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The Nobel Prize Winning Technology You can Have in Your Home


Today lithium is the most promising battery chemistry and it is used in everything from iPhones to Teslas, lithium batteries have the most energy density per weight, are safer to use, and have longer lifespans. The drop in price for lithium batteries has made them a popular option not just for mobiles and electric cars but for energy storage in solar power systems as well.


Is lithium a good solar battery?

Lithium batteries are “smart batteries” in the sense they have a built-in battery management system (BMS). The BMS regulates vital functions like charging and temperature to ensure the battery’s health. Lithium batteries have a few more advantages over other batteries. However they are more expensive than lead-acid batteries.


Lithium battery specifications.


Battery capacity

Capacity is the total energy a battery holds, and depth of discharge is how much energy of the total capacity can be used. Lithium has a depth of discharge of 80% (90% in emergencies). Lead-acid batteries, lithium’s closest competitor in terms of use in solar systems, have a depth of discharge of 50%.


Efficiency

Efficiency is how much of the battery’s stored energy you can use. Lithium has an efficiency of 95%. Higher efficiency allows a battery to charge faster. This is especially important in winter or overcast days.


Energy density

The density of a battery is how much energy per weight it holds. Lithium has a high energy density which makes lithium batteries up to 50% smaller and up to three times lighter than lead-acid. Lithium is also the lightest metal.

Being smaller and lighter allows you more flexibility in how you install them. You can fit them into smaller spaces and wall mount them, for example.


Cycle life

Batteries have a cycle life. A cycle is one charge and discharge (through use). Lithium batteries have an average of 5000 cycles, so you can charge and discharge them 5000 times. Divide 5000 by 365 to work this out in days. This gives lithium batteries a lifespan of up to 13 years.


Flexibility

With lithium, you can mix batteries of different ages. This allows you to build your solar system slowly by starting with one battery this year and then adding more batteries when the need arises.


Maintenance

Lithium batteries don’t need maintenance. This makes it easier to operate compared to some types of lead-acid batteries that need maintenance.


Self-discharge

Batteries lose some energy even when they’re not connected to a load. Lithium has a low rate of self-discharge (1.5-2%) per month so you don’t have to worry about the battery even if it goes months without being used.


Recycling

Because it has fewer toxic metals, lithium is categorized as non-hazardous waste. The iron, copper, nickel, and cobalt used are considered safe for incinerators and landfills. This makes lithium batteries easier to recycle when they reach their end of life.


When is it best to use lithium batteries?

Lithium solar batteries have some standout qualities that make them great solar batteries, especially if you have an off-grid system or are going to use them every day because lithium gives you more energy and it can handle more appliances. If your energy needs are high as in an off-grid home or business, lithium will give you the best performance.


If you would like to learn more about batteries or solar systems contact Sunshine City Solar today.

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