Homeowner Guide to Understanding Solar Power Storage Batteries

Solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy that can reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on your electricity bills. However, solar power is not available all the time, as it depends on the weather and the sun’s position. How can you make the most of the solar energy you generate and use it when you need it? The answer is using the solar storage batteries.

Battery for Solar Power Storage

According to the report on the storage market in 2018, lithium-ion batteries represented more than 80% of the installed energy storage application. Whether lithium solar battery or gel battery(sealed lead-acid battery) better for solar Power Storage?

Solar Lithium Battery 

Please know that there are a few different types of lithium technology — regular lithium, lithium-ion and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 — also known as LFP). Standard lithium batteries are not rechargeable and, therefore, not fit for solar.

We already use lithium-ion and lithium-iron technology in common rechargeable products, such as solar rechargeable battery for off-grid, home solar system, camping, golf carts and electric vehicles . Most lithium-iron solar batteries are deep-cycle LiFePO4 batteries. 

SVC Solar battery for home

SVC Lithium battery for golf carts

 Solar Power Storage Batteries for golf car, vehicle
 Solar Storage Batteries for home

Pros and Cons of Lithium Solar Battery

Lithium-iron batteries have high energy density, which means store a considerable amount of energy without taking up much space.

Lithium-iron batteries have a high depth of discharge(DOD), allowing homeowners to use more stored energy without charge it as often. Lithium-ion batteries can handle discharging around 80% of their charge before needing to be refilled, while a lead-acid battery only be run to 50% depth of discharge.

Lithium-iron batteries have a long lifespan, typically 10-year warranty lifespan.

Lithium-iron batteries are maintenance-free and cost-effective than other types of solar storage battery in the long run.

However, lithium-iron batteries costs higher than other options.

Solar Gel Batteries

Gel batteries or sealed lead-acid batteries are a type of lead-acid battery that, in certain cases, can be a solid choice as an energy backup system or paired with solar panels.

However, compared to lithium-ion battery, the Gel battery is only useful for small off-grid solar system. For example, the battery for cabin with low energy demand.

Gel batteries are also maintenance-free but are the most expensive of all lead-acid batteries.

What Size of Solar Panel Do You Need to Charge a Battery?

Assuming that you want to charge a 12V 100Ah battery with solar panels. Firstly, you need to calculate the total wattage need of the battery.

Watt(Wh)=Amp-hour(Ah) X Volts(V)

1200Wh=12Ah X 12V

If the maximum sunlight exposure of your area is 10 hours, the watts for panel is calculated as following:

Total wattage (Wh) / recharge time in peak sun hours (h) = watts for panel

1200Wh/10h=120watts

To charge a 12V 100Ah battery at least requires 120-watt rated panels within 10 hours.

There are several factors affect the efficiency of a battery charging.The greater the rated power of the solar panel, the faster the battery for solar can be charged.

Secondly, battery chemistry is also a factor.  A lithium-ion battery is more efficient than a lead-acid one but requires higher panel wattage. All other factors being equal, you’d need a 120-watt solar panel for lead acid vs a 190-watt panel for a lithium battery. But the lead-acid batteries are less durable and have shorter lifespans.

Notice: The charge controller you use to connect the solar panel to the battery also can make the charging process more or less efficient. Purchasing an all-in-one solar power system solution Stacked ESS series, all the necessary components are already included. You don’t have to worry about compatibility issues between components.

How to Calculate the Batteries for Solar System

The capacity of battery storage depends on the energy usage, measure in kilowatt hours. For example, if you need 1,000 watts for 8 hours per day, then your energy usage is 8kWh per day. A battery capacity of 4 to 8 kWh is usually sufficient for an average four-person home.

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Storage Batteries

  • What is the difference between a lithium battery and a lithium-ion battery?

Lithium batteries are designed to be single use due to their primary cell construction, whereas lithium-ion batteries can be recharged to use many times and have secondary cell construction.

  • Are Lithium batteries better than gel battery?

It depends. Lithium battery and lead-acid battery have each pros and cons on efficiency, cost, lifespans. But many people choose lithium batteries for their grid-tied solar projects due to their longer life expectancy and low maintenance.

  • Are solar panel batteries safe?

Yes if you all the components are installed correctly and purchased from a reputable solar battery manufacturer.

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