How much do you know about the sun? The sun has been around for some 4.5 billion years, providing for all kinds of organisms. The Sun is nearly 93 million miles away from the Earth, and it only take about 10 minutes for light rays to reach us. Through electricity, the availability of products to prolong attention and wakefulness, humans have become both functional diurnal and nocturnal species. The presence of solar power is at its all-time high, as China is the leading example of integrating solar systems to power homes and businesses to combat its pollution problems.
The following are pointers about solar batteries that will better inform you on its profile, range of efficiency and how it may fit in your current lifestyle.
Solar Batteries – Save the Sun for Later!
Solar batteries are your eco-friendly equivalents to generators. Other than storing energy, solar batteries help you dodge volatile costs which the grid likes to impose on account holders when the energy consumption is at its highest. That demand is typically highest during the summer, so if you already have solar panels in place, you can take advantage of this during the sweltering season and not feel like you got cheated by your public energy grid. The energy that is harnessed from solar panels that isn’t being used real-time is stored energy that can be utilized later. Electricity rates are also lower during the daytime, which is the most favorable time to store the energy while the sun is exposed.
Ni-Cd and Lead Acid Battery Banks
Solar Batteries usually come in two types: Lead Acid and Ni-Cd. Lead acid batteries tend to lead a shorter lifespan and overall performance since it is the cheaper option. Opposed to lead acid, the more expensive option would be Ni-Cd—and you guessed it—perform far better and have longer life.
“Ni-Cd” stands for nickel-cadmium and some specialists will advise you about the environmental concerns that surround this type of battery. Ni-Cd batteries tend to experience memory effect, which is a phenomenon where these batteries “remember” its previous optimal discharge and will commit to it opposed to a full, periodic discharge. This means that the memory effect will limit the recharging function of the battery.
With lead acid banks, they can convert and store 85% of the electricity you put in opposed to Ni-Cd, which is 70-75% of what can be retrieved. Lead acid batteries would entail numerous replacements to match the lifespan of your solar system, as most warrants a five-year life.
The lifespan and warranty of a solar battery is measured in “cycles”. One cycle is equivalent to a full discharge of the battery (from a fully charged battery to complete depletion) followed by full recharge. In reality, the practice of battery use has sparse attention paid to it.
A typical battery can have 2,000-10,000 cycles, which is anywhere between 5 to 15 years. Technology, like science, is always evolving and improved daily, so you are likely to replace it at least once to match the 25-30-year lifespan of your solar system.
It’s more likely that we treat the solar batteries like we do to our smart phones, which is deplete the battery partially then recharge it rather than fully use the battery and recharging it fully. With this practice in mind, it makes sense as to why the previously mentioned Ni-Cd batteries can pose a potential maintenance problem.