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LAST UPDATED: October 18th, 2022

The Sonnen Core+ battery system is a newer, more affordable option for homeowners looking to pair an energy battery system to an existing solar system or provide seamless storage solutions. Released in early 2022, Sonnen Core+ was made available to residential clients as a way to compete with the more budget friendly options on the market.

While it does not include all of the luxury features commonly associated with the all-inclusive “smart” Sonnen ecoLinx, it does offer a number of beneficial solutions many customers looking for a battery solution are searching for. 

Similar to the Sonnen ecoLinx, the Sonnen Core+ is a lithium ion battery that is made up of individual battery modules. These battery modules are all stored in the classic Sonnen cabinet complete with the built-in inverter that is responsible for converting the stored solar electricity (DC) into tangible AC electricity that can ultimately be used to power a home. 

The Sonnen Core+ battery still incorporates some smart energy management software to effectively monitor energy usage throughout the day, effectively stores excess energy produced by solar systems to be used at night or during emergency situations, and is a long-lasting safe alternative to energy storage. 

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The Good

  • Multiple Operating Modes
  • Varying Capacity Models
  • Safer Make
  • Solar Panel Pairing

Multiple Operating Modes

With Sonnen Core+, users will be able to take advantage of four different operating modes the system provides. These varying operating modes include the following:

  • Time-of-Use Load Shifting — This operating mode allows the battery to automatically adjust to when the home is being powered through the system based on how much the utility grid is charging for peak operating times. 
  • Solar Self-Consumption — In the solar self-consumption mode, the system along with the solar panels energy will supply sufficient energy to the home allowing for the residence to be powered entirely by clean energy. Rather than sending excess energy back to the power grid, it is sent toeh battery where it is stored to be used when the sun sets and the solar panels are no longer creating energy. 
  • Emergency Backup Power Mode — With emergency backup power mode, the system stores produced energy in the event that the power grid is down. 
  • Virtual Power Plant Mode — The virtual power plant mode allows homeowners to be a part of power plant programs that may be offered through individual utility providers. 

It should also be noted that users will not have to switch the system to operate in emergency backup power mode, it will automatically kick in if the grid goes down. This is one example of the Sonnen Core+ “smart” capabilities. Not all battery or storage systems offer this many operating modes. 

Varying Capacity Models

Unlike other products in the space, there are two capacity models for clients to choose from depending on individual circumstances. The two models available that encapsulate Sonnen Core+ technology include:

  • 10 kWh Capacity
  • 20 kWh Capacity

It should be noted that the 10 kWh capacity system is adequate for a good portion of homeowner’s energy consumption needs. However, Sonnen recognizes that some clients may need more which is why it offers the larger 20 kWh model. Not all systems offer varying specs in this regard. 

Safer Make

Although the Sonnen Core+ system is made of lithium ion, it is significantly safer than many of its competitors' products. This is because the Sonnen Core+ does not contain any cobalt in its chemistry. The absence of cobalt in the battery packs allows for a more environmentally friendly alternative as less hazardous waste is produced during the production of the system. The actual make of the Sonnen Core+ is also a safer alternative as its batteries are less likely to catch on fire (decreased chances of thermal runaway) since the system is able to maintain stable production at higher temperatures. 

Solar Panel Pairing

Sonnen is known for its technology and seamless pairing solutions. This is incredibly important to those that already have a solar system installed but are looking for increased clean energy usage or energy independence. The Sonnen Core+ system can be seamlessly integrated with all solar panels. This pairing allows for increased clean energy production and use without any communication disruptions. Not all battery systems have these pairing capabilities. 

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The Bad

  • Standard Specifications
  • Battery Size

Standard Specifications

As for the measurable battery specifications, Sonnen Core+ falls in line with the average production and efficiency of its competition. Entirely standard metrics include the following specifications:

  • Capacity
  • Continuous Power Rating
  • Round Trip Efficiency
  • Warranty
  • Depth of Discharge

The initial Sonnen Core+ models offers a capacity of 10 kWh , 4.8 kW of continuous power, 85.8% round trip efficiency, 10-year/10,000 cycle warranty, and 100% depth of discharge. All of these specifications fall in line with traditional lithium ion manufactured batteries. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is simply average or what could be expected from this type of battery. 

Battery Size

The actual size of the battery has posed some challenges for homeowners as the weight and space the system takes up is typically larger than other products on the market. Depending on which model of the Sonnen Core+ a client gets, the system itself will weigh anywhere from 408 to 525 pounds. That is about 100 pounds more than similar competitor products.

The system itself is also 27 inches wide, 69.5 inches high (this is increased to 73 inches if the bottom of the cabinet is extended for any reason), and 14 inches deep. Needless to say, the Sonnen Core+ system is a big battery, and homeowners will need to have adequate space for it to be installed. 

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The Bottom Line

With the Sonnen Core+ battery and storage system, customers can expect a reliable product that functions as it is intended in a safe and effective manner. With the Sonnen Core+ system, homeowners can take advantage of four different operating modes, each with unique energy benefits. There are multiple models to choose from depending on capacity needs of each individual residence.

Due to the design and actual chemistry make-up of the Sonnen Core+ system, the equipment itself provides a safer alternative to what is available on the market. The Sonnen Core+ seamlessly pairs with all solar panels and systems allowing for increased energy independence and decreased grid reliance.

Despite offering a number of quality solutions and features, there are downsides to the Sonnen Core+ battery that interested customers should take note of. The measured specifications taken into consideration when evaluating batteries is completely average and standard compared to its competition. The actual size of the system itself has also posed challenges for customers due to the weight and space it takes up.

Homeowners looking to utilize Sonnen technology without having to pay the luxury price will likely enjoy what the Sonnen Core+ system has to offer. However, those more interested in automation and smart capabilities may want to look into the more premier products manufactured by Sonnen. 

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