Lithium Ion Batteries: The Best Batteries for Solar Storage
In order to maximize the efficiency and value of your solar panel system, choosing the right battery for solar storage is crucial. Whether you are looking to back-up your home solar power system in case of a grid failure or you are building an off-grid or mobile solar system, the battery that you install is extremely important. With so many options available on the marketplace today, we would like to make one thing clear: lithium iron phosphate batteries are the best option for storing solar power.
Advantages of Lithium Batteries for Solar
The two main types of batteries that are used to store solar energy are lead acid batteries and lithium batteries. There are a few key advantages to using lithium iron phosphate batteries that are especially relevant to storing solar energy.
Faster, More Efficient Charging
Peak sunlight hours for generating solar energy are generally between 9 AM and 4 PM. In order to maximize the available daylight, lithium ion batteries provide the fastest and most efficient charging available. Lithium batteries are able to fully charge in 1 to 3 hours at a 95% efficiency rate, which is crucial for capturing enough solar energy to last through the night. Compared to a lead acid battery which charges in 8 to 12 hours at a maximum efficiency of 70%, there is really no question that Lithium batteries will outperform its competition.
More Usable Amp Hours
Perhaps the most important distinction between lithium iron vs. lead acid batteries for solar is the amount of usable amp hours stored within the system. If you are using a lead acid battery, then you are only able to use roughly 55% of the battery’s charged capacity without causing damage to the system. That means that in order to maximize the life of your battery, you can only use about half of its rated capacity during each charge.
With a lithium battery, you can safely use 100% of the batteries amp hours. With solar energy, every bit of electricity counts, especially on cloudy days or in areas with less sunlight. Therefore, choosing a lithium ion battery is the only way to maximize the amount of solar energy you can store and, more importantly, use to power your electric devices.
Longer, Safer Life with No Required Maintenance
A huge advantage of lithium iron batteries, and a large reason most people are adopting the technology, is the increased lifespan over lead acid batteries. Replacing a lead acid battery every 3-5 years is a huge pain point for most people, so it is a pretty big deal that lithium batteries are built to last 7 to 8 years.
Another big convenience is that over the course of those 7 to 8 years, lithium iron batteries also require significantly less maintenance. Unlike corrosion-prone lead acid batteries that require close attention be paid to water levels, lithium batteries do not have a water level to maintain and are much less susceptible to corrosion.
In terms of safety, lead acid batteries also release constant gases that can be picked up by a carbon monoxide detector, whereas lithium batteries do not. For this reason, lithium batteries are much safer to store indoors than lead acid batteries. If your solar energy system is powering your home’s interior, being able to bring the storage unit inside will help with both temperature control and ease of mind.
Less Cost Per Cycle
The one reason most people are still choosing to use lead acid batteries is because they are significantly cheaper to purchase than a lithium iron phosphate battery. Unfortunately, however you get what you pay for. Due to the longer lifespan of lithium batteries, the cost per charge cycle is actually significantly cheaper than that of lead acid batteries, despite lithium batteries having a higher initial cost. Averages can be calculated to about 67 cents per cycle in a lead acid battery, versus a mere 31 cents per cycle in a lithium ion battery.
What is the best lithium battery for solar power storage?
Finding the best lithium iron battery for your solar power storage is largely dependent on the size of your desired capacity and your budget. With RhinoVoltz lithium iron phosphate batteries, we make it easy for you to choose a great, long lasting lithium iron battery for solar. You can shop our complete selection of lithium batteries here.