Choose LifePO4 Technology For Your Off-Grid Solar Applications
Investing in solar is smart; pairing solar with a lithium battery storage unit is even smarter. While lithium batteries tend to be a higher initial investment than lead acid batteries, their superior performance and longevity makes them an ideal choice for off-grid and grid-tie applications. Lithium iron phosphate is the clear choice for energy storage in off-grid applications for several reasons.
No matter the size of your system, lithium is the most cost-effective and efficient battery. LifePO4 has many benefits, including the lowest lifetime cost and unparalleled performance.
When selecting a battery to complement your solar system, understanding the advantages that lithium batteries have over lead acid batteries is essential. Below are some key advantages:
1) Valuable LifePO4 Features
LifePO4 is able to cycle to 80 percent depth of discharge over 5000 times, which equates to over 13 years of performance. No other chemistries come close to competing with lithium’s battery life span.
As for performance, lithium is very efficient. Lithium batteries charge 30 percent faster than lead acid batteries.
While discharging, LifePO4 maintains the proper voltage. Under-load lithium batteries are able to deliver sustained voltages greater than nominal pack voltage, which varies depending on the design and chemistry of your lithium cell. Most lithium batteries have a nominal voltage of 3.6 V per cell. Higher voltage results in lower amperage, which is ideal for electrical components and circuitry. Lower amperage facilitates cooler operation, extending the life spans of your gadgets.
2) Lithium batteries are efficient.
According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the efficiency of lead acid batteries is around 70% to 80%. This low efficiency is present throughout the life of the system. In a world where inverters and charge controllers are reaching efficiencies in the high 90s, it is highly desirable that the energy storage system is also highly efficient. This is where lithium batteries exceed lead acid batteries since their efficiency is typically 99%.
Harvesting all the energy from your renewable energy system is another way in which lithium batteries outperform lead acid batteries. The low charge acceptance of lead acid batteries often means that your inverters and charge controllers must reduce the energy that they can harvest so as to not exceed the low charge currents that lead acid batteries can accept. Lithium, on the other hand, does not have such a disadvantage since they can be charged at the 1C rate. For example, if your lithium battery has a capacity of 100 Ampere-hours, you can charge your battery with 100A.
3) Uses Of LifePO4 Technology
Many off-grid solar applications are used for telemetry and remote monitoring of various systems for data retrieval. In these areas, LifePO4 is increasingly the go-to battery solution.
Built-in protections against low voltage and overcharge, coupled with a long battery life span, make lithium the most reliable option.
4) Lithium batteries are long lasting.
The cycle life of a battery, defined as a discharge followed by a recharge, is an important parameter in batteries since it determines how long your batteries will last. This is another area where Lithium batteries outperform lead acid batteries since they often last 20 times longer than lead acid batteries. If you discharge your lead acid battery 100% of its capacity it will deliver about 400-600 cycles. A lithium battery on the other hand will deliver 8,000 cycles under the same conditions.
One of the reasons that lead acid batteries do not last as expected is their sensitivity to being undercharged. If a lead acid battery is chronically under-charged, it will suffer significant damage and its life will be reduced by 80%. This is important since renewable energy sources are naturally intermittent with the end result of the batteries being operated at partial states of charge. With lithium, you do not need to worry since cycling lithium batteries at partial states of charge does not harm them in any way.
4) Lithium is zero maintenance.
Lead acid batteries need to be carefully monitored and maintained; if water levels drop too low, you have to refill them or face significant damage and hazard risk. Lithium batteries, conversely, require zero maintenance after installation. While you should monitor any battery you purchase – even lithium – upkeep is reduced significantly with a lithium-based solution.
Lithium batteries are also very space-efficient. If you’re setting up your solar application and find yourself running out of room for batteries, choose lithium to reduce your size constraints considerably.
Compared to lead acid, lithium offers a more compelling energy storage option in nearly every situation. If you’re unsure about your solar power storage needs, contact us so we can help determine the perfect fit for your application.
LifePO4 technology is leading the way into the future of energy storage. Save your money and time by choosing lithium for your off-grid storage needs.
Interested in more? Get all the technical specifications you need to find the right lithium solar battery for your application.
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