German-based and now Shell-owned battery company Sonnen has launched a new “compact and affordable” 4.8kW/10kWh home energy storage offering in the US – and not, at this stage, in Australia – dubbed the sonnenCore.
Sonnen says the new battery, which it prices at $US9,500 ($A13,066 converted and installation costs presumably not included), aims to expand “and ultimately lead” the residential energy storage market as a high quality but affordable home battery “for any home,” including the retrofit market.
Using its usual lithium iron phosphate chemistry, the sonnenCore includes a new sonnenInverter and a sonnenModule with custom energy management software that, beyond maximising solar self-consumption, allows for load shifting and emergency backup power.
The smaller-sized battery – described on the US website as “sleek, simple and sustainable” – is also talked up for its “one-size-fits-all” design, which sonnen says makes it ideal for large-scale roll-outs such as in new home developments or community-based clean energy programs. The website puts the unit’s measurements at 27/68/11 in inches, and weight at just under 158kg.
This contrasts with the current offering in Australia, the sonnenBatterie 9.53 hybrid, which starts at 2.5kWh for just under $9,000 and can be scaled up to as much as 15kWh. According to retailer Natural Solar, most customers start on either 7.5kWh from $A12,000, or 10kWh from $14,000.
Continuous output: (AC) 4.8 kW
Peak output: 8.6 kW
AC specifications: Up to 6 kW solar inverter
Round-trip efficiency: >85%
Usable capacity: 10 kWh
Depth-of-discharge (DoD): 100%
The release of a smaller and cheaper offering is an interesting move from sonnen, which has previously positioned itself at the higher capacity, premium end of the market, alongside competitors like the Tesla Powerwall.
And in comments at the product’s launch, sonnen chairman and CEO Blake Richetta goes some way to explaining the company’s motivation.
“With the increasing demand for energy security and the continuing growth of solar installations across the country, we developed sonnenCore as a smart and affordable battery solution that works for every home,” he said.
“sonnenCore is designed to be easy for home builders to specify, contractors to install and homeowners to use without compromising on quality and reliability. It is the obvious choice in home battery technology for customers looking to safely keep their lights on, reduce their carbon footprint and become part of a clean energy future.”
And while a product like this would be welcome in the Australian market, a sonnen Australia spokesperson told One Step Off The Grid that sonnenCore was not being launched Down Under, but rather an “Australian version” was being released sometime in 2021.