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Solar battery

Energy Storage Explained: The Workings of Solar Battery

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What’s a Solar Battery?

A solar battery is a vital addition to any solar power system. The battery stores extra electricity when your solar panels cannot generate enough energy. As a result, you have more power options.  For instance, if there’s a power outage or you want to power your home during a cloudy day, you can use the stored energy as electricity backup.

How Does a Solar Battery Work?

Secondary lithium batteries (lithium-ion or LifePO4 batteries) are commonly used as solar batteries. They can also be seen on smartphones and other devices.

A secondary lithium battery converts chemical energy to electrical energy when lithium ions discharge free electrons. These electrons flow to the cathode from the anode. The lithium-salt electrolyte encourages the movement of these electrons. The electrolyte is a liquid inside the battery that provides the essential positive ions to balance the reaction. Current is produced from the flow of free electrons.

The lithium ions flow back to the positive electrode across the electrolyte when electricity is drawn from a battery. Concurrently, the electrons travel to the positive electrode from the negative electrode through the outer circuit. This movement provides power to a device. The safety and performance of the solar battery system depend on the complex arrangement of the electronic components having multiple battery cells. 

Comparing Battery Storage Technologies

Solar batteries commonly come in 3 options: lead-acid, lithium-ion, and LifePO4. Solar panel companies prefer Li-ion and LifePO4 batteries as they have a 100% Depth of Discharge (DoD), hold energy for a long time and can store more energy.

(DoD refers to the percentage of a battery’s usage related to its total capacity.)

Lead-Acid Battery

Although lead-acid batteries have been in the market for many years, their popularity is declining because of their shorter lifespan (300 to 500 cycles) and low DoD. Their widescale application was in off-grid home energy storage systems.

Lithium-Ion Battery

This type of battery is more popular because of its compact size, ability to hold more energy for a longer time, reliable lifespan (3000 cycles at 80% DoD), and 100% DoD. But because of all these benefits, Li-ion batteries are more expensive than lead-acid ones.

LifePO4 Battery

The LifePO4 battery is safer than the Li-ion battery and lasts longer (2-4 times). Since solar batteries are often housed in residential areas, safety is of utmost priority. Another great thing about a LifePO4 battery is that it doesn’t catch fire easily. Also, it’s less toxic, lowering the risk of medical hazards like accidental poisoning or allergic reactions.

Solar Battery & Solar Power System

The whole procedure commences with the solar panels generating power. They are installed on the roof, where they receive the most sunlight. Here’s the stepwise breakdown of a DC-coupled system: The energy from the sunlight is converted to DC electricity and stored in the battery. The DC electricity is converted into AC electricity with the help of an inverter so that the home appliances can work. 

There are slight differences with an AC-coupled system.

The process is the same till the conversion to AC. After that, the excess electricity goes through another inverter to be converted back into DC electricity to be stored for later use. When there’s energy needs, DC is converted back into AC with an inverter. 

Solar Battery & Hybrid Inverter

A hybrid inverter can also convert AC to DC and DC to AC. This means there’s no need for having 2 inverters in a photovoltaic system (the battery inverter converts electricity from a solar battery and the solar inverter converts electricity from solar panels).

The hybrid inverter is also known as the hybrid grid-tied inverter or a battery-based inverter. It combines a solar inverter and a battery inverter into a single device. As a result, you don’t need 2 separate inverters. Hybrid inverters are popular because they can work even without battery storage. So even if you have a solar system without a battery, you can install a hybrid inverter during the installation.

Benefits of Solar Battery Storage

There are several benefits of adding battery backup for solar panels. Here are some of those:

Backup Power During Power Outages

Areas where common power outages can store the excess energy and use it later from the solar batteries. So you will have electricity even when there’s no power coming from the grid.

Stores Excess Electricity

On sunny days, your solar panels can generate more power than you need. The excess energy is delivered to the grid if you do not have solar energy battery storage. Although you can get credit for excess generation through net metering, the ratio is not 1:1 for the generated energy.

When you install a solar battery, the excess electricity charges the battery instead of going to the grid. The stored energy can be used later on when there is a lower generation. This reduces your need to get electricity from the grid.

Provides Electricity Even After Sunset

Solar panels don’t generate electricity when nighttime falls. So, you need a grid for powering house equipment. If you don’t have battery storage, you will take power from the grid, and your electric bill will go up. A solar battery gives you peace of mind that you have backup power.

A Quiet Solution

Gas-powered backup generators are too noisy, but solar power batteries are not. They are 100% noiseless, and you get clean energy with less maintenance.

Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

The world is focusing on clean energy; you can be part of this movement. Most grid electricity is generated from fossil fuels (non-renewable sources), but solar panels produce clean energy. With a solar battery, you can store the energy for later use.

Conclusion

Understanding the main things about solar batteries is crucial before opting for solar panel energy storage. It’s like a rechargeable battery that provides power during outages, at night, and when there’s not enough generation from solar panels. 

LifePO4 batteries are commonly used as solar batteries, and Melasta has those for you. We provide reliable Lithium batteries for all your energy storage needs. We even offer customized solutions to our customers. Take advantage of clean energy, stop relying on the grid, and make a wise long-term investment by adding solar batteries to your solar panel system.

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