular there's support for expanding how much capacity you have overall. A basic, more affordable system might have just enough power stored to keep the essential appliances running in an unexpected outage, whereas a larger system could keep the whole home ticking along as normal with no use of the grid whatsoever.

The lithium iron phosphate batteries have a 10 year warranty, and the system can be installed in either an AC-Coupled or DC-Coupled configuration. The Kohler Power Reserve Energy Storage System will go on sale later this year. The 10 kWh unit is expected to be priced at $13,325, the 15 kWh unit at $18,720, and the 20 kWh unit at $23,440, and Kohler will also have transfer switches to handle the switchover between grid and battery power.