US: Sonnenbatterie opens R&D facility

The German lithium battery storage system manufacturer, which operates in both the U.S. and Germany, says 12 to 15 engineers will work on expanding the company’s current array of next generation smart energy storage devices, which are sold to both homeowners and businesses.

The R&D facility, based in Atlanta, Georgia, will be spread across 5,000 square feet. It previously belonged to inverter developer, SolarMax. "The new Atlanta facility will be the center for product development, prototyping, and testing for the US market," explains Sonnenbatterie in a statement released.

Since its inception in 2011, Sonnenbatterie has sold over 8,000 of its energy storage systems. Its Sony-backed lithium-ion batteries are capable of 10,000 charge cycles. "Coupled with a solar energy system, the Sonnenbatterie can supply residential owners with 100 percent of their energy needs in addition to providing backup power for the home and taking advantage of different tariff structures for off-peak vs. on-peak. For commercial customers, Sonnenbatterie helps reduce demand spikes that lead to peak load charges," continues the company.

Overall, Sonnenbatterie has raised US$13 million in venture capital from partners including SET Ventures, Munich Venture Partners, and eCapital. In December, CEO Christoph Ostermann told pv magazine that Sonnenbatterie was expanding its production capacity. The ramp up phase is expected to extend throughout this year.

At the end of April, the German company further announced a partnership with California-based solar group, Sungevity. Starting in the second half of the year, Sungevity will offer Sonnenbatterie smart energy storage systems to its network of solar customers. The German company entered the U.S. market last year.