Solar power has been used for hundreds of years! Of course, solar power wasn’t used and collected like it’s collected now, but people have found a lot of ways to use the power we have from the sun. The closest to the solar panels we use today was invented in 1954 by Bell Labs. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson are the three scientists we can mention that had one of the biggest impacts in solar power. Ten years later, solar panels were used to collect power for a number of spacecraft, including Sputnik-3, the Vanguard and Explorer satellites.
Quickly after solar panels were used for space exploration, they found many applications in thousands of households. The oil and fuel shortage in the 1970s has made even a greater impact after which solar panels were improved much more drastically.
Today, the use of solar energy is considered a very smart investment, especially if you want to live “off the grid” or you live in an area that has unreliable utilities. Investing in a few solar panels and batteries that will be used as storage for nigh or cloudy days can reduce your utility bills significantly. In some places, you can even get money for putting power back into the grid.
What To Look For When Choosing Batteries To Store Solar Energy?
There are many different batteries you can choose from that are used for storing solar energy. Depending on your needs, you’ll need to choose a battery that will be able to provide you with enough capacity, depth of discharge, power and round-trip efficiency. The capacity of a battery shows how much energy you can store and it’s measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) while the battery power shows how much power the battery can provide at once and it’’s measured in kilowatts (kW)
For reference, the typical household uses between 20 and 30 kWh per day while the typical solar battery has a capacity of around 10 kWh.
What Types Of Batteries Can Be Found On The Market For Solar Energy Systems?
When it comes to batteries used for solar energy systems, there are two main types. The lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion. Flooded lead-acid batteries (FLA) have been used much longer than lithium-ion ones. They’re actually much more common in off-grid solar setups and the great thing about them is that they’re 99% recyclable and easy to get rid off when they reach the end of their lifespan. They’re designed for everyday use and are genuinely the better choice if you’re running a complete off-grid solar setup. They’re also more affordable than lithium-ion batteries. They have a few disadvantages as well, but nothing too special. Lithium batteries are a much newer technology than lead-acid batteries and they started being used commercially in the 1970s. Since then, they evolved significantly, improving every single year. They’re most commonly used for powering laptops, mobile phones and tablets, but researchers are finding a use for lithium batteries in the renewable energy field as well. Even though lithium batteries are more expensive than lead-acid batteries, they have many advantages as well. Some of the advantages lithium batteries have over lead-acid batteries include a longer lifespan, more efficiency, no maintenance, much bigger storage capacity, no pollution. The great thing about using lithium batteries in a solar setup is the fact that you can quite easily upgrade by adding more batteries to the setup. This way, you’ll improve your storage capacity and you can rely on solar power for a longer period of time. Also, these batteries have a much longer lifespan so you won’t need to worry about recycling and buying new batteries so often. If you’re interested to learn more about the advantages of lithium batteries, you can check out this website