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For customer with existing PV systems

Our highly trained team can provide you with professional advise so that you can choose the right battery to connect with your system.

What is a solar battery?

A solar battery is a battery designed specifically to store electricity produced by solar panels and to make that power available for later use. In addition, solar batteries are used in the growing number of standalone solar charger units being installed in cities, for example, to provide mobile phone and tablet charging facilities for the public.

Essential reasons for having a solar battery

Solar energy is a significant source of clean, renewable and sustainable energy. However, solar energy systems without associated battery storage have several key limitations:

  • Solar power systems can only produce electricity during daylight hours
  • Even during daylight hours, the amount of energy produced will vary in proportion to the amount and strength of the sunlight landing on the solar panels
  • At any given point, the maximum amount of electricity that can be drawn from a solar power system is the amount of power that the system is producing at that moment; any further electricity requirements will have to be met by an alternative source
  • On the other hand, all electricity produced by a solar energy system must be used in real-time or it goes to waste (again, where a battery system is not in place)

Things to know before buying a solar battery

Types of solar batteries

Solar batteries currently come in several types. Some of the technologies are:

  • Lead-acid – These are cheaper but provide lower performance and shorter life
  • NiCad – These cost more, in exchange for far better performance and longer life
  • Lithium Iron- These are more efficient and capable of being almost fully discharged

Solar battery life

Solar batteries carry warranties on the number of ‘cycles’ they will deliver. One cycle is defined as one complete discharge of the battery (using it until its store of electricity is empty) followed by a full recharge. In practice, a solar battery is most likely to normally be partially discharged then recharged, rather than get fully discharged each time. The range of lifetimes for leading solar batteries varies significantly, but will be in the thousands of cycles, say between 2,000-10,000 cycles (although solar battery technology is improving constantly and at a fast rate).

Solar battery capacity ratings

In a similar fashion, solar batteries come in a variety of capacity ratings, which refers to the maximum amount of electricity they can hold at any one time. Current batteries range from just over 1 kilowatt (kw) to 10kw. However, an important distinction to be aware of is the vital difference between maximum capacity and ‘usable’ capacity. This is because a solar battery should never be drained completely. Therefore, it is important to know whether a solar battery’s stated capacity is the usable or maximum amount.

The future for solar batteries

Solar batteries are already big business, and they are set to become a massive factor in the growth of solar energy in the coming years. This is because they are such a robust means of providing electricity when solar systems are not generating electricity, or even working in the background during daylight hours. As a result of maximizing the use of the power generated by solar systems, they have a pronounced effect on bringing down electricity bills and reducing dependence on public energy grids. This in turn relieves pressure on public grids, which will make it easier to meet growing electricity needs in a sustainable manner.