Sonnen batteries recharge from solar panels when the grid is down

Published on 05 Apr, 2019 by Michael Bishop

Categories: Home batteries


Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Sonnen's energy-storage systems won't recharge from solar panels when the grid is down. Shame on me (the author, Michael Bishop) for poor fact checking.


Sonnen offers a premier home energy-storage system, rivaling Tesla's Powerwall energy-storage system.

Most homes that get energy-storage systems aren't doing it for financial reasons (because the financials aren't good in most cases). They're doing it for peace of mind — they want a backup source of power if the electric grid goes down.

Sonnen energy storage system in a living room
Image source: Sonnen


Batteries and solar panels

Solar panels can take that independence to the next level. The solar panels can recharge the batteries during an especially long grid outage caused by a hurricane, wildfire, preemptive utility safety shut downs, or possibly someday a cyberattack.

That's exactly how it works with Sonnen's battery-backup systems (such as ecoLinx) and Tesla's Powerwall battery-backup system. They'll recharge from on-site solar panels whether or not the electric grid is available. (Tesla is even planning to offer an energy-storage system designed specifically for 100% off-grid use — for those in especially remote areas not served by the local utility, or those who are completely over dealing with their local utility.)

Frustrated homeowner during power outage

Frustrated homeowner, that doesn't have a Sonnen battery-backup system.

Adding Sonnen's energy storage system to existing solar panels

Already have solar panels? Fortunately, it's straightforward to add a Sonnen energy storage system — it's compatible with every solar inverter under the sun (solar inverters convert the direct-current electricity made by your solar panels to grid-friendly AC electricity).

Sonnen or Tesla Powerwall?

A nice bonus with Sonnen is their chosen battery chemistry. Their lithium iron phosphate batteries are arguably the safest and longest-lasting batteries available, with no chance of dangerous thermal runaway.

I'd choose Sonnen :).



Author: Michael Bishop

Michael's core purpose is to improve the customer experience around going solar. He primarily pursues this by writing articles and software at CutMyBill.