Lithium ion solar batteries are the latest technology in renewable energy storage. They are more efficient, lightweight, and have a longer lifespan than previous types of lithium batteries. Lithium ion solar batteries have become popular because they can definitely be used for a range of applications, from powering small devices to storing energy produced by solar panels. When considering the best lithium solar batteries for your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind.
What Are Lithium Solar Batteries
Lithium solar batteries, simply put, are lithium batteries that are used in a solar power system. Most solar batteries are deep-cycle lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), similar to lead-acid deep-cycle starting batteries found in automobiles. LiFePO4 batteries use lithium salts to create an extremely efficient and long-lasting battery. Because these are deep-cycle batteries, they are ideal for solar applications with erratic charging and discharging.
Lithium batteries do not release harmful gasses like hydrogen and oxygen like other battery chemistries do, such as flooded lead acid batteries. There is also no risk of coming into contact with sulfuric acid or potassium hydroxide, two caustic electrolytes. It is safe to keep these batteries in small spaces without worrying about an explosion, and a well-designed system shouldn’t need any additional cooling or venting.
Are Lithium Batteries The Best For Solar Panels?
Lithium solar batteries outperform their competitors when storing energy for a solar system. They are more efficient, charge faster, do not require maintenance, and last significantly longer.
The efficiency stems from the batteries’ extremely low internal resistance, which allows them to charge with minimal loss. This also implies that they can discharge with little loss, ensuring that the energy in equals the energy out. Any loss when charging weak batteries is lost solar energy that cannot be recovered.
When these advantages are considered, lithium solar batteries, despite their higher initial cost, are a more cost-effective option than other battery types in the long run.
Lithium Ion and Lead-Acid Batteries Comparison
When comparing lithium solar batteries to other types, you’ll notice they’re among the most expensive. However, the advantages of lithium batteries outweigh their high initial cost.
Solar Charge Cycles
Solar charging conditions can vary due to weather, location, and time of year. Charging rates can vary significantly from one moment to the next, and cloudy days can effectively render a solar array inoperable. Inconsistent charging can harm lead-acid batteries, but it does not affect lithium batteries.
Lithium batteries can accept a higher charge current, resulting in faster charging times. Furthermore, lithium batteries are more forgiving of irregular charge cycles. Lead-acid batteries should be fully recharged after any amount of discharge, or the lifespan will be reduced. A partial charge cycle has little impact on lithium battery lifespan and performance. As a result, they are ideal for solar conditions.
The amount of power drawn from your battery bank may vary daily. Lithium batteries are excellent at handling erratic discharge cycles. Whether your lithium battery bank serves as a backup power supply or your primary power source, it can hold inconsistent discharging without causing battery damage. Even a deep discharge, which would harm a lead-acid battery, has little effect on high-quality lithium batteries.
Lifespan Exceeding 5,000 Cycles
The cost of lithium batteries turns many people off. One of the most critical considerations is how long they will last. Typical lead-acid batteries have a charging cycle life of 200 to 900 cycles. Daily solar charging can last a few years under ideal conditions and proper maintenance.
Lithium batteries, on the other hand, are known to last 5000+ charge cycles, which translates to 10+ years of use. Battle Born, for example, designs their batteries to last 3,000 – 5,000 cycles regardless of the depth of discharge and backs them up with a 10-year warranty. This ensures that after 5,000 discharge cycles, 80 percent of the battery will still be available!
The Battery Condition
The voltage drops steadily as you drain a lead-acid battery. In most cases, you can only use about half of a lead-acid battery’s capacity before the voltage drops too low to power your electronics. Furthermore, draining a lead-acid battery below 50% capacity causes damage and reduces battery life.
Lithium batteries, on the other hand, provide consistent power and voltage during discharge until the battery is completely depleted. This means you can use the battery’s full capacity without experiencing any significant voltage drop. Furthermore, unlike lead-acid batteries, fully discharging lithium batteries does not harm them.
With so many things requiring regular maintenance, it’s easy to appreciate lithium batteries as a maintenance-free option. After installing lithium batteries in your battery bank, you can practically forget about them.
Lead-acid batteries, on the other hand, necessitate extensive regular maintenance. The electrolyte in lead-acid batteries is a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. Water evaporates when you charge and discharge lead-acid batteries, so you must refill them frequently. Failure to check and fill a lead-acid battery results in permanent damage, decreased performance, and shorter battery life.
Lifespan and Warranty of Lithium Solar Batteries
Lithium solar batteries are among the most recent batteries to hit the market. The lifespan and warranties provided in this industry are increasing as research and technologies advance. Brands that used to offer three to five years of warranty protection now offer ten years or more.
Before making a purchase, double-check the warranty coverage and any requirements to avoid voiding the warranty. To make an informed decision, you should also confirm what is covered and the replacement process.
Due to their compact size and high energy storage capacity, lithium-ion solar batteries are the ideal solar energy storage device for regular household use. In addition, the high depth of discharge allows for greater stored energy utilization. It will live longer than a lead acid battery; thus, it won’t need to be replaced as often. Furthermore, you get more bang for your buck because you can really use the energy that your solar panels produce and store.