August 19 2021 0Comment

Types of solar batteries

Solar batteries come with several benefits, like backup power during an emergency and saving cash on electricity bills. When shopping for one, you have to take into consideration certain things. For instance, the type of battery you want and how you want to benefit from it. So what are the different types of solar batteries used in solar energy on the market? Read on to find out.

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries have been there for a long time as the practical battery technology to store solar electricity. This solar battery is almost the same type as what you use in your car, but this one is much taller. Due to its reliability, it is considered one of the best batteries for solar power storage. Ideally, you should store a lead-acid battery in a climate-controlled shed because heat often reduces its lifespan. These batteries can be classified into two types:

  • Flooded lead-acid batteries: They are cost-effective, but they need to be maintained regularly to continue being effective. The owner has to check its levels monthly and top it off with distilled water to get service for a long time.
  • Sealed lead-acid batteries: Hardly require maintenance. Since they are sealed, you have no access to the inside compartment.

Pros

  • They are affordable
  • They are reliable
  • They can be recycled

Cons

  • Flooded lead-acid batteries have to be maintained regularly to remain effective.
  • You can only store them upright to prevent leaks.
  • Since they come with a low depth of discharge, they need to be charged often.

Due to their reliability, these batteries are ideal for off-grid solar energy or as an emergency backup plan due to a power outage.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

With the popularity of electric cars being on the rise, lithium-ion batteries are becoming the new kids on the block when it comes to energy storage. They are quickly becoming one of the most common batteries used in solar energy.

Pros

  • These batteries hardly require maintenance to keep being effective.
  • As they have a high battery energy density, they can hold more energy in smaller spaces compared to lead-acid batteries.
  • They have a long life span. This is because they have a high discharge depth, meaning you can use lots of the energy stored in the battery before recharging it.
  • It can tolerate high temperatures.
  • It is lightweight.

Cons

  • Lithium-ion batteries are expensive compared to other solar energy storage technologies.
  • The performance reduces under cold temperatures.
  • The safety levels are average. Due to their chemistry, these batteries come with a high chance of catching fire because of something referred to as thermal runaway. However, if you install them properly, there is almost zero chance of your battery catching fire.

Nickel Cadmium Batteries

These batteries are not as widely used as compared to lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. Although they started being used from around the 1800s, in the 1980s, they got a makeover, increasing the amount of energy they could store.

Pros

  • They are durable
  • They can operate just fine under extreme temperatures.
  • Require zero maintenance
  • They do not need complex battery management systems.

Cons

  • Costly to purchase
  • Costly to dispose of because of its toxicity.
  • Low efficiency

Nickel-cadmium batteries are common for large-scale applications such as utility solar energy storage due to their durability.

Flow batteries

These batteries are relatively new in the energy storage sector. They are referred to as flow batteries because they contain a water-based solution (zinc bromide) inside them. When charged, there is a chemical reaction that occurs, allowing storage of energy and subsequent discharge. Due to their large size, they are expensive. This makes it hard for them to be used in residential properties.

Pros

  • They contain 100% discharge depth. This means that one can use all the stored energy in the battery without worrying about damaging it.
  • The liquid inside is fire retardant, eliminating the risk of thermal runaway.
  • Has the longest lifespan compared to the rest? (30 years)

Cons

  • They are costly.
  • Have a low storage capacity
  • Low charge and discharge rate, meaning for it to be effective, it has to be large.

These batteries are ideal for a large-scale installation. Because they need to be large to hold a significant amount of energy, that also means the cost goes up. This is one of the reasons it has become challenging to use flow batteries in residential properties.

When looking for batteries used in solar energy, it is best to factor in your needs. If you are new in the world of solar energy and are wondering what the best battery for you is, reach out to Solar Panel Perth for assistance. We can help analyze your needs and determine the correct battery for you.

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