Best Batteries for Solar Storage
While on-grid solar setups can get away without any type of energy storage, off-grid systems rely heavily on solar battery storage to keep their power running after the sun goes down. If you have an off-grid system, it’s imperative that you find the best batteries for solar off-grid energy storage—ones that are efficient, reliable, safe, and require minimal maintenance. But which of all the types of batteries available are the best? This article will provide an in-depth comparison of the 3 most popular types of batteries used for solar storage: lead-acid, lithium, and saltwater.
Lead-acid batteries have been around for more than a century, and they’ve been the go-to solar storage solution for a few decades. But even though they’ve been around for a while, lead-acid batteries have still changed quite a bit over the years. There are several different types of batteries that fall into this category, including flooded, gel cell, and AGM batteries.
Flooded (or wet cell) lead-acid batteries were the most popular option for a long time, but people have begun to pull away from this particular variety due to their maintenance requirements; you have to regularly refill these batteries with water so the electrolytes don’t evaporate. Gel cell and AGM batteries don’t require this, but they are more expensive and have a shorter battery life than their wet cell cousins.
The popularity of lead-acid batteries as a whole is primarily due to the cost per watt hour. These batteries are inexpensive for the power that they can provide. However, they also have a shorter life than other types of batteries, and they have a lower depth of discharge than others as well, only being able to discharge about 60% of their total charge without damaging the battery. They can also produce harmful gasses if overcharged.
Saltwater (or sodium) batteries actually produce power through the use of salt, which makes them the safest battery option. They offer better capacity and power than lead-acid batteries and have a longer lifespan; however, they do cost more. If you’re concerned about chemicals, overall safety, and the environment, saltwater batteries might be a good option for you. They’re even fully recyclable!
For most people with an off-grid system, efficiency and storage capacity are the most important factors to consider. If those are your primary concerns as well, lithium-ion batteries are probably what you need. While they come with the highest price tag, they have the longest battery life, so you won’t need to replace them as frequently. They also offer a depth of discharge between 80% and 90%, so you can use more of the battery’s storage capacity without damaging it.
These batteries are highly efficient and lose a lot less charge while storing energy. A lead-acid battery offers an efficiency of roughly 80%, while lithium-ion batteries are 95% to 98% efficient. This is extremely important for off-grid systems that don’t have an alternative power source via the city grid.
If you’re looking for batteries that offer you more power and efficiency, you’ll probably want to look for lithium solar batteries for sale. While they’ll cost you more upfront, you’ll encounter fewer issues, lose less power, and have to replace them less frequently than cheaper options. If you have more questions about which battery is best for your off-grid system, contact us at The PowerStore, Inc.,