Solar batteries are one of the essential components of a solar system. And we all know it is not possible to run a car without batteries. So, car batteries are also a crucial part of its mechanism.
Solar power batteries and car batteries are essential components we must know thoroughly. To understand and calibrate your Solar Power system to maximize its power output, you need to know what the battery is to the system. How does it work, and why is it necessary?
When it comes to cars, you may aim to get an idea of the attributes of a car battery. You may wonder whether it is recyclable, replaceable, or similar to the traditional concept of the battery.
How are the batteries of your solar system and your car interrelated? Where do they differ?
You must be feeling curious to know more about this context. Well, it is a fascinating topic to know about. Batteries have been well known to us from childhood, and it’s going to be exciting and fun to learn more about how batteries play such a significant role in high-tech solar systems or even in a luxurious car!
Let me take you to the information you are looking for.
What is a Solar Battery?
Solar power systems generally consist of a battery to store the excess energy produced by the PV panels, and it is one of the essential components of a Solar system. During the daytime, due to the scorching heat of the sunbeams, your PV panels produce much more energy than you need.
What are you going to do with that energy?
Either you can back-feed the energy to the utility grid or store it for your future.
Here is what the solar battery does for you- the excess energy gets stored. When your solar panels are not working, you can use the electricity generated from the battery.
By now, you must be thinking, ‘Do I really need a Solar battery?’ It’s expensive!
Let me tell you Solar batteries are never a mandatory component of a Solar Power System. But surely they are the backup. You can have a grid-tied solar system that can draw electricity from the power grid at times of need. But sometimes, the grid can be too far to access or not even exist for some areas.
In some cases, a major blackout can harm the power grid. Then only you ponder the idea of having a Solar battery. As long as your system is well maintained (as it should be) and working soundly, you can draw energy from Solar batteries when you need it.
How Many Solar Batteries Do You Need for Your Solar System?
Check this post to learn more about how many solar batteries you need for your solar system.
What is a Car Battery?
The battery is the heart of the electrical system of your car. You can not start your car without batteries. A car battery provides huge power instantaneously to the engine to kick start it, and it is the power bank of your car. Your car battery supplies power to the ignition system and works with the alternator to keep the car’s electrical system alive.
Another crucial thing your battery does for you is to regulate the voltage. We all know fluctuations of voltage damage any electrical system. Your car battery helps in controlling any sudden voltage surge in the circuit.
Usually, your battery works completely fine for 7 to 10 years. Beyond that, you’ll have to replace it. You can find a lot of variety in car batteries. Keep on reading to find out about different types of car batteries.
How do Solar Batteries Work?
Sunlight hits your solar panels at the rooftop, and your PV panels start generating DC power that flows to your solar inverter. An inverter converts DC power into AC, which you can use. But most of the time, your panels produce much more energy than you need.
That excess energy travels through the wire and gets stored in your battery. You can have any of the three types of Solar systems: On-grid, Off-grid, and Hybrid Solar Power systems. Whatever your system is, having a battery is always beneficial. When your panels don’t produce electricity in bad weather or at night, you can use up the energy stored in your solar batteries.
How do Car Batteries Work?
Your car battery has a huge responsibility. It provides power to the electrical components of your car, and eventually, your car starts. In the battery, you have three components, i.e., two connectors known as an anode, a cathode, and a chemical solution in which the connectors sit in.
A series of reactions starts inside the battery when the car ignition is switched ON. An alternator generates the electrons, and with a belt, it transmits electrons to the battery. The chemical solution activates and produces an electrical charge.
After these reactions, the chemical energy stored in the battery is converted to electrical energy; thus, the battery powers up. Then it supplies power to the electrical components of your car. So, your car cannot start without this chain of reactions.
Types of Solar Batteries
There are various deep cycle batteries suitable for your Solar Power system. Lead-acid, lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, and flow batteries are the main four types of solar batteries. Despite their cost, Lithium-ion batteries are best for your solar system since they are nearly maintenance-free and have a long life period.
On the other hand, lead-acid batteries offer you a cheap deal with the price of regular maintenance. Among the other two types, if you live in an extreme climate where the surroundings are super hot, Nickel-cadmium batteries are for you.
Nickel-cadmium batteries are really cool with scorching temperatures. Lastly, the flow batteries require a bit of a complex management system. They are of large size with a larger price tag! So, this type of battery is not widely used. You would consider using a flow battery only for large-scale battery storage.
In general, lithium-ion batteries are the best choice for your home solar system. These batteries can discharge power at a favorable rate, and companies can install them accurately as they are familiar enough with home or workspace solar installation.
So, before buying a solar battery, you should keep in mind two things- your budget and precisely what you need to get out of the battery.
Types of Car Batteries
If you search up the internet, you’ll get too many types of car batteries out in the market. Out of them, four major types of car batteries are lithium-ion, nickel-metal hydride, lead-acid, and ultracapacitors.
Other types of car batteries are Flooded Lead Acid Battery (Wet Cell), Silver Calcium Battery, Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB), Gel Cell Battery (Dry Cell), Absorbent Glass Mat Battery (AGM), and some others. All of these kinds are manufactured to suit the different needs of different cars.
You know today we have a variety of cars with different needs. Also, batteries come in different sizes. It would help if you bought a battery that fits the compartment in your car nicely and gives sufficient power to your car engine. You have to be careful in checking your battery’s CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) rating. Higher the CCA, easier to crank the engine.
Uses Solar Battery:
You may consider the batteries among the chief guests of your Solar Power system. Without which your system fails to become self-sufficient. Your solar panels cannot produce energy after sunset.
But you need a sustainable power supply 24×7. Solar Batteries can help you to get rid of your agony. The excess energy produced by solar panels during the daytime is stored in the batteries.
You can draw energy from the battery at night to run your office, house, or workplace. Hence, you can get an uninterrupted power supply. If you have an off-grid system or grid-tied, the use of solar batteries remains equally important.
Uses Car Batteries:
Are you running a car without a battery? Unless you have an alternator, it’s not a good idea! Your can won’t go for long. Also, you need a battery to feed the spark plug with energy to turn your car engine on.
Key differences between car batteries and solar batteries
- The crucial difference lies in the power supply mechanism of the battery. Car batteries supply high power in a short time to start the engine. In contrast, Solar batteries supply low to medium power over long periods.
- Car batteries are usually lead-acid starter batteries (which are designed to supply bursts of energy). On the other hand, solar batteries are deep cycle batteries, lithium, gel, AGM or lead-acid, etc.
- Car batteries work differently from Solar batteries. As soon as the car engine starts, batteries operate with 20% capacity and let the alternator provide the required energy to the engine. But in Solar batteries, 70-80% of energy is used up whenever needed.
Can Solar Batteries Power a Car?
Two types of solar batteries are well known; lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries. If you wonder how to start a car using a solar battery, we don’t have much to offer you!
You can’t start a car using a solar battery, and solar batteries cannot generate the CCA or Cold Cranking Amps needed from car batteries to start an engine. Cold Cranking Amps or CCA measures amps produced for 30 seconds at a temperature of 0°F or -18°C.
Most car batteries have a 300-600 CCA rating, where Solar batteries have half of that.
So, theoretically, a Solar battery with higher CCA can start a car, but it is better to use a specific battery in practice.
Using Old Car Batteries for Solar Power
As you know, car batteries are not suitable for solar power; you should use a particular battery for solar power storage. If you still intend to use an old car battery for your solar system, it can work for a short period of time.
Honestly, car batteries are the worst type of batteries for your solar system because car batteries are SLI (Start Light Ignite) types of batteries that are good for generating bursts of power.
Though solar and car batteries are rechargeable batteries, car batteries have low cycles. This means those batteries can charge and discharge a lesser number of times. But solar power systems require deep cycle batteries. Also, your car batteries are not suitable for deep discharge. You can draw a conclusion that you can use car batteries for your solar, but that is not a good call.
A standardized Solar battery costs between $9,000 – $20,000 with an installation cost. But you have to keep in mind that the size of your solar system plays a decent role in the cost of the battery and its installation.
However, you install storage devices for resilience benefits over the financial budget. But yes, some factors control the digits you have to spend for fully installed Solar batteries.
Car batteries cost $150-$200 on average. On a quick note, I want to tell you that different cars have different needs, and car engines have plenty of mechanisms that require a suitable battery to work efficiently.
It is better not to use a car battery for your solar system or vice-versa as each of the batteries is made to serve distinct purposes. Car batteries effectively supply high energy quickly, where Solar batteries are efficient at generating mid-range energy over the long term. Hence, you see, they are designed differently to do so. Both of them are highly responsible for the system running smoothly and categorically. Solar batteries and car batteries both matter a lot to the respective systems.