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Sonnen Battery Review

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Sonnen Battery Review:
Does It Live Up To The Price Tag?

So, it might be that you have got to the stage where you are generating your own clean energy, but lots of it is getting wasted on a solar export limit or being sold back to the grid.

Or you might have done your research and you’re looking for a system that can allow you to go virtually off-grid and set yourself up for a huge, long term return on investment

Either way, you’re at the stage of looking for a solar battery. Sonnen is a well-known brand associated with quality and performance. 

Similar to a Tesla powerwall, a Sonnen solar battery can give you a solution to store your solar energy, go virtually off-grid and essentially gain a much better return on your investment from solar energy.

Arguably, Sonnen is one of the best performing solar batteries in the Australian market right now. In terms of warranty, performance and efficiency this battery has it all. 

I’m going to be going through the entire solar battery, breaking it down and comparing it with other solar batteries on the market like LG’s chem and the powerwall 2 to see how good it really is. 

This battery is a premium product that comes with a premium price, advanced technology and flexible options for homeowners. However, does this mean it’s worth the money?

Let’s find out…

If you’re looking to find out how much you can save with a solar battery, don’t hesitate to get a free energy assessment from one of my solar design engineers. We can also explain which battery might suit your goals and home best.

Table Of Contents

sonnen manufacturing plant in south australia

About The Company

Who are Sonnen?

SonnenBatterie is a European solar battery manufacturer established in 2010 in Germany. They have a mission statement that claims “our goal is clean and affordable energy for everyone”.

Sonnen has more than 60,000 installed battery units worldwide and have been a well-established company for a while. Right now, they are a global leader for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

Back in 2019, Sonnen was purchased by Shell New Energies US LLC which are a HUGE company and shows that they are confident in the future of Sonnen and the solar battery market. This put them as 9th largest public company on Forbes list

So in terms of size, bankability and reputation Sonnen are doing really well.

What do they provide?

Sonnen specialises in the manufacturing of LFP solar batteries. They do not make solar panels or other solar products, they just focus on solar batteries. This means that when they are creating their batteries, they can put their all into it. 

As seen by the performance of their batteries, Sonnen is definitely experts in creating a high tech solar battery and need to be taken seriously. They are one of the first and oldest solar battery manufacturers.

They have a wide range of solar battery products and has previously made over 9 different modules meaning they have upgraded and optimise their solar battery 9 times… This is impressive when you compare this to the Second gen Tesla powerwall 2 and LG chems.

Do they have offices in Australia?

Yes, in fact one of the best things about Sonnen is that they actually manufacturer their solar batteries in Australia. That’s right… How good is that! 

Sonnen has a manufacturing facility down in South Australia. This was previously a Holden manufacturing facility and I’ve heard that apparently, they kept on all the old staff from Holden who are experienced in high-quality manufacturing. 

Not only this, but they have support and offices in Australia which is fantastic for customer service if you were to ever have an issue with your solar battery. 

It’s pretty rare for companies to actually get a manufacturing base in Australia, so the fact Sonnen can call their batteries Australian made is really impressive for me.

What Are Sonnen Batteries Made Of?

So, this is where it gets quite interesting. Sonnen batteries are made from Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP). This is different to other batteries in the market like Tesla and LG. 

The two main compounds for creating a good solar battery are Colbalt and LFP. Between these two, LFP is seen as safer. It doesn’t contain toxic elements or requires cooling equipment. You can also get more cycles from LFP as well. 

Sonnen has actively spoken out against cobalt batteries saying they will not use this as it’s seen as a toxic heavy metal with its value and price consistently rising. There are also lots of arguments around unethical cobalt mining which Sonnen are avoiding.

LFP is seen as the safer option between the two…

Yep, so LFP is actually safer than Cobalt. I wouldn’t say that anything is ever going to go wrong with a Cobalt battery but in terms of the chemicals and if there were to be some damage it has a higher chance of setting on fire than LFP. 

That means, for those of you who are concerned about your health and safety then I would recommend going for an LFP battery like Sonnen. I suppose it does give you much more peace of mind knowing you and your family are safe.

How Long Does A Sonnen Battery Last?

Well, we know that you will have your Sonnen battery covered by a 10-year warranty. It’s guaranteed to perform for a minimum of 10 years or 10,000 cycles whichever it hits first. 

You will need to make sure that you have your solar battery installed by an Authorised Sonnen Partner like ourselves to be able to redeem your warranty. If it’s not then your warranty will be void. 

Regardless, Sonnen did a test at 60% self-consumption which turned out to last 14,370 cycles. On average, you might find that you are reaching 80% self-consumption and even with this your Sonnen battery is guaranteed to last 10 years. 

Even if you did 2 cycles per day, 365 days per year it would take you 14 years before you finally hit 10,000 cycles. To me, this suggests that Sonnen batteries are built to last a long time.

sonnen battery last 10 years or 10,000 cycles

What Battery Modules Are Available In Australia?

Sonnen Eco Hybrid 9.53 Battery

      Specifications:

  • Depth of discharge (DoD) 90%
  • Cell technology LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate)
  • Nominal power 4.6kW
  • Max. battery efficiency 98%
  • Warranty 10 years
  • Cycles 10,000
  • Ambient temperature range -5°C – +45°C
  • 5kWh – 15kWh Sizes

Your Sonnen Battery Allows For A Flexible Design

One thing that impressed me was the flexibility of the Sonnen solar battery. It can be installed on both AC and DC-coupled systems

To quickly run through this; usually, batteries only get paid with AC coupling and if your system is DC it will send a direct current to the solar inverter that will convert the energy into AC and to your home for usage. 

With Sonnens 9.3 Hybrid battery you are able to install this to either AC or DC systems on your home. This allows for a fully flexible design. However, Tesla powerwall 2 have also done this with their built-in DC/AC inverter. Although a little more complex, it still does the same job (close enough).

Flexible battery sizes

I won’t forget this either, Sonnen battery comes in different section sizes. You have the first top cabinet that has an inverter and 5kWh solar battery. These are the foundations of your solar battery.

What’s great about this is it allows Sonnen’s battery to become more affordable for those who want a battery but don’t need the full 15kWh size. 

From there, you can add the bottom cabinet which can hold more batteries. They go up in sizes of 2.5kWh meaning you can just keep adding until you get enough. 

This also means you can add or remove around your budget and of course around how much energy you’re going to want to store and use. This is scalable all the way up to 15kWh then the cabinet is full.

Sonnen Uses Advanced SMART Technology

Something that really sets apart Sonnen’s battery from the crowd is the use of smart technology. Of course, we are now moving into a technology-based age where AI and self learning is an important factor. 

In short, your Sonnen solar battery uses AI smart technology to learn when you are using the most energy and when you are not. This way it preserves the battery life to give you more cycles. 

It will also work around your lifestyle. It’s weird to say that a battery works around your lifestyle but with this latest technology, it could be a thing 😆. 

So let’s say that you use more energy in the afternoon, your battery might use less energy in the morning to conserve for peak arvo times. 

Overall, Sonnen has created an awesome battery here that’s not only advanced in performance but also keeping with the times. Whoever loves anything smart or wants a smart home, this solar battery is perfect for you. 

To summarise, a smart battery means a longer life, better power usage and of course the convenience of always having power when you need it the most.

How Do Sonnen Compare To Other Solar Batteries In Australia?

This is a tough one to go through. And I know you guys are going to hate me for it… 

However, Sonnen vs LG Chem vs Tesla powerwall… They all come out as a fantastic option for your home. What it really depends on is your budget, goals and home… 

I would definitely say that Sonnen is the best battery in Australia to go off-grid with but in the same breath, I would never really suggest going off-grid because it’s expensive and probably would end up costing you way more than you would ever see back in return. 

Really, what I’m trying to say here is that each battery will work best for different homeowners. There is no battery or system that is the best for all. It really depends on you and your home. 

However, what I can confirm is that Sonnen is a really really strong candidate for being one of the best solar batteries available in Australia for you right now, and they have a big plus for having a large Australian presence and are made in Australia.

To find out which battery is best, you need to understand your budget and your requirements for wanting or needing a solar battery. After this, you’ll need to understand the design and technical side of things. That’s when it’s best to speak to a solar design expert

sonnen vs tesla powerwall vs lg chem

Sonnen Battery Review

Price 9/10

Sonnen batteries are high end, however because of their flexible design and scalability it actually makes them more cost-effective. Of course, their performance also comes in and suggests that you will be generating a return on investment with this battery. 

When you do compare it against the Tesla or LG Chem it comes out a little bit more expensive but they’re more or less the same price. With this one, you get what you pay for really.

Warranty 9/10

I would say that a 10 year warranty or 10,000 cycles is good but again it’s pretty much the same as what all the other batteries are offering. The only thing that back Sonnen more is their bankability. 

Being owned by Shell means that they can back their warranty with their huge gas and oil industry. Similar to LG, but Tesla although has their cars don’t have the bigger bankability. 

Either way, this warranty is more than enough for you to see value for the battery and even a return on investment.

Performance 10/10

Yeah, I’d definitely say that the performance on the Sonnen battery is up there. They’ve gone through 9 previous models, so of course, they’re going to have optimised this battery to be one of the best performers in the industry. 

From the tests that have been conducted on Sonnens solar battery, you can see just how good the battery is for long-lasting, intelligence and performance.

Efficiency 10/10

When compared to other batteries Sonnen’s efficiency is leading. Their self-consumption and cycle life are easily the best. Not only this, but Sonnen has a high round trip efficiency meaning you will be wasting less energy once it gets stored then released back to get used. 

Again, their battery will last 10,000 cycles at 80% self consumption which is fantastic performance and efficiency.

Can You Go Off-Grid With A Sonnen Solar Battery?

Yes, technically you can. And to be honest, out of all of the batteries available in Australia this would probably be the best one to go off-grid with. 

Firstly, the perfomance is great but also the size of the battery means you can store a lot more when compared to some other batteries available on the market right now. 

However, UNLESS you really need to go off-grid… Why would you? I know it sounds cool but it would actually end up costing you a fortune. Even the part when you remove your grid connection can break the bank.

Even if you are barely pulling anything from the grid, it’s still nice to know it’s there in case of a serious emergency. Plus these days, we can always sell our energy back to the grid. 

Unless you’ve got a strong energy export limit, then you can actually make a small amount from your excess energy. Personally, I would suggest against going off-grid unless it’s a MUST.

Sonnen Battery Units Are Fully Recyclable

Well, they’re sticking to the guns with being an environmentally friendly company. It makes sense since they are in the renewables industry. 

Yes, all Sonnen solar batteries are fully recyclable. You can even find your local recycling centre to get rid of any old solar batteries in Adelaide. 

According to Sonnen, no battery modules to date have needed to be recycled yet. I’m not sure if I know of any other battery companies offering this service but I respect it a lot.

sonnen solar batteries are fully recyclable

Should I Invest In A Sonnen Battery?

I can happily say that a Sonnen battery would be a good investment for those who are interested in installing a home battery solution. It’s a great solution to save money, go virtually off-grid and provide a long lasting return on investment. 

When compared to other batteries available in Australia Sonnen comes up as one of the leaders. Again, I do want to stress though that each battery will work differently for every homeowner. 

In the grand scheme of things, Sonnen is a fantastic battery to invest in regardless of your budget, goals or house & system design.

Conclusion

What are your thoughts on Sonnens battery? Share them in the comment for us all to read below. It’s interesting now they have such a big Australian presence right? 

Is this a big factor for anyone or are we still all happy with other batteries? 

Share your thoughts below 😁.

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Written By:

Luke Cove
Managing Director
Lightning Solar & Electrical

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