sonnen batteries: everything you need to know

Updated

German battery manufacturer sonnen opened its doors in 2010 and quickly became the breakout star of the German energy storage market. 

Their hometown success in Germany led them to enter the U.S. solar battery market in 2015. Since then, sonnen has become one of the most popular brands of batteries to pair with solar panels among homeowners in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.  

Currently, sonnen offers two solar batteries: the ecoLinx and the sonnenCore+. Both come in a variety of sizes, with different specifications. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these models has to offer.

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    everything you need to know about sonnen batteries

    The sonnen ecoLinx, pictured above, is one of two types of solar batteries offered by sonnen. Image source: CleanTechnica

    sonnen ecoLinx vs. sonnenCore+: what are they?

    sonnen’s two battery choices, the ecoLinx and sonnenCore+, are both able to store solar power for you to use later. The difference between the two is in what features they offer.

    sonnen ecoLinx

    You can think of the ecoLinx as the premium version of the eco. ecoLinx has all of the same capabilities as the eco, with some advanced features. 

    Much like the eco, the ecoLinx is composed of multiple 2.0 kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries placed within a black cabinet.

    sonnen ecolinx in a living room

    The sonnen ecoLinx is one of the most high-tech solar batteries you can get. Image source: sonnen

    You can think of the ecoLinx as the brand’s premium battery model. ecoLinx is designed to integrate with smart homes to help homeowners manage their energy usage while also providing them with backup power. Each battery is made up of individual 2.0 kWh battery modules, or packs, called the Ndure battery modules. So, the sonnen ecoLinx 10 battery is made up of five individual modules.

    Besides storing energy, it can be integrated into your smart home automation system; you can effectively manage all of your smart devices from the ecoLinx. The battery settings can be accessed through an app right on your smartphone, allowing you to literally take your energy usage into your own hands.

    One of the most standout features of the ecoLinx is its smart weather forecasting integration, which allows the battery to change how it charges and discharges based on the weather forecast. So, if a bad storm is coming, the battery can prioritize charging itself so it’s as charged as possible if the power goes out.

    The ecoLinx comes in six different sizes, ranging from 12 kWh to 30 kWh. The following table outlines the specifications for the different sizes of the ecoLinx:

    sonnen ecoLinx specifications
    Specification ecoLinx 12 ecoLinx 14 ecoLinx 16 ecoLinx 18 ecoLinx 20 ecoLinx 30
    Total storage capacity 12 kWh 14 kWh 16 kWh 18 kWh 20 kWh 30 kWh
    Power rating 7 kW 7 kW 7 kW 7 kW 7 kW 7 kW
    Depth of discharge 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
    Round trip efficiency 81.6% 81.6% 81.6% 81.6% 81.6% 81.6%
    Weight 724 lbs 777 lbs 830 lbs 883 lbs 936 lbs 1253 lbs

    *grid-tied power rating. ecoLinx models can release more power when operating off-grid.

    The warranty for all versions of the sonnen ecoLinx is 15,000 cycles or 15 years.

    sonnenCore+

    sonnen ecolinx in a living room

    The sonnenCore+ is a practical battery choice for the everyday homeowner. Image source: sonnen

    The sonnenCore+ doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the ecoLinx, but it does offer standard battery operating modes like solar self-consumption, backup power, and time of use mode to charge your battery when electricity is cheapest and discharge it when it’s most expensive. The battery comes with a 10-year, 10,000-cycle warranty.

    The sonnenCore comes in two sizes: 10 kWh and 20 kWh.

    Model SCORE P-10 SCORE P-20
    Usable capacity 10 kWh 20 kWh
    Nominal power rating 4.8 kW 4.8 kW
    Depth of discharge 100% 100%
    Round trip efficiency 85.8% 85.8%
    Weight 408 lbs 525 lbs

    How much do sonnen batteries cost? Are there incentives?

    sonnen’s batteries come with many advanced features plus an included inverter, which puts them at a higher price point. The sonnen ecoLinx starts at $36,000 for the 12 kWh model. This is way more expensive than a standard solar battery, which usually costs between $10,000 and $15,000. You can see why the ecoLin is considered a luxury home battery system.

    The sonnenCore+ is much more affordable, starting at about $9,500 for the 10 kWh model. So, even though you don’t get all of the advanced features of the ecoLinx, the price point is way more realistic for most homeowners.

    There are incentives throughout the U.S. that can help bring down the costs of the battery, including the 30% federal tax credit. There may be additional battery incentives from your state and your utility company as well that can help reduce battery costs.

    What are the pros and cons of sonnen batteries?

    Both the sonnen eco and ecoLinx make great home energy storage systems. However, they do come with their downsides. 

    Pros of sonnen batteries

    One of the best things about sonnen batteries is their warranties. The ecoLinx has one of the best solar battery warranties we’ve seen - at 15 years or 15,000 cycles. Most batteries are closer to 10 years. Even the sonnenCore has a great warranty, and is estimated to release 90 to 181 megawatts of electricity throughout the warranty, depending on the model.

    And sonnen is a trusted brand, so you can have faith that you’re getting a high-quality product, and rely on them to honor your warranty.

    Another benefit is that both the sonnenCore and ecoLinx are lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Because these batteries don’t contain cobalt, they are less likely to catch fire and produce less hazardous waste than other lithium-ion batteries on the market.

    Cons of sonnen batteries

    The main disadvantage of sonnen batteries, specifically the ecoLinx, is the incredibly high price point. That was one of the driving factors for sonnen to release the sonnenCore, so the company could reach more customers.

    sonnen batteries are also very large, with the smallest one weighing over 400 pounds. The sheer size of the battery could limit where they can be installed. They have a sleek design so they can be easily integrated into your home, however, not everyone wants to put a 400-pound battery in their living room.

    Are sonnen batteries worth it?

    Battery systems from sonnen are definitely worth considering if you’re looking to install energy storage. The ecoLinx has awesome features, but it might not be in everyone’s price range. Most homeowners would probably opt for the sonnenCore+, which costs significantly less than the ecoLinx, but still comes with good technical species and a great warranty.

    Keep in mind that not every home needs a solar battery. If you’re looking to save extra money on your electricity bill, a battery probably won’t provide that much extra in savings, especially if you live somewhere with net metering.

    However, if you live in an area that is prone to grid outages, the backup power offered by sonnen products could be a worthwhile investment for you. Or if you’re in the market for the smartest battery on the market, then sonnen is the right place to look.

    Before you commit to any battery brand, you should consider getting quotes from multiple solar installers. The price of installation can vary, and you want to make sure your battery is installed by a reliable professional.

    Find out how much you can save with solar plus battery storage

    Key takeaways

    • sonnen offers two residential solar batteries: the ecoLinx and the sonnenCore+.
    • The sonnen ecoLinx is a luxury solar battery designed to integrate with smart homes that include advanced features like weather prediction to keep your battery charged in case a storm hits.
    • The sonnen ecoLinx starts at $36,000 for the smallest model.
    • The sonnenCore+ doesn’t have all of the ecoLinx’s advanced features, but it is a solid battery that is a great option for the majority of homeowners.
    • The sonnenCore+ starts at $9,500.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Catherine Lane

    SolarReviews Blog Author

    Catherine is a researcher and content specialist at SolarReviews. She has strong interests in issues related to climate and sustainability which led her to pursue a degree in environmental science at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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