When lithium batteries were introduced to the solar energy market, they provided solar users with many benefits over the lead-acid batteries most people were using at the time. They were a much-needed upgrade that provided greater efficiency for solar energy storage and helped to make solar power more affordable for many. However, no piece of technology is perfect, and the lithium battery does have its drawbacks. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of the Sol-Ark lithium battery.
As already mentioned, lithium batteries are an upgrade over lead-acid batteries in many ways. Here are the primary benefits of this type of battery, which have caused it to become the most common battery used in solar applications quickly:
- Higher DoD: Every battery has a maximum depth of discharge (DoD) that expresses how much of the stored energy can be expended before the battery is damaged. Discharging a battery below its maximum DoD can damage it and shorten its lifespan. The majority of lead-acid batteries only have a DoD of 50%, so half the energy you store in these batteries can’t be used. Lithium batteries, however, are deep-cycle batteries and typically have DoDs around 95%.
- Longer lifespan: That high DoD means your lithium battery doesn’t’ need to be recharged as often, which helps to lengthen its lifespan. While lead-acid batteries have a warrantied lifespan of about five years, most lithium solar batteries have a warrantied lifespan of about ten years.
- Higher efficiency: As already mentioned, lithium batteries are more efficient than their lead-acid counterparts. For a battery, efficiency refers to the amount of usable energy you get out of your batteries, compared to the amount of energy it takes to charge the battery. Lithium batteries have between 90% and 95% efficiency.
- No maintenance: Certain types of lead-acid batteries required regular maintenance to continue to operate appropriately. Lithium solar batteries are a zero-maintenance storage solution for your solar power.
With all of these benefits, it’s little wonder that the lithium battery quickly replaced the lead-acid battery in the majority of solar applications.
Of course, everything has its drawbacks. For lithium solar batteries, there are two primary cons to consider:
- High upfront cost: Lithium batteries do have a higher price tag than their lead-acid cousins, which can make your battery bank a considerable upfront investment. However, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind when looking at that price tag. Remember, these batteries are more efficient, offer you more usable energy, and last longer than those cheaper batteries. So, though the cost is higher upfront, in the long run, lithium batteries do still typically pay for themselves.
- Thermal runaway: If improperly stalled, lithium batteries do have the risk of thermal runaway, which means they can overheat and even catch fire. While that might sound frightening, the risk of this happening on a properly stalled lithium solar battery is slim to none.
So if you’re choosing solar batteries for your solar setup, the Sol-Ark lithium battery is typically the better option.