After two years of research, our first battery offering (there will likely be others in the future) is one of the world’s best. The sonnen batteries were developed with German engineering in Germany where solar innovation began years ahead, and where adoption rates are the highest per capita in the world. As a result, this battery was developed with both individual family security in mind, as well as the ability to offer many grid services and Virtual Power Plants by combining a large number of batteries. Advantages over other batteries include:
- Longer life, with up to three times the projected life cycles of Tesla Powerwalls (that were originally designed for cars, not homes). Although the sticker price is higher, the lifetime cost per kWh provided over their lifetime is lower.
- Battery lifetime matched to the Solaflect Tracker. Many battery experts predict that Powerwalls will not even last until the end of the 10 year warranted period. With sonnen, you can install and relax.
- Well proven with over 50,000 installations worldwide
- Better battery chemistry. Car batteries are Lithium Ion, but are called NMC for Nickel, Manganese and Cobalt. These are designed to be very light weight since they are in a car, and are required to charge and especially discharge fast (have you seen a high-end Tesla beat million dollar sports cars? Fast battery discharge in those videos!). Tesla home batteries not surprisingly use the same chemistry as their cars – Tesla’s comfort zone as that is what they know. sonnen designed their batteries specifically for home use, where weight does not matter. They are Lithium Ferrous Phosphate, or LFP.
- Lower fire risk. LFP batteries are inherently safer than NMC batteries. A large NMC battery has the explosive power of a large amount of TNT. To be fair, there are very few reports of fires as a result of Tesla Powerwalls or Tesla cars, but that is a result of engineering rather than chemistry.
- Less environmental and humanitarian damage. The humanitarian cost of the mining of cobalt is high, an important ingredient of NMC batteries. Neither iron (ferrous) or phosphate have the same concerns.
- Larger surge current. sonnen is able to offer a large surge current, which is sufficient to start well pumps and other high load motors. Most alternatives are much lower.