Home battery storage, combined with a rooftop solar system, has revolutionized domestic energy solutions. Whether you are passionate about the green energy or tired of high utility bills, home battery systems like the Sonnen battery storage lets you store and enjoy clean energy throughout the day. The Sonnen battery system manages energy use throughout the day, detecting and storing excess power for use at night. It is easily adaptable to every household’s specific energy needs. The battery comes in a variety of storage capacities and configurations for ease of expansion and extendibility.
About Sonnen Company
Founded in 2010 in Germany, Sonnen is a leading residential lithium battery manufacturer in Europe. Also known as sonnenBatterie, the company is the world’s leading home battery systems manufacturer, surpassing even LG and Tesla. Sonnen batteries feature self-learning algorithms that regulate it charging and supply functionalities.
Inside Sonnen Battery Storage Unit
Each Sonnen battery system is made up of individual of 2.5 Kilo Watt hour (kWh) lithium battery modules. The modules are linked together in varying capacities from 2 kWh to 16kWh. Like any other lithium battery unit, its usable capacity is rated at 90 percent of total capacity. Thus, a 10kWh Sonnen battery is expected to offer 9kWh of “accessible” energy at peak performance.
Sonnen batteries utilize Lithium Ferro phosphate or LFP cells. Manufactured by Sony, these are some of the most reliable and durable cells available in the market. Additionally, Sonnen batteries are backed by a 10-year, 10,000 cycle warranty. And since the Sony cells come at premium features, Sonnen batteries tend to be one of the most expensive yet durable brands in the market.
Why Sonnen Battery?
There are a ton of reasons why Sonnen batteries are popular, not least because it utilizes the Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) that makes it scalable by packaging it in a compact system while avoiding unnecessary extras like the ability of the PV to continue functioning when there is a power outage. Here are some of the reasons why this German-made Lithium battery is a favorite among green energy enthusiasts.
- Design and efficiency
As already mentioned, Sonnen battery cells are manufactured by Sony using Fortelion battery technology. This makes Sonnen batteries up to 98% efficient. Other features of this battery include an inbuilt Battery Management System that controls State of Charge, temperature and voltage, and the AC coupled charger.
- Quality control
This battery is built to meet German and the EU’s safety guidelines for lithium battery systems’ storage and disposal. Every unit is taken through robust inspection and testing. Additionally, it is manufactured with an inbuilt multi-layered safety system.
- Modular system for enhanced flexibility
The minimum entry system comes with 2kWh usable battery capacity. This can be expanded in increments of 2kWh to the maximum 16kWh. Additionally, it is possible to retro-fit optional extras like the Emergency Power Supply.
- The comprehensive online energy management platform
Sonnen batteries are managed via an online portal system that has more functionalities than simple battery management systems. Functionalities include export limitation and intelligent charging (subject to DNO approval). This lets the battery adjust usage patterns in response to changes in weather and solar intensity.
- 10-year warranty, 10,000 life cycles
Sonnen ECO battery is one of the few battery systems that come with a 10-year warranty and a service life of 10,000 life cycles.
- Optional emergency power supply
Sonnen battery comes with an Emergency Power Supply option for back-up during power cuts. Standard batteries do not come with this feature.
- Lowest lifetime cost per kWh
Sonnen battery storage system offers value for money by giving buyers the best “lifetime cost per kWh of stored energy.” Even with its numerous market-leading features, the Sonnen battery is still competitively priced.
- Excellent design
Both space and aesthetic appearance are important considerations in residential properties. Sonnen batteries are superbly designed with these factors in mind. Smaller systems can be hung on the wall to cut back on space utility within the home.
Sonnen Battery Storage Options
Sonnen produces two different battery solutions based on applications. The Sonnen ECO that can be retrofitted to a property that has a preexisting solar system and the Sonnen Hybrid, which is an all-in-one unit.
- The Sonnen ECO – Modular Lithium battery system
This system is much like Tesla’s Powerwall 2 as it is an AC battery with an inbuilt power inverter. However, unlike Powerwall 2 which only comes in one size, Sonnen ECO is made up of 2 kWh battery modules. Its storage capacity ranges from 2 kWh up to 16 kWh. However, the power output is significantly limited at 3.3kW for both charge and discharge. This means that a 15 kWh capacity battery may take around 4 hours to charge, which may be a challenge during short winter days or when the solar panels are obstructed by shading. Sonnen ECO is an excellent addition for properties that have a preexisting solar system.
How Sonnen ECO Works
The Sonnen ECO is a perfect pairing for a solar system especially if your power bills are quite low or not metering. Investing in Sonnen battery storage solution allows you to sustain power supply during the day or night.
As with other home energy solutions, the Sonnen ECO is designed for day-to-day’s domestic energy use and is usually paired with the home’s solar system. When your solar system generates more electricity than you need, the excess energy is stored in the battery units rather than being released into the grid. Later when your panels are unable to generate enough energy, you can power your home using the energy stored in your Sonnen battery rather than buying it from your utility provider.
Normally, the energy generation process happens during the day when the sun is high, and your solar panels can convert light energy into electricity. During this time, surplus energy is stored in your Sonnen battery storage system. As night sets in, your solar panel production decreases hence you have to turn the electricity stored in the batteries to power your home. Essentially, Sonnen battery helps you balance out your electricity generation and usage throughout the day.
Sonnen Battery Requires an Inverter
Sonnen battery, like most battery systems, requires a solar inverter to work with a solar array. Since the Sonnen ECO is an AC coupled battery, it is compatible with all inverters as long as the inverter is capable of charging the battery at the recommended amount of time. Depending on location and energy consumption, you will at minimum require a 4 kW solar array to charge your battery and power your household appliances. Always work with an accredited solar designer and installer when selecting your solar array or solar energy storage system.
Sonnen ECO Features
- Blackout backup power add-on
- Strong, powerful, and affordable
- All-on-one battery solution
- 5 kWh to 15 kWh capacity
- Compatible with every solar power system
- 3-phase option available
- No need for inverter upgrade when expanding
- User-friendly and powerful system monitoring
- Perfect for indoor installation
- Available in 4 colors - black, white, or silver
The Sonnen Hybrid – All-in-One Energy System
The Sonnen Hybrid is an all-in-one hybrid system that comes with the battery, charger, and a solar inverter, all in one simple unit. This hybrid unit has a nominal inverter rating of 5.5 kW (3 phase) and a maximum solar PV capacity of 6.4kW. However, its inverter charging and discharging is still limited to 3.3kW. For commercial properties that require 3 phase systems, the Sonnen battery can be set up in clusters of up to 45 kWh capacities.
The Sonnen battery operates at -2 to 65 degrees centigrade. This range is fine for most tropic and sub-tropics. The unit comes with an integrated temperature controller. However, if you choose to install it outdoors in hot regions, then be sure to fit it with an air conditioner to ensure that it does not conk out during a heatwave.
Limited Power Back-Up
Both Sonnen CEO and Hybrid systems cannot function as a backup power supply or UPS without additional components. You need to install an additional backup box to facilitate backup power during an outage. The backup box, which resembles a tiny version of the battery system, isolates your property from the grid if it detects an issue with power supply and can provide limited power for emergency backup purposes.
Unfortunately, the backup box only provides a very limited 1.8 kW of continuous power out with a maximum surge rating of 4.1kW for 2 seconds. This is sufficient for backing up essential loads such as computers, refrigerator, and lights. However, it is not adequate for backing up appliances like the air conditioning system. It is important to understand that the Sonnen battery storage system is not designed to operate as a dedicated off-grid power unit.
Solar battery inverters for both Sonnen ECO and hybrid models have limited output power of 3.3 kW with maximum output at 3.3 kW. Most domestic energy consumption is way less than the 3.3 kW, so this should never be a point of concern unless you are using high power appliances like multiple air conditioners or electric car chargers.
The advantage of having a relatively lower power output is that the battery will not be “overworked,” meaning that the cell’s charge and discharge rates are much lower compared to the existing capacity. This means that the battery will operate more efficiently as its cells last much longer.
Sonnen Batteries and Virtual Power Plants (VPPs)
The high cycle lives of lithium iron phosphate batteries make Sonnen batteries ideal for use in virtual power plants (VPPs) as it limits any wear and tear that can be caused by VPP. Sonnen creates VPP in the form of Sonnen Flat System which enables users to get all their electricity use albeit within limits.
Modular Energy Storage Expansion
You can size your Sonnen battery from as little as 2 kWh and increase it in steps of 2 kWh all the way to 16 kWh in a single cabinet. You can also set up multiple units of 16 kWh in parallel to enhance your energy storage. This can effectively meet a small or medium business’ energy needs.
You get the option of installing a large cabinet with every 6 kWh Sonnen batter purchase. This gives you the option of adding more 2 kWh-battery packs in the future as your energy demands grow. In other words, you can customize your home’s energy storage system in line with your energy needs as well as your solar system’s capacity.
Sonnen Battery Recycling and Sustainability
With the growing number of battery installations is the inevitable challenge of recycling or safely disposing of worn out batteries. This is not a big problem when dealing with lead-acid based batteries as 96 percent of them gets recycled.
Lithium batteries, on the other hand, are quite difficult to recycle with most manufacturers lacking the capacity to recycle lithium cells. Lithium Iron Phosphate battery is the safest of all lithium-based batteries because it does not contain Cobalt. Besides safety, LFP batteries also come with the longest lifespan and lowest risk of thermal runaway in the event of damage or overheating.
Find a Solar Battery Storage Expert Near Me
Sonnen battery storage systems are a premium offering from one of the world’s leading battery manufacturers. These batteries have proven performance and exceptional warranty that puts them at par with LG and Tesla batteries. Built using premium Sony cells, Sonnen batteries outperform most batteries in the market given that they are kept in relatively controlled environments. Its limited inverter may be a point of concern for heavy power establishments; however, it should be sufficient to power the average household. That said, this system may not work best for you if you live in an area that is prone to blackouts and, thus, requires UPS.
Investing in battery storage technology is a complicated process. Contact Sun Solar Electric today at 707-658-2157 to discuss your solar energy needs to install the right Sonnen battery storage solution that suits your needs and budget.