Battery is an integral part of solar power system. A good battery will help to store the energy for a long time that is produced by the solar panel. It can provide constant and uninterrupted level of power throughout the night. As many people are getting aware of utilizing the solar energy, there are few things knowing which will allow them to get most out of their purchase. Although the parts of solar power system are not complicated to understand but, since there are varieties of options available in the market so, knowing the differences and advantage/disadvantages of every type will help you to choose the best one. In this blog we will learn about different types of batteries used for solar power storage.
Types of batteries :
As discussed, there are various types of batteries available hence, it is becomes important to learn the specifics of at least the common ones so that customers do not end up spending for a battery which actually does not match their situation or needs.
- Lead Acid Batteries : known to be the first rechargeable battery which is a best option for different situations. They can be charged fast, have an extended life cycle with highest capacity and relatively less wastage of energy. However, if any form of conductor is put in their terminals they can discharge the stored energy very quickly.
- Lithium Ion Batteries : Lithium Ion Batteries have become gained similar popularity as Lead acid Battery. Li-Ion batteries need low maintenance and has low self-discharge rate. It can outperform other types of batteries due to high energy density and long cycle life of lithium phosphate batteries. Li-Ion batteries have become a best option for storing solar energy compared to other type of battery.
- Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries : This is another type of battery which became popular in the late 1980’s as a sealed lead acid battery. The sulfuric acid is absorbed by a very fine fiberglass mat, making the battery spill-proof. AGM batteries can work very well in a low temperature and it has a low self-discharge. One of the main advantage of using this type of battery is that they are capable of delivering high currents on demand, it has low internal resistance, a long life expectancy, even when deep cycled and it can get charged 5 times faster than with flooded technology.
- Gel Cell Batteries : Gel Cell Batteries have similar advantages compared to flooded lead acid batteries as it is easier to transport but, the only thing is the gelled electrolyte in this type of battery is very viscous. Gel Cell Batteries Gel batteries are extremely robust, versatile and they are safe to be installed in places even where ventilation is limited.
- Nickel based batteries : Nickel based batteries, also known as Nickel Cadmium, Nickel hydride and Nickel Iron Batteries are used in AA and AAA sizes. Some of the specific types of these batteries are made for storing more energy but, compared to Li-Ion or lead acid batteries Nickel based batteries have some disadvantages which is making it less popular option for solar storage. It has a lower cycle life, high self-discharge rate, lower energy density and memory effect of NiCad battery.
Factors to consider when buying a battery for solar panels :
When buying a battery for solar panel it is necessary to consider 3 points to make sure that you are actually buying the right product according to your needs.
- Storage capacity of a solar battery : Calculating the capacity of the battery is necessary to know how much storage capacity will be required for your home to run the solar appliances. To understand this you should multiply the volts (V) x the amp hours (storage capacity) and divide by 100. The result will tell you how many hours a fully charged battery can store the energy.
- Life expectancy : Life expectancy of a solar battery plays a very important role. The efficiency of a battery depends on the number of life cycle, meaning the number of times the battery can be charged and discharged before it stops working. Like every battery when it loses 20% of the original capacity it will slowly reduce the working capability and become inefficient.
Appropriate charge controller : A charger controller is an important part in any solar energy system with batteries.The controller helps in controlling the speed at which the batteries are charged and protects them from overcharging and getting damaged.