SOLAR ENERGY FAQ

Here is my humble opinion on the great battery debate:

AGM Advantages:
Inexpensive – $195 for 100 Ah
Cared for properly – keeping them charged and de-sulphated – 500-1200 cycles
98% are recycled perpetually – you could have the same lead in your car that was in your grandfather’s Buick

AGM Drawbacks
Weight – 55 pounds each
Actual available storage density – 50-70%
Must be kept fully charged as often as possible to maximize their life span

Lithium Advantages
Light weight – 30 pounds each
Accept charge and deliver charge faster and more efficiently
2000+ cycles with an 80% capacity remaining – more than 3000 cycles to end of life
High Storage density – 98% of storage is on tap
Lithium batteries do not mind a partial discharge state

Lithium Disadvantages
Price – $850
Not recycled yet

In rough terms for comparison:
It takes two lead acid batteries to deliver the power of one lithium (storage ratings of 100 Ah)
Those two lead acid batteries weigh 110 pounds vs the 30 pounds of the lithium
If you were just buying batteries to cover a 10 year period-
16 lead acid batteries would cost $3120 – that would be 8 batteries to start and 8 new batteries in 5 years
4 Lithium Batteries would cost $3400 – same battery bank for 10 years
Lead acid requires twice the storage space of the Lithium batteries

Caveats –
If the batteries are used for emergency only, standby basis, the preference would be SLA with a maintainer/de-sulphator
Daily use favors the Lithium
If the system gets moved from time to time – Lithium
It’s hard to beat the cool factor of Lithium – when you see them and work with them, it is hard not to love them – tight, powerful packages

We offer two types of Lithium batteries – for our smaller systems that use 100-300 Ah batteries we use a manufactured battery with built in battery regulation. For 400 Ah systems and above we use an industrial battery that is managed by an AIMS inverter. We have done several homes with these batteries and customers are very enthusiastic about them. At some point, we need to put a full description of these batteries on our website. For durability and construction – I believe they are better than the Tesla Wonderwall.

 

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