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Li-Ion Batteries

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Storage Batteries

The 3 Most common Battery types for Solar

When selecting a battery for your solar system, you have three common options. Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA), Sealed Lead-Acid (SLA) or Lithium-Ion batteries

Lithium batteries is the premium option by far, FLA and SLA are closer together in performance and price, with FLA being the budget option due to frequent maintenance requirement

Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA)

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Flooded Lead-Acid batteries are design to handle a daily charge cycle. They do emit hydrogen gas as a byproduct, so the need to be placed in a ventilated place.

They also require a regular maintenance. The plates of every cell in the battery mut be submerge in water to function properly (that’s why is called flooded batteries).

You will need to add water every month to 3 month to keep the plates submerged. The exact interval of time between adding water it will depend on temperature, discharge deep and other factors, but it will be a good idea to check it at least once a month.

Another required maintenance step is an equalized charge, which is controlled overcharge that help restore FLA batteries. It’s a good idea to equalize charge every three months. An equalized charge prevents sulfation of battery plates and also be used to correct imbalance between cells or batteries.

FLA have a lifespan of three years.

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Sealed Lead-Acid (SLA)

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If you will not be around to perform regular check-ups on your battery, sealed lead-acid batteries it would be a better option. These batteries are spill proof and non-hazardous. There are two types of sealed lead-acid batteries with similar characteristics: AMG (absorbent glass mat) and gel.

Sealed Lead-Acid batteries are self-contained systems. They don’t need to be refilled with water and for this reason, they work well in properties that aren’t occupied full-time. Also the LSA batteries can be stored in any orientation.

SLA have a lifespan of three years.

Lithium-Ion batteries (Li-Ion)

A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used for portable electronics and electric vehicles and are growing in popularity for military and aerospace applications. The technology was largely developed by John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, Rachid Yazami and Akira Yoshino during the 1970s–1980s, and then commercialized by a Sony and Asahi Kasei team led by Yoshio Nishi in 1991.

In the batteries lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode during discharge, and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as the material at the positive electrode and typically graphite at the negative electrode. The batteries have a high energy density, no memory effect (other than LFP cells) and low self-discharge. They can however be a safety hazard since they contain a flammable electrolyte, and if damaged or incorrectly charged can lead to explosions and fires.

Chemistry, performance, cost and safety characteristics vary across LIB types. Handheld electronics mostly use lithium polymer batteries (with a polymer gel as electrolyte) with lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO) as cathode material, which offers high energy density but presents safety risks, especially when damaged. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), lithium ion manganese oxide battery (LiMn2O4, LiMn2O3, or LMO), and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC) offer lower energy density but longer lives and less likelihood of fire or explosion. Such batteries are widely used for electric tools, medical equipment, and other roles. NMC in particular is a leading contender for automotive applications.

Research areas for lithium-ion batteries include life extension, energy density, safety, cost reduction, and charging speed, among others. Research has been under way in the area of non-flammable electrolytes as a pathway to increased safety based on the flammability and volatility of the organic solvents used in the typical electrolyte. Strategies include aqueous lithium-ion batteries, ceramic solid electrolytes, polymer electrolytes, ionic liquids, and heavily fluorinated systems.

Today most of the Lithium Powerwalls have electronic control systems that can monitor the operation of the battery bank so they will be acting as an ESS (Energy Storage System) in conjunction of the rest of your solar system.

Life span for a Lithium Battery is 12-15 years with a warranty of 10 years.

Some specs for the Li-Ion Batteries

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