Smarter homes with solar+storage by Sonnen


Sonnen already offers one of the most intelligent home energy storage systems on the market. For example, a 2,900 home planned development in Arizona will feature electricity trading between a network of PV and Sonnen battery systems. It’s pretty much a neighborhood Sonnen power plant.

Now, Sonnen is adding further layers of intelligence to its battery with its new ecoLinx line that connects to home automation hardware via smart circuit breakers to add additional layers of energy use optimization. The company notes six specific features (some of which had already existed on the platform) that will help homeowners optimize their energy usage:

  • Smart configurable backup power (new)
  • Smart demand control and load management (new)
  • Smart weather forecasting
  • Time-of-use management
  • Solar self-consumption
  • Home automation integration (new)

The smart backup allows home users to program a judgement call about the length of power outages that tend to occur in their region, which drives the battery to make sure it has the right amount of electricity in it. The weather forecasting will look for high risk events to determine if its necessary to increase the energy storage amount a bit. The smart demand control and load management pushes your electricity usage toward daytime cheap energy, and avoids high rate peak periods – which is driven by the Time-of-Use management modules.

These calculations occur with or without solar power, as this is an AC coupled energy storage system.

And of course is the home automation integration that makes all of this possible via a first of its kind in an application of Eaton’s intelligent circuit breakers. Its this hardware that allows the smart configurable backup power, and smart demand control and load management to occur.

The ecoLinx system integrates directly with leading front-end home automation systems — including Crestron and Control4. These parts, along with the intelligent circuit breakers by Eaton, are sold separately.

Some of the smart features have existed for a long time in Sonnen’s highly intelligent hardware, so it’s not like the company is launching a whole new platform with potential bugs. What they’re really launching is a intelligent machine that’s smart enough to listen closely to cutting edge home automation hardware, and add this data to Sonnen’s already the broad energy analysis that’s already going on.

The home is getting smarter via a large and experienced home management industry, but it looks like solar power+storage and their intelligent inverters are going to be a significant part of the game.

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