Why LiFePO4 is the best solar battery storage?
Solar energy is a great way to get electricity wherever the sun is shining. It works very well, but only when the sun is out, so having the best battery to store solar energy is crucial. For many reasons, LiFePO4 battery chemistry is one of the best solar lithium battery storage options.
What is solar battery storage?
First, let us simply define solar battery storage. Solar panels convert sunlight into energy, but you can’t always count on enough sunlight to provide stable electricity on demand. If it is cloudy or at night, and if you don’t have a good battery, you will be very unlucky.
When the solar panel absorbs electricity, it is transferred to the battery until it reaches capacity. You can use the stored electricity on cloudy days or at night and rely on fresh solar energy on sunny days. The battery can also provide a large amount of energy in a short period of time. You can run a 1200-watt microwave on a 300-watt solar panel, but only if you have a battery to store it and provide more energy in a shorter period of time.
The battery is the core of the solar system because, without it, no other components will help.
Why LiFePO4 battery is the best solar battery storage choice?
Long battery life
Battery life is where LiFePO4 batteries make up for the higher initial cost. High-quality LiFePO4 like Dragonfly Energy is designed to last 3000-5000 deep discharge cycles and still retain 80% of its original capacity. This is essential for solar systems because the battery is used every night and recharged every day.
In fact, since most discharges are not fully charged, the battery life cycle is even longer. LiFePO4 usually requires 10,000-15,000 cycles in solar applications, so it can be used for many years.
Almost no maintenance
Because our LiFePO4 batteries have a built-in battery management system, they are very efficient. This also means that they require little maintenance. Even if you use the battery for RVing or sailing capabilities, and keep moving and pushing, the LiFePO4 battery can still maintain good condition.
LiFePO4 batteries can also significantly reduce weight. Their weight is usually about one-third to one-half the weight of lead-acid batteries. This means that you can increase the capacity of the battery pack because it requires two or three LiFePO4 batteries to equal the weight of a lead-acid battery. They also have more usable capacity, thereby maximizing the weight-to-power ratio.
Fast charging time
LiFePO4 batteries have low resistance and do not require float charge cycles. Therefore, they charge much faster than lead-acid batteries. When you rely on solar energy, batteries that charge faster are significant. If you are in a place where there are only a few hours of pure sunlight a day, then a shorter charging time is gold.
This is an example of solar system power charging LiFePO4 batteries in watts. As solar power climbs in the first part of the day, the battery quickly consumes nearly 2000 watts of power. Please note that once charged, it will immediately enter the floating charge. Other battery types are gradually decreasing. If there is not enough sunlight, it may waste solar energy or fail to fully charge.
LiFePO4 batteries are non-toxic and recyclable. Many of us hope to use solar energy to gain environmental benefits, so it only makes sense to use solar energy battery storage that is not harmful to the environment. They have fewer gas emissions and there is no risk of acid leakage.
How much does LiFePO4 battery cost?
The price of a 100-amp-hour LiFePO4 battery is usually between US$800 and US$1,000. Compared to lead-acid batteries that cost around $300, this sounds like a lot. But remember, because deep discharge will not damage them, LiFePO4 batteries can easily be used for 10-15 years, with cycles ranging between 3,000 and 5,000.
What to look for in solar battery storage?
Although we have discussed why LiFePO4 batteries are suitable for solar energy, we want to make sure you understand everything about choosing a high-quality battery.
• Flexible and fast charging cycle
• With 100% usable capacity (otherwise you need to stop using the battery under certain conditions to prevent damage)
• Long battery life under solar charging and discharging conditions
• safe and non-toxic
• Good energy density, more power can be packed into a smaller space
We will discuss them one by one here to help you buy batteries more wisely.
Flexible charging cycle
Choose a battery with a flexible charging cycle. Basically, this means that you can deeply discharge the battery without damaging its service life. In addition, no matter how low the power level is, the battery should be charged efficiently.
This is an example of battery charging and discharging in a solar system. The yellow line is the current, each time it crosses the dotted line, it changes from charging to discharging. Solar batteries need to deal with this periodic change without damaging the battery.
Before some batteries (lead-acid) begin to suffer irreparable damage, you can only discharge them to approximately 50% of their capacity. But you can almost completely discharge the LiFePO4 battery without causing harm. The LiFePO4 battery can also be used to start and stop charging at any time.
The usable capacity considers how much the battery can discharge before being damaged. If your battery cannot be fully discharged, you must program the solar system to cut off the power in advance or risk battery damage.
Always consider battery life, especially when considering the cost. Lead-acid batteries can cost hundreds of dollars, while lithium-ion batteries can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. However, when you consider how long the battery can last, you will find that it is excellent value for money.
This is a test we conducted to compare one of our LiFePO4 battery packs with a traditional lead-acid battery running deep discharge. The lead-acid test stops when 80% of its original capacity remains. It only went through 100 cycles, which is less than a year in the solar system.
Under rapidly changing solar charging and discharging conditions, lithium batteries have the longest service life. As the sun comes and goes, charging and discharging cycles may occur tens to hundreds of times a day.
Although it is no longer common, you can buy unsealed lead-acid batteries. They require more maintenance than other types of batteries, and if they are crowded too much (such as in an RV or boat), they may leak battery acid. This is a safety hazard and is toxic to the environment.
In addition, if the battery is overheated or poorly ventilated, most batteries will release flammable or toxic gases. But some have more dangerous gas problems than others. Lead-acid batteries are more likely to produce a gas called hydrogen sulfide. It smells like rotten eggs, colorless, flammable, and highly toxic.
If overcharged, your battery may also emit flammable gas, so finding a battery that will automatically stop charging when fully charged is very valuable.
When weighing the options for solar power battery storage, there is really no controversy: LiFePO4 batteries are the best solar battery storage choice. Advanced technology and battery chemistry can stand the test of time, and every penny is worth the money.