Solar panels are a great way to create energy. Many homeowners now use solar panels to provide power to their homes. You would think that solar panels themselves are the most important part of the setup, but if you have an off-grid system, you’d be wrong! The batteries are just as important to your system as the panels themselves. So when creating your setup, you want to be sure you have a good-quality battery to store the energy that’s being created; that way, you don’t immediately lose power when the sun goes down. There are many brands of batteries, but there are two main types: lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. Keep reading to learn more about them.
The Workings of the Battery
A solar battery can be utilized to store the energy your solar panels are generating from the sun. So, your solar panels can generate power and feed it to your home for immediate use or send it to the battery for storage if you don’t immediately need that power. You can then use the battery to power your home when immediate solar power is not available.
Batteries have limited storage. You’ll want a battery bank that can store enough power to meet your needs daily, based on your average energy consumption. This is key to maintaining a steady power supply, as sometimes the weather can affect how much you’re producing. If you have a battery that can store a lot of power, then it can compensate for the days you get little to no sun.
Lead-Acid vs. Lithium-Ion
Lead-acid batteries are your typical battery. They work well enough, but they tend to sustain damage much more quickly than lithium batteries. Unlike normal battery recharges, solar panel charges are inconsistent and utterly dependent on the sun. Lead-acid batteries have a hard time keeping up with the sporadic flow of power.
Lithium-ion batteries can handle infrequent charges and discharge much better than lead-acid. They are built to last. A typical lithium-ion battery can last up to 5,000 charge cycles, which is about 10+ years depending on the amount of sun you’re getting and how often you use the stored power.
Another benefit of lithium-ion batteries is that they maintain voltage. Voltage in a lead-acid battery can deteriorate over the years as it’s consistently used. Lithium-ion batteries last much longer in high voltage before they start to deteriorate.
Purchasing a Lithium-Ion Solar Battery
While costly, the investment in a lithium-ion solar battery is worth every cent. Rather than purchase a cheaper lead-acid battery every few years, spend the money to buy a battery that will last in the long run. When buying your lithium-ion solar battery, look at the amp-hour rating and a battery management system. Buy a battery with an amp-hour rating that matches the amount you’re making. There are lots of apps and websites that can help you determine what that rating is. The battery management system is mandatory, as it provides safety functions in your battery. If needed, the BMS can shut off the battery to prevent damage.
Many high-quality brands, such as Simpliphi lithium-ion solar batteries, will last you a long time and make your solar experience smooth and simple!