Electrical storage is provided by deep cycle batteries, commonly referred to as “solar batteries,” in renewable energy (RE) systems. Batteries are required if you want to use your electricity at times other than when the system is providing it. Therefore, if your solar array generates a lot of electricity on a sunny day, you’ll need batteries to access that power at night. Furthermore, despite the fact that it may seem counterintuitive, if you have a wind turbine or solar panel array that is connected to the electric grid without batteries, you won’t be able to use the power it generates during a grid power outage. You need batteries if you want to be able to use power at any moment.
Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA) Deep Cycle Batteries
Wet cells, also known as flooded deep cycle lead-acid batteries (FLA), are frequently employed in solar, wind, and hydroelectric renewable energy systems. They can last the longest and are frequently the least expensive kind of deep cycle battery. Additionally, they come in a variety of sizes.
The lead plates in the cells of FLA batteries react with a sulphuric acid solution to generate power. When FLA deep cycle batteries are recharged, electrolysis takes place and, in a routine process known as “outgassing,” hydrogen and oxygen gases are produced.
These gases (hydrogen and oxygen) may leak from the cells through the filler/vent caps, offering two issues: first, the battery’s fluid level would drop as a result of the fluid loss, which could expose the lead plates that are typically “flooded”—not a good thing. By utilizing FLA batteries in your system, you agree to constantly check on them and maintain them by adding distilled water as necessary to each cell. Water Miser vent caps may assist keep some moisture from evaporating, lowering the need for frequent watering.
The presence and buildup of explosive gases is the other issue. Due to their great hazard, hydrogen and oxygen gases must be adequately evacuated to the outside air. Therefore, it is evident that battery maintenance for FLA batteries is a crucial component of system maintenance.
Sealed Maintenance Free (SMF) Deep Cycle Batteries
Sealed deep cycle batteries have the great benefit of being able to be positioned in any direction, including upright, on their sides, and occasionally even upside-down. The electrolyte in a sealed battery is either suspended in a gel or an absorbed glass mat (AGM).
Although sealed deep cycle batteries are more expensive and have a shorter lifespan than flooded lead-acid batteries, they are the best option for applications that need frequent battery handling or remote systems that must be left unattended. Sealed batteries include valves that let hydrogen to escape if necessary, however this shouldn’t typically happen. FLA batteries also feature these vents. The distinction is that the escaping batteries cannot be replaced because the batteries are sealed.
A sealed battery won’t live as long as a FLA battery because there is no method to restore the released moisture by adding water to the cells because the batteries are sealed.
Lithium Deep Cycle Batteries
The hottest new battery technology is lithium deep cycle batteries. Lithium batteries come in a wide variety of varieties. The safest technology is discovered to be lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), particularly when used in home battery-based solar systems. It is an excellent direct swap for sealed lead acid batteries. Why? Here are a few causes:
- Greater cycle life – A lithium battery can perform up to 6 times as many cycles as an AGM battery. As a result, your lifetime cost will be reduced because you will be saving on replacement prices.
- Physically lighter – Are you concerned about your back? Lithium does, in fact. Sometimes a lithium battery with the same capacity weighs only half as much as an AGM battery. This is beneficial for mobility applications like boats and RVs.
- Greater depth of discharge: Whereas the AGM recommends a 50 percent DoD, lithium is safe at up to 80 percent DoD. You now have a larger amount of usable capacity and longer run times.
- Greater charge efficiency – Lithium batteries can be charged up far more quickly than AGM batteries, making them ready for use much sooner.
- Lower self discharge rate – This means, if necessary, you can leave them in storage longer without giving them a top off charge. Additionally, the battery won’t be affected if it is completely charged and stored.
- A wider temperature range is possible with lithium batteries, which can function at lower temperatures than AGMS batteries without losing capacity.
You have the top battery brands available to select from Apex Power Hub, whether you want the tubular battery for more value or the SMF battery type for more ease.