In  Solar

Which battery must I choose?

By [email protected] | November 19, 2020 allows you to work out what your demands for electricity will cost you for you to reduce your reliance on Eskom/Municipal electricity supply.

We tried to make it as simple a process as possible to allow you to choose preferences that suit your household and lifestyle, but with cost consideration also in mind. Because it does become expensive, and may then appear to be an unaffordable exercise.

One of the factors in the need for off-grid systems is in making a battery storage choice. Its a choice between Lithium Ion Batteries and Gel/AGM batteries. And the choice of batteries then impacts on the cost of a solar installation, especially when longer backup hours are required, and when the electricity demand is higher. We explain the difference between the batteries in this newsletter today.

A variety of battery types can be used with off-grid solar systems. The two most common types are lead acid batteries and lithium ion batteries. 

Which battery should you choose Lithium ion or AGM/Gel?Lithium ion, LiFePO4 batteries:
Lasts longer (10 year design life, dependent on usage)
Higher energy density (Smaller and lighter than the same capacity Lead acid batteries)
– Higher upfront cost than AGM/Gel

Notes:Battery management system (BMS) is usually included. DO NOT buy a Lithium ion battery without a battery management system.LiFePO4 batteries should not be discharged completely. It is recommended to keep at least 20% capacity left after a discharge cycle, hence up to 80% of the battery capacity can be used to ensure optimal life cycles.

AGM/Gel Batteries
Lower upfront cost
– Does not last as long as the Lithium-ion batteries (3 to 5 years, dependent on usage)
– Lead acid batteries last much longer if they are fully charged. 
Notes:Battery balancers are compulsory to be installed for 24V or 48V AGM/Gel battery banks.AGM/Gel batteries do not want to be discharged completely.

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