Founded in Germany in 2010, sonnen (with a small s) is the leading German lithium battery system manufacturer and largest residential battery storage company in Europe. Over 40,000 sonnenBatteries have been installed on homes and businesses worldwide, making it one of the top energy storage manufacturers in the world.
sonnenBatteries are designed in Germany. sonnen has manufacturing and assembly plants in Germany, North America and, since 2018, in Australia.
Today, sonnen is renowned for its quality product engineering and market-leading warranties. It is also regarded as one of the most innovative companies in battery storage, leading the way in developing solutions for storing and distributing energy in a way that is smarter and more localised.
sonnen’s company vision is a future characterised by clean and decentralised energy supply. As part of this vision, they have designed the largest energy sharing platform in the world. In Germany, this takes the form of a ‘virtual power plant’, where they connect thousands of households with a solar PV (photovoltaic) system and a sonnenBatterie storage system to form the decentralised sonnenCommunity. Now, this concept is being rolled out to Australian households via the sonnenFlat program.
sonnen in Australia
In 2018, sonnen opened a home battery assembly facility in the former Holden car manufacturing factory in Adelaide, demonstrating its commitment to the Australian market.
The company aims to produce 10,000 batteries a year from this facility over the next five years to meet demand from Australian households, as well as for export to the Asia-Pacific region.
The Adelaide site has hired more than 50 full-time employees in production, warehousing, shipping, the call centre and technical service. All its production employees are former Holden workers.
In addition, sonnen has a customer support office in Rosebery, NSW as well as an extensive network of accredited installers throughout Australia.
sonnen has received many industry awards including:
Australia Export Awards “Research and Development Investment 2019” – sonnen received the award for transforming the decommissioned Holden plant in South Australia into an energy storage solutions manufacturing facility.
EuPD Research “Top Brand PV Storage” in Australia, 2019.
Global Cleantech 100 List 2018 – sonnen is one of the 100 most innovative cleantech companies in the world.
Strong financial backing
In February 2019, sonnen was acquired by Shell as part of its strategy “to offer more and cleaner energy solutions to customers”. Shell stated that they acquired sonnen as “they are one of the global leaders in smart, distributed energy storage systems [with] a track record of customer-focussed innovation.”
With the financial backing of Shell, sonnen is well-placed to continue to lead the way in battery storage technology in Australia and worldwide.
The sonnenBatterie is a high-tech, flexible battery storage system that has been installed in over 50,000 homes throughout the world.
Underneath its stylish exterior is a truly powerful energy management and storage system that puts you in total control of your home electricity usage.
The smart technology that’s built into the sonnenBatterie means your household will be ready to take part in exciting new developments like energy trading, virtual power plants and microgrids.
The sonnenBatterie is an all-in-one system which comes in one neat-looking unit and comprises of
- a hybrid inverter (so it can perform the functions of both a solar inverter and a battery inverter)
- battery modules (so the amount of battery storage you purchase is suitable for your home, and can be increased in units of 2.5kWh at a later date should you wish)
- an intelligent energy manager
- software to enable all the components work together smoothly
- Can be added to most existing solar power systems; or
- Can work as an all-in one solar and battery system (as the hybrid inverter works the solar)
- Add more panels later
Unlike many other systems, it is easy to add more panels later if your energy needs change
- Single phase and 3-phase
Compatible with single phase and 3-phase homes
- Protection against power outages
- Provides backup power when the grid goes down
- Unlike some batteries, it allows homeowners to recharge their batteries with energy produced by their solar panels when the grid is down.
- Can be installed inside or outside
- Indoor installation comes as standard
- Outdoor installation is possible with the addition of an outdoor enclosure to protect the battery from weather extremes
- The battery chemistry is lithium iron phosphate, regarded as the safest and most stable battery chemistry.
- Does not contain any toxic heavy metals.
Minimum lifespan is 10,000 charging cycles (this works out at almost 3 cycles per day over 10 years)
- Individual 2.5kWh battery modules are linked together in various capacities from 5 to 15 kWh.
- Up to 45kWh battery storage for larger users and businesses
One of the highest battery efficiency ratings, at 98%
- Meets Australian standards
Listed on the Clean Energy Council’s list of approved battery storage systems and also approved by the Victorian Solar Homes program.
- Designed in Germany, assembled in Australia
- Excellent customer service
Provided by a sonnen customer support office in NSW and a network of accredited installers throughout Australia
sonnen warranty the sonnenBatterie for 10 years or 10,000 cycles; whichever comes first. In addition, sonnen guarantees that the battery will maintain at least 70 percent of its capacity to hold a charge during that time.
sonnenFlat is an innovative electricity supply service from sonnen that is becoming increasing popular amongst Australian households who want to set the cost of their electricity at a guaranteed amount each month.
To sign up, you must have a sonnenBatterie (at least 8kWh in size), a solar power system (at least 5kW in size) and a smart meter. In return, you get an annual electricity usage allowance and you are charged a single monthly fee, instead of receiving an electricity bill.
As long as you stay within your annual electricity usage allowance, you only pay the single monthly fee – no matter whether your electricity comes from your solar, your battery or the grid. Better still, there’s no supply charge – saving you at least $1 a day.
There are three different sonnenFlat plans based on how much electricity your home is allowed to consume before you are charged extra. The plans and their annual usage allowances are:
- Economy: 7,500 kilowatt-hours (average 20kWh per day)
- Family: 10,000 kilowatt-hours (average 27 kWh per day)
- Autonomy: 12,500 kilowatt-hours (average 34 kWh per day
If you exceed your annual usage allowance you will be charged for every extra kilowatt-hour you consume. The usage allowance is calculated yearly, so there is no limit to how much you can use per day. If you use a lot, it just means that you run through your allowance more quickly.
The amount that you would be charged if you go over your annual usage allowance will vary by network distributor. In most cases, it will be less than what your traditional electricity retailer would charge you – so it’s a win/win for you either way.