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Choosing the Right Solar Battery Storage System

June 01, 2020

A solar battery is a device that stores energy that is produced from solar panels for later utilization. Solar batteries enable you to continue using solar power even after the sun sets or during power outages. It can also be used when the power demand escalates. Solar batteries are significant because they support the functionality of the off-grid solar systems. They are a priority when you are establishing a solar system because they influence their effectiveness. In times when you want to use more power than your solar panels produce, you can use the preserved battery energy.

Having an excellent solar battery is critical because it allows you to store the energy produced by the solar panels. Without a reliable battery, you will not be able to use solar energy when the solar panels are not producing energy, especially at night. When a person is not connected to the utility grid, or there are power outages, reliable batteries can provide adequate power. Before purchasing a solar battery, you should first confirm that it meets certain specifications. We invite you to contact our experts at Sun Solar Electric to explore the right battery storage system that would suit your needs. We offer solar power installation and services in Northern California and the Bay Area.

Comparing Solar Battery Alternatives

The process of comparing different options for solar batteries entails some complex product features. However, here are the most critical characteristics to use in your comparison.

Power and Capacity

A solar battery power ranking refers to the amount of electricity that a battery can provide at a go. Its capacity is the aggregate amount of electricity that a solar battery can store depicted in Kilowatts (kWh). The structure of many solar batteries has a ‘stackable’ feature. This means that you can combine multiple batteries to increase the capacity of your solar energy system. Note that a solar system with a high capacity and low power battery will only deliver a small amount of electricity for a longer period. Conversely, a system with low capacity and high power batteries will provide high electricity amounts but only for a shorter period.

Before purchasing any solar battery, you should assess the suitable size that you need. It can be annoying to possess a system where the battery size does not provide adequate power to get you across a dull day, especially when not connected to the utility grid. It is also inefficient to have a battery that is rapidly charged on a sunny day, and extra energy from the solar panels cannot be used.

Therefore, you should consider the following factors when deciding the suitable size of your solar battery:

  1. Reliability of the sunlight in your area
  2. Your daily power usage in kWh
  3. How long you want the solar system to supply your energy needs without sunshine
  4. Reliability of your backup system

Depth of Discharge

The chemical composition of most solar batteries requires the retention of some charge throughout its lifetime. Complete use of this charge can significantly decrease its useful period. Depth of discharge refers to the percentage of the battery’s capacity that can be used. In other words, a battery with a higher DoD means that you can use more of the battery’s capacity.

Round-trip Efficiency

This refers to the energy amount that can be utilized as a percentage of the energy amount used to preserve it. For instance, if you feed 10 kWh of electricity into the battery and only get 7 kWh, then the round-trip-efficiency of the battery is 70%. Note that batteries with higher round-trip efficiency will give you more economic value compared to those with lower efficiency.

Battery Life and Warranty

The cycle of charging and using a battery’s energy gradually reduces its capacity to hold on to charge. After using the battery for a certain period, you will realize that it does not preserve as much charge as it did when it was new. Some manufacturers might warranty a battery for 4000 cycles at 80% of its initial capacity. This means that the battery will not have lost more than 30% of its initial capacity to keep a charge. When choosing a battery, the primary issue to consider is the period that the battery will last.

Charging Time

In some instances, you might be worried about how long the sun will be available and how long the battery will take to charge. Lithium-ion batteries are among the fastest charging with a charging time of about three hours. Flood lead-acid batteries can take up to a whole day to charge. The fast-charging battery puts you in a better situation because it does not require much light and time for charging. It is also better because you get to use the solar power much faster.

Ease of Installation

This is also an essential factor that you should consider before purchasing the solar battery. Whereas the procedure is not overly complicated, you do not want to do it if you have no prior experience with solar panel systems. When choosing a solar battery, you will need to go with the option that is space-friendly, does not need maintenance, and easy to install.

Budget

The price of the solar battery is also a factor that you need to consider when making a decision. While you should make an option that fits within your budget, it is critical to recognize that you get what you pay for. Therefore, some batteries can be more expensive than others because they perform better and are durable. For example, a lithium-ion battery is more expensive than the lead-acid battery, but it requires less maintenance, easier to install, and has a higher overall performance.

Types of Solar Batteries

There are four variations of solar batteries. These are as follows:

Lead-acid

These are common types of automobile batteries. Lead-acid electrodes contain lead-oxide, which changes in content when charging and discharging. These batteries use sulfuric acid as the electrolyte. Integrating the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology has improved the usability and durability of lead-acid batteries. The AGM batteries are integrated with ultra-fine fiberglass in between the plates and are saturated with the battery acid to 90% of their capacity. These batteries can exist for about two decades with average care.

Lithium

These batteries are considered to be more beneficial than the traditional types because of their long life cycle. Lithium solar batteries also have higher discharge and recharge rates than traditional ones. Among the primary characteristics that distinguish lithium from other solar batteries is their high energy density as well as low cost per cycle. These are among the primary features that you should consider before choosing a battery for your solar system. Furthermore, lithium batteries are adaptable, and six types have their unique benefits and drawbacks. For example, the Lithium Iron Phosphate is the ideal chemistry for renewable energy utilization because it has appropriate thermal stability, current rating as well as durability.

Nickel Cadmium

These types of solar batteries are equipped with nickel oxide, which is a positive reactive component. The negative materials contain cadmium. However, they are characterized by various setbacks, such as their high cost. These batteries are also considered hazardous hence they cannot be disposed of freely. NICAD batteries have a low efficiency that ranges between 65 and 80%, as well as a non-standard voltage that cannot be used to operate some equipment.

Nickel Iron

These solar batteries use potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte. They contain alkaline-type electric cells and use steel wool substrate with irons as the anodes. The cathodes contain nickel-plated steel wool substrate with an active nickel material. These battery types have both advantages and disadvantages that it is crucial to assess the economic value and performance before choosing. The primary benefit is that the batteries have a long cycle life. On the other hand, some of the setbacks include low efficiency, high water consumption, and more resistance.

Saltwater Batteries

Unlike other solar batteries, these do not have heavy metals, and they use saltwater electrolytes to store energy. The primary benefit of saltwater batteries is that they do not need specialized mechanisms to be disposed of and can be recycled. However, these are still not thoroughly researched, and therefore, it is rare to get them in the market.

Benefits of a Solar Battery System

There are various benefits of installing a solar battery system. Primarily, most people use solar projects to reduce their dependence on the power grid. The solar system enables you to preserve energy for later use. The following are the major advantages of installing a solar battery project:

  • Minimize Pollution – Many people are environmentally conscious and aim at implementing strategies that have a minimal negative effect on the environment. Such pollution is caused by the use of coal and nuclear power to generate electricity.
  • Reduce Overdependence on the Power Grid – Implementation of a solar battery system reduces your susceptibility to power outages and the stored energy to be used in the time of emergency.
  • Minimize Power Costs – Using a solar battery is beneficial because it reduces the costs associated with the use of the power grid energy.

Battery Manufacturing Materials

The functionality of a battery is stimulated by a chemical reaction that is converted into electrical energy. Many manufacturers in the battery industry implement recycled lead. For this reason, there are significant variations in the performance and lifespan of most batteries. The integration of the metal grids enables the holding of the lead paste, which enhances energy storage.  Installing thicker and heavier metal plates is significant to enable the battery to resist corrosion and store more lead to store more energy.

Why Choose a Sonnen Battery?

The Sonnen solar battery is an effective energy storage product that implements intelligent management software. One of the significant benefits of using the Sonnen battery is that it is flexible to your personal needs. Furthermore, various storage capacities and designs are available, and this facilitates extensibility as well as expansion. Sonnen batteries are also cost-effective and allow you to harvest energy from the solar system. It is also used to collect energy from the utility grid when costs are low and use the stored energy when the rates are more costly. This solar battery incorporates an automatic mechanism to adjust energy consumption in your household.

In conjunction with your solar panels, the Sonnen battery will provide you with clean energy and make you independent of the utility grid. The Sonnen eco is a battery that enables you to store excess electricity and maintain sustained power supply during the day and night. The efficiency of the Sonnen eco is caused by its use of lithium ferrous phosphate as well as the smart software that regulates energy consumption. The software can assist households with solar systems that are connected to the grid to escalate their self-consumption as well as control time-of-use electricity charges.

The Sonnen Eco Battery is an ideal solar battery for your domestic storage utilization. The battery saves space, and it is affordable, considering the quality features it possesses. It provides varying storage options ranging from 4kWh to 16 kWh. An additional benefit of this battery is that you do not require upgrading the built-in inverter when expanding.

Contact an Expert Solar Power Services Company Near Me

Households and companies are increasingly relying on solar power energy due to its many environmental-friendly, cost, and efficiency advantages. Still, there are aspects of solar power that you need to understand with the help of an expert, such as the right battery storage for your panel so that you can realize the full benefits of solar power energy. For instance, you might not know the type of storage system that would give you maximum results since there are many options, including the efficient Sonnen battery storage. Get in touch with our experts at Sun Solar Electric to discuss more suitable options for you. We offer solar power installation and related services throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. Contact us today at 707-658-2157.

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