A solar battery is a device that converts solar energy into electric current to power a light or other small device. The term also refers to storing electrical power, which can be drawn when needed. Solar batteries are photovoltaic cells, usually silicon or thin-film cells made from amorphous silicon.
Thin-film cells use less material than traditional silicon-based photovoltaic modules and can be cheaper to produce, and wear out slower due to their delicate nature and weight. However, they also convert less energy than silicon cells, producing less power. Let’s look at the four main solar power battery types.
1. Lead Acid Batteries
This is the type of battery most people are familiar with. It is found in cars, trucks, and pulse or wheelchairs. The lead oxide plates that make up the electrodes of a lead acid battery are submerged in sulphuric acid, which produces electrons and hydrogen gas when discharged.
The hydrogen gas produced by a lead acid battery will be vented outside the vehicle while the electrons travel to whatever they are connected. For example, the lead acid battery is connected to the car’s electrical system, allowing power for lights, ignition, and other electrical components.
Also called lithium batteries have become popular as replacements for older types of batteries, such as lead acid batteries for cars. They can be found on laptops and cell phones. These are made from carbon and lithium; their main attraction is that they are lightweight and can store a lot of energy. The size and weight of their cells make them an excellent choice for solar battery systems.
Known as NiCad or NIMH, these batteries are relatively light compared to other rechargeable batteries. They can be found in consumer electronics such as remote control cars and cordless power tools. Unlike the previous two types of solar batteries, they are not recharged but replaced, although they can be recycled. Old NiCad batteries produce toxic byproducts when they are disposed of in landfills, requiring their recycling to protect the environment.
Flow batteries hold the most potential as far as solar power is concerned. They can store and use energy much more efficiently than other types of batteries. The general concept is that ions move in and out of the electrolyte, producing a voltage that switches on an electrical circuit (much like a traditional battery). Since flow batteries store only electricity, though, not chemicals, they can be made from many different materials.
Are Solar Batteries Worth It?
Solar batteries are perfectly good for powering small devices and lights. They are just as reliable as other types of batteries but can be more expensive because they don’t need replacing other types of batteries.
There are many advantages to using solar batteries. Still, there are also advantages to using different kinds of solar power, and it is important to know about them before purchasing a system for your home or business.
The primary advantage of solar power is that, once it is set up, it requires no special maintenance and nothing more than sunlight to function, so you never have to worry about replacing batteries or releasing harmful chemicals into the environment. A solar power system will not produce the electricity needed for a large home or business.
It may require additional backup from traditional types of electricity supplies to work at times. However, it costs less in the long run and does not pollute the environment or produce hazardous gases.