Solar Batteries in Brisbane: Are they worth it?

Solar Batteries in Brisbane:

We all buy solar systems for our houses to reduce our grid energy bills. But what if I tell you that you can get ZERO out of the accounts with your solar panels. It sounds strange, but it’s true; it could be achieved by using a solar battery with your solar panels.

Today in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about solar batteries in Brisbane and if they are worth it. We will also discuss the different types of solar storms and recommend one based on your usage, so stick to the end.

What is a solar battery?

A solar battery is a device made up of many electrochemical cells which convert the energy from your solar panels to the power which can be used for your home. Besides conversions, the main feature of a solar battery or a battery, in general, is to store the charge in it for later use, and that’s what the solar battery is used for.

In an ideal situation, the energy you generate in the day is primarily unused in most households because most families are at work when the sun rises. So the new power is sold to the grid at a much lower price than we buy it from them.

But when you use a solar battery with your solar system, what happens is the energy you generate during the day is in place of going to the grid goes to the battery to charge it up.

Then the charged battery can be used after the sun is gone for free and uninterrupted power supply without taking a single watt from the grid.

After understanding what strictly a solar battery is used for, let’s know some fundamental terms to understand them clearly.

Deep Cycle Solar Battery

A deep cycle battery is a battery that can perform deep cycles of charge when required. Let me explain it to you in simple words.

Take a car battery as an example. The battery in your car is designed so that it is only sufficient to start or give a crank to your car’s engine, i.e. they can only supply a massive current for a minimal amount of time. That’s why these batteries are sold so cheaply because they are designed to perform as short cycle batteries. Now it all should start making sense.

Now what happens in a residential solar battery is that it is extensively used at night. It is usual for a solar battery to be used till 60 to 80% every time. To fulfil these needs, a deep cycle battery is required, which can perform those cycles because these cycles can deteriorate the standard batteries in days.

That’s the reason why some solar batteries cost a fortune while some cost a dime. We always suggest you buy a battery that is not too cheap to be true because these are often short cycle batteries that will not be helpful to you.

Off the grid systems

The off-grid system is a common term in the solar industry which many professionals use to describe a particular type of system.

An off the grid system is a system that is entirely independent of the grid for its energy needs, or in other words, is self-sufficient to fulfil its energy needs by itself. These kinds of systems are made with the help of solar batteries, which help store the charge the solar panels generate during the day to be used at night. Doing this allows households to make their energy bills ZERO and helps them be independent of the grid for their energy needs. Other benefits of an off the grid system are that you can use electricity while anybody can’t, i.e. during a blackout. Because you are manufacturing your energy, you are the one in charge of your power. Hence you are also ensured from the power cuts made by the grid. Another benefit of going off the grid is that you can be insured from the rising electricity charges by the grid in Australia, especially Brisbane.

Solar battery Charge Controller

The use of a charge controller is essential with a solar battery for many reasons. Using a charge controller with a solar storm can substantially increase the life of your solar battery and protect it from frequent failures than regular batteries undergo during their life span.

The working of a charge controller is relatively easy to understand, and we will explain it to you below.

A charge controller is a device used to prevent the overcharging and the over-discharging of a solar battery. The added benefit of getting a charge controller is that it regulates the voltage at which the current pass through the solar battery adds another layer of protection to the battery. If your charging voltage is higher than expected, then your battery can undergo damages on its plates which will eventually lower its lifespan.

If you keep your battery for charging on a bright, sunny day, there is a high chance that it will get overcharged by the time you start using it. To prevent this, a battery charge controller is recommended because overcharging regularly reduces the battery capacity of your solar battery. Also, if you use electricity more than average at night, then there is a high risk of your battery getting over-discharged, which is again harmful to your battery capacity.

Battery Capacity

A solar battery or a battery capacity is measured in amp-hours or Ah. To simplify it, a battery rated at 100 Ah can discharge a current of 1 A for 100 hours. If you increase the discharge voltage, then the time for which the battery can deliver it decreases non uniformly. E.g. If you discharge the current of a 200 Ah battery at 1 A, then it will keep performing for 200 hours, but if you use it at 5 A, then it will be fully drained out in a matter of 40 hours. But the fun part is if you use the battery at 10 A, then it will be exhausted in a case of 15 hours, then the expected time of 20 hours. The higher the voltage is, the faster the battery, or precise, the electrochemical cells lose charge and hence energy.

That’s why if you read the battery datasheets carefully, you will find out that the battery capacities are often labelled with a ‘C’. This C stands for the power of the battery when discharged at a particular specific time. For example, a battery rated C50 will show the mentioned capacity when released in 50 hours.

Another point worth mentioning here is that your battery capacity decreases if kept in a cold environment. The reason behind that is the electrochemical cells present in the battery tend to perform a lot less while used in a cold climate. Hence, the efficiency and capacity of the battery are decreased.

Types of Solar Batteries

There are many types of batteries available in the market, and there are also innovations happening in this sector every day so we have listed the most common and the most popular types of solar batteries and in our recommendation you should go with one of these as they are proven for their reliability and efficiency.

Lead Acid batteries

Lead-acid batteries are the oldest player in the game. These are the batteries used in your car as a shallow cycle battery to provide a high amount of current in very little time. These kinds of batteries are also used for solar power storage. Still, because they are ageing pretty fast due to no improvement in their technology and price, it will be tough to see many Lithium-ion batteries in the long run. The modernized lithium-ion batteries are offering you cutting edge technologies and all the modern innovations in them, that in our recommendations, you should pick them over this one. But there is one area where the lead-acid batteries shine, and that is their price. You can get a lead-acid battery in the market for a much lower cost than what regular lithium-ion batteries retail for.

Pros –

  • They are cheaper and affordable than their alternatives in the market, which makes it a go-to if you are considering going off the grid on  a budget
  • They are environmentally friendly as they have an established disposal and recycling process by which they can be safely disposed of after their use.

Cons –

  • Compared to its alternatives like lithium-ion batteries, it is relatively bulky than them, which can become a problem for some households because its size hinders its portability.
  • The lead-acid batteries are temperature sensitive and can show you a reduced life span if kept in high environmental conditions. If you are thinking to buy one, always keep them in a cooled environment
  • The lead-acid batteries are reported to have a relatively slow charge cycle than their alternatives which means that the energy provided by the panels will have to go to the grid if unused by the battery

Lithium-ion battery

Lithium-ion batteries are the most common types of storage options used in most Australian households. The working of these kinds of batteries is pretty much similar to their smaller counterparts, i.e. mobile phones or laptops batteries. The lithium-ion batteries offered by different manufacturers provide different types of chemistry in them. The lithium-ion battery supplied by LG and the well-known tesla contains nickel-manganese-cobalt or NMC chemistry.

While on the other hand, manufacturers like BYD and Sonnen offer lithium iron phosphate or LFP chemistry. It is observed that the LFP chemistry is safer than the NMC chemistry because they have less risk of catching fire on substantial overheating and overcharging.

Pros

  • Their life span is relatively high than ts alternatives. They are proven to deliver their charge up to several thousand charging cycles
  • They offer a deep cycle battery system in themselves, which entitles them to be discharged to heavy capacities reaching a peak of 90% discharge
  • Unlike Lead-acid batteries, these lithium-ion batteries can withstand a variety of temperatures ranging from hot to cold.
  • Regular lithium in battery can last up to 10 years if they are used in a controlled environment without any overcharging or over-discharging

Cons

The recycling of lithium-ion batteries is a big problem that hasn’t been solved yet. The lithium-ion batteries require the manual recovery of the valuable materials from it to less toxicate the landfills in which they are kept to recycle. But this condition is bound to improve as technology advances.

Flow batteries

They are the competitors of lithium-ion batteries because they are proven to discharge themselves up to 100%, which is a drawback in lithium-ion batteries, which can go up to 80 to 90% of the discharge.

Pros

  • It can discharge up to 100%
  • It doesn’t lose its capacity as fast as its alternatives
  • It is more durable in high environmental temperatures
  • A significant leap ahead of Lithium-ion batteries is they are relatively easy to recycle.

Cons

  • The Flow battery concept is new compared to lithium-ion batteries, and hence it is expensive it is.
  • The maintenance of Flow batteries requires them to go out of service during the process.

Conclusion

So this was our complete guide to solar batteries in Brisbane in which we told you everything you need to know to get started on buying a solar battery. We hope this guide will help you in your journey of going off the grid, and if you have any doubts related to the topic, you can contact us, and we will help in clearing it.

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About Solar 

About Solar: According to the Australian Energy Council report, around 15% of Australian household has installed a solar system at their home. This shows that the solar revolution has begun in Australia. That means around 1.6 million homes have been producing their own solar energy and reducing carbon footprint & electricity bills. For the last couple of years, you […]

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