10th Sep, 2020
Solar energy is becoming highly popular as the world continues to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The extent of its popularity is such that solar energy is being used in households as well. The battery is one of the three major components of a solar power system with the other two being the solar panels and a charge controller. Enertec tries to educate dealers about this lucrative market and gives insight as a leading solar battery supplier in South Africa. In this article, we are covering three main aspects of this topic which includes the description of solar batteries, their applications, and the characteristics of a good solar battery.
A solar battery needs to be a deep cycle battery. This is because the purpose of storing energy in a solar battery is to provide electricity to appliances. For the appliances to function properly a stable current over long durations is required. The solar battery market is quite diverse as it needs to cater for customers with different budgets. Two popular options are Lead acid batteries and Lithium ion batteries. Lead acid batteries are more readily available and relatively cheap. The cost savings of the Lead acid battery are offset by its short lifespan and bulky nature. On the other hand, Lithium ion batteries are more expensive but they are smaller and lighter with much more cycle life at greater depths of discharge. The higher price is further justified by its longer lifespan. This longevity stems from their deeper depth of discharge which means that they can last for more charging/discharging cycles.
The primary application of solar batteries is to provide electricity for everyday consumption. This, however, splits into 2 further sub-categories. The first category is to provide an emergency backup. This means that a solar battery is used in conjunction with the regular main power supply. The power source shifts to solar batteries in times of a power outage, which can occur due to numerous reasons such as damaged transmission lines. The second category is to offer an off-grid energy solution. The connection from the grid system is removed and the sole source of electricity is the solar batteries. This requires a larger investment compared to creating a solar backup system. Calculations need to be made to decide how many batteries would be needed to support the average daily consumption.
When selecting a supplier for solar batteries, it is recommended that the supplier is familiar with solar power systems and battery technology. This would mean that the stock of batteries offered by the supplier is designed for use in solar systems. It’s a common practice for many novice suppliers to try offer automotive batteries for use in solar systems. The results are often disastrous and harms any goodwill created with the customer and causes negative brand perception too. Automotive batteries and solar batteries are designed for completely different purposes. As a result, using an incorrect battery in a solar system not only harms the battery itself but can cause damage to the other components as well. Approachability and reliability of the supplier are other key points of consideration because there is a general expectation that solar batteries should perform consistently in everyday use.