sonnenCore vs. Powerwall

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sonnenCore vs. Powerwall Solar Battery Comparison

Sonnen created a number of home batteries that compete directly with the Powerwall 2, which includes sonnenCore. Unlike the ecoLinx, this solar battery only has one size option and a smaller price tag than its other Sonnen batteries. The sonnenCore is Sonnen’s most economically viable option. Let’s compare this home battery to Tesla’s Powerwall 2, so you can decide which meets your needs best. 

Comparing Home Battery Specs

The best way to conduct battery comparisons requires analyzing each option’s specifications. Every home battery spec sheet should have a list of important battery features. While all these specs have importance, customers don’t have to look at all of them to know whether one battery will work better.

In our battery comparisons, we look at four factors that give a good idea of how well the battery will perform. These include capacity, power, roundtrip efficiency and warranty.

Home Battery Capacity: Powerwall 2 Wins

Solar battery capacity and power go hand-in-hand. Battery capacity shows how much electricity the battery can hold, while the power rating determines how much electricity can discharge at once. If a battery has a large capacity but a low power rating, it will last a long time but only power a few items. On the other hand, if a battery has less capacity but a high power rating, it can power several devices at once, but it won’t last long. Balancing these two gives customers the best storage solution.

Powerwall 2 Capacity and Power Ratings

The Powerwall 2 comes with 13.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of usable capacity and a 5.0 kilowatt (kW) maximum power rating. Together these ratings allow the Tesla whole house battery to easily power one or two large appliances for several hours or several devices with smaller energy needs over the course of a few days.

sonnenCore Capacity and Power Ratings

The sonnenCore has a 10 kWh usable capacity and 4.8 kW of continuous output. The lower capacity and power ratings mean this battery can’t store as much electricity or discharge it for as long as the Powerwall 2.

Roundtrip Battery Efficiency – Powerwall 2 Wins

Roundtrip battery efficiency shows the loss of electricity during a charge cycle. When a battery charges and discharges, it goes through a charge cycle. Having an efficient charge cycle allows the battery to discharge more of the power it used to charge it.

Roundtrip Efficiency of the Powerwall

The Powerwall has a 90 percent roundtrip efficiency. For every 10 kWh this battery uses to charge, it will discharge nine kWh.

sonnenCore Roundtrip Efficiency

The sonnenCore’s spec sheet boasts 85 percent roundtrip efficiency. However, compared to the Powerwall 2, this battery loses 0.5 kWh more per 10 kWh of charging.

Battery Warranties: the Result is a Draw

Just like other electronics, batteries degrade over time. However, the degradation rate depends on the quality of the product. As a corollary, warranties that ensure slow degradation rates prove the quality of the product. They also give customers a lifespan estimate.

Powerwall Warranty

The Powerwall has a 10-year warranty. This warranty guarantees 70 percent of the charge capacity. This is the general industry standard for whole house batteries.

sonnenCore Warranty

Sonnen offers a 10-year or 10,000 cycle warranty for the sonnenCore. This warranty also guarantees 70 percent of the charge capacity. If this battery goes through less than 10,000 cycles in 10 years, its warranty will compare to the Powerwall 2.

Off-grid Battery Capabilities: Powerwall 2 Wins

Many interested in residential solar have dreams of taking their home off-grid. However, the realization of this dream isn’t achievable or worthwhile for everyone. Going off-grid requires multiple home batteries and a large solar array. For many, this isn’t feasible; others don’t have the real estate or space for it. Those few who have run the numbers and still feel strongly about disconnecting from the power grid will need solar home batteries that can handle all of their electricity needs with ease.

Using Tesla Powerwall 2 Off-grid

While the Powerwall does rely on an internet connection for updates, it will function no matter the status of the power grid. This battery’s self-sufficient framework and ease of use make it the perfect fit for homeowners who want to transition toward independence from the grid. However, those who want to use this battery as an insurance policy instead of their bread and butter energy storage solution can still do so with confidence.

Using sonnenCore Off-grid

Since the sonnenCore is a smaller battery, the homeowner will need more batteries than an off-grid Powerwall 2 configuration. Additionally, Sonnen batteries won’t function without the grid unless homeowners add sonnenProtect. This device allows the battery to detect a power outage and keep dedicated circuits running during a blackout.

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