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Lithium-Ion Batteries and Solar Energy

By February 14, 2019 No Comments
solar panels

When people consider energy sources, solar is often a popular option. It represents a clean, green source of renewable energy. Other attractive qualities of switching to solar include the ability to go off-grid with your home, less power loss, a free energy source, and more control over your home’s energy consumption. Using solar panels to harvest your energy will require a battery (such as Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion) that can handle and store the energy you collect.

Solar power requires batteries to store the energy that is harvested from sunlight. When the sun goes down, the storage of energy harvested during the day is critical. Traditionally, lead-acid batteries have been used to store this energy because they were cheap and readily available. However, there are many drawbacks to using lead-acid batteries.

The Problem with Lead-Acid Batteries

The problems with storing energy in lead-acid batteries are well-known. Firstly, they emit hydrogen gas as a byproduct and need to be ventilated. Regular maintenance can also be required, depending on the type of lead-acid battery. This includes adding water to the battery every few months and equalizing their charge. Other problems like a shorter lifespan and less efficient (typically 80-85% efficiency) power usage should also be considered. Not to mention the toxicity of the material used in lead-acid batteries.

Advantages of Lithium-Ion

Lithium-ion batteries are superior to lead-acid in a variety of ways. They do not emit any gas as a byproduct, which means that they do not require any sort of ventilation and are more environmentally friendly. Efficiency is another benefit of using lithium-ion batteries. They are up to 95-98% efficient. For example, if your solar panel produces 500 watt-hours of power, a lithium-ion battery would be able to use at least 475 watt-hours of that power. Therefore, less energy is “wasted”. Alternative energy is all about being efficient and clean with power.

Being stable and safe coupled with high-output to handle demanding off-grid environments gives lithium-ion batteries a clear advantage. All elements considered the choice is clear.

Have questions about Lithium Ion batteries? Check out our FAQ on them!

Conclusion

Using solar energy as a source of power can be great for the environment. It can also be increasingly efficient and cleaner. During the day, obviously, is when a solar panel harvests the sun’s energy. You don’t want to waste the energy you have been able to harvest after the sun goes down. Doing the most you can for the environment clearly involves lithium-ion batteries for storing solar power that you generate.

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