Use Lithium Solar Batteries for Storing Alternative Energy

Energy Storage Partnership (ESP) Factsheet | ESMAP

Energy generated through alternative means such as solar needs to be stored. Otherwise, users will have to revert to the conventional grid in the evening when the sun goes down. Fortunately, lithium solar batteries are there to help.

The world has relied on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs for far too long. Scientists have been sounding the alarm for decades that in our relentless pursuit of advancement, we have caused irreparable harm to the planet.

There still remains considerable political debate over whether the concerns are justified or not but the science is clear. Fossil fuels are the biggest contributor to climate change and the effects of the damage that it has caused is already visible in erratic weather events and increasing natural disasters. 

Fortunately, some of the leading powers in the world have now started taking this seriously. Many countries are leading the push towards alternative energy sources. People are taking steps on an individual level as well by shifting to electric cars and solar energy systems.

Progress is going to be gradual but at least the world appears to be heading in the right direction. Shifting to alternative energy systems is what we should all be considering. The cost of entry has been lowered significantly over the past decades and the technology has become more advanced as well.

Can lithium batteries be used in solar lights?

Solar lights are being increasingly adopted by people in both urban and rural areas. These lights are powered entirely by solar energy and since the objective is to use them in the evening when the sun goes down, it’s imperative that the batteries used with these lights offer optimal performance. 

This will ensure long-lasting energy backup as well as longevity of the actual battery itself.

Lithium batteries are actually the most common types of rechargeable batteries that are used for solar lights. Studies have shown that they can last up to five times longer than lead-acid batteries and are able to sustain almost four times discharge. Many consider them to be the best type of battery for solar lights. 

Unlike lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries don’t require regular maintenance. This improves convenience for users as they have one less thing to worry about. Regular batteries are only able to sustain around 500-800 discharge cycles whereas lithium-ion batteries are capable of sustaining up to 2,000 discharge cycles.

What type of battery is best for solar?

When comparing the best batteries for solar energy systems, consider the capacity which refers to the total amount of electricity that the battery is capable of storing. The depth of discharge or DoD is another useful metric. It indicates the amount of battery capacity used, a higher DoD is better.

Saltwater, lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries are most commonly used for home energy storage. Out of the three, lithium-ion batteries are considered to be the best option for solar energy systems even though they tend to be more expensive than the other options. 

Lithium-ion batteries tend to be more compact and lighter than other types of batteries. They’re considered the best option for home energy storage systems because of their longer lifespan. Users don’t have to change them out as frequently and this can actually be more cost-effective in the long run.

Since they support deeper discharges, lithium-ion batteries offer more usable storage capacity in addition to more efficient power usage. There’s no off-gassing or ventilation as well in addition to the no maintenance required.

How much are lithium-ion solar batteries?

The benefits that lithium-ion batteries provide over the other types of batteries do come at a cost. These batteries tend to be more expensive but for many customers, the tradeoff is worth it when they take into account the efficiency and longer lifespan that they provide.

There are many factors that need to be taken into account when calculating the cost of lithium-ion batteries for your solar energy system. Different manufacturers are going to offer their products at different prices. The cost for your system will largely depend on the number of batteries that are needed and the capacity that’s required.

It’s understandable that a higher number of batteries and that too with higher capacity is going to make the solar energy system more expensive. As a benchmark, though, consider lithium-ion solar batteries for a complete system are going to cost around $9,000. The price can go up significantly, well into the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the variables mentioned before. 

How many batteries do I need for a 400-watt solar system?

Many people get confused about the number of panels or batteries that they need for a solar energy system that’s capable of powering their entire home. It can be a difficult calculation for people who are shifting to solar for the first time and may not have much information about the topic.

The number of batteries needed for a 400-watt solar system depends on the capacity of the batteries utilized. For example, up to four batteries of 50Ah capacity can be connected to a 400W solar energy system which will be capable of charging them fully in a day. Similarly, the system will be able to charge one or at the most two batteries of 200Ah capacity.

Experts recommend that the minimum battery bank size used with a 400-watt solar energy system should be 200Ah. This is to prevent the stored energy from being wasted. Either 6V or 12V batteries can be used in a series or parallel connection depending on the system.

Lead-acid vs. lithium batteries

There are two main types of lead-acid batteries. The FLA or Flooded Lead-Acid batteries have their plates submerged in water. The levels have to be checked regularly and the fluid topped up frequently to ensure proper maintenance. Failure to maintain them properly can degrade the life of the battery. There are also SLA or Sealed Lead-Acid batteries. These are spill-proof and require much less maintenance. 

Unlike lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries don’t require any maintenance or venting. No battery gases need to escape. Lithium-ion technology is considered to be superior to lead-acid. It provides a longer lifespan and higher efficiency. 

Other than these core attributes, the lead-acid vs lithium-ion battery comparison often boils down to the price. Lead-acid batteries are cheaper so the upfront cost of a solar energy system that’s entirely reliant on them will be lower. However, they will need to be replaced much earlier in addition to their constant need for maintenance to ensure proper running.

The upfront cost of a solar system with lithium-ion batteries is going to be much higher but it can actually prove to be more cost-effective in the long run. They’re maintenance-free, they last longer, and are able to provide better performance.

Other ways to help the environment

You can do your part for the environment in more ways than one. Even if shifting to a solar energy system is not possible where you live, there are a number of other ways that you can make a contribution to the betterment of the planet. 

Simple changes such as reducing reliance on single-use plastics can help reduce the impact that pollution has. Try to reuse and recycle as much as possible to reduce waste. Think about your carbon footprint and figure out how you can bring it down. 

Be mindful about your water usage and do as much as possible to reduce wastage. Another great way to help the environment is to support businesses that are clearly committed to the improvement of the environment. This will enable them to make a great impact on the world by pursuing their green initiatives.

Urge others around you to be mindful of their impact on the planet as well. Educate them on the ways they can adapt to ensure that we leave behind a better planet for future generations.

Save the world through your spending

Did you know that you can actually save the world just by changing your bank? You’ll be shocked to hear that the four largest banks in the United States dole out over $240 billion of their customers’ money to finance fossil fuel projects every single year. That causes a lot of irreparable damage to our planet and they have as yet not shown a willingness to change their ways.

Aspiration is doing things differently. We plant a tree every single time our customers swipe a card to help eradicate the climate impact of big business. For every $1,000 transferred to Aspiration, we can deliver the impact of 6,000 fewer miles being driven by an average car. Above all, your money will never fund any fossil fuel projects like coal mines, pipelines, and oil drilling. So, who wouldn’t want to change the world a little bit every time they get their morning coffee fix?

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