One of the biggest names in energy storage technology is the German company Sonnen. In 2016, they launched the sonnenBatterie, a battery designed to power homes.
You may have heard of home batteries since they’ve been around for years. But what makes the sonnenBatterie special? How does it work? And, most importantly, how much does it cost?
What is the sonnenBatterie?
The sonnenBatterie is the battery component of Sonnen’s energy management system known as eco. This system allows a homeowner to control how much solar energy is used over grid energy, manage electricity rates, set up timed lights, work as a backup power source, and more.
Current system sizes start at 5 kWh and go up to 15 kWh.
How the sonnenBatterie works
The sonnenBatterie eco is designed to be paired with a solar system. As with other energy storage products, like the Tesla Powerwall, the sonnenBatterie is made for daily usage in a residential home.
Your installer will gauge your energy usage and install a system that will offload your energy needs.
When you install a home battery, your battery will store the excess energy rather than sending it back into the grid. If you need more energy than your solar panels are producing, your battery will take over. Your battery will also act as a backup generator in the event that your solar panels go offline.
This process will happen over the course of an entire day. You’ll produce the most when the sun is high in the sky, around noon. The excess energy you generate will then be stored in your Tesla Powerwall. When the sun goes down and your solar panels’ production decreases, you’ll use that electricity you stored during the day.
Does this mean I can go off the grid?
While the battery will help you take charge of your electricity bill, this doesn’t guarantee your ability to completely disconnect from your utility company. A single battery will only provide you backup for a few hours. This won’t cover you if you have a cloudy day, and especially not several days – or weeks- of inclement weather.
It is possible, but going off the grid is still a feat that would require many batteries which means it would be expensive.
How much does the sonnenBatterie cost?
The starting price for an eco system is $10,000. This would include a sonnenBatterie, an integrated inverter, and an energy management app. Then, you’ll need to add in the price for paying your installer which will vary from company to company.
When making your choice, always pick an installer that
- Is Sonnen certified
- Has a great reputation
- Provides a comprehensive service warranty
Unfortunately, there are many companies who are taking advantage of buyers. So it is important to check reviews of other customers to make sure the company is being honest.
(SunSource is one of the few installers that can claim all three of three traits.)
Remember that these fees do not take into account financial incentives. If you chose to install a sonnenBatterie eco along with your solar system, you can claim the installation costs when you process your federal solar tax credit.
How long with a sonnenBatterie last?
The sonnenBatterie eco system comes with an unlimited 10-year warranty, meaning there is nothing that voids your warranty. The warranty assumes you are using your battery daily and guarantees to retain at least 70 percent of its capacity to charge for 10 years.
Just like all rechargeable batteries, the sonnenBatterie loses some of its ability to hold a charge over time. That’s why Tesla only guarantees the deterioration won’t go pass a 30 percent loss of storage.
How to purchase a sonnenBatterie
The only way to get a sonnenBatterie is to order one through a certified installer. The sonnenBatterie is meant to be paired with a solar system so, if you are thinking of going solar, you should choose an installer that is a reputable solar installer which holds a certification for Sonnen installations, like SunSource.