Choosing the Best Battery for Solar Storage in 2021

 

Investing in solar energy is often an intelligent decision, depending on where you live. The power generated from solar panels on your home could help you save money long-term, and it also takes a step toward improving your home’s resiliency to natural disasters like earthquakes or wildfires. In fact, increasing your home’s electrical independence can even help prevent future grid disasters.

One often overlooked aspect of upgrading to solar power is that of the battery. All homes that hope to use the solar power their system generates need one, but they’re seldom discussed sufficiently by solar installation companies. Below, we’ve put together a small list of options you have when choosing a battery for your home. 

Lithium Batteries

Growing in popularity in the field of renewable energy, lithium batteries offer a longer lifespan with more efficient power usage. Although they are significantly more expensive than the rest, many feel that their benefits justify the higher price. They require no maintenance while offering more usable storage capacity and no undesirable off-gassing either.  

Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries

Flooded lead-acid batteries are a popular choice among those utilizing off-grid residential solar setups. They’re designed to handle daily charge cycling, they’re inexpensive, and they’re easily recyclable. However, the caveat of them being so affordable is that they do require a heaping measure of hands-on upkeep. Flooded lead-acid batteries must be ventilated properly because they emit a gas byproduct. Water also has to be added to them every so often and periodic equalization needs to be run on them - a task often requiring professional intervention.  

Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries

If you would prefer to not have to perform maintenance tasks on your solar battery, sealed lead-acid batteries may be the right choice for you. They’re spill-proof, non-hazardous, and they don’t require being filled with water. This makes them an ideal choice for situations like vacation homes that are only visited a few times a year. Sealed batteries also handle extreme temperature changes more effectively, and, when left idle for long periods of time, they won’t self-discharge as quickly. 

 Additional Factors Involved in Selecting the Right Battery

  • The capacity of a solar battery lets you know how much power it has the ability to store, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). To give you a better idea of what you might need, about 30 (kWh) are used by the average American household per day, and most solar batteries are capable of powering ten.
  • Its power measurement, also in kW, displays how much power the battery is able to deliver at once.
  • Its depth of discharge represents how much of the battery’s capacity can be utilized before possibly reducing its lifespan.
  • Round-trip efficiency is the difference between the amount of energy used to charge the battery and its available reserve.
  • A quality solar battery should come complete with a warranty and guarantee. It should guarantee that the battery will work for a specific number of cycles or years, and that the battery will maintain at its advertised capacity.

In deciding which type of solar battery is best for you, think about where your priorities lie. If affordability is the most important aspect to you, a flooded lead-acid battery is a clear choice, but if you already have too much on your ‘to do’ list and don’t want to worry about maintenance, a sealed lead-acid battery might be better. If you want the ultimate choice in efficiency and the longest lifespan available, a lithium battery, like the LG Chem Resu, is the way to go. Contemplate your living situation and consider which battery will meet your specific needs most optimally.

Author Bio: Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional occasionally working with companies such as Simply Solar. She often covers the latest developments in business communication, innovation, and workplace technology.

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