Lightning Solar & Electrical

Sonnen vs Tesla

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LUKE COVE
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Sonnen Battery Vs Tesla Powerwall 2

When looking for a reliable solar battery to store your energy, it can be hard to pick between two of Australia’s favourites; the Sonnen battery and the Tesla Powerwall 2. Finding the best battery for you can be challenging in a market saturated with options to assist during power shortages. 

So, as always I’m going through my review of Sonnen battery vs Tesla powerwall 2. This is a comprehensive review. We sell a lot of both batteries and they are 2 of the best performing batteries in the industry. 

They both come with some seriously slick features and performance, but which one is going to be best for your home? There are a lot of factors to consider so hopefully we cover all of them in this comparative review for you.  

Don’t stress; we have done the work for you. Below we have collected all the information you need to know about the Sonnen Battery and the Tesla Powerwall.

Now, if you are interested in a Tesla powerwall, speak to one of your Tesla executives here.

The same applies for Sonnen, we have some experienced battery executives which can help you learn more about this battery. You can get in touch with us on our Sonnen page here

Ok, let’s jump right into this. Here’s Sonnen vs Tesla.

Table Of Contents

Sonnen Battery Is German Engineered, Whereas Tesla Is American

The Sonnen Battery and Tesla are built by trustworthy countries with reputable experience and knowledge. 

The Sonnen battery is engineered in Germany, which is famous in the solar industry for being high performing. This is because they invest a lot of time and money into research and technology development. 

That being said, this makes the battery less of a risk. It gives a lot of confidence to the buyer to trust the product. There is a module of Sonnen battery that is made in Australia which is the ECO module, so it is much easier to get your hands on. 

Similarly, Tesla is engineered by the US, specifically Nevada. The wealth and success of Elon Musk, who owns Tesla, creates a lot of trust in the powerwall. He is extremely trustworthy through the success of Tesla over the past few years. 

I suppose it’s safe to say that your warranty is in safe hands, and the technology is going to be the best of the best with Elon Musk. 

Tesla Seems To Be More Popular Than Sonnen

So, overall we do seem to get more inquiries for Tesla than Sonnen; however, both solar batteries are really popular across Australia. 

The only reason why I say this is because popularity is evident by the continuous rise of Tesla prices over the past few years. This is because the demand has been so high. In March 2022, the Tesla powerwall increased from $12,750 AUD to $13,700. This is purely down to its demand. 

However, that being said, the Sonnen battery has its own local factory in Adelaide that distributes all across Australia, making it equally as popular. It is rare for companies to base their manufacturing in Australia, so the fact Sonnen labels their batteries Australian is super impressive. 

This along with Tesla’s regular price increase does mean that Sonnen is a fair whack cheaper than Tesla which is something to consider for those who are looking for the best price on a solar battery. 

However, for this comparison we are actually talking about the Evo battery which is manufactured in Germany. This isn’t to be seen as a bad thing though, European manufacturing is easily one of the highest in the world making these batteries the best of the best in quality. 

Also, the Victorian Government introduced a solar battery rebate in Victoria. Therefore, both the Sonnen and the Tesla are eligible for this government incentive and worth the investment, whichever one you opt for. 

Sorry to those living in other states but it looks like it’s just SA, NSW, and Victoria offering battery rebates at the moment. You can find out more here.

Tesla powerwall seems to be more popular than Sonnen battery in Australia.

They Are Both Similar In Price And Performance

Let’s start with some of the main similarities between the two batteries. One notable similarity is that both have AC coupled batteries, which are the input and output of AC electricity. 

The benefit of being AC is if your home has a solar system, you can connect the AC Couple to the system already in place. All the work can be done at ground level, and you don’t have to rewire your roof. 

Both batteries have an emergency backup which protects the home in unfortunate circumstances of the loss of the power grid. Of course this is one of the main reasons why people buy batteries right?

In certain markets, you can purchase power cheaply in off-peak hours, such as in the middle of the night, to charge your battery. This is called the time of use offset, which helps you to save spending money buying from the company directly in peak hours. Both the Sonnen battery and the Tesla powerwall 2 can offer this.

One benefit to Sonnen over Tesla is it comes with a 10-year warranty and claims to have 10,000 charge cycles. As mentioned previously, The Tesla power wall 2 has increased in price since its first launch in 2017.

Specifications of Sonnen Battery Vs Tesla Powerwall 2

Sonnen Evo battery

SonnenBatterie Evo

What I Like About It...

The sonnen evo is quite a new battery being available in the Australian market in 2022. As expected, it comes with some seriously advanced technology and marks the 11th battery Sonnen has made.

We can expect to see after so many modules they have pretty much perfected this one. It comes with one of the best warranty you can get in the battery market right now and the performance is next to none with low degradation rates and high efficiency. 

Overall, it’s a fantastic battery solution for pretty much all homeowners, especially those who are looking for the option to go virtually off-grid and move towards energy independence.

Specifications:

Nominal Power Rating (at 40’c): 5kW
Ambient Temperature Range: -10’c to 50’c
Warranty: 10 years
Number of Cycles: 10,000 cycles
Cell Chemistry: Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP)
Grid connection: single phase

tesla powerwall 2

Tesla Powerwall 2

What I Like About It...

Well, what can we say apart from high praise for the Tesla powerwall 2. It’s the second gen version of the powerwall and has been created from years of experience within the Automotive industry with Tesla electric cars. 

This battery is possibly the best in the industry and comes with some extremely advanced technology allowing for maximum performance and industry leading warranties. What more can you ask for?

Don’t forget, you can stack powerwall to increase your storing capacity and track their performance on the Tesla app which is designed around the user to give full control over your home battery solution.

Specifications:

Nominal Power Rating: 5kW (peak 7kW)
Ambient Temperature Range: -20’c – 50’c
Warranty: 10 years
Number of Cycles: 3200 (Unlimited if using only self-consumption)
Cell Chemistry: Lithium Nickel-Manganese-cobalt (NMC)
Grid Connection: Single Phase

It Seems Sonnen Has A Better Battery Warranty

After breaking down some of the key specifications of both the batteries, it is clear to see that they are pretty similar. However, one noticeable difference is that the warranty on the Sonnen battery is slightly better than a Tesla powerwall 2. 

So, what do I mean by this? The Tesla power wall 2 has a retention capacity of 70%, which means the battery worsens over time. Now, it is a common fact that over time, batteries lose some retention capacity due to age and use. However, 70% is lower than what Sonnen is offering.

Therefore, the Sonnen battery has 10,000 cycles at a lower degradation rate essentially means you get more power for your money. Both warranties also offer 10 years if your cycles don’t reach above 10,000 in this time. 

Overall, it’s a very close one but I’d have to edge Sonnen over Tesla in terms of warranty here. Let’s see what happens in the future but I’d imagine Sonnen using battery chemical makeup on their battery also allows them to offer a better warranty. 

Tesla Is Still Using Cobalt But Sonnen Uses LFP

After looking at the specs, another difference between Sonnen and Tesla is the use of LFP compared to Cobalt.  

If you didn’t know already, LFP is actually a lot safer than Cobalt. In fact, Cobalt has been claimed to have a higher chance of fire risk; even though it is extremely unlikely. I mean, if I’m being honest though this would need some form of split in the chemical battery by force making it extremely unlikely to ever happen…

Also, in recent years it has been highlighted how unethical Cobalt is. Slave labour is used in terrible conditions in Africa to source the metal. It has been argued that there is no need to use Cobalt in batteries anymore when LFP is a perfectly good alternative, if not better.

LFP is more affordable and ethically friendly, so it seems like a no-brainer to use it in batteries. However, in recent years Tesla is slowly making a move from Cobalt to LFP. This has started with the new Tesla Model 3 car and soon-to-be Powerwall batteries. 

This is pretty exciting from Tesla. It’s also taking away Sonnen’s USP by using the same LFP chemical makeup. It could also result in a better warranty given by the performance of Tesla powerwalls. 

To be honest, I’d say it’s a pretty close one here and I wouldn’t really make this a big buying decision because both chemicals are really good and maintain energy.

sonnen uses LFP chemical which is safer, higher performing and last longer.

Both Solar Batteries Are Scalable

What’s great about both of these Solar batteries is that they are flexible in size. For those who don’t want to be spending loads on a battery or simply don’t need that much power, being able to adjust the size is an added bonus. 

The batteries are also stackable, which is a big bonus. They can be parallel connected to multiple units. This ultimately increases the power output and its energy storage capacity. Obviously for homeowners who have big solar systems it’s best to get a few batteries to store this power. 

The initial cabinet for a Sonnen battery is 5kW and goes up to 2.5kW after that, reaching a maximum of 15kW. In our opinion, you can tailor the battery to your needs and price range, which is super flexible. 

Similarly, with the Tesla powerwall 2. This can also be stacked to have a higher round trip efficiency. You can stack up to 10 powerwalls together to create the ultimate home solar battery system. Tesla aims to scale in South Australia over several households to distribute power. Almost like a virtual power plant.  

To summarise this, both batteries offer the amazing option to customise the battery size to your home and needs. You can scale at a later date meaning they are creating a future-proof solution. As energy demands increase in the future, you can keep up by adding more batteries.

Tesla Powerwall Has An Awesome App You Can Use

Let’s just quickly touch on the Tesla app. It wouldn’t be a product by Elon Musk if it didn’t go the extra mile and give you the ability to operate your solar battery from your phone. The key features are:

  • Self-powered: It helps to maximise the power generated in the day and disburses it throughout the home when needed. 
  • Manage the energy flow: This allows the owner to control the energy flow from the roof to the powerwall, the energy used in the home and the grid. This gives you ultimate control over your solar battery.
  • See the statistics: You can have a nosey into the data your powerwall stores. You can see common trends in your energy usage and how much solar energy you are creating in your household. This is a super cool feature, if anything.

This makes your entire life easier to monitor your solar battery. It can also give you reports on the performance long term and if there are any issues with your battery. 

Like we mentioned before, this technology is above average and makes the life of Powerwall owners that much easier. 

Sonnen also has some tracking available for battery owners called MySonnen which offers some amazing features as well similar to Tesla. This again gives owners full control over their batteries and the monitoring of them.

the tesla powerwall 2 app and the mysonnen app available for monitoring your solar battery.

Which Is Better, Sonnen Battery Or Tesla Powerwall 2?

Well, if we have to compare the sonnen battery vs tesla powerwall 2 it is a tough call. To put it simply, we don’t have favourites here. Both batteries are impressive in their own right and really depend on what you are looking for personally. 

The Tesla Powerwall 2 is undeniably cool. It looks fantastic, performs exceptionally well and comes with a super cool app to show off to your friends. In addition, it is an excellent solar battery system that can connect to your home system already in place. 

Moving on to the Sonnen battery, it is arguably better for off-grid use and has an overall higher performance. But again, it’s down to what you want the solar battery for. The Sonnen might appeal more to those who are focusing on getting the most for their money and want to invest in reliable quality engineering. 

Overall, both batteries are fantastic solutions for homeowners wanting to conserve solar energy and prepare for unforeseen circumstances. 

To find out your own personal answer to the sonnen vs tesla debate then you should consider (depending on your budget and requirements) speaking to an engineer. They will be able to advise you on which model would suit you the best.

Conclusion

We hope this article has been valuable and insightful into the world of solar batteries. Sonnen Battery Vs Tesla Powerwall 2 is a hard battle to fight, but we think they have come out pretty even; what do you think? 

Both have a significant presence in Australia and are strongly encouraged by the Australian Government. 

Let us know your thoughts below. Share with us you experience if you already have a tesla powerwall or a sonnen battery! We’ve all love to hear from you. 

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Written By:

Luke Cove
Managing Director
Lightning Solar & Electrical

luke cove - Founder of lightning solar

1 thought on “Sonnen vs Tesla”

  1. Tesla offer an extra 5 year warranty on the Powerwall 2 batteries if you subscribe to a Tesla energy plan making it a 15 year warranty

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