Lithium vs. Lead-Acid: Which Is Better For Solar?
There are many reasons to invest in a solar panel system. Some people may want to cut down on their utility bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Others may seek to live off the grid with a more sustainable source of power. No matter what level of solar power you’re aiming for, you need battery banks to store and distribute energy. There are many battery options out there, so BigBattery is here to tell you which battery is better for solar: lithium or lead-acid.
Efficiency refers to how much power a battery stores and uses compared to how much it gets from the sun. For example, a battery that takes in 1,000 watts of solar energy but puts out 900 watts would be 90 percent efficient.
Many lead-acid batteries are around 80 to 85 percent efficient, while lithium models offer up to 95 percent efficiency. LiFePO4 batteries are high-efficiency models that provide more power per absorbed solar energy.
Energy density typically refers to how much power a battery pack can put out relative to its size and weight. While lead-acid batteries may initially seem to have an advantage here, as they weigh less than lithium models of a similar size, the difference comes down to their output. A system that requires two lithium batteries may need as many as eight lead-acid models to achieve the same power level.
Part of determining whether lithium or lead acid batteries are better for solar is considering which one requires the most hands-on work. Lithium batteries are self-contained units that require far less maintenance than lead-acid models. Flooded lead-acid batteries require maintaining water levels on a regular basis and all lead-acid models, regardless of construction, have much shorter depths of discharge. While there are sealed lead-acid batteries that require less maintenance, they may not be a good option if you have long-term plans for your solar system.
Putting together a proper solar panel system is a costly endeavor. You may need to save up to cover the initial costs or start with a smaller system and expand down the road. Either way, lithium batteries are more costly upfront than lead-acid models. However, they’re a good option for saving money in the long run because of their longer life spans, extended warranties, and lower kilowatt-hour capacity. Typically, for every set of lithium batteries you buy, you would have to buy 3 or 4 sets of lead-acid batteries to see the same number of years of usage.
Check out our website to learn more about how solar energy battery banks can help you build the solar panel system of your dreams. You can choose from several powerful 48-volt lithium solar batteries to help ensure you stay connected and keep the lights on. For more information, please consult our helpful guides or contact us anytime to speak with a certified representative who can help get you started.