Solar Battery Vs. Inverter Batteries: A complete analysis
You know what a battery is, pretty obviously! Nothing else comes out of our minds as a better source of stored energy than a battery. Battery changes chemical energy to electrical energy when we need it.
Even in your home, solar system batteries carry an essential role. No solar power system is quite complete or, better to say self-sufficient, without solar batteries. You need batteries to store excess energy produced by your home Solar.
Solar panels are incapable of producing electricity after sunset or in cloudy weather. At that time, you can use that previously-stored energy from Solar batteries.
On the other hand, inverter batteries are similar to every normal battery, used as energy storage, and designed to provide little current over a long period. The main agenda is identical in both Solar and inverter batteries, and it is to store DC power and supply AC power when needed.
The primary difference is that Solar batteries recharge multiple times, and they are connected to the solar panels directly and receive power to store it. Inverter batteries generally run on the chemical reaction between the fluid and metal plates (electrodes) inside it. Depending upon the maintenance, Inverter batteries can run for 5 to 15 years, so do solar batteries.
So, there are quite a few things different in solar and a normal inverter battery. At the same time, they have some functions in common too.
In this blog, I have tried to address all differences and the similarities between Solar Battery and a normal Inverter Battery.
What kind of battery is best for your Solar System, whether there is an alternative to use, and how a normal battery differs from a battery specifically manufactured for Solar. I tried to put light on all these kinds of questions here. Read on to know more about your solar and inverter batteries.
What is a Solar Battery?
If you want your solar system to be self-sufficient, you have to consider installing a battery. Solar systems work properly under certain conditions. In cloudy weather or even after sunset, solar panels stop producing power.
But our need for a constant power supply just doesn’t stop. At that time, you can meet up to your needs by drawing power from the battery. Without batteries, an off-grid solar system cannot run all time.
In an on-grid system, you have the option of drawing power from the local grid when you need it. But as we see in off-grid systems, solar batteries are essential. These batteries follow a pretty simple principle.
Solar panels produce huge amounts of power during the daytime, much more than we need. That excess DC power is stored in the solar battery. It is so satisfying to know no energy is being wasted. You’re using that excess power later according to your need. That is the function of a solar battery- elegant and important!
What is a Normal Inverter Battery?
A normal inverter battery works just as a stored energy source. But the design of an inverter battery is such that it can provide a small amount of current for a longer duration of time. All of our appliances run on AC power.
We can’t even imagine a single day in our life without electricity. An inverter is a great backup energy source that can serve you when the power station is down. Inverters convert DC into AC. In an inverter circuit, the battery provides the DC power that is converted to AC to run the house or office.
Now you’d be amazed to know that supplying DC power is not the only job of an inverter battery. An inverter battery solely controls the runtime of an inverter. The runtime even varies with the amount of equipment used. So, we can comment that the performance and life of your inverter depend on its battery.
Key differences between a Solar and Inverter Battery
1. Solar batteries can recharge multiple times a day, and it receives power from the solar panel connected to them. On the other hand, the normal inverter battery runs on the chemical reaction between the fluid and the metal plate.
2. The solar batteries also differ in terms of discharge rate. Most inverter batteries come with a C20 discharge rating, meaning they can run for 20 hours after a full charge. Now the discharge rating in the solar batteries is C10, and the battery may discharge within 10 hrs of full charging.
3. A standard inverter battery can last up to 10-15 years after installation, and you don’t have to check on it regularly. In the case of Solar batteries, they need more regular checking. As Solar batteries are costly also, you need to monitor them from time to time.
4. Inverter batteries are not regularly used. You need them once in a while, so the battery lasts longer than a home solar battery. Solar batteries recharge multiple times, even during a single day. If you have an off-grid solar system, you use them daily.
5. Generally, inverter batteries have a high storage capacity. If you need high-capacity storage for your solar, maybe you just have to buy multiple batteries.
Can We Use a normal Inverter Battery for our Solar system?
Yes! You can use a normal inverter battery for your Solar System, and this is the flat answer. But here are some things that you need to know before using an inverted battery for your solar system!
- You can add a normal inverter battery to your solar system, but you should buy an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) charge controller to make your system efficient. The capacity of the charge controller should depend on the size of the battery and the production rate of the panels.
- You have to calculate the size of your solar system and add a battery compatible with it. Otherwise, if your battery capacity is small, then energy will get wasted. Solar panels will produce a large amount of energy that you can store for future use, so be careful!
- Have you ever heard of a Solar Conversion Kit? This can help you use any battery for your solar if it has a perfect capacity and technology. A normal inverter and battery can make a solar inverter for you with a solar conversion kit.
In general, yes, we can use an inverter battery in our solar system quite accurately, but the story doesn’t end there.
The Perfect Match You Need for Your Solar
It depends on your needs and the mechanism of your solar system. Obviously, a solar battery is the best fit for you. Solar batteries are specifically designed for your solar system.
Solar batteries have a feature called deep cycle recharge, and it helps to store energy for a long time. Also, solar batteries are less harmful and less hazardous than any regular battery. No such harmful gases are produced while batteries recharge.
So, in short, a regular battery can be used for your solar. But then the excess energy produced by panels will get wasted as the energy generation in regular batteries is based on a chemical reaction. It would be best if you had a traditional solar battery to store the energy produced by the panels.
Green H2 as an Alternative Energy Source
Although not a battery but an energy source we can use as an alternative. If there is any constraint in using a solar battery or even a regular battery, you can use green hydrogen as an energy source.
It is another form of chemical energy storage where electrical power is produced from hydrogen. Here hydrogen is called green because its energy is completely renewable and has zero carbon emission to the environment.
The hydrogen is synthesized in the storage place, and the chemical energy can then be rereleased by using the gas as fuel in a combustion engine or in a fuel cell. You can install fuel cells at your home and workspace and use green hydrogen as a stored energy source.
However, this idea is expensive but worth considering as green hydrogen is now considered the future fuel. When green hydrogen burns, it only produces water as a byproduct. No harmful greenhouse gas is produced. This is a great deal. The only thing that’s stopping us today is the cost of production.
Which is Better? A Solar Battery or an Inverter Battery!
In this regard,
1. solar batteries give better services. It gets energy directly from the solar panel connected to it. The standard inverter battery is charged using the chemicals and metal installed in the battery.
2. Solar batteries are a renewable energy source, and they are one of the fundamental needs for the sustainable development of our environment. They don’t pollute our environment and eventually have no harmful effects. But inverter batteries can affect the environment to some extent.
3. If we look at the lifespan, then inverter batteries are a little ahead of solar batteries. Though their lifespan is nearly equal, solar batteries need some more maintenance than inverter batteries.
4. Then it comes to money. Be it better or not, solar batteries are costly, and Inverter batteries are cost-efficient in that case. There are cheap solar batteries available in the market, that’s right. But they require time to time care.
You can find many Solar batteries in the market at different prices. There is a large variety of batteries available at an affordable cost. But typically, the cost of your battery depends on a variety of factors.
Factors like power rating, depth of discharge capability, round trip efficiency, the company warranty, and the charge of installation can affect the cost of a standard Solar battery.
But you have to remember; the biggest factor is the capacity—a regular home solar battery costs from $10000 to $20000. If you need multiple batteries, the cost for the entire battery backup system might be higher.
An inverter battery becomes costly due to ampere-hour rating, longer warranty periods, technical specifications, size, and performance. But after all these, inverter batteries cost much less than a traditional Solar battery.
But yeah, don’t forget that they serve different purposes well. Although inverter batteries share some factors in common with Solar batteries, they are not the same. Thus, the difference in cost is understandable for us all.
Best Solar Batteries in the Market
Various kinds of solar batteries are in the market with different storage capacities and different installation procedures. You can choose one that suits your purpose the best. Four main types are:
- Flow battery
Lead-acid batteries are the cheapest but come with a high maintenance cost. If you want a nearly maintenance-free solar battery, lithium-ion is just the right choice for you. They are expensive, but that’s quite upright.
Ni-Cd Batteries are not widely used as lead-acid or Lithium-ion batteries. The main benefit of these kinds of batteries is that they can operate at extreme temperatures. Flow batteries are now coming up as new technology.
Basically, it is important to determine which one is best within this huge variety of solar batteries. Some batteries like AGM Fullriver, Tesla Powerwall, Crown, SunLux Enphase Storage, Vivint Solar LG Chem, Sunrun Brightbox, etc., are the top picks nowadays.
Best Inverter Battery in the Market
You already know that lead-acid batteries are efficient and pocket-friendly to use. Also, Lithium-ion batteries are very good at a fair price with low maintenance issues. But as used in an inverted or a typical inverter battery can be classified separately.
The different types of inverter batteries are:
- GEL Batteries
- Flat Plate Inverter Battery
- Tabular Plate Inverter Battery
If you are looking for the best type of Inverter battery, a GEL battery can suit your purpose. These are regular lead-acid batteries with added silica, and these are environment-friendly, low-maintenance, deep cycle batteries that perfectly fit your inverter.
Flat plate batteries have their name due to their shape and design. These are also lead-acid batteries with positive and negative plates, and they have a large surface area and are hence capable of instant high current application.
Having a backup energy supply is always beneficial. Inverters are great in this context. As you know, the battery of the inverter is the heart of the system, and you must take care while buying any.
Also, if you own a solar power facility, consider installing batteries. Your facility can be On-grid or Off-grid; in each case, the Solar battery has concurred its way around. Batteries seem fairly costly but let’s look at the bright side of this one-time investment.
If you choose the right battery to match your solar, forget worries for years. You’ll be running your life without harming the climate and our mother earth. To choose the correct option that suits you best among a large variety, studying the nature of your solar battery is crucial.