Solar Batteries Overview - Battery Technology

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Solar Batteries Overview – Battery technology

Welcome back to Solar snapshots.

You’ve probably seen our other snapshots where we’ve talked about things like inverters and terminology.

This time I’m just going to touch on solar batteries.

At the moment Batteries are a hot subject and people are ringing up on going hey batteries, what are solar batteries all about, what are the technologies. So in a snapshot, Batteries for solar are different to other types of batteries generally speaking, a solar battery is what’s called a deep cycle battery.

Now a deep cycle battery is a battery whereby the chemistry of the battery and the design of the battery is that it will store energy and it will allow you to draw that energy over quite a long period of time at a decent amount of what’s called amperage. So you can put the energy in there and you can draw it out to run your home as your home needs it.

That’s totally different to say an automotive battery, an automotive battery is designed that when you turn the key it gives a large amount of power for a very short period of time, fires up the starter motor and starts your car. So an automotive battery short burst of power and I’ll do that again and again.

Deep cycle battery long drawn out period of power overnight and will feed your house. So when you hear a deep cycle battery, that’s all it means.

Battery technology:

There are lots of batteries on the market and we keep hearing lithium batteries and power walls and the various options on batteries.

Lithium is definitely a very good battery option particularly in the hybrid situation where your batteries are storing the power, you’ve still got the mains and the batteries are supporting the mains power overnight or when you have a peak of use and you’ll want to get that extra power use of batteries and the mains come in, all combined and lithium is great for that.

Now there’s lots of lithium on the market and you may have seen my video about lithium ion versus lithium iron– Lithium Ferro Phosphate, commonly called LFP. A couple of different technologies.

There’s been a lot of debate that LFP is the safe lithium, whereas lithium ion not so safe thermal runaway. That’s an unstable lithium ion situation.

However what I’ve come to realise, my conclusion on the question of which lithium, which battery, is actually more about which manufacturer which company how solid are they and how well as the product built.

A poorly built Lithium Ferro phosphate battery will be always worse than a really well-built lithium ion battery.

Now I’ve just come back from the solar expo in Australia, the all energy Expo where they would have been 40 different battery manufacturers, every second stand was manufacturing and presenting their version of lithium battery. What they’re doing is they’re taking a Samsung cell, or a Toshiba cell or a Sony cell, one of those little lithium batteries they solder them all together into a block into a case and that’s your lithium battery bank. Same as in the base of electric car, it’s actually no different.

So the cells that go into the battery and many times there’s maybe 50 or more, probably 100 now all over the world, and largely in China manufacturers of lithium cells and of course they come in different qualities. The quality matches what you pay for it, getting those cells putting them all together makes a battery.

How well are they put together, that’s a big important part of it and who is going to still be in business in 10 years time – with the warranties because you get ten year warranties on these batteries typically 10 years, 10000 cycles warranty.

So why take away from the show was back the company that you can see is going to be around in that 10 year period if you have a warranty claim.

So I’m standing by companies like LG. Very good company. Everybody knows LG, BYD is a company we use a lot of batteries from and not everybody in New Zealand knows BYD but they’re actually one of the largest electric vehicle manufacturers in the world based in China that make electric rubbish trucks. If you go up to Shanghai four out of six cars on the road or trucks or vans on the road are BYD electric vehicles. So fantastic, BYD.

So brands like that our brands to absolutely be confident in. Others I mean some of the big name popular sexy brands, will they be around 10 years? Well that’s anyone’s guess.

So my take on batteries, good brands, and good manufacturer – well-built when you go on lithium ion.

Thanks for listening and for any more information you need on solar just come to SolarKing and one of our guys can tell you everything you need to know. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time.

If you have any questions give us a call at SolarKing on 0508 765 276.