Why LiFePO4 Makes the Best Solar Battery Energy Storage
First, let’s briefly define solar battery energy storage. Solar panels convert sunlight into energy, however, the problem with solar power is that it does not work at night or in low light conditions, so energy storage is needed for later use. An important component of a solar battery storage system is the battery. When it comes to choosing the right battery for a solar energy storage system, the lifepo4 solar battery is a widely recognized quality choice.
- What is the best solar battery?
- Why LiFePO4 Batteries Are the Best Batteries for Storage Power Storage ?
- How Much Do LiFePO4 Batteries Cost ?
- What do I need to consider when buying Lifepo4 solar battery ?
- What to Look for in Solar Battery Storage ?
what is the best solar battery?
When the solar panel absorbs electricity, it is transferred to the battery until it reaches capacity. You can use the internally stored power on cloudy days or at night and rely on fresh solar energy on sunny days. The battery can also provide a lot of energy in a short period of time. It is possible to run a 1200-watt microwave oven on a 300-watt solar panel, but only if you have a battery to store and deliver more energy in a shorter period of time.
The battery is the heart of the solar system because, without it, none of the other components are useful. LiFePO4 is our first choice and is now the most advanced energy storage battery available. It far outperforms all types of traditional lead-acid batteries and we believe it is the best lithium battery option for solar energy.
Why LiFePO4 Batteries Are the Best Batteries for Storage Power Storage ?
The advantages of LiFePO4 cells greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Their efficiency and consistent energy output make them a clear winner. Let’s review the details.
Little to No Maintenance
Because our LiFePO4 batteries come with a built-in battery management system, they’re highly efficient. This also means that they require little to no maintenance. Even if you’re using your battery for RVing or marine capacities with constant movement and jostling, LiFePO4 batteries still hold up well.
LiFePO4 batteries also come with considerable weight savings. They generally weigh about one-third to one-half of what a lead-acid battery weighs. This means you can ramp up your battery bank since it takes two or three LiFePO4 batteries to equal the weight of one lead-acid battery. They also have more usable capacity, which maximizes their weight to power ratio.
Long Battery Life
Battery life is where LiFePO4 batteries make up for the higher initial cost. A high-quality LiFePO4 like Dragonfly Energy is designed to last 3000-5000 cycles of deep discharging and still retain 80% of its original capacity. This is critical for a solar system because the batteries are used every single night and recharged every day.
In reality, the battery life cycles are even higher as most discharges are not full. 10,000-15,000 cycles are common for LiFePO4 in a solar application making them good for many years.
Fast Charging Time
LiFePO4 batteries offer lower resistance, and they don’t require a float charging cycle. So they charge much faster than lead-acid batteries. When you’re relying on solar power, a battery that recharges faster is significant. If there are only a few hours of pure sunlight per day where you are, a shorter charge time is gold.
LiFePO4 batteries are non-toxic and recyclable. Many of us want to use solar energy for its environmental benefits, so it only makes sense to utilize solar battery storage that’s not detrimental to the environment. There are fewer gas emissions from them and no risk of acid spills.
Usable capacity considers how much you can discharge a battery before it sustains damage. If you have batteries that cannot be fully discharged, you must program the solar system to cut out early or risk battery damage.
Let’s look at an example: Battery A is a lithium-ion LifePO4 battery rated for 200 amp-hours, and Battery B is a 200-amp-hour lead-acid battery. You might think the lithium and lead-acid batteries have the same usable capacity because they have the same power rating. However, you can completely discharge Battery A without causing damage. But if you let Battery B dip below 50%, it will sustain damage that shortens its lifespan and power capacity.
Because of the potential damage issues, Battery A gives you a full 200 amp-hours of energy. Meanwhile, Battery B only gives 100 amp-hours. The practical, usable capacity of Battery A is thus twice that of Battery B.
Always factor in your battery’s lifespan, especially when you’re considering the cost. A lead-acid battery can cost a couple of hundred dollars, while a lithium-ion battery might run several hundred or upwards of a thousand dollars. But when you think about how long your battery lasts, you’ll recognize the colossal bang for your buck.
Lithium batteries also last longest under solar charge and discharge conditions that change rapidly. As the sun comes and goes, charge and discharge cycling can happen tens to hundreds of times per day.
While it’s not very common anymore, you can purchase non-sealed lead-acid batteries. They require significantly more maintenance than other battery types, and if they’re jostled too much (like in an RV or boat), they could leak battery acid. This is a safety hazard, and it’s toxic to the environment.
Additionally, most batteries can let off flammable or toxic gases if they overheat or are not well-ventilated. But some present more of a hazardous gas problem than others. Lead-acid batteries are more likely to produce a gas called hydrogen sulfide. It smells like rotten eggs and is colorless, flammable, and very poisonous.
Your battery might also emit flammable gases if it’s overcharged, so finding a battery that will automatically stop charging when it’s full is highly valuable.
Flexible Charge Cycles
Choose a battery that has flexible charging cycles. Basically, that means you can deeply discharge a battery without damaging its lifespan. Also, batteries should efficiently recharge, no matter how low the power level gets.
You can only discharge some batteries (lead-acid) to about 50% capacity before they start suffering irreparable damage. But you can discharge LiFePO4 batteries almost entirely without causing harm. Charging can also start and stop at any point with LiFePO4 batteries.
How Much Do LiFePO4 Batteries Cost?
A 100 amp-hour LiFePO4 battery typically costs between $800 and $1,000. That certainly sounds like a lot when compared to lead-acid batteries that run around $300. But remember that because you won’t damage them by deeply discharging them, LiFePO4 batteries can easily last 10-15 years with between 3,000 and 5,000 cycles.
What do I need to consider when buying Lifepo4 solar battery?
- Discharge depth (DoD)
- Assessment of power and capacity
- Round-trip efficiency
Discharge depth (DoD)
The discharge depth (DoD) of a solar battery is the percentage of battery discharge in relation to the total battery capacity. Most solar batteries will have a list of specific DoDs to maintain battery health.
Higher DoD ratings allow you to use more energy stored in the solar battery before you have to charge it. For example, let’s say you have a solar battery with a capacity of 10 kWh and a recommended DoD of 60%. This means you should not use over 6 kWh of electricity before charging the battery. Using more than 6 kWh could damage the battery.
Assessment of power and capacity
The first thing you need to consider when buying a solar battery is the capacity and power rating. The capacity assessment shows how much electricity a solar batter contains, which is often measured by kilowatt-hours (kWh). This represents the actual amount of electricity you have stored in the battery.
Capacity assessment alone is not very useful. You also need to consider battery power. A power rating indicates how much electricity a solar battery can transfer to power your home in one interval. This will tell you clearly how many appliances and devices can be powered with one solar battery.
High-capacity, low-power solar batteries are useful as emergency backup power because they can power several important devices, such as refrigerators or washing machines, for extended periods of time.
A low-capacity, high-power battery will power the entire house, but only for a few hours because less electricity is stored in the battery.
The warranty indicates the life expectancy of a solar battery. Most household solar batteries can last more than 10 years on average with regular use.
Solar battery manufacturers usually measure warranties in terms of ‘cycles’. The cycle occurs when the battery is fully charged and then discharged to the recommended DoDs. The more cycles a battery experiences, the weaker its ability to hold a charge.
How you use a solar battery affects how many cycles will remain. The solar battery warranty guarantees that the battery will operate at a certain capacity not only after a certain number of cycles or lifetimes, but also after a certain number of years.
Round trip efficiency refers to the ratio of the energy you can use from the solar cell to the energy you need to store energy. So here’s an example: when an amount of electricity of 10kWh was produced and sent to your battery, only 8kWh of that electricity is successfully reserved. This means that the battery operating system needs 2 kWh of electricity to store and discharge electricity. Here, the battery round-trip efficiency rating is 80%.
High-efficiency batteries prove more cost-effective because a higher proportion of electricity is available compared to that of a lower-efficiency battery.
What to Look for in Solar Battery Storage ?
While we’ve already talked about why LiFePO4 batteries are good for solar power storage, we want to make sure you understand all that goes into choosing a great battery.
- Has 100 percent usable capacity (otherwise you need to stop using the battereis under certian conditions to prevent damage)
- Flexible and fast charging cycle
- Safe and non toxic
- Long battery life under solar charging and discharging conditions
- We’ll explore each here to help you make a more informed battery purchase.
- Good energy denisty to pack more power into a smaller space
LiFePO4 solar batteries have the advantages of low maintenance, light weight, long battery life, fast charging time, environmental friendliness, and large available capacity compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. Choosing a good quality, high performance battery is the key to a solar energy storage system, and LiFePO4 solar batteries are a reliable choice.