Solar batteries are not essential for a solar panel setup, but it does come in very handy if you want to store excess energy. In fact, considering you spend most of your day at work, which makes it difficult to really utilize solar energy, having a battery bank makes sense. It means you get to come home and make the most out of your investment. The lights can be on all night, even if the grid fails. And what about not worrying about food going off in the fridge?
Even if you have a business that requires electricity during the night, solar batteries are perfect. Because if you have a sufficient battery bank, a lot of the excess energy harvested throughout the day can be used without costing you anything. On this page, we are going to go to take a deeper look at your solar battery options. In other words, we’ll be covering:
- What to know about solar batteries
- The different types of solar batteries
- What should you be looking for in a solar battery bank
What to know about Solar Batteries
As mentioned earlier, it is not mandatory for a solar panel system to run with batteries. In fact, you don’t need solar panels to utilize a battery bank. Why? Because you can store energy from solar or the grid, the choice is yours.
If you only want solar power on demand then that’s the setup you should go with. However, some people enjoy the idea of having stored energy, especially when the sun isn’t shining and the grid is showing signs of bombing out. But what are solar batteries really capable of?
You’ll find several different types (which are discussed in more detail in a minute) and depending on your choice, you get different capabilities. For example, the conventional lead-acid battery is the cheapest on the market. But it’s also the less efficient and come with certain hazards. And compared to the choices you get on Solar Advice, there is no point in even looking at conventional lead-acid batteries anymore. Everything from storage capabilities and discharging changes with your options, meaning you can truly customize the type of solar panel setup you want.
If you use the right battery bank, you can store energy for a few days. But if you don’t think you’ll need it, a smaller battery bank can serve for the night time until the next morning. Solar batteries are typically placed out of sight and you don’t hear them working. Plus, they can stay efficient for up to 10 years. Although, it should be noted that the lead-crystal batteries can be useful for up to 18 years.
The Different Types of Solar Batteries
As promised, we are going to take a look at the different solar battery options and help you make the best decision.
With low internal resistance and a high current delivery, AGM solar batteries are efficient, durable, and cost effective. If the quality of the battery is in tact, you can have peace of mind this battery will handle all the storage you need. The most powerful one currently available at Solar Advice is the OmniPower 240Ah 12V Sealed Battery. It’s got a cycle life of 12 years, a max output charge of 600W, it’s very safe to use and comes at a budget-based price. In case you are wondering about the manufacturing quality, Omnipower’s storage technology comes with two decades of research and testing.
Lead-crystal batteries are known for their long cycle life, and for being much more efficient than their conventional lead-acid counterparts. This particular solar battery puts out 800 W and can last 18 years. Of course, you can expect great durability and efficiency levels, but the high current discharge without putting strain on the overall health of the battery really makes it a “powerful” investment.
Without getting too technical, lithium-ion batteries are the way of the future. They are used in several different areas, such as telecommunications, and with good reason. They are lightweight, more efficient, and they have more appealing designs. A good example would be the Tesla Powerwall, which puts out a massive 6.4kWH, it looks incredible, and it comes with a 10 year warranty.
What should You be Looking for?
The main objective here is to get the most bang for your buck. But you also want to be practical and keep the long-run in mind. So, if you are planning on going off the grid, you are going to require extensive battery capacity, and the most practical choice will be one from the lithium-ion range.
But if you are looking to keep the battery bank on a small scale, the AGM and lead-crystal options will most likely be a better choice. The good thing is that you have a range of options at your disposal. All you have to do is assess your storage needs and compare them to battery capabilities.