Your solar system needs a battery to store the energy it gathers. But out of the many types of batteries out there, which one should you choose?
The most popular and viable energy storage options in the market at the moment are Lithium-ion and Lead-acid batteries. Lithium based batteries are considered to be the superior, higher tech option due to their many advantages over lead-acid batteries.But lead-acid batteries have been the main solar energy storage solution for decades, and they come at a cheaper price up-front. Whether it’s for your RV or home, here are some features to take into consideration when picking a battery for your solar system.
In the past few years, we’ve seen lithium taking a larger share of the battery market. Studies prove it will keep growing at a fast pace, and for good reason. Lithium batteries are more compact, efficient, powerful, and last longer. They’re also safer and have other traits that make them more convenient.
Here are some of the qualities that give lithium and edge over lead-acid:
Weight: Lithium batteries weigh about one third of lead-acid batteries, and are twice as compact. This, in addition to the fact that they don’t need ventilation, makes their storage much easier.
Environmentally friendly: Lithium ion batteries store solar and wind energy, meeting renewable energy growth, greenhouse gas reduction goals, and slowly phasing out fossil fuels.
Discharge depth: Unlike lead-acid, lithium batteries can be discharged to almost 100% without sacrificing much of their lifespan. Lead-acid batteries, in contrast, can only be discharged to 50% before their battery health takes a significant hit.
Charge rate: The charge rate of lead-acid batteries slows down dramatically once 80% of their full capacity is reached. However, it is recommended to recharge them up to 100% to maintain battery health. Lithium-based batteries prove to be much more effective, charging fast and steadily to full capacity.
Efficiency: Lithium batteries absorb energy more efficiently and result in less wasted energy during charge.
Lifespan: Studies prove lithium batteries to degrade slower, taking on more charging cycles than lead acid batteries, and providing lithium-ion products with a longer lifespan.
Although the list of advantages for lead-acid batteries may not be extensive, some people choose them because some of the following points are very important to them:
Up-front price: Lead-acid batteries have a lower price up-front, making them the preferred choice for those on a tight budget.
Most products are built with lead-acid in mind: Since lead-acid batteries have been the norm for decades, their use still ranges from cell phone tower backups to everyday appliances and various solar power systems.