Solar batteries can be considered as the arteries of a solar panel system. They help in storing the sun’s energy (through the solar panels) and allow the efficient utilization of this energy via an inverter.
Solar batteries need to meet the requirements of variable grid energy, irregular full recharging and heavy cycling (charging/discharging). There are numerous types of solar batteries that are used for these distinctive requirements. The decision to choose a specific battery is dependent on the cycle life, cost, installation and maintenance.
TYPES OF SOLAR BATTERIESTypes of solar batteries
Some of the common types of solar batteries include:
Renewable energy has been making use of lead-acid batteries in off-grid applications for several decades. Flooded lead-acid solar batteries require refilling on a regular basis since the electrolyte fully submerging the solar battery plates tends to evaporate during charging.
Irrespective of the application, lithium-ion batteries are considered to be the most widely used storage technology. There are basically three types of lithium-ion batteries-1) used in tablets and smartphones (pouches) 2) used in power tools (cylindrical) and 3) used in electronic vehicles (prismatic).
Another fast emerging storage option is the redox flow battery. The charging/discharging procedures are managed by the integrated power electronics and offer a minimal cost of ownership. However, the chemistry of flow battery can be complex and typically demands supporting equipment like sensors, pumps, control units as well as additional containment vessels.
TIPS ON SOLAR BATTERIES
Here are some tips to get the most out of your solar system batteries and avoid operational failures:
PROPER BATTERY BANK SIZE
It is vital for a battery bank to have a minimal five-day load capacity. In majority of the households, energy use will increase over a period of time. After a year of use, you should not consider enlarging the battery bank with the addition of new batteries. This is because the voltage response of batteries changes as it becomes older. There is a flow of stray currents which can lead to equalization failures. If a PV array is the main source of energy, it needs to be sized so as to be able to generate about 30 percent greater energy than required by the load. This will help in compensating for below-average charging conditions and battery losses. The good news is that it is possible to expand a PV array at any point of time.
SAY NO TO MULTIPLE PARALLEL STRINGS
The truth is that the best battery bank is actually the simplest. It consists of a single cell-series which are specially designed for the job. Studies show that there is a tendency among higher capacity batteries to have denser plates which means greater longevity. With reduced number of cells, there will be a minimal risk of random defects and maintenance will also be low.
You need to be extremely careful when buying solar batteries as some might guarantee full capacity or the promise of reaching full capacity within a few cycles. The batteries which have gone through more than a hundred cycles will be warmed up and outlast all those which claim an extremely high initial capacity.
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