It is important to choose the ideal battery for your energy project. Knowing the types of batteries and choosing the best one is essential to find the right solution to your energy use problems. This article will take you through four main types of batteries that are used in power projects and will give you an overview of the pros and cons of them.
1. Lead acid
Lead acid batteries are the oldest type of battery used. Until very recently, it was the only practical battery technology for storing solar electricity, according to Jpac Batteries. Lead-acid batteries are widely used in automobiles to provide the high current required by automobile starters. It is the same type of battery that you have in your cars, but the ones used for energy projects are usually much higher. This type of battery is also rechargeable, with a charge / discharge efficiency of 50% to 95%.
The main benefits of lead acid batteries include:
- The technology is mature, and they are so reliable for most energy projects.
- They are also inexpensive compared to newer types of batteries.
- Lead acid batteries are one of the most successful batteries in times of recycling.
The main drawbacks are:
- The lead-acid battery is large in size, so it takes up a lot of space
- They also have a low life cycle. Depending on how many times you charge and discharge them, they generally last 2-8 years at most.
- They have a discharge depth of around 60%, which means that after 60% of their capacity has been used, they must be recharged.
- They work best at 20 ° C or 68 ° F. If their surrounding temperature is higher, their performance and service life will decrease.
- There are also environmental concerns about lead used inside batteries.
2. Lithium ion
Lithium ion batteries are widely utilized in smartphones and laptops. They can also be used in electric cars. Lithium-ion batteries can be discharged more deeply and have a longer life than lead acid batteries. They have a discharge efficiency of 80% and have a useful life of 13 to 18 years.
The main benefits of lithium ion batteries include:
- In addition to the longer life and efficiency, the price is expected to be lower in the coming years as the production of this type of battery becomes easier.
- Lithium ion cells cause little harm to the environment and humans when disposed of.
- They are suitable for modern fuel gauge applications.
The main disadvantages of lithium ion batteries are:
- They are mostly fragile and require a protection circuit in order to maintain safe operation.
- The technology is not completely mature. If used improperly, there is a risk of causing a fire.
- Despite a possible price decrease in the future, the price of this battery is still quite expensive to manufacture.
Flow batteries are a relatively new type of battery that is emerging on the market. They are called flow batteries because they have a water-based solution of zinc bromide splashing around inside them, according to Jpac Batteries.
The main advantages of flow batteries are:
- Their greatest strength is that they have a discharge depth of 100%. This means that they can be fully discharged in one cycle with no negative effects on the shelf life.
- They are suitable for large applications from several kW to even MW. When applied to solar energy, the capacity of flow batteries is quite promising.
- Can tolerate extreme weather conditions, up to 50 ° C or 122 ° F.
- When the power runs out, it is cheap to renew them.
- The electrodes used inside the battery also are environmentally friendly.
The main disadvantages of flow batteries include:
- The price is quite expensive compared to the two types mentioned above.
- Their lifespan is actually a little shorter than that of lithium ion batteries.
- Unless it's for giant applications, it's not worth it for smaller applications.
4. Sodium nickel chloride
Sodium nickel chloride is another new type of battery. Compared to other types of batteries, this is the newest and safest. The chemistry used within these batteries makes them quite safe and reliable.
The main benefits of sodium nickel chloride batteries include:
- They can operate from -20 ° C to 60 ° C, or -4 ° F to 140 ° F.
- They are fully recyclable without toxic or dangerous chemicals for humans and the environment.
- There is no risk of fire with these batteries.
- Larger lithium ion battery systems must have active cooling, but these batteries do not require an internal cooling system.
The main drawbacks of sodium nickel chloride batteries include:
- Its expected life cycle is around 3,500 cycles. While the life cycle of lithium ion batteries is between 4,000 and 10,000.
- It only has a depth of discharge of 80%, which means that the internal energy cannot be fully utilized.
- It is also quite expensive to use, even for large projects. Its cost per kWh is much higher than lithium-ion, despite the benefits it offers.
5. Lithium Iron
Lithium iron is one of the most recent advances in battery technology. Energy companies are especially delighted with its potential applications due to its different properties.
As Jpac Batteries points out, phosphate-based technology has much better thermal and chemical stability, making it safer than lithium-ion technology. Lithium phosphate batteries are non-combustible if mishandled during charging or discharging, they are more stable under overcharge or short-circuit conditions, and can withstand high temperatures without breaking down. When abuse occurs, the phosphate-based cathode material does not burn and is not prone to thermal runaway. Phosphate chemistry also offers a longer life cycle.
The benefits of lithium ion batteries include:
- More stable
- Good density
- Long life
Interested in batteries?
These are the four main sorts of commercial batteries. If you are considering installing a power project for your business and you are not sure what type of batteries to use, contact our Jpac Batteries specialists for more information.