Ever wondered what the best battery storage for solar might be?
There is no doubt that we rely on electric appliances to perform many of our daily routine activities.
This is why the demand for electricity is increasing day by day.
Fossil fuels are the major source of electricity generation, but that is a finite source. We need to stop subsidizing the use of fossil fuels if we want our future generation to leverage the benefits of clean power generation. Otherwise, it will become difficult to fulfil the requirements.
Fortunately, with advancing technology, we can use the renewable energy resources in wind, water and sun. The sun is an unlimited power source that is available free to us every day.
In Australia, for example, in 2016 almost 17.3% of the electricity generated came from renewable sources. In that year, there were 135,370 rooftop solar panels installed. Rooftop systems backed by the best battery storage for solar is the cheapest alternative to fossil fuels.
Best Battery Storage For Solar Panel
If you install a solar power system, invest in getting the best battery storage for solar power.
Batteries compliment a photovoltaic system by storing the DC energy produced by the solar panels. Energy generated and stored during the daytime is available when the sun sets. This store of energy runs electronic appliances in your house.
In 2017 Australia installed more home battery storage capacity than the existing supply. There are expectations that in 2018 the trend will continue.
The best battery storage for solar industry is growing rapidly. Batteries for energy storage usually have one of three chemical compositions. Lead acid, nickel cadmium and lithium ion. The first types of batteries listed are more affordable. But, lithium-ion battery is the best battery storage for a solar panel system.
Lead Acid Battery
This type of battery is common as an electrical store in off-grid energy systems.
The batteries store the electrical energy in the form of chemical energy. During use the internal reactions convert stored energy into electrical energy when required. In this battery, the positive and negative electrodes immerse in an electrolytic solution. That solution is sulphuric acid diluted with pure water. The positive electrode plate is lead peroxide. The negative electrode plate is pure lead in sponge-like condition. An external electrical load connects between these plates.
When we connect a load, the molecules of sulphuric acid is split into H+ ions and So4—ions. The hydrogen ions react with PbO2 plate to form PbO and H2O. This PbO reacts with sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and forms PbSO4 and H2O.
PbO2 + 2H → PbO + H2O
PbO+ H2SO4→ PbSO4+H2O
SO4 ions move freely in the solution. Some of them react with pure lead and give extra electrons to become radical SO4 due to which it can’t exist alone and react with Pb to form PbSO4. As H+ ions take electrons form PbO2 and SO4- ions will discharge electrons to Pb plate, there would be a difference between the concentrations of two plates. Due to this there is a flow of current between two plates for balancing this inequality of electrons.
When we disconnect the load, the density of sulphuric acid falls, but hydrogen ions being positively charged move to the electrode connected with a negative terminal of DC source. They take one electron form that source to become a hydrogen atom.
These hydrogen atoms react with PbSO4 to form lead and sulphuric acid.
PbSO4 + 2H → H2SO4 + Pb
SO4- ions move towards the electrode connected to DC source. They give their extra electrons to become radical SO4 and these radicals react with PbSO4 to form PbO2 and H2SO4.
PbSO4+ 2H2 + SO4 → PbO2 + 2H2SO4
Why Lead-Acid Battery Used Compared To Others?
- Able to withstand frequent discharging.
- Cheaper than other kinds of batteries.
- More rugged durability.
- Able to deliver more consistent performance than other batteries.
Advantages of Lead-Acid Battery
- Proven Reliability
- Low Upfront Cost
Disadvantages of Lead-Acid Battery
- Requires Maintenance
- It can lead to bulk and corrosion
Lithium-ion batteries are an advanced technology form of solar batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are displacing the lead-acid batteries for solar storage.
The main reason is deep-cycling capability. That means higher recharging and discharging rates and longer lifespan.
Lithium-ion is the best battery storage for solar panels.
What Are Lithium-ion Batteries?
The battery uses lithium ions to store the electrochemical energy.
That energy can convert into electrical energy when required.
Standard batteries have anode (negative terminal), cathode (positive terminal) and electrolyte (channel). Anodes are usually carbon or another similar non-metal. The cathode is a metal oxide such as cobalt oxide and the electrolyte is a solution of lithium salt and water.
How Does It Work?
The battery components exist in a container. To Charge the battery you connect an external power source. This causes lithium ions at the anode and electrons will move towards the cathode.
When we disconnect the external power source, the reverse process is able to occur.
When you connect an external load you complete the circuit. Electrons will flow through the external circuit. The ionized lithium atoms in the anode separate from their electrode. The lithium ions move toward the cathode through the electrolytic solution. Lithium ions combine with the cathode to become neutral.
Cathode Electrode Reaction:
CoO2 + Li+ + e- LiCoO2
Anode Electrode Reaction:
LiC6 C6 + Li+ + e-
LiC6 + CoO2 C6 + LiCoO2
Why Are Lithium-ion Batteries Better Than Other Batteries?
- Require low maintenance
- Have high energy density
- Can store more amount of energy in less amount of lithium
- Consume less space as compared to others
- Do not leak, hence they are safe
- Have less charging time as compared to lead-acid batteries
Advantages Of Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Superior in Weight and Size
- Good Resilience
- Longer Lifespan
- Low Cost
- Easy Installation
Disadvantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Overcharging reduces the lifespan of the battery
- If not used prolonged period of time, there are chances that batteries may drain. Once they drained completely, they can’t be recharged
How Much Will A Lithium-ion Battery Setup Cost?
There is a wide range of lithium-ion batteries available in the market and their prices vary.
The total cost of setting up a solar system with batteries depends on the brand of battery you are choosing. They appear to be the best battery storage for solar. Fortunately the prices will reduce over time.
For example, in Australian if you choose a 14kWh system with Tesla battery, then it costs around $AU8,750. (~$USD6560). To give a rough price, a 5kW photovoltaic system with a battery ready inverter costs around $8000. If you add powerwall2 battery to this, then it will cost around $16,750.
We know it is difficult for the average household to invest in the order of $16,750 at one time. There are benefits over costs that make it worth the investment.
- It will reduce your electricity bills immediately
- You can still feed excess power to the grid if you wish
- Enhance the value of your property
- You need not worry about power cuts or fluctuations
- Guaranteed performance
- Save stress on the environment
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Battery Storage for Solar Panels
To a non-technical buyer there are different types of batteries in the market that look similar.
They range from low quality to high quality batteries.
Their prices vary depending on the size, brand, and type of battery.
You almost have too many options, so it becomes difficult to decide which one to choose.
If you are a non-technical buyer choosing a battery, then consider the following factors:
- What do they cost?
- How much available solar energy do you have to charge the batteries?
- How long will the batteries last?
- Are they good for the environment?
- How much money will you save?
- What is your daily usage in kWh?
- Do you have another resource of electricity?
- How efficient and convenient is your backup system?
- How much maintenance will it require?
- Can you scale it up by adding more number of batteries when required?
What Is The Future Of Lithium-Ion Batteries?
In 2018, the lithium-ion rechargeable battery celebrates 27 years in production.
It's become the best battery storage for solar panel. The lithium-ion rechargeable battery has seen sales and growth over that 27 years. It has displaced many traditional batteries for solar storage. The lithium-ion battery is gaining popularity due to its high efficiency and lifespan.
This quality of lithium will lead to the growth of electrification storage. That will happen in homes and mini-grids as part of decentralized energy systems. But we will see it also go forward in cars and buses.
Lithium is the lightest metal with the lowest reduction potential. That makes lithium batteries superior to other batteries. Also, lithium is abundant in earth deposits and we can use it for another 400 years. The battery technology is cheap compared with other battery technologies.
The most popular type of lithium battery is lithium ion battery. It has an unbeatable combination of higher energy and power density.
Recent developments in batteries reflect that the lithium batteries are continuously improving.
Their improvements in energy, safety, power capability and cost mean a long future for lithium batteries. The price of lithium-ion batteries will drop by 50% and its power density will increase by 20%. These changes will further add momentum in the field for using electric vehicles.
With concern for global warming an investment in Solar PV system is an environmental one. That means investing in Lithium-ion best battery storage for solar will get more support.