“Can’t believe it my best solar battery just spoilt?”
Says a friend who went to one of the shops to buy a solar battery some few months ago.
He boasted that it was the best battery among all batteries.
Surprisingly, could not even USE it for a year.
What happened? I thought all the solar batteries were the same.
Now you may be wondering…
Choosing the best solar battery might be a daunting task you might ask.
But what about investing in a property which could not yield a profit and more so not even break even.
Is it not throwing your hard earned money to the gutters?
Forgive me for my manners.
In this article am going to reveal to you some useful secrets for choosing the best solar battery for your wind and solar system.
Let’s right dive in.
What are solar batteries?
Solar battery store energy from the Sun in the form of DC (Direct current) through solar panels for later use or discharge it when needed.
Solar batteries are similar to normal car batteries but different in variations.
The solar battery is a key component in any off-grid solar system and in a few situations used in grid-tied systems.
Every solar setup solely depends on the amount of sun produce and stored within a specific time frame.
The sun does not shine all day and there is the need to store part of it for later use.
This happens especially during the night and cloudy days, and with solar batteries, you are covered.
Every solar battery is affected by one or a few components below.
This refers to the ability of the battery to produce electricity at a given time mostly in amps.
What it means is that a battery with 1 amp basically should be able to continuously provide electricity for a load of 1amp for 1 hour.
Even though this might change in certain situations
The amount of a battery’s energy that has been used is referred to as discharge depth.
Usually manufactures of the battery will normally point out the discharge depth on the battery.
At times this comes with the manual of the battery for highest performance.
Example if a 100 amp battery has a depth of discharge of 90%, you shouldn’t use more than 90 amp before recharging.
Mostly a higher depth of the discharge means you will be able to use more of the battery’s energy before charging.
Solar batteries are used in off-grid systems when you want to stay independent from the electricity grid.
It is used to store energy for regular use and for storage.
This is a system that relies on the electrical grid and the solar panel system for electricity.
One relies on the electrical grid on dark or cloudy days when there is no sunshine and
Consequently feed excess energy back to the grid and used elsewhere when there is much sunshine.
Since this system partially depends on the electric grid, when there is power outages or power cut you are affected.
In this instance, batteries are feed into the system to store energy for later use when there are power outages or a generator is used instead.
Solar batteries type available now…
There have been significant changes in the solar battery industry.
Solar batteries range from flooded lead acid batteries, sealed AGM or gel, and lithium lead-acid batteries.
Until recently for most years, people relied on the flooded lead-acid batteries.
It is the cheapest of all the solar batteries but requires regular maintenance or check up to enable it to attain its best lifespan.
Similar to normal car batteries it is made to stand straight and not bent or else will leak all the acids out.
You have to check on routine bases to make sure there is enough acid on top of the cells in the battery.
In situations, where there isn’t enough acid you have to top up with distilled water or acid or a combination of both.
Flooded lead acid battery requires a higher maintenance cost even though it has the lowest price tag.
It should be positioned for proper ventilation.
Because of the regular monitoring and maintenance and shorter life cycle (500 or even less), and prone to corrosion of the cells,
people are switching to the sealed AGM or gel batteries.
This battery is known as absorbent glass mat (AGM) technology became known in 1980.
Batteries require no maintenance and monitoring.
These various advantages over the flooded batteries make it the best choice for most wind and solar systems.
It became popular when manufactures saw deficiencies in the flooded lead-acid batteries.
It has become popular in recent years with improvements.
These batteries can withstand higher temperatures and discharge slowly more effectively than other batteries.
AGM batteries have a higher lifecycle and will cost a little more than the flooded Battery.
This deep cycle battery is lead-acid batteries designed to discharge deeply using the best of its capacity with the latest technology.
The plates are thicker and have a very high density and also active paste material and thicker separators.
The thicker plates help resist corrosion through charging and discharging cycles.
A deep cycle battery seems to be the obvious choice due to the advantages it has among the various batteries and also does recommend it for any off-grid, marine and small solar systems.
Another generation of batteries is the lithium range of batteries which has seen a reduction in usage over the years due to the sealed AGM batteries being popular.
Lithium batteries have higher life cycles than AGM batteries and also expensive.
It has a higher discharge and charge rate which makes it able to
harvest more energy from the sun and does make it the best go-to choice for any solar system.
The downsides are just the price tag of it.the cost of lithium batteries can cost as much as two times that of AGM batteries.
Choosing a solar battery for your system will depend on various factors such as…
What do you want to use it for?
is it for a small system that requires only light or an entirely off-grid system or grid-tied which rely partially on the electrical grid.
What amount of money do you wish to put into building the solar system? If you wish to get the best battery for your solar system, I do again recommend the sealed deep cycle and gel batteries as the best. However, if you are on a tight budget you could consider buying the flooded lead-acid batteries for a start.
In either case, if you have time to monitor and maintain you could consider the flooded batteries that has a lower price tag.
The lifespan of batteries depends also on a number of factors such as the manufacturer, the type of battery and the type of solar system in place. Flooded lead-acid batteries range between 2 and 5 years. DEEP CYCLE batteries range between 4 and 8 years.
Congrats you just read a full article on how to choose the right battery for your system
With the above information on solar batteries, you should be able to decide on the right type of batteries for every system you have.
Do you have any questions I did not address? Or any contributions you think could help the public let me hear it in the comment section below.