Solar energy has many benefits, but like all energy sources, it can be subject to power outages. In low coverage situations, solar panels can fail to produce energy, which is why solar power systems can be equipped with backup batteries. These batteries can be lithium ion, lead acid or saltwater, and as solar technology advances, so do battery backup technologies. Below are descriptions of these energy storage devices and two batteries that are changing the game for solar battery backups.
Lithium Ion Solar Battery Backups
Currently, lithium ion is the most widely used chemical composition in new energy storage technologies. Batteries made from the composition are lighter and more compact than others. Lithium ion batteries also last longer and have a higher depth of discharge (DoD). In fact, some lithium ion batteries can be discharged consistently at 100% and last for 3000 cycles. This is much greater than other types of storage technologies. While lithium ion battery backups can be more expensive than other options, that higher upfront investment does typically pay off in the long run.
Lead Acid Solar Battery Backups
Lead acid batteries are the oldest and most common storage technology used for off-grid solar systems. A low DoD and short lifespan, however, mean that these types of battery backups are being increasingly replaced by newer technologies. For example, it’s being replaced by lithium ion storage devices like the Tesla Powerwall. This device has off-grid capabilities, automatically detects grid outages and immediately takes over as the power source, once an outage is detected. Although new technologies are efficient and convenient, lead acid batteries are the most affordable, especially for those who require larger solar energy storage.
Saltwater Solar Energy Battery Backups
Saltwater batteries are the newest solar energy battery backup on the market. They’re also the eco-friendliest energy storage option. The batteries are composed of saltwater electrolytes instead of heavy metals. This composition makes them easily recyclable, adding to the appeal of a renewable energy system like a solar power array. However, the technology is in the early stages, largely untested, and currently, not widely backed by the solar power industry.
If you want to lock in at lower energy rates, or are wondering where to get solar panels or expert advice on the panels or backup you need to power your home, business or farming operation, contact us today. We are your source for smart solar solutions!