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Battery technology explained


Buildsolar.com.au offers a range of battery technologies from leading international and local manufacturers that are designed for home and mobile off-grid applications. The right battery technology for you will depend on your individual situation and requirements. 

Sizing your battery bank is incredibly important when choosing your equipment. Understanding when and how much electricity (kWh) is used will help determine the battery capacity required.  Different types of batteries are better suited to different types of applications.  Whether you need rapid charge/discharge, large storage capacity, multiple days of autonomy or have restricted physical space, different battery types offer different characteristics and features.  Understanding which one is best for your application will go a long way to giving you the best outcome and value for money.

Programming your battery charger and/or solar charger settings to the specifications of the battery manufacturer is extremely important!  Too high charging voltages can 'cook' your batteries, while too low charge voltages can cause battery sulfation.  The length of time for charging stages (Eg. Bulk, Aborsb and Float) also need close attention to detail. Please read your battery installation instructions carefully! 

Sealed Gel Lead-Acid VRLA

A proven battery chemistry in stationary off-grid storage applications, VRLA battery banks are fully sealed and maintenance-free with superior charge current handling. Using a reputable brand, correct sizing, suitable housing, and appropriate battery management, VRLA battery banks have shown to last for a considerable time. The competitive total kWh storage cost for autonomy (backup storage needed at times of low energy input or increased demand) of the VRLA batteries makes them a good option for off-grid applications. 

Lithium-ion

Powerplus Eco batteryLithium-ion has a number of advantages for applications where space and weight are important. The highest quality lithium-ion batteries and Battery Management System (BMS) need to be used to ensure absolute safety and reliability. These batteries have a higher energy density (lighter & smaller than lead-acid batteries) and have the ability to regularly deeply discharge without degrading the battery.  Lithium batteries are cost-competitive on the usable kWh storage capacity however, the small autonomy (the ‘fat’ needed at times of low energy input or increased demand) means they might not always be suitable.

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries (‘Wet-Cells’)

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries are a lower initial cost and proven performer in standalone applications that are properly sized and regularly maintained by experienced persons. Wet cells need regular maintenance in the form of checking the electrolyte level, adding distilled water to prevent drying out, regular cell top surface cleaning, and regular boost charging to overcome acid stratification. Under Australian regulations wet-cells must also be segregated from all other equipment, requiring their own storage enclosure to meet strict safety guidelines. Buildsolar.com.au does not supply wet-cell batteries.  


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