Sonnen burst onto the energy producing manufacturing scene in 2010 in Germany. The company quickly rose to prominence in Europe as a premier provider of energy storage equipment. The popularity of Sonnen products spread rapidly, allowing its reach to make its way to the United States in 2015. Since then, Sonnen has become one of the leading distributors of solar energy storage systems stateside as it seamlessly pairs with solar panels that have been or are currently being installed all across the nation.
Currently, Sonnen manufactures two residential solar storage battery systems, each with its unique features, benefits, and limitations. The Sonnen ecoLinx is widely considered to be a luxury solar storage product due to its capabilities, scalability, specifications, and overall cost for the product and subsequent installation.
The Sonnen ecoLinx is made from premium lithium iron phosphate and the system itself is encapsulated in a sleek, black cabinet. The Sonnen ecoLinx power output, efficiency, and usable capacity make it one of the highest performing storage system’s on the market. As Sonnen's most advanced home battery, users will be able to utilize clean energy while pairing the system with a number of automation metrics.
The energy automation or smart applications that operate within the Sonnen ecoLinx system are what distinguishes it from the rest of the solar battery market. Each system is capable of providing the following smart or energy automation solutions:
The most forward-thinking smart application is the smart weather forecasting ability. This allows the Sonnen ecoLinx system to adapt how it charges or dispels energy based on the pending weather forecast. For example, if a storm is approaching the area, the Sonnen ecoLinx will automatically prioritize charging its battery in the event that the inclement weather causes a power disturbance.
The Sonnen ecoLinx is more than just a solar battery and storage system. It is quite literally a smart device as it pairs with home automation systems throughout a residence. This allows homeowners to manage all smart devices directly through the Sonnen ecoLinx. From a mobile device, like a cell phone, Sonnen ecoLinx users can manage all aspects of energy usage including but not limited to lighting, thermostat, and applicances.
With its integration of home automation services, the system will recognize what temperatures to adjust the thermostat to depending on time of day and preferred comfort levels. Lights can be automatically turned on and off based on gathered data or through mobile control. This ultimately allows users to take complete control of energy usage without sacrificing any type of associated comfort.
Warranties within the solar battery industry can be a determining factor in overall quality of the system. Clients should carefully assess the number of cycles covered by the warranty — the higher, the better. Solar battery customers should also take into consideration the percentage of end-of-life usable capacity and the total number of years the system is covered by the manufacturer warranty.
On average, solar battery systems are covered for around 10 years. The Sonnen ecoLinx is covered by the manufacturer warranty for a total of 15 years. The warranty also boasts a high cycle coverage: 15,000 cycles in total. Its end of warranty capacity hovers around 65 percent. This means that the system should function as expected for a long time but if there are issues, customers can access repairs or replacements.
The Sonnen ecoLinx is scalable, meaning if energy storage or battery needs change, additional equipment can seamlessly be added to meet all needs. Not all battery or storage systems are scalable, making the Sonnen ecoLinx more flexible in that sense.
The system management capabilities also allow for seamless transitions between power sources. With generators, often users will experience a limited disruption as the power grid is shut off and the generator finally turns on. This is not the case with the Sonnen ecoLinx, as it offers complete system management providing uninterrupted streams of power even when the power grid is down.
As the “luxury” battery storage system, there is an associated cost for the premium features it provides. While the exact cost for the system all in will vary to some degree depending on what equipment is actually installed or added, the average pricing point for the Sonnen ecoLinx hovers around $36,000. There are tax incentive programs that can be utilized to reduce the overall cost, but there are no programs that will cover it entirely.
For comparison purposes, the other solar battery system available through Sonnen Core+ sits around $9,500. Accessing the automation services available through Sonnen ecoLinx will come at a hefty price.
The actual size of the Sonnen ecoLinx has also proven to be an issue in some circumstances. While the design of the Sonnen ecoLinx is touted as sleek, not all homeowners have the empty wall space for a 400-pound system. It should also be noted that the smallest version of the Sonnen ecoLinx is 400 pounds; that equipment weight only increases in weight and size depending on the property and client needs.