Solar power is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly source of energy that can be used to generate electricity on an as-needed basis. Its use has grown immensely in recent years as solar power panels become cheaper and more accessible while battery technology has significantly improved.
When the sun is shining, it is often very tempting to sit back and let the rays do their work. However, when the sun goes down and there is no longer any electricity generated from solar power, it is time to charge up the batteries and get to work again. The best way to tackle this issue is via storage batteries which are equipped to provide power for electric devices on a consistent basis.
Here, we will discuss the best batteries to store solar energy for use when the sun goes down and how to choose the right one depending on your specific needs and circumstances.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
The function of a solar battery is to convert the solar energy that is available into electrical energy that can be used by electric devices. To achieve this, the battery incorporates either a chemical or electrochemical process to produce an electrical current when exposed to sunlight or other forms of radiant energy such as heat or microwave radiation. This allows for the accumulation of electricity which can be stored and released as necessary.
Solar batteries can be broadly categorized in three different groups based on their energy storage capacity and charging methods. These categories are classified as follows:
- High-Capacity Batteries: These are designed to store a substantial amount of energy and can typically hold around 3 – 10 kWh of electricity. They are generally more expensive than regular batteries but possess significantly higher power densities and energy storage capacities.
- Standard Batteries: These are the cheapest and most commonly used varieties of solar batteries with a capacity ranging from 1 – 2 kWh. They also have a lower power density and store less energy than high-capacity batteries.
- Miniature Batteries: Lastly, miniature solar batteries with a capacity of up to 500 milliamperes per hour (mA) are available for specialized applications. They are extremely low-cost but extremely small in size and have a very short life span of only a few months before they need to be replaced.
Consider Your Energy Needs Before Purchase
It is very important to determine how much energy you need daily, weekly, or even monthly to satisfy your demands. This is crucial since there are various forms of solar batteries available with significantly different energy storage capacities and charging rates. For example, a 6 volt mini solar battery only needs to be charged once every month while a 12 volt standard solar battery needs to be recharged daily. In addition, some batteries incorporate passive cooling systems which allow for increased energy storage and longer life spans.
It is also important to take into consideration how much energy you consume daily. This is often difficult to assess since it varies from person to person and depends on a variety of factors such as usage at different times of day and different weather conditions. Nevertheless, you can use various apps to track your daily energy usage and take note of any significant changes or fluctuations. This will then allow you to determine if and when you need to recharge the battery accordingly.
The Best Batteries For Storing Solar Energy
Based on the above, here are the top five best batteries for storing solar energy:
1. Twelve Volt Standard Battery
This particular type of solar battery is one of the most popular and widely used varieties and is highly-recommended for storing large amounts of energy. It is also a very simple and straight-forward design which makes it ideal for use in a wide array of applications. It has a 12 volt standard output which allows it to be compatible with a wide array of electric devices. This makes it popular among hobbyists and others who need to use smaller electrical appliances.
Though it is slightly more expensive than some other types of batteries, it is also less expensive to purchase than many other high-capacity batteries. This makes it a very economical option particularly when taken into consideration that it holds more energy and functions better over time. Moreover, its capacity is such that it can last a person a week or more on a single charge if used sparingly and if additional charges are not needed daily.
This type of solar battery is commonly used in situations where larger batteries are impractical or too expensive to use and it provides a better value for the money invested compared to similar products available on the market.
2. Six Volt Miniature Battery
Miniature batteries are smaller versions of standard batteries which are used in a wide array of applications such as remote monitoring and control devices, electronic books, and mobile phones. They are also very popular for use in space-related applications such as radio-controlled airplanes, rockets, or satellites. Though they are smaller and have a much lower weight than standard batteries, they are also less powerful and have a shorter life span of only a few months before they need to be replaced.
This type of battery is used in situations where smaller batteries are needed and it is also sometimes used in conjunction with solar power systems due to its small size and light weight. They are highly-recommended for use in situations such as powering small appliances like kettles, water heaters, or computers which otherwise draw too much power and could cause electrical surges and blackouts if used in larger capacity batteries.
3. Fourteen. Three Volt Miniature Battery
Similar to the six volt miniature battery discussed previously, the fourteen three volt miniature battery also has a very short life span and is commonly used in conjunction with solar power systems due to its size and light weight. The difference is that the fourteen three volt battery provides a higher output rating compared to the six volt miniature battery.
This type of battery is also used in situations where a higher output is needed and it is highly-recommended for use in powering appliances such as water pumps, drills, or other forms of heavy machinery. Moreover, its smaller size makes it easier for hobbyists to transport and use in situations where additional electrical power is required.
The small size of this battery also makes it ideal for use in applications where size matters, such as powering remote-controlled toys or devices, kites, model airplanes, and rockets.
4. Six Dollar Store Battery
This particular type of battery is widely available at large retail chains such as dollar stores and drug stores for use in a variety of applications. It is highly-recommended for storing small amounts of energy such as mobile phones, remote-controlled toys, and other small appliances which draw minimal power. Though it is inexpensive and widely available for purchase, its life span is only a few months and it needs to be replaced frequently.
This type of battery is commonly used in conjunction with solar power systems since it provides an economical option for hobbyists who need small amounts of electrical power and its shorter life span allows for easy replacement when needed.
5. Thumb-Size Dryer Battery
Like miniature batteries, the thumb-size dryer battery is also a smaller version of a standard battery. However, it has a much higher capacity rating compared to miniature batteries and is highly-recommended for use in situations where larger batteries are impractical or too expensive to use. This type of battery is often used for storing energy in dryers and microwave ovens and is also very popular for powering watches and other small portable electronic devices. Its small size makes it ideal for use in situations where additional electrical power is required.
This type of battery is highly-recommended for use in conjunction with solar power systems since it makes it easy for hobbyists to store energy when the sun is shining and provide electricity when needed. Moreover, its longer life span allows for easy replacement when needed.
The above information should put to rest any doubts you may have about which type of solar battery is right for your needs. Standard, miniature, and thumb-size batteries are all widely available and can all be used to store solar energy efficiently and effectively.