Sonnen launches ‘affordable’ all-in-one home battery storage system in US

Publicity photo for the new sonnenCore. Image: sonnenUSA via Twitter.

Germany-headquartered residential battery storage manufacturer sonnen has launched an “all-in-one” system in the US which comes at a recommended retail price of US$9,500.

The company, owned by oil and gas major Shell since last year, has just brought out sonnenCore, a home energy storage system (HESS) which comes with a free 10 year or 10,000 cycle warranty to an expected lifetime throughput of 58MWh.

SonnenCore has 4.8kW of continuous AC output or 8.6kW peak output and 10kWh usable capacity to 100% depth-of-discharge (DoD). The system, which uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry, has been listed to UL 9540 standards for fire safety and sonnen said it is suitable for applications including time-of-use load shifting, solar self-consumption and emergency backup power.

The company said it comes with a newly-developed sonnen inverter and includes custom energy management software (EMS) which sonnen claimed enables “comprehensive end-to-end system integration and optimisation”.

The unit has been designed to be compact at a height of 68 inches, width of 27 inches and depth of 11 inches and made to meet National Electrical Manufacturer Association (NEMA) standard 12 for indoor use.

According to sonnen the product has been brought out to meet demand for lower-cost home energy storage and a sonnen press release claimed that it is a “one-size-fits-all” solution that offers “easily repeatable design and installation".

According to US price comparison and reviews website SolarReviews, the company's EcoLinx unit, with 8kW / 30kWh of home storage costs more than three times as much as the new system, coming in at about US$36,000. While EcoLinx was launched this year as something of a premium version of the original sonnen Eco unit and sonnen Eco's pricing starts at around US$9,000 before installation, that price is for the 5kWh sonnen Eco model.

As for competitors, SolarReviews said that Tesla's Powerwall 2.0 with 13.5kWh capacity costs around US$11,500, LG Chem's RESU 12.4kWh costs between US$11,000 to US$13,000 and the BYD B-BOX costs about US$1,549 per 2.5kWh battery pack in a system which typically comprises about four battery packs - plus hardware costs of about US$675.   

With the company now engaged in a handful of large virtual power plant (VPP) projects in North America as well as in Europe and Australia - deploying fleets of energy storage systems that can be aggregated and controlled to provide capacity and capabilities to utilities and the grid - sonnen also talked up SonnenCore’s suitability for use in such projects, which could include new home developments and community renewable energy.  

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