This article will talk about finding the best solar battery for generators.
Finding a good and reliable could be tricky many times.
Some years back, I was looking for a solar batteries for my home. After some research and a bit of work, I finally bought one.
Soon realized that it is not what I was looking for. The battery has less capacity, bulkier, and gets discharged soon.
That’s made to think more about solar batteries’ performance.
To make sure you don’t fall into such a trap, I have listed 7 things you must check before buying a solar battery generator.
Best Solar Batteries For Generator
Batteries used to store energy are made up of 3 chemicals – Lead acid, lithium ions, and salt water. Lithium batteries are best suited for a solar panels but other batteries could be more affordable.
Working Of Solar Batteries Explained
I would talk about many technicalities of solar battery working to bore you.
The working of solar batteries is similar to those of any other large-capacity batteries.
They are charged by an electrical supply (Solar panel in this scenario), store energy over a period of time, and then utilize the energy when needed.
These batteries can be recharged many times.
Note – Not all batteries are suitable for this application.
For example – Traditional car batteries can’t be used as solar batteries. These batteries are made to give a high initial burst of energy. They are not designed to provide a continuous supply of energy.
However, it is important to know the working of solar batteries in a typical solar power generator.
- Solar panels harness the sun’s energy.
- Convert it into DC supply.
- This DC electricity is sent to the battery.
Once the battery is charged, it can be sent to the inverter to produce AC (Alternating Current) which can be used to the light, fans, bulbs, etc.
A good solar battery is capable of providing a steady power supply for a very long time. It can also be recharged and discharged several times.
Types of solar battery
1. Lead Acid Batteries
This is one of the oldest types of battery and is often used in automobiles. They are bulkier but reliable. They are also known for their dependability.
Lead Acid type batteries can last as long as 20 years on moderate care.
They have a limited life cycle and are insufficient when charged and discharge faster.
However, Lead-Acid batteries are cheap to manufacture.
2. Sodium Cadmium Batteries
These batteries are simple without a complex management system. They are rugged and reliable. These batteries are used for energy storage on a large scale. These can easily handle extreme weather.
They require ventilation and can be used where power backup is essential and proper maintenance can be done.
3. Flow Type Batteries
They are relatively new entrants to the battery storage marketplace.
They are called flow batteries because they are made up of water-based solutions of Zinc – bromide.
Flow battery work like fuel cells because liquid cell energy is elements creating electricity.
These batteries can be externally recharged by replacing electrolyte liquid. Flow batteries are good in the long run and require little to no maintenance.
At this moment only a few companies are manufacturing this battery.
4. Lithium-ion battery
Lithium-ion batteries are evolving over time.
These batteries are most commonly used in solar power storage systems. They are the most expensive as compared to other as they need a battery management system.
The benefits of lithium batteries are as below:-
- Long Life Cycle
- High charge and discharge efficiency
- No Maintenance
Till now, Lithium-ion batteries are most suited for solar power management systems.
Steps To Choose Solar Battery For Generator
Now comes the golden principle, how can you choose the right solar battery for your needs.
These are the factors that you must check.
1. Your Energy Requirements
More the energy you need, the bulkier the battery will be.
Solar energy can even run all your home appliances like – Refrigerator, Microwave, etc. but again the home will be filled with batteries.
Similarly, you don’t want to have a very small battery that can’t even run your fan.
So, it is important to have a balance between energy requirements and battery size.
For a home, I recommend a battery of at least 135 AH (Ampere-Hour) or maybe more. With this battery size, you can easily use 3 fans, and 3-4 lights, and watch television for 6-8 hours.
While going in the wild, your main priority should be that the battery is portable.
If you need a torch, even a 1000 – 1500 mAh power torch will be sufficient.
2. Type Of Battery
You most probably are going to find a Lithium-ion batteries as solar batteries.
As of now, this is widely used as a solar battery.
Lead–acid batteries are made up of a specific purpose and aren’t a good fit for renewable energy.
While UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) batteries are made to supply electricity during a power cut. It will not handle continuous charge and discharge cycles.
Whatever type of battery you choose check its materials, construction method, and quality. This will make sure that you have affordable and reliable power.
3. Battery Life And Warranties
The capacity of the battery to hold charge decreases over time.
Solar batteries are similar to batteries in your cell phone. You charge your cell phone each night and use it over the daytime. As the cell phone gets older, you will notice that the battery is not holding enough charge as it used to when it was new.
For example – your battery may be guaranteed for 10 years or 7,000 cycles at 70%. This means at the end of each year or cycles your battery will not lose more than 30% of its charge-holding capacity.
Most manufacturers will guarantee a certain no. of recharge cycles or years as battery performance degrades over time.
So how long your batteries will last?
It depends on the brand of battery you buy and the capacity it will lose over time.
4. Depth Of Discharge (DoD)
Each battery needs to retain a certain amount of charge at all times. If you use 100% of the battery charge, its life will be shortened.
Depth Of Discharge is the maximum amount of battery power that can be used.
Most Manufacturers would certain amount of DoD.
For Example, if a 20 AH (KWh) battery has 10% DoD, you shouldn’t use more than 18 AH (KWh) of battery.
Generally speaking, more the DoD, the better the power it will be.
5. Battery Efficiency
Efficiency is calculated as = (Output /Input)*100
It is a simple representation of how much electricity you feed into the battery and how much you get back in return.
Example – If you feed 10 Ah (KWh) of electricity and get 8 Ah (KWh) of electricity, then the efficiency of the battery is 80%.
Generally speaking, a highly efficient battery will give you more electricity.
Many different types of organizations are developing solar batteries from an automotive companies to tech startups.
Manufacturers play an important role in selecting the battery type.
An old recognized manufacturer has years of good records but they may not provide new technology. While tech starts up might have brand new high-performing technology but less of a track record.
Whatever type of organization you choose depends on your personal preference.