Solar power is a great way to reduce your energy bills and contribute to environmental conservation. Once you generate the power, you will need storage batteries to store the energy. Many types of solar batteries exist, and each has a unique working mechanism, storage capacity, and price. Find out the main types of batteries for your solar system.
Lead acid batteries have been around from as early as the 19th century. The batteries remain popular today because they are reliable and one of the least expensive ways to store energy. Lead acid batteries are available in flooded and sealed types.
Flooded lead-acid batteries are easy to maintain. The batteries come in maintenance-free or serviceable models. However, you have to mount the batteries carefully to prevent leakage.
Sealed lead acid batteries have several plates and can be quite durable. The batteries are available in multiple formats and rarely spill the acid. You can either choose the absorbed glass mat (AGM) sealed battery or the gel cell sealed battery.
AGM batteries have the best return on investment due to their high efficiency and lower internal resistance. On the other hand, gel-sealed batteries use sulfuric acid and don’t require any maintenance. In addition, you can mount the batteries in any position.
You can choose lead-acid batteries because you can quickly dispose of and recycle them. However, flooded acid batteries need ventilation and frequent maintenance. Also, acid may leak from the battery. Moreover, the flooded lead-acid battery has limited installation options since you can’t place the batteries on their side.
Lithium-ion batteries appeared on the market in the 1980s. The batteries use an ion to store and generate energy. LiFePo4 and LTO are common types of lithium solar batteries.
LiFePo4 batteries are quite popular and contain positive and negative electrodes. The positive electrode is made of phosphate, while the negative one is made from carbon. The battery also has a membrane separator and an electrolyte.
The LTO battery also has a negative and a positive electrode. The negative electrode consists of titanate oxide, while the positive one consists of manganese oxide.
The main benefits of lithium-ion batteries are that they’re strong and can last up to a decade. The batteries also don’t need regular maintenance and can store much more energy than most other solar batteries. However, lithium-ion batteries are costly and can catch fire easily.
Nickel battery is another technology that has existed for more than a century. Therefore, this is a proven storage method for your solar power system. Although nickel batteries were initially inefficient, technological advances have improved the efficiency and storage capacity of the batteries.
Today’s nickel batteries are quite robust and can stand extreme temperatures. In addition, this is a tried and tested technology that is unlikely to fail. However, nickel batteries use cadmium, which is a toxic substance. The batteries also have battery memory that can negatively impact the available storage space.
Lithium and lead acid batteries transfer ions from a metal substance to an electrolyte. However, a flow battery will transfer the ions from one electrolyte to another. Flow batteries are also referred to as redox batteries because they utilize oxidation and reduction mechanisms. The oxidation/reduction processes support the transfer of ions from one liquid to another.
The main benefit of flow batteries is their massive storage capacity. The batteries can also last longer than lithium-ion batteries. However, flow batteries are neither large nor power dense.
Solar power reduces your carbon footprint and slashes your energy bills. If you want to reap maximum benefits from solar power, work with Harmon Solar. We are a second-generation family company that provides quality solar services. Contact us for more information.