Only one week after Tesla raised its Powerwall costs, sonnen introduced its brand-new dwelling photo voltaic battery, the sonnenCore.
The German battery producer is best-known for its luxurious photo voltaic battery backup merchandise, the eco and ecoLinx. The key phrase right here being “luxurious” – because the set up of those batteries can run over $30,000.
Nevertheless, the sonnenCore is considerably cheaper than its predecessors. Coming in at simply $9,500, sonnen’s new battery is now aggressive with different all-in-one backup techniques, just like the Tesla Powerwall.
On this article, we’ll take a more in-depth have a look at the sonnenCore, together with its options and the way it compares to the Tesla Powerwall.
What’s the sonnenCore battery?
The sonnenCore is a ten kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-iron-phosphate battery, composed of latest sonnenModules, that has the flexibility to supply 4.8 kilowatts (kW) of steady energy output.
It has a built-in photo voltaic inverter and a guaranty of 10,000 cycles or 10 years, whichever comes first. Householders can join their photo voltaic panel system to the built-in sonnenInverter (a 6 kW photo voltaic inverter) with a view to energy their dwelling with solar energy 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Though it’s less expensive than the eco and ecoLinx, the sonnenCore nonetheless affords an analogous look, in addition to superior options. Picture supply: sonnen
It additionally features a backup energy mode – which the battery will mechanically change to within the occasion of a grid outage. It does this to maintain your own home’s energy going when the remainder of the neighborhood’s lights are out.
The sonnenCore additionally affords a time-of-use load shifting utility so you’ll be able to cut back the quantity of vitality you are taking from the grid throughout costly peak consumption hours. That is extraordinarily useful in the event you stay in a state that makes use of a time-of-use price billing construction, like California.
All of those options will be managed straight by way of the sonnen app.
How a lot does the sonnenCore battery price?
The sonnenCore battery prices $9,500 earlier than set up. That is virtually 4 instances cheaper than the sonnen ecoLinx battery! Lastly, owners can afford a high-quality sonnen battery, with out having to pay the equal of a faculty tuition for it.
Plus, when paired with photo voltaic panels, the sonnenCore will be eligible for the 26% federal tax credit. Although we don’t know the exact cost of installing a sonnenCore battery, we can estimate it to be somewhere around $4,000, which brings the total cost to about $13,500.
After the tax credit, that price would fall to about $9,900. Not bad!
How does the sonnenCore compare to the Tesla Powerwall?
Let’s lay out the specs to get a better idea of how the sonnenCore stacks up against the Tesla Powerwall.
|Price (without installation)||$9,500||$8,500|
|Chemistry||Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP)||Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)|
|Usable power capacity||10 kWh||13.5 kWh|
|Continuous power output||4.8 kW||5 kW|
|Depth of Discharge (DoD)||100%||100%|
|Warranty||10 years||10 years|
|Operating modes||Time-of-use, solar self-consumption, emergency backup||Time-of-use, solar self-consumption, emergency backup|
|Dimensions||68” L x 27” W x 11” D||45.3” L x 29.6” W X 5.75’ D|
|Weight||348 lbs||251.3 lbs|
If you have a tight budget, the Powerwall comes out on top in terms of price. The Tesla Powerwall and Gateway management system cost $8,000, whereas the sonnenCore costs $9,500.
But, when you factor in installation, the Tesla Powerwall actually costs $11,000. While sonnen does not provide an estimated installation cost, we can assume that the total installed cost of a sonnenCore will still be slightly higher than the Powerwall.
Also keep in mind that despite Tesla claiming that Powerwall prices will drop in the next three years, Powerwall prices have actually increased twice.
The chemistry of your battery is more important than you think. In fact, it impacts every aspect of how your battery operates. Even though it does raise the price, the sonnenCore’s battery chemistry beats that of the Tesla Powerwall.
The main thing to note about their chemistry is that the sonnenCore does not contain cobalt, therefore making it more stable and safer than the Tesla Powerwall. Don’t be confused – the Tesla Powerwall is still a perfectly safe battery to install.
Tesla does have a patented technology that is supposed to prevent thermal runaway (AKA catching on fire), but they’ve kept it tightly under wraps, so there’s no way to make a judgment on that. All we can compare is the chemistry, and sonnen’s is more stable.
Batteries that contain cobalt, like the Powerwall, are less stable in extreme conditions or if not properly handled, meaning they are more susceptible to thermal runaway. Although the conditions that would cause thermal runaway are unlikely, it is still something to consider.
Batteries containing cobalt also produce more hazardous waste during the production and disposal of the battery. So, the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) sonnenCore is safer both from an installation standpoint and an environmental one.
Power capacity and output
The Tesla Powerwall has both a greater capacity and power output. This means that the Tesla Powerwall is able to store more energy and release more energy than the sonnenCore.
However, the power output ratings for both batteries are extremely close, so the difference in what each battery can power continuously is very slight.
The capacity difference is more significant. The Tesla Powerwall can store 13.5 kWh of electricity, while the sonnenCore can only hold 10 kWh. So when you buy a Powerwall, you pay less for it and you get to store more energy.
Both the sonnenCore battery and the Tesla Powerwall come with a 10-year limited warranty guaranteeing that after 10 years, the battery will operate at 70% of its capacity at time of installation.
But when you look a little closer at the two warranties, it’s a little more complex than that.
The sonnenCore comes with a cycle life of 10,000 cycles. Tesla also includes a cycle life for the Powerwall – unlimited cycles! But, that’s only if the battery is operated in solar self-consumption mode or backup mode only.
If a Powerwall uses any other combination of operating modes, it will operate at 70% of its original capacity after releasing 37.8 megawatt hours (MWh) of power. So how does that compare to the sonnenCore? sonnen’s warranty states that the sonnenCore will operate at 70% of its capacity after releasing an estimated 58 MWh of power.
This means that even though both batteries have the same 10-year warranty, the sonnenCore has the ability to release more energy than the Powerwall over time, with less of an impact on the battery capacity.
What does the sonnenCore mean for the future of energy storage?
The sonnenCore is one of the first batteries that seems like it can really compete with the Tesla Powerwall. The sonnenCore offers a competitive price, increased safety and stability, and a better warranty than the Powerwall, while still offering state-of-the-art operating modes and battery management technology.
That’s not to say the sonnenCore will run Powerwall off the road. Tesla’s brand recognition and the fact that the Powerwall has a larger capacity at a lower price will go a long way. But the sonnenCore will at least give homeowners who are looking for an all-in-one battery storage solution with advanced features some more options.
This is a great time for sonnen to be introducing an affordable all-in-one battery to the storage market. With the increases in wildfires and hurricanes, and many people being stuck in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, having access to reliable power is more important than ever.
It only makes sense that as more people choose to install solar and storage that sonnen would want to expand their reach beyond luxury builds and make a product for the average homeowner.
Depending on the success of the sonnenCore, we may see more LFP batteries emerge, which would lead to increased safety across the board for solar storage installations. It seems like the sonnenCore will not only have a positive impact on the company, but on the battery storage industry as a whole.
- German battery manufacturer sonnen recently unveiled the sonnenCore, their newest home solar battery.
- The sonnenCore costs $9,500, not including installation.
- The sonnenCore can hold 10 kWh of electricity and has a continuous power output of 4.8 kW and a 10-year warranty.
- The sonnenCore seems like it could be a big competitor for the Tesla Powerwall.
- Even though the sonnenCore holds less energy than the Powerwall and is slightly more expensive, its battery chemistry is less susceptible to fires, doesn’t contain hazardous cobalt, and has a better performance warranty.